Sounds & Sights Festival in Downtown Chelsea
Free fun abounds in this Washtenaw County downtown July 26-28, 2012 at a family fun event featuring music, art, movies, kids activities and more
What began as a simple sidewalk sale is now a big-time tradition. For 37 years, the Sounds & Sights Festival in Chelsea – formerly the Chelsea Summerfest – has embraced arts and community fun. This year's event, happening July 26-28, 2012, is expected to draw as many as 15,000 people to the area. It runs 6-11 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The festival kicks off Thursday at the Chelsea Depot. A parade goes down Main Street to the Chelsea District Library. And the lively Sounds & Sights Thursday Night entertainment features the Robert Lee Revue playing smooth jazz at the Clocktower Gazebo.
Just for kids, 3 Generations Entertainment creates balloon objects at the Main Street Alley – where you can rock out on balloon-crafted guitars! Families can enjoy the movie Mr. Popper's Penguins, too playing at 9 p.m.
On Friday, Nick Hill, former Chelsea High football player and current quarterback for the Tampa Bay Storm, will be signing autographs 10-11 a.m. Get there early, because the first 50 kids get a free mini football. Then, make sure your kids bring their imagination for the sidewalk chalk contest. Lion, tiger or teddy bear – get your face painted, as well, and unleash your wild side!
Don't miss the Chelsea Classic Cruisers car show – happening 3-8 p.m. Friday evening and featuring contests and over 300 vintage rides from across the Midwest.
On Saturday, bring your pets to a parade just for them. This year's theme is "Outer Space." Registration begins at 9 a.m., and parade steps off at 10 a.m. from Chelsea Farmers Supply. Dress up your pup in a costume that best suits its personality – or just dust off that leash for a doggone fun stroll
Leslie Science Center's "Birds of Prey" is here, too, giving kids and adults alike a chance to understand animals around us.
On both Friday and Saturday, don't miss out on the KidZone. Here, little ones have a blast with hula-hoops, tie-dyed T-shirt booths, sand art, bouncy houses and a "tinsel hair" booth, besides. Food and drinks from Ellie's Chocolate Cafe are available for purchase. Located in the Clock Tower Complex, it's open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Art Market is back for its second year, as well, by popular demand. Nineteen artists showcase jewelry, oil, wood, clay and other works. Demonstrations also showcase how they make their creations. These activities happen noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. (Hint: You may want to stop by Paul Root's table to purchase a jewelry box for all the goodies you buy!)
Hungry? The food court is located next to the social tent. Entry to the food court is free; there's a $5 cover if you want to enter the social tent. Food service hours are 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday and noon-10 p.m. Saturday. Food vendors are available on Middle Street, too.
Every night there, enjoy performances in the social tent from 7 to 11 p.m. On Saturday, there will be an afternoon performance that has no cover charge, running 2-5 p.m. Featured bands include Fifty Amp Fuse and Billy Mack & the Juke Joint Johnnies.
See the Metro Parent listing for more on the 2012 Sounds & Sights Festival in Downtown Chelsea.