Fun for the family returns with June Fest
By Kristyne E. Demske
Accompanied by musical performances, local dancers, a craft fair and more, summer fun arrives in downtown St. Clair Shores with June Fest, coming June 4.
The 9-Mack Merchants Association is presenting the annual event on Greater Mack Avenue between Nine Mile Road and 9-Mack Drive, which has been held since the mid-1990s, for the first time since 2019. The 2022 June Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 4.
“We’re so thankful to have it back after two years,” said Gloria Kinne, the association’s secretary, chairperson of June Fest and the owner of Circare, 23024 Greater Mack Ave. “We’ve had to reinvent it a little bit ... during the interim.”
Greater Mack Avenue is closed for the event in the downtown area to make room for stages, a craft fair, a petting zoo and more. A Battle of the Bands will be on the stage near Nine Mile Road, where local bands will compete throughout the day for the chance to perform at Rockin’ the Shores in September.
Kinne said the public will be able to vote for their favorite bands throughout the day. A full lineup and voting instructions will be posted on the Downtown St. Clair Shores page.
Near the southern end of the district by the U.S. Post Office will be a stage where local dancers from Casali School of Dance and Mary Ellen Studio of Dance will perform. The Row House, a rowing fitness studio that is set to open soon in the former Harper Sport Shop building at 23208 Greater Mack Ave., will also have demonstrations throughout the day.
“It started in the mid-’90s. Of course, it’s grown immensely since then,” Kinne said of June Fest. “It’s a fun day for all. It’s definitely family-oriented, so bring the kids and plan on having a fun summer day.”
A craft fair will connect the two ends of the street, and there will be trackless train rides, Tootsie the Clown and Animal Oasis petting zoo to entertain the children. Businesses in the downtown area will be having sidewalk sales and offering promotions, as well.
“We are happy to be back because it’s two years of us postponing it due to the pandemic,” said Anna Casali, a member of the 9-Mack Merchants Association and the owner of Casali School of Dance. “We really wanted to bring a day for families. We know that June Fest, in the past, has always attracted a lot of families.”
She said they’re trying to plan as many fun activities as they can to attract visitors to the area.
“There’s so many businesses coming into the area, and the businesses that have been a staple in the downtown area ... (it’s a great time) just to familiarize everyone with what we have down there.”
Her dancers are always excited for the opportunity to perform for the community, she added.
Amy O’Brien-Kravitz, president of the 9-Mack Merchants Association, said it’s a free, fun event for all ages in a convenient location.
“When you’re driving, you can’t always see the array of charming shops and businesses that we have in our backyard,” she said. June Fest is a great time to “take a stroll and take notice of the quaint shops and the variety of restaurants right here in your backyard.”
For more information, visit the Downtown St. Clair Shores page.