Bay-Rama Parade Marches Through New Baltimore
Despite a slow start caused by rain, Bay-Rama organizers say Saturday and Sunday’s sunny skies brought a lot more festivalgoers to the city, many coming to view the parade Sunday.
Hundreds of festivalgoers lined Green Street in New Baltimore Sunday to watch a variety of colorful, entertaining floats and parade entrants march in the Bay-Rama Parade.
People of all ages watched and cheered as bagpipers, marching bands, classic cars and boats made their way through downtown New Baltimore in the parade, capping off the five-day Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival.
The parade featured about 100 units, including groups from Anchor Bay High School, pageant queens from nearby communities, local church groups, the Vietnam Veterans of America color guard from Chapter 154 and historical societies from New Baltimore and Chesterfield.
New Baltimore Police Chief Tim Wiley and Mayor Larry Smith made on-foot appearances in the parade lineup. New Baltimore citizen of the year, North Shore Church Pastor Chris Steinle, and business of the year, Washington Street Wine House, were also represented in the parade.
The Anchor Bay band marched through playing Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You,” and members of the School of Rock in St. Clair Shores came by on a float as they performed “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne.
Chesterfield Township resident Veronica Manning and her 11-year-old daughter Erica came out to the festival Sunday to have some fun.
“It’s just really fun,” said Erica, who had already enjoyed the fun house, giant slide and roller coaster.
“It’s nice because we get to see so many people that we know and went to school with,” Veronica added.
Weather Puts a Damper on Early Festival Attendance
The 47th annual Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival kicked off in New Baltimore on Wednesday, June 22, and ran through Sunday, June 26.
Festival organization president John Dupray said Sunday that cloudy and rainy weather got the festival off to a slow start.
“Bay-Rama is an outdoor event and we are affected by the weather to a great extent,” he said. “All the rain had a dampening effect.”
But the sunny skies that were seen on Saturday and Sunday more than likely made up for the lack of early attendance.
“When the sun came out Saturday we had a very good turnout both on the midway and in the tent,” Dupray said. “It more than made up for it. We also had a nice turnout for the fireworks Thursday.”
An estimated 36,000 people attended the five-day festival.
Despite the poor weather conditions at the start of the festival, organizers said they still expect to bring in a decent amount of profits, which are put back into the community in various forms throughout the year.
“I think we’re going to do well," Dupray added. “Last year was a very good year and it’s going to be close to that.”
Terry Vandermeer, who runs the festival tent, said he expects to bring in about a few thousand dollars more than he did last year after working to upgrade the quality of performing musicians to draw in a larger crowd.
“Last night (Saturday) we couldn’t move in the tent because there were so many people,” Vandermeer said.