Eastern Michigan University takes part in Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

Festivities and events kick off Friday, Aug. 17 through Sunday, Aug. 19

by Debra Johnson, Published August 06, 2012


YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University, a proud sponsor of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, will celebrate the rich history of Ypsilanti, as several groups will take part in the festivities.

The Heritage Festival, held each summer at Riverside Park, attracts nearly 100,000 visitors to the Ypsilanti area. A full schedule of activities and events are scheduled for the whole family to enjoy as Ypsilanti celebrates its culture, food, art and entertainment.

"The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is proud of our partnership with Eastern Michigan University," said Andrew Clock, director of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. "We have worked closely with Ted Coutilish, associate vice president of marketing at Eastern, and his staff to build and expand that partnership."

Major events EMU will take part in include:

  • The Opening Reception for the Heritage Festival is Tuesday, Aug. 14, from 7 - 10 p.m. The event will be held in the atrium of Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center. There will be hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, achampagne toast, and a live string quartet to entertain the crowd. The event is open to the public and tickets are $40 in advance and at the door, with allproceeds going to support the Heritage Festival. For more information, visit the Heritage Festival homepage
  • Take a trip into outer space as EMU's planetarium debuts the movie "Stars," Saturday, Aug. 18 with show times at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. The planetarium, located in the Mark Jefferson Science Complex, features a 28 foot-diameter futuristic-looking sphere suspended four stories above the ground. Norbert Vance, professor of astronomy and observatory director at Eastern, accompanied by members of EMU's astronomy club, will host the event and be on hand to answer questions about the movie, the planetarium and all its features. Attendees will learn how the sun works, planets are born, and how chemical elements are made. This event is free and open to the public but space is limited to 40 attendees per show. Click on the EMU Planetarium Press Release to read the full story and for additional information. 
  • At 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, stargazers will be treated to a guided tour of the historic Sherzer Observatory and observe "real" stars through the large apochromatic refractor telescope on the rooftop. Vance said "with a clear night, sky viewers should be able to see Saturn's rings, various star clusters, binary stars, dying stars and constellations of the summer sky." This event is also free and open to the public.
  • As part of the Chautauqua at the Riverside series, Ted Ligibel, director of the historic preservation program at EMU, along with fellow historians will participate in the Mayor of Ypsilanti's "This Place Matters" panel discussion held at Riverside Arts Center at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. For more information about this event, visit the Heritage Festival Events homepage.
  • Learn what you can to do save money, conserve water and energy at the Green Tent exhibit. EMU's physical plant, along with the City of Ypsilanti Department of Public Services are co-sponsors of this event. They hope to educate the public about the Huron River water quality, and environmental stewardship. Members will be on hand from the Huron River Watershed Council, the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioners Office, Washtenaw County Department of Public Health Environmental Division and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to answer questions and provide information. There will be educational activities for kids and a raffle for a new Vapor 10 Kayak, a life vest and paddle. To learn more, go to about the Huron River Watershed Council.

In addition, several EMU student athletes from the women's basketball and soccer teams will walk in the Festival Parade that starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. This year's theme for the parade is "A Celebration of Ypsilanti" and the route meanders through Ypsilanti and ends at Riverside Park. To read more about the parade, visit the Heritage Festival Parade homepage.

"I think what we've done this year is a great example of how the Ypsilanti community can partner with the university to create some really unique and fun public events, and further the cause of education in the community," Clock said.

For a complete list of events and general information, visit the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival homepage.





Debra Johnson

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