Resources for caregivers at upcoming Senior Fun Festival

According to the U.S. Census, an estimated 12 percent of Macomb County’s population is above the age of 65. While the “golden years” can be a wonderful time for retirees who are able to travel, spend quality time with grandchildren or pursue lifelong hobbies and interests, the aging process can also bring on new health and wellness challenges.

Seniors Dancing

Macomb Community Action’s Office of Senior Services provides resources to help navigate the change.

They also recognize that the aging process has an impact on the next generation, especially when health and well-being challenges set in.

That is why the 28th annual Senior Fun Festival set for Friday, June 30 has been designed to benefit older adults and those who serve in the role of caring for them.

The festival will feature more than 100 local businesses and organizations that provide support and services to older adults and their caregivers, including a variety of home care businesses, health care systems and local nonprofits. Confirmed exhibitors include Father Murray Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Michigan Complete Health, Wellbridge of Romeo, and Wilfinger Health and Life, just to name a few.


Free, on-site health screenings for seniors and their caregivers will also be available including glucose testing, blood pressure readings and balance checks. They can also use this as a respite opportunity to play bingo, take an instructor-led painting class or visit the Detroit Institute of Arts Away exhibit – all good for relaxing and relieving a little stress.

There will also be a variety of fitness demonstrations throughout the day. Some of the featured activities include: chair yoga, Zumba Gold, Association of Chinese-Americans Line Dancers and Arthur Murray Dance Studio demonstrations.

The Senior Fun Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 30 at the Gibraltar Trade Center, 237 N. River Road in Mount Clemens. There is no cost to attend and parking is free. For more information, visit or contact the Macomb Community Action’s Office of Senior Services at (586) 469-5228.

Roneeka Pleasant-Brown is the public relations manager for Macomb Community Action.

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Calling all hopeless romantics, reality TV-lovers and eligible singles!

This June, get ready to experience love, travel, adventure … and maybe just a little bit of drama.

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette—two reality TV shows where 25 strangers compete to win the affections of one contestant—are holding open casting calls in downtown Mount Clemens! If you consider yourself spontaneous, romantic and unafraid of the spotlight, head over to the Emerald Theatre (31 N. Walnut Street) from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 22. You never know: If you make it on the show, you just might meet your soulmate – or at least score a free excursion to Paris or Rome.

If you’re thinking of trying out, here are some of the most common tips from former contestants:

  • The producers want to get to know the real you, so be yourself! Don’t try to adopt a fake persona; they’ll see right through it.
  • Dress like you would for a date. There will probably be a short on-camera interview, so you want to look your best, in case that clip gets shown on TV! And please, please, do not be one of those people who wears a mascot suit or a ridiculous costume to your audition. See tip #1.
  • Be ready to talk about yourself. A lot. The producers will likely ask you to fill out a questionnaire with questions ranging from “Do you have any pets?” to “Are you genuinely looking to get married and why?” It never hurts to be prepared!
  • Have fun! If nothing else, this will make a great story to tell your family and friends later on. Just relax, and have a good time.

And for those who would rather watch the romance and intrigue than play a part in it, season 13 of The Bachelorette began just a few weeks ago. The show airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC.


Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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Can fishflies be a good sign?

Oh no, they are back, and they keep multiplying. Mayflies, better known as fishflies, are all over and landing on everything – the light posts, the sign at 7-11 and the sidewalks. But in reality, having all these fishflies around is actually a good thing.Fishflies

The lifecycle of a fishfly is a very unique one. After the female lays her eggs on the surface of the water, they float to the bottom of the lake and become nymphs. This will be the nymph’s new home for the next year before they surface and become known as subimago. The subimago phase lasts a few hours. During this process, they shed their skin and are now a fishfly.

At this point, the fishflies mate. The females return to the water, lay their eggs and die on the surface of the water. The males fly off to land and will live between 24 hours and 7 days.

Fishflies are a water quality indicator. Fishflies are very sensitive to pollution. When the environment from which they are hatched from is producing large qualities of fishflies, it reflects on the good quality of our lakes.

fishfly bike rackIn addition, fishflies are such a part of Macomb County’s summer that a community festival is named after them, Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival in New Baltimore. This festival is a yearly event and will be taking place next week, June 21-25. Check out the calendar of events and stop on down at beautiful downtown New Baltimore. Event highlights include carnival rides, fireworks, 5K run and a parade.

