Ypsilanti to mark bicentennial with parade, picnic, artisan market, and more in July

A parade, a picnic, a time capsule opening, an artisan market, and other activities are planned throughout July to celebrate Ypsilanti's bicentennial.

The bicentennial, planned as a year-long celebration, kicked off with a ball drop on New Year's Eve and continues through the end of 2023. However, the majority of bicentennial events will take place during July.

The city's annual Fourth of July Parade takes place in downtown Ypsi at 11 a.m. July 4, followed by a free community picnic in Riverside Park starting at noon. The picnic will include a time capsule opening, live music, food, and activities for kids.

Festivities will continue Friday, July 7, from 5 to 9 p.m. with the Two Cents: Ypsi Bicentennial Artist Market at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, 100 Market Place in Depot Town. The market is sponsored by Holy Bones in conjunction with First Fridays Ypsilanti

Holy Bones is an organization that curates events featuring local artists and creators, including the Halloween-themed Holy Bones festival. Founder Holly Schoenfield says she expects as many as 65 vendors at the event.

"We are lucky to have access to the Freighthouse so we can highlight the weirdness Ypsi has, and the artisans here," Schoenfield says. 

She says the vendor list is much longer than other Holy Bones markets, like the Pushing Up Daisies market in April. July's market will feature the usual core of Holy Bones vendors supplemented by many more artisans with a variety of wares. Vendors who have already signed up will offer sourdough bread, original fine art, jewelry, clothing, stained glass, ceramics, and more.

"We'll definitely have the spookier stuff, but in these markets, we're really opening up to anyone who creates in Ypsilanti, in whatever fashion," Schoenfield says.

Other bicentennial-themed events throughout July include Riverside Rambles, monthly nature walks on the second Sunday of the month through Dec. 10; History Walking Tours on various dates through Nov. 26; and a July 16 book release party for "Ypsilanti Histories: A Look Back at the Last Fifty Years" at the Whittaker Road branch of the Ypsilanti District Library. 

Find a full list of bicentennial events 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.
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