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Posted: 07/09/14

Top left, Emma Turner, first-grader at Hevel Elementary School, picked a colorful tiger design painted by Happy Brushes at a booth at the North Macomb Family Fest. Top right, Trophies were awarded for each decade the Mustang was made. Award winners stand by their cars with their trophies. Pictured from left, Darryl Ralls, 2010 to present winner, James Kemezis, 2000s winner, Frank Elie, 1960s winner, Richard Gies, 1970s winner, Mark Fedders, Best of Show and 1990s winner Dave Stinson. Bottom left, Darryl Ralls stands in front of his winning entry, a 2012 Mustang. Pictured from left, Michael Rey, assistant judge, Ralls, Dave Pericak, judge, and Patrick Packan, festival organizer. Bottom right, Romeo Kid's Foundation (RKF) volunteers staff a concession stand to help raise additional money for a Splash Park. The North Macomb Family Fest donated a portion of the proceeds to help this cause.

(Observer photos by Judith Kimpan)

North Macomb Family Fest considered a success

Observer Special Writer
      Festival goers found entertainment for the entire family at the first North Macomb Family Fest
       This is the first year for the festival, held July 6 at Gilcher-Crissman Park in Washington Township. Five brightly-colored inflatables caught one's eye as they turned off 29 Mile Road to the park.
       Patrick Packan, owner of Premier Decor Party Rentals and Construction Contracting, organized the festival. He provided super-sized inflatables and sports tournaments for some family fun as well as a Mustang Car Show to raise money for a future splash park.
       "The festival was a huge success," he said. "Fifty cars or more for a first show is an absolute hit. We should double the cars next year."
       The Romeo Kid's Foundation (RKF) was formed to raise funds for a splash park, and a portion of the benefits from this inaugural festival will go to RKF.
       The splash park will be located at 30 Mile Road, just east of M-53 and is projected to open in 2016.
       "We wanted 2015, but 2016 is a firm date," said Cindy Hook, president of RKF.
       Charles and Kim Brook, Bruce Township residents, volunteer for RKF. They said they didn't mind helping with the festival's concession stand to provide the inexpensive fun a splash park will provide for their nine children.
       At the festival, one could exert on the climbing tower or bounce on the inflatables, relax and have a face painted or go to the next booth to have hair painted. There were cheerleading and karate demonstrations, and guests were invited to participate in a variety of sports tournaments.
       In celebration of 50 years of the Ford Mustang, Packan organized a Mustang Car Show held during the festival. He recruited his friend and neighbor, Dave Pericak, chief engineer for the Mustang, to be the judge. The assistant judge was Michael Rey, president of the Mustang Owners Club of Southeastern Michigan, the largest regional club in the world.
       With hoods open ready for inspection, car lovers strolled along taking in shiny, newly-waxed Mustangs.
       Winners were awarded trophies donated by Romeo Ford for every decade the car has been produced as well as a Best of Show.
       The Best of Show was awarded to Mark Fedders of Macomb Township for his Wimbleton White 1967 Mustang S-Code Fastback.
       "It's an extremely nice and rare car," Fedders said.
       Mustang enthusiast Frank Elie of Macomb Township was surprised to receive his trophy for his 1966 car.
       "I did a lot of work on it, but there are lots of nice cars here," Elie said.
       Richard Gies of Bay City won the 1970s group with his 1979 pace car for the Indianapolis 500. It was the first new body style for Fox Platform for Mustangs. There were no entries for the 1980s category; no awards given.
       A clean and shiny 1992 Mustang owned by Dave Stinson of Canton won in the 1990s group. The 2000s category was taken by James Kemezis of White Lake for his Foose Mustang.
       Darryl Ralls won for the 2010 to present category. He felt his detail work was good, but continues to look for more ways to improve his 2012 Mustang GT.
       "It's modified inside and out, every which way," Ralls said.
       A new Mustang was pulled off the assembly line June 27 to show for the first time at the festival. The 2015 Mustang will be in the showrooms this September.

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