While visiting the festival, check out this very unique fishfly bike rack. On July 8, 2015, Campbell & Shaw Steel donated this bike rack to the New Baltimore Downtown Development Authority and the city of New Baltimore.

Next time you go for a walk and you hear the popping under your feet, remember it will only last for a short time and all these fishflies are really a good thing. It is when we see fewer fishflies that we need to be worried.

Lauri Cowhy is a senior communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

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Father’s Day is on the way!

In some parts of Germany, men celebrate Father’s Day by drinking at beer gardens and taking adventurous wagon trips with their sons. In Thailand, people celebrate by doing good deeds: donating blood and liberating captive animals as an act of honor and selflessness. Americans, meanwhile, celebrate the holiday by spending a whopping $12.7 billion on presents. (I wonder how much of that is spent on “World’s Greatest Dad” coffee mugs?)

There’s nothing wrong with hosting a classic barbecue or getting your dad an iconic Father’s Day gift—whether that’s a tie, a toolbox or a bottle of bacon-scented cologne. But if you’re looking to treat your dad to a unique experience and create lasting memories this Father’s Day, look no further than this list. Here are the top five things to do in Macomb County this Father’s Day weekend:

Sprint and Splash

Is your dad the athletic type? Then the 6th Annual Sprint and Splash Festival of Races is just the event for him! Events include a 6-mile stand-up paddle race, 5K run, 2-mile paddle, and duathlon (5K run and 2-mile paddle). Whichever events you choose, you and your dad are sure to have an awesome time – especially when you enjoy the breakfast, live DJ, and Kuhnhenn Brewing Co.’s finest brews. Every participant also receives a free swag bag, race shirt and finisher’s medal! The event takes place at the Lake St. Clair Metropark at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 17. To register, click here!


Have fun all weekend long with the Carpathia Club’s 13th Annual Germanfest! The festival will feature live music, soccer games and a Father’s Day picnic – complete with hot dogs, pizza, french fries, potato salad, sauerkraut, schnitzel on a stick and three different kinds of wurst. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is only $3 per day, or $7 for the whole weekend! Show your appreciation for your “vater” this Father’s Day and treat him to a cultural experience like no other!

Jazz Spectacular

If your dad is a music fanatic like mine, he’s sure to love the Jazz Spectacular, hosted at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre! The event begins at 6 p.m. Sunday and features a lineup of six popular jazz groups. To purchase tickets, click here!

Jimmy John’s Field

Nothing says summer like a baseball game! Bring your dad to Jimmy John’s Field and watch the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers take on the Westside Woolly Mammoths Sunday at 1:35 p.m. Bond with your dad over peanuts and crackerjacks while you enjoy the great American pastime. Tickets can be purchased here!

Wolcott Mill Metropark

Wolcott Mill offers tons of festivities for Father’s Day! Enjoy hot dogs and other refreshments during a wagon ride through the park or spend a peaceful afternoon fishing in the mill pond (equipment and bait will be provided). Admission is only $5, and dads get in free. It’s the perfect way to spend a sunny weekend with your dad!

No matter what your plans are this weekend, have a happy Father’s Day. The material gifts and gadgets of Father’s Days’-past may be forgotten in time, but the memories you make with your dad will stay with both of you forever.

Jenna Russell is a summer intern with the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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Keeping up with the peregrines

falconIt’s been a bit of a tough season for Hathor and Nick, Mount Clemens’ favorite peregrine falcon couple.

The peregrine pair have nested on the roof of the Old Macomb County Building for nearly 10 years. In that time, they’ve successfully hatched 25 offspring together—an incredible feat in helping to rebuild the once-endangered species’ population. This year, however, they’ve had less luck. For reasons that remain unclear, Hathor laid six eggs in three different corners of the building and, as of yet has not incubated any of them.

Peregrine Falcon Coordinator Christine Becher believes this strange behavior may have to do with the fact that the building is now occupied. Previously empty corner offices are now filled with human inhabitants, whom the peregrines are not used to seeing. So to help them adjust to the change more gradually, the conference room window will be covered. Additionally, a small box filled with pea stone will be placed on the ledge, to provide Hathor and Nick with nesting material.

