June 25, 2014 - By Dan Shriner
Dominic James is all smiles while P.J. Taylor raises his arms on the dragon rollercoaster. Photo by Dan Shriner. (click for larger version)
It may have taken nearly 20 years for everything to come together again, but the weekend's Lions Club Jubilee in downtown Lake Orion was a rousing success.
The Jubilee combined the three most popular parts of the festival from the past successful events -– fireworks, a carnival and a beer tent as thousands of adults and children found something to enjoy.
It made it even more effective that everything was near the downtown location.
According to Lion's Club spokesman Joe Hildebrand, it had been nearly 20 years since all three components of the festival were near downtown. The past few years, the Jubilee was at Canterbury Village. It was moved there in 2011 because of the streetscape work in downtown.
There were many requests to bring the Jubilee back downtown and the Lions and village officials worked together to make it happen.
"We came back downtown where we belong," Hildebrand said. "Everything went even better than expected."
Even though there was some rain on Friday, Hildebrand said, it did not deter from the success.
The carnival revenues surpassed amounts since at least 2007 and there are already plans in place to determine dates for next summer.
Even the minor glitches didn't seem to deter or upset anyone. The fireworks show, which was put on by Hollywood Pyrotechnics, from Minnesota, was delayed about 30 minutes because the wireless ignition system was not working properly.
After finding a working radio frequency, the display went off from its barge on Lake Orion without another hitch.
"The community gave us an overwhelming positive response," Hildbrand said.
"The fireworks were spectacular. Police Chief Jerry Narsh and his officers did a great job of crowd control and other assistance to make it a positive event for the community."
Narsh said there were no incidents in the area at the fireworks display or during the weekend festival.
Hildebrand said downtown businesses were pleased with the turnout and added business. He said Lloyd Coe, owner of Ed's Broadway Gifts, helped organize volunteers to clean up after the fireworks and everyone did a great job.
The beer tent was a popular attraction and featured some local bands and an Elvis Presley tribute on Sunday.
Hildebrand said there were a few minor glitches with the beer tent but it was a big part of the success and fun.
"Overall it was a tremendous success and we are getting a lot of positive feedback. We look forward to a tremendous run back in downtown. It's where we belong."
And let's not forget that revenue raised by the Lion's Jubilee goes to support its causes in the community of Lake Orion.
Its motto is "We Serve."