Ypsilanti

Photo essay: Scenes from Ypsilanti's 2022 Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Community Day

The annual Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Community Day has deep significance for the Ypsilanti community, particularly residents of the city's Southside.
The annual Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Community Day kicked off Aug. 27 in Ypsilanti's Parkridge Park, featuring live performances, vendors, tables staffed by local nonprofits, and more.
Scenes from the 2022 Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Community Day.
The first annual Parkridge Summer Festival was held in 2011. Joe Dulin Community Day was an event designed to showcase local nonprofits and community resources, and was held on the same day as SummerFest in 2011. Since the two events had similar aims, organizers decided to merge the two events in 2012. In 2020, the festival continued as a two-hour livestream event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but came back as an in-person event in August 2021. The event has deep significance for the Ypsilanti community, particularly residents of the city's Southside.
Scenes from the 2022 Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Community Day.
This year's event featured a large tent sponsored by Michigan Medicine that included health information, blood pressure and other screenings, and a vaccination station. Area nonprofits staffed tables to hand out information, candy, and swag. Vendors hawked wares from ice cream to ash trays to fine art.
Scenes from the 2022 Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Community Day.
The main stage featured a variety of performers, including three high school choir members singing solos for the crowd. Buying a raffle ticket at the event could lead to winning a backpack for school or a 50-inch television. 
Scenes from the 2022 Parkridge SummerFest and Joe Dulin Community Day.
We asked several Ypsilanti residents at the festival, "What makes Ypsilanti feel like home to you?"

Brent Miller, volunteer with YpsiWrites:

"Ypsilanti feels like home to me because everything that I like to do is within walking distance of my house, and everyone is so welcoming. I feel like YpsiWrites still has this counter-culture, unique vibe that I think a lot of cities lose over time. It's really cool to wander around town and see so many different kinds of people doing so many wonderful, beautiful, cool things."
Brent Miller.
Tracy Davis, owner of Tracy's Sweet Treats:

"Everyone's family. I've lived here all my life, and it's community. You get up and grown and then you bring your own children up. It's small, it's quaint, and most every family knows everybody."
Tracy Davis.
Billy Cole, founder of Supreme Felons:

"What makes Ypsilanti feel like home to me is the unique interactions and connections in this community. ... There's no other kind of community quite like Ypsilanti, based on the history and the family associations and connections. At Supreme Felons, we learned by doing the work that we're more connected than we ever thought we were."
Billy Cole.
Kallista Walker, founder of Our Community Reads:

"Because it is home! I was born and raised here, went to all Ypsi schools. My mom lives here, my grandmother, my aunt, my cousins, my friends. I remember going to Perry School, walking to school back in the day. This is my community."
Kallista Walker.
Here are a few more things we saw at this year's festival:



Read past On the Ground coverage of SummerFest and its history here, here, and here.

Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at sarahrigg1@gmail.com.

All photos by Nick Hagen.