In Brief: Commission Calls for Business Input on Bike Festival
Commission also approved the Celebrate Birmingham Parade for May 15, though without the traditional parade of basset hounds.
The Birmingham City Commission is looking for input from local businesses on how to move forward on the proposed Birmingham Bike Festival Aug. 28.
Jeff Surnow, owner of the West Bloomfield-based developer Surnow Company, presented his plans for the festival Monday — plans that include closing downtown streets for 20 minutes to an hour at a time for bike races throughout the day. However, with the Birmingham Dream Cruise only the weekend before, commissioners were concerned with closing so many streets and inconveniencing so many businesses.
“We’re piling more and more on these events and it seems to me on the commercial district, and while I think this could be a great event, we’re asking a lot, Commissioner Tom McDaniel said. “Particularly for the people on Woodward here, there’s something going once a month.”
The event is not yet “charity sanctioned” either, Surnow said, bothering several commissioners who wanted to see downtown festivals benefitting some kind of charity. Surnow assured the commission there are several non-profits his company is looking into.
Commission delayed the decision to their March 21 meeting, pending input from downtown businesses and specifically the Principal Shopping District.
Commission approves Celebrate Birmingham Parade without the dogs
Commissioners approved the Celebrate Birmingham Parade for May 15, a decision previously delayed due to concerns with the date — the Art Birmingham festival will be taking place the same day — and whether or not the traditional “basset hound waddle” would be able to conclude the parade.
Because the parade has been rerouted to end in Booth Park this year due to the art festival being in Shain Park, Commissioner Rackeline Hoff said at the Feb. 14 commission meeting that the basset hounds might not be able to bring up the rear because Booth Park is so close to the Farmer’s Market on North Old Woodward, also taking place that day.
Monday night, commission announced that in order to hold the parade on May 15 (the parade has traditionally been held during Michigan Week, which typically begins the third Saturday in May), the basset hounds would not be able to participate. Instead, the dogs will be spending the day at Canterbury Village in Lake Orion.
Correction: The annual Basset Waddle, put on by the Michigan Basset Rescue, will not be part of the Celebrate Birmingham Parade because of the reconfiguration of the parade route and lack of suitable place for the dogs and owners to gather after the parade.