Rosie the Riveter Arts and Crafts Show to feature local artists, real-life "Rosies"

The third annual Rosie the Riveter Arts and Craft Show will take place July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ypsilanti Township, featuring nearly 80 vendors and a chance to meet real-life "Rosie the Riveters."


The event will take place at North Bay Park, 1001 Huron St. Attendance is free, but parking is $2.


Crystal Campbell, community engagement coordinator for Ypsilanti Township and co-chair of the event, says many vendors from the previous two years are returning, but there will be new ones as well.


"We have all types of vendors, which makes it so cool," she says. "(Vendors include) people who use found materials to make art, crocheters that make really cool dolls that look like children, and a guy with a 50-foot truck that does welding metalwork art."


Several women who worked in Ypsi-area factories during World War II, known as "Rosie the Riveters," will also be in attendance at a vendor space donated by the township. Campbell says the women, all in their 80s, will sign autographs and talk with attendees.


Show organizers made several other changes to this year's event, including adding more for children to do.


In addition to a new playscape recently built inside the park, the show will feature a bounce house and face painting. There will also be a chance for kids to explore a fire truck and a Washtenaw County Road Commission vehicle, likely an asphalt roller truck or a dump truck. The mounted unit of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department will also be in attendance.


Campbell says many of the improvements to this year's event came out of a survey that asked last year's vendors what they liked and what could be improved.


"They thought the pricing was reasonable but they were concerned that you could not see the park from the street and that they weren't getting drop-in traffic," she says.


In response, organizers asked the township's grounds crew to cut back foliage and brush that blocked the view of the park. Campbell says she expects that to increase drop-in traffic to the event this year.


The event will also feature refreshments from food trucks and a DJ. The DJ will host karaoke for a couple hours during the event as well.


Campbell says attendees can also enter a drawing to win nearly $2,000 worth of donated items and gift certificates, many from local businesses ranging from Gratzi in Ann Arbor to Full House in Ypsi.


More information is available through the township's website. Questions can also be directed to co-chair Robin Castle-Hine at (734) 830-7590 or rcastlehine@ytown.org.


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.


Photo courtesy of Ypsilanti Township.

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