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Ypsilanti Heritage Festival at Riverside Park

Get hyped on local history Aug. 17-19, 2012 with games, contests, tons of tunes, dancing, drumming and more at this cultural family fest

Blast to the past and explore local cultural history at the 34th annual Ypsilanti Heritage Fest! This free celebration invites families to join the festivities Aug. 17-19, 2012 throughout the city's downtown and winding through Riverside Park.

Make your first stop at the Children's Village, where music, magic and surprises run wild. Live musical performances will include sing-alongs, folk tales and tunes from around the world, just for kids. Sit back and enjoy – or let your tots join the "Drummunity," where they can tap away at their Tupperware in a kid-inspired ensemble.

Magician Jeff Boyer's also got a few tricks up his sleeve in an interactive show full of laughs (and perhaps a few bunnies), and Colors the Clown will be in town to create all your child's favorite face paintings and balloon animals. Plus, there'll be local performances by the Youth Orchestra and a puppet show by the Lincoln High School Drama team.

Afterwards, dig deep into the city's historical roots with a visit to "Chautauqua at the Riverside," which runs all weekend at the Riverside Arts Center. Live demonstrations, films, song and neat exhibits explore the history and culture at Ypsilanti's core. The Native Youth Alliance also hosts a "Pop-Wow" filled with traditional dances, contests, games, drums and fun for everyone.

Don't forget to check out the "Celebration of Ypsilanti" parade, too, sponsored by Eastern Michigan University, on Saturday morning for fabulous floats and beats from local bands. And with a demonstration by FIRST Robotics, an array of Michigan-made goodies at the marketplace and arts and crafts booths for strolling, the kids will thank you for taking them to this family fest – and you'll have been glad you did.

Activities run from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information on parking and a full events schedule for the 2012 Ypsilanti Heritage Festival, check out the Metro Parent event listing.

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