Thursday, August 12, 1999

Village’s celebration like big family reunion

Village’s celebration like big family reunion
The Ann Arbor News
By Pamela Appea

Superstitious residents of Dexter hope history won’t repeat itself at the annual Dexter Daze weekend starting [this] week—on Friday the 13th.

The Monument Park event last opened on a Friday the 13th six years ago, when the Sportsman’s Bar on Main Street had a grease fire that spread to three other buildings.

The mid-morning fire either destroyed or seriously damaged four buildings. Loren Yates, the long-time chairman of Dexter Daze, didn’t have much time that day to devote to the festival—as a firefighter he was busy working to put the fire out.

Many hope Dexter Daze ’99 will go off without a hitch. Residents are looking forward to celebrating the 175th anniversary of Dexter Village this year at the three-day event.

The annual extravaganza regularly draws 20,000 to 30,000 people one Chamber of Commerce official said.

“Dexter Daze is kind of a big party of the community,” said Carol Jones, Dexter Daze committee secretary and an administrative assistant for the Chamber.

She said that during the weekend, many former Dexter residents come back to visit with friends and family. Jones said talking to people she hasn’t seen in a while makes her feel like she’s attending a big family reunion.

One hitch to Dexter Daze last year was the major construction under way on the town’s streets and sidewalks. But now, Dexter has a new-and-improved look, she said.

The event will feature musicians, arts and crafts vendors, a bake sale by senior citizens and food vendors. Children’s entertainment will include Gemini and Colors the Clown.

Yayes said there will be a free shuttle bus going into the village from Dexter High School for people who want to avoid traffic. Parking is free, he said.

The Saturday morning, Dexter Daze Parade will include a band antique and classic cars, fire and police departments, members of the Kiwanis, the Rotary and Lions’ clubs and local students and businesses.
While visiting the area, Jones said, Dexter Daze participants often visit other Dexter sites, including the 100-year-old cider mill and the 100-year-old cider mill and the Spring Valley Trout Farm, where people can catch and buy trout and catfish.

“It’s a busy (time), said Jan Going, who has lived in Dexter for 15 years.

She enjoys the parade and also will visit with several longtime friends coming in from other parts of Michigan and Florida.

“Dexter Daze) is just super,” she said. The community really participates.”

Dexter Daze
What: Town festival with arts and crafts, music and bingo, children’s activities.
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Dexter village
Highlights: Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, horseshoes tournament at 1 p.m.

Originally published Thursday, August 12, 1999