Spending the day in Hamtramck on the day before the Catholic Lenten fast begins on Ash Wednesday (it falls on Feb. 6 this year) is like being in Detroit's Corktown (or New York's Hell's Kitchen) on St. Paddy's Day. On Paczki Day, people begin lining up at the bakeries before the sun comes up, and some of the bars begin rolling out music and booze around the same time. Sound way intense? Uh, yeah, it is indeed.
Hopping around town on foot is highly recommended. Hamtramck's grid is made for walking, even in the wintertime. Right on cue, the talented team at innovative Jos. Campau business Design 99
has come out with a map
of the city's commercial district to aid visitors in their pursuit of paczki and other pleasures. Park your car in one spot and get your body moving all day long.
Here are some of the places you need to move to:
New Dodge Bar (8850 Jos. Campau), where there will be a live broadcast from radio station WRIF, and live music by Jotown, Misty Blues, the Orbitsuns and the Polish Muslims
, who go on at 11 a.m.
If you miss them there, no worries, the Polish Muslims go on again at 2 p.m. at Whiskey in the Jar (2741 Yemans St.) and 5 p.m. at PLAV Post 10 (11824 Jos. Campau), where you can also see Polka Floyd, Danny D, DJ Chuck E and be part of a live broadcast by 94.7 WCSX radio.
Copperhead performs at Jeans Bar (12002 Jos. Campau), 7 p.m. - midnight.
Whatever you do, don't miss the Paczki eating contest at Cardinal Mercier Knights of Columbus Hall, 9632 Conant. That's at 5 p.m. It's a sugar and jelly spectacle that has to be seen to be believed. There will be a DJ and karaoke action beginning at 2 p.m. and running until midnight.
More info about the entire schedule can be found on the City of Hamtramck's website.