One of the best things about Decatur Celebration is the people. We met some great ones this weekend.
Ezrah Vogel, 7, and Edith Vogel, 5:
Ezrah: I really like the carnival a lot because there’s a really cool Ferris wheel.
Edith: I really like the funhouse at the Celebration because you get to go down the slide and there’s a bunch of mirrors.
(What’s the best thing about being sisters?)
Ezrah: Having each other to care for.
Edith: We used to fight. But now we don’t.
(Why'd you stop fighting?)
Edith: I don't know. Because.
Eleven members of the AGH High Riders MC (Motorcycle Club) traveled from near Detroit to Decatur for the 50th anniversary of the Hell's Lovers Motorcycle Club. Six of them stopped by Celebration on Saturday afternoon.
Members, from left, by their street names: Mr. G; Nas; JJ; Lucky, vice president of the club; Moe; Rico Rice
"I used to work with the youth for 14 ½ years. I helped young youth get out of the street gangs out of southwest Detroit. I resigned but as of now I’m working on going on back into that field," Mr. G said. "... A group that I used to run with got indicted, a federal indictment. Did my five years. Came out. That woke me up. This youth center that I’m speaking of took me in, guided me, mentored me, and the next thing you know everything was history."
What did they think of Decatur so far? “You guys are friendly as hell,” one said. Shortly after, a woman walked up and jokingly asked if they were the motorcycle gang “everyone is so scared about.” They shared a laugh with her.
Alex French, 18, and Emily Zimmer, 16, met in Mount Zion schools and have been dating for three years.
(What do you like about Celebration?)
Both: The food.
Emily: The sirloin tips.
Alex: And the elephant ears.
(What do you like about each other?)
Alex: She’s nice.
Alex: She’s fun to be around.
Emily: I mean, he’s kinda stuck around; nobody else has. He sticks up for me.
Alex: I think it was a good idea that they got the fence and the wristbands. It’s a lot better than what they did to buy food, because no one actually bought the wristbands. This is a good way for them to actually make sure they bring money in to help fund stuff. I mean, it was like five bucks.
Emily: It was worth it.
"I love (Celebration). I think it’s one time of year that everybody can get out and come together and see people you haven’t seen in a year. They’ve always got new things — every year, it’s new stuff.
"And the gate — I know people didn’t want to pay, but it seems to be working out OK. I don’t mind. It was $5. You get a chance to win a thousand. People spend that on lottery tickets or garbage all the time."
— Brittany Meyer and 2-year-old twins Tamia and Larissa Shelby, of Decatur
"Everybody knows my spot. All my kids, my grandkids, they’ll be around pretty soon, later tonight. ... About 10 years ago I picked this spot because I had some people coming (from) out of town and I said when you get to Central Park, there’s a clock there. I told them where the clock’s at, that’s where I’ll be."
— Kenny Cribbs, 66, of Decatur
"I grew up here, so I came every year. … It’s a little different from when I came."
"(As a kid) you don’t get to experience the spending-money part. My dad used to spend it."
— Jerad Thornell, 33, and sons Jayelin, 8, and Kayson, 5, of Clinton
Heather Richardson, 35, of Decatur, was portraying an infected zombie nurse with the Scream Haunted Adventure on North Street.
"I just love the Celebration. It’s (been) a part of my whole life, my childhood. My parents have brought me since I was little."
(Favorite Celebration memory?)
"Back in the day I made a newscast. WAND had set up in this grassy area … They videotaped us reading a little card and then we got to take the tape with us. It was fun. It was ages ago. I have it on tape — VHS."
Kevin Williams, 27, of Bloomington, was helping with his aunt's Addictive Kreations booth in Central Park.
"I’ve actually wanted ... to get into the culinary art field myself so I’m kinda watching my auntie do her thing and hoping I can learn off that and go open my own restaurant because I love to cook."
"When she first told me about fried cheesecake bites, I looked at her like, how are we gonna make a fried cheesecake bite? I don’t even like cheesecake and when I tasted one, I couldn’t resist."