There we sat. At least for the last couple of years. Out in the garage. Out on the porch. In the yard with the neighbors. On the couch.....sitting anywhere but where most of us WANTED to be on many Friday's in Muskegon and that's our incredible tradition of Party in the Park! Well, good news! Beginning June 3rd 2022 Hackley Park will once again be filled with music, laughter, games, activities, cheer and beer as the return of Parties in the Park is written in stone!
It's so much more than just a place to party. This is an event celebrating over 35 years of togetherness, purpose and a place to congregate at the end of the week to catch up with old friends, meet some new ones and most of all, celebrate a sense of normalcy with an event pretty unique to Muskegon and done in a way that Muskegon knows best, and that's to benefit a local organization through the effort.
Let's go back to 1984. Yes, the idea was "borrowed" from another town but the party powers that be in Muskegon made it uniquely ours in a hurry. Let's find a weekly non profit to benefit from the funds raised and they can help staff the positions that need to be filled. Let's find the best in local food vendors and get them out of the kitchen and into Hackley Park where people could try what they serve and not have to seek out their restaurant until AFTER they had a chance to taste it. Get some bands. A great garage band or a budding national act on occasion to make a stop so we can all say "we saw them when" at Hackley Park. The, let's keep a count. 200k plus attendees. 315 events. (We lost track of the beers consumed, sorry) and endless opportunities to be our community. It's all been the work of the volunteers that have made Party in the Park happen. A couple year hiccup isn't going to stop that. No way, no how!
As the cloud of all we've been through has begun to lift, like most anything else, the Party in the Park board stayed in touch over Zoom etc. Plans were made and scrapped. Plans were made again, and scrapped....again. In a quick dip in the surge last August a two day party was made and enjoyed, but the overall impact of the 8 days was sill missing, and that's what 2022 is going to fix quick fast and in a hurry.
Cece Riley is part of the committee that helps pull it all together and she's taken a few minutes to join us today to talk about the grand return of our Friday staple in Muskegon, Party in the Park. Take a listen.
If you are banking on "what's old is new again" or if you just want to drag a beach chair to the park with your favorite hat so you can get yourself dinner from a wagon and drink a cold one while you watch the world go by to the tunes of so many incredible bands....this is YOUR SUMMER. Parties in the Park are a community treasure on so many levels and the lack of them over the last couple years, well...ya, it was really a shot to the chops, but it was a reminder too of how unique and incredible we are as a community to be able to take what most would consider a "beer tent" and make it a weekly showing of opportunity, interest, preservation and togetherness. I think we can all agree it's time for the return of that. We'll see you at Hackley Park beginning June 3rd.