Inaugural Taylor Heritage Days

TAYLOR, Mich., Oct. 21, 2011 – Celebrating the people and traditions of a unique community, the inaugural Taylor Heritage Days will be held Friday, June 29 through Sunday, July 1, 2012 at Heritage Park. Featuring live music, games and fireworks, the family oriented event is a production of Watts Up, Inc. 

Taylor Heritage Days will present top name entertainment, a carnival, family activities and other events. The weekend festivities also will feature a “Vegas” area that benefits the 32nd annual Junior League World Series, concessions, refreshments, beverage booths, and a pyrotechnic display. The fireworks will be visible only in the immediate Heritage Park Festival Site.

“This new festival will celebrate the heritage of the City of Taylor and will be very Taylor-centric,” Michael Watts, president of Watts Up, Inc., said. “We are working to present an event that all the residents of Taylor will want to attend. And we will do so in a responsible and manageable form, so that it will represent the core principles of the community and its leadership.”

“I promised residents that I would evaluate how the summer festival was done previously and try to find a way to bring something similar back if possible,” Mayor Jeff Lamarand said.  “Mike Watts is providing us that opportunity; this event will have some of the feel of the summer festival of the past, but the emphasis will be on a safe and enjoyable weekend for Taylor families.”

The Taylor summer festival was last held in 2008.

Organizers will work with the Taylor Public Safety Department and the other necessary City of Taylor offices to establish an equitable maximum attendance number, and if that number is reached, they will restrict admission much like the Arts, Beats & Eats Festival and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival.

In an effort to make the event as safe and family friendly as possible Heritage Park will be enclosed, and access and egress will be restricted to designated entrance ways.

Jeff Dobek, Director of Golf, Parks, and Recreation said, "I am glad to see Mike Watts and his company, WattsUp return to Taylor to sponsor and promote Heritage Days.  This is a great opportunity for the residents of the City of Taylor to enjoy a summer community show with music, food, and a smaller fireworks display.  This event, like recent ones, is a good example of a partnership between the private promoter and the public entity and a perfect example of how Taylor is trying to find ways to bring back quality programs without any dependence on the general fund.",  WattsUp will be reimbursing the City of Taylor for all City provided services like Police and Parks and Recreation staff.”

There will be a small admission charge to help cover the costs associated with this effort, and to help fund the weekend’s festivities as we need revenue to offset all related expenses including City of Taylor manpower and other services. There will also be a charge for parking.

“This event will not cost the residents of the City of Taylor one red cent from their annual operating budget,” Watts said. “It will be run on a cost-based accounting as is necessary to insure the future of the event.”

“When Mike came to us with his request for the use of the park my main concern was over safety.  We have discussed this with the professionals in the police department and given the fact the event will be scaled down from years’ past they are confident the event can be managed properly,” said Mayor Lamarand.  “This is not an event focused on fireworks, it is a weekend of family friendly activities and entertainment that will include some fireworks,” added Lamarand.

The following items will be restricted from the festival: bottles, cans, coolers (unless needed for babies or medical reasons), alcohol (beer and wine will be available for purchase on site), grills or open fires, dogs or other animals, or weapons of any kind.

Watts Up, Inc., sees Heritage Days as a means of bringing the private sector and public sector together in facilitating the needs of the community to both their benefit. Organizers will be seeking volunteers and community groups to help with on-site traffic control, crowd control, parking, and other event related functions.

Watts Up, Inc. has been committed to Taylor for over a decade, and has donated over $150,000.00 to support charitable organizations for children in the Taylor community.

Sponsorships will be offered, and the size and scope of the festival will depend greatly on the generosity of the local and regional business community.

Watts Up, Inc. specializes in producing not-for-profit community festivals and public events. The company is based in Plymouth, Michigan.

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