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Reflecting on the Best of the Fest

by Lisa Diggs on Aug 09th 2010

The 2nd Annual Buy Michigan Now Festival is sadly behind us, but what a thrill it was!  The streets of Northville were full of smiling faces, and both the vendors and merchants are reporting record sales.  We truly appreciate everyone who came out to support these local businesses and help our economy grow.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated volunteers, especially my family members who were out in full force, and Roberta Berger, Blake Woods, and Michele Maitlen who went well above and beyond to help us create an exceptional event.

From those who were able to attend the event, we got endless compliments on the tremendous local talent that was on display.  Thank you to Ben Rosenzwieg of WhyYouJam who worked hard to find some amazingly cool artists to keep our Main Stage jumping.  If you missed it or want to find them again, here are the entertainers who came out to be our living soundtrack from one end of town to the other: Tyndale Artists Ensemble, Shawn Byrwa, Rickycee, The Crutches, Steve Kovich, Darwin Mamassian, Abigail Stauffer, Jam Society, Danielle Floyd, Mainstreet Soul, Nadir, Fuze, Avienne, David Nefesh, Delta Twins, Ben Chutz, and especially Matt Kiel who served as our emcee on the Main Stage, playing his own sets and between the other acts.  

Our Kids Zone was alive and kicking throughout the fest with games, dance, magic, and more.  I'd like to give extra special thanks to Miss Marcela, Magician Chris Clark, and of course Paws and Roarie for coming out and delighting the kids.  We also offered our first ever, old fashioned barter faire on Saturday through the generosity of Michigan Barter Marketplace.

We were privileged to have some other very special guests as well like WJR's Paul W. Smith (courtesy of our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan), a great supporter of the campaign who featured the fest on his show and then came out and spoke to fans, encouraging them to take our pledge.  WDIV meterologist and author, Paul Gross came by to talk Michigan weather and sign copies of his book.  His colleague, novelist and reporter Paula Tutman made two appearances to support the campaign and autograph books from her Deadline series. 

Style Sunday was a huge success as well.  Many local jewelry and accessory designers filled Northville Square to show off and sell their treasures, while a bevy of beautiful local models took to the runway to highlight the collections of three of Michigan's most talented fashion designers: Cynthia LaMaide, Joe Faris, and Katerina Bocci

An extra special thanks to TV personality and Dearborn native, Suzanne Sena who flew in from LA to show her love for her home state.  Suzanne emceed our opening ceremony, interviewed some special guests, shared her knowledge with those aspiring to be in the entertainment business, and even hosted our Style Sunday extravaganza.

We could not have pulled off this event without the generous support of our many sponsors: Downtown Northville, Tom Holzer Ford, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, D&D Bicycles & Hockey, Guernsey Farms Dairy, Hiller's Markets, and Urban Optiques.  We are also very grateful for our media partners, the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Life, and StyleLine.  We hope to see them all back with us again next time.

Speaking of which, for those of you who attended the festival as vendors, merchants, sponsors or guests, we want to hear what you enjoyed most.  Please take a moment to comment here or email me via info@BuyMichiganNow.com to let us know the positive impact of this event on your business, your family, and/or your buying habits.  Your stories will help us to get even more sponsors, businesses, and consumers involved in this important campaign.

Last, but not least, on a personal note, I want to thank my producing partner for BMNFest 2010, the incomparable Catherine Woods.  Catherine worked tirelessly (well I suppose that's not true, I think we made her plenty tired by the end) to make sure that this festival was entertaining and profitable for all who took part.  I could not have done it without her! 

PS Click HERE to view more photos of the fest!


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