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Clartucky races coming downtown



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Liz Andre-Stotz is filling the brackets of the first-ever Clartucky Derby, planned by the Clarkston Retailers Group. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
April 13, 2011 - Time to grab your hats and head down to the derby the Clartucky Derby.

The first annual event, April 30, is hosted by the Clarkston Retailers Group, My Clarkston, Buy Clarkston.

"We did the Retro Cocktail Party in January," said Liz Andre-Stotz, owner of Parsonage Events. "We are a small brainstorming group trying to come up with ways to make downtown Clarkston stand out, encourage people to come down here, bring their families and shop here. We were trying to think of other things to do for the community."

Then, she thought how fun it would be to do the Clartucky Derby since they wanted to hold an event this time of year and the Kentucky Derby occurs at the same time.

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"We thought it would lead to community involvement with the big hats, tulips, horses and kids," said Andre-Stotz. "We really want to create events fun for the entire family."

And they did, with food, races, games, and other activities in downtown Clarkston shops.

"Every store that is participating has something for the kids to do," said Andre-Stotz. "The vendors were very eager to participate. The retro event was so successful. We are very excited."

The main event is the Kid's Bike Derby held in The Clarkston News' parking lot, 5 S. Main Street, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for the first race and 3 p.m.-4 p.m. for the second race for children ages six and under. Prior to the race, families can register the bikes at Kinetic Systems, beginning at 10 a.m. and decorate their bikes and trikes.

Between races families can visit Church Street Studio for the "Day at the Derby" event held by the studio and Parsonage Events. Children can have their photographs taken with the O.A.T.S. pony, the therapeutic horse used by O.A.T.S. - a non-profit organization. It is from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Visiting every participating store is not only rewards with food, beverages and discounts but can win a gift basket with a mix of goodies and gifts from the shops.

To enter, pick up a leaderboard available at the 12 participating businesses and in The Clarkston News. Leaderboards are stamped at each store listed. Once it is completely filled it can be turned into one of the 12 participating vendors.

"Our retailer group love having our businesses in this great town and we really love doing things for our community," said Andre-Stotz. "We hope everyone comes down. Besides the fact you can support Michigan businesses, you should come down to have a good time."

The event begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The following businesses are participating:

Artichoke