Detroiters get holiday weekend off to an early start
Metro Detroiters are looking forward to a Memorial Day weekend full of mostly hot, sunny weather and plenty of options for celebrating summer and honoring the nation’s fallen service members.
Festivals range from the Movement electronic music extravaganza Saturday through Monday in Hart Plaza to the St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair, which begins Friday evening and runs until Monday evening in Orchard Lake.
Patriotic observances include a memorial ceremony honoring veterans at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, and a host of parades Monday morning in communities including Dearborn, Rochester and Sterling Heights.
Some folks didn’t bother waiting for the official events to begin. Downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park was filled Friday afternoon with people enjoying an early start to the long holiday weekend.
Bryant Woods, 28, of Grosse Pointe and his friend Danielle Perczyk, 32, of Detroit soaked in the sunshine and discussed their holiday agenda.
Woods said he planned to visit the Gross Pointe War Memorial with friends who serve in the military.
“We’re going to appreciate the sacrifices people made for us,” he said. “I’m there for emotional support.”
Perczyk said she planned to soak up Downtown’s festive atmosphere – and make some money.
“I’m going to try to drive for Uber as much as I can with the festival going on. ... take some nice strolls with the husband through Midtown where we live,” she said.
Loretta Holmes, 65, of Detroit, who was sitting on a bench near the park’s sandbox, had a similar idea.
“I’m going to stay here and hang out downtown,” she said. As for the holiday itself, she added, “I got my grandkids down here now, so I’ll probably go down to Belle Isle, my favorite place in the world.”
Metro Detroiters like Holmes who stay close to home this weekend can expect highs in the 80s with a chance of thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. Those heading up north will have similar weather, but with cooler high temperatures in the mid to high 70s Sunday and Monday.
Nearly 1.2 million Michiganians are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home during the Memorial Day weekend, up 2 percent over last year, according to AAA Michigan, which projected nearly 60,000 people will fly during the long weekend.
Fliers at Detroit Metro Airport, for the most part, avoided the extra-long waits in security lines reported at other large airports around the country. But motorists headed up north on Interstate 75 Friday morning weren’t so lucky.
A semi-truck between the Corunna and Pierson exits in Genesee County tied up the northbound side of the freeway for more than two hours, according to Michigan State Police.