Though it may be too late to hatch a nest this summer, implementing these changes will give Nick and Hathor time to adapt and have a better chance at a successful nest in 2018.

And it’s not all bad news: one of Hathor and Nick’s offspring, 2-year-old Peace, has been spotted with a mate in South Bend, Indiana! Peace and his mate, Maltese, hatched three healthy chicks just a few days ago. To see video and read more on their newly formed family, click here.

The circle of life can be unpredictable at times, but with so many dedicated people working together, Hathor and Nick are sure to continue building their ever-growing family next year.

Jenna Russell is an intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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Keep your eyes on the skies in Macomb County this summer


I’m a student teacher and last semester I taught my class a lesson on American poetry. Before we began reading our poems, though, I asked them a simple question:

“When you hear the word ‘America,’ what comes to mind?”

The chalkboard was soon filled with a diverse list of words – some positive, some negative and some in-between. One student even rattled off the old familiar jingle, “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” A common idea everyone seemed to agree upon is Americans have a fierce pride in our country. Through thick and thin, patriotism still endures.

Americans show their pride in many ways, and never more so than in the summer. Camping out on blankets and lawn chairs, we all come together to watch beautiful fireworks burst in the skies above us in celebration of our independence. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, and luckily, Macomb County offers tons of fireworks shows throughout the summer. So bring your pet bald eagle, grab a hamburger, and crank up the country music to enjoy these truly spectacular celebrations of America all summer long.

June 10
RoseFest Fireworks, at dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.)
Veteran Memorial Park, 27325 Barkman Street, Roseville

June 21
Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival, at 10 p.m.
Walter & Mary Burke Park, 36300 Front Street, New Baltimore

June 23
Stony Creek Metropark Fireworks, at dusk
Stony Creek Metropark, 4300 Main Park Road, Shelby Township

Mount Clemens Independence Day Fireworks, at dusk (approximately 10 p.m.)
Riverfront North Main Street, Mount Clemens

June 24
Utica Riverwalk Festival Fireworks, at 9:45 p.m.
Clock tower next to City Hall, 7550 Auburn Road, Utica

Center Line Fireworks, at 10 p.m.
Memorial Park, 25355 Lawrence, Center Line

June 30
Lake St. Clair Metropark Fireworks, at dusk
31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township

St. Clair Shores Fireworks Extravaganza, at dusk
Veterans Memorial Park, 32400 Jefferson Avenue, St. Clair Shores

July 3
Shelby Township Independence Day Fireworks, at dusk
Packard Proving Grounds, 49965 Van Dyke Avenue, Shelby Township

July 23
Fraser Parade, Picnic, and Fireworks, at dusk
Steffens Park, 33000 Garfield Road, Fraser

Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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Music to your ears at Freedom Hill this summer!

FHWhen I was 11 years old, I became obsessed with a country singer named Sara Evans. Her biggest hit, “Born To Fly,” became the soundtrack to my entire life. I would carry my portable CD player with me everywhere – around the house, in the car, in the grocery store, on the playground – and sing that song on an endless loop.

And then, something magical happened. I found out Sara Evans was going to be performing at Freedom Hill.

My parents, having patiently endured my singing for several weeks, knew I would be over the moon if I got to see my hero live. When they told me they bought us tickets for the concert, I nearly cried.

The day finally arrived, and sure enough, I was ecstatic. I remember the feeling of awe that overtook me when I saw just how big the stage was, and how many seats there were. Other concertgoers bustled around, chatting away happily, while my family laid out our picnic blanket on the lawn. I still cherish the flashing necklace I bought at the souvenir stand that day, and the memory of sitting on my dad’s shoulders, swaying to the music that had so deeply moved my 11-year-old soul. The experience left me utterly star struck and, to this day, the memory of that concert holds a special place in my heart.

Since then, the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill has become a frequent destination for me and my family. Every year, their concert lineup becomes more and more star-studded and this year is no exception. This summer, the venue will host such celebrities as Niall Horan (of One Direction fame), Hank Williams Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, Young the Giant, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bellion and The Beach Boys, among many others. Tickets are sure to sell like hotcakes, so check out the lineup and claim your seats as soon as you can to enjoy a musical experience like no other.

To view the 2017 Freedom Hill event lineup, visit

Jenna Russell is a summer intern for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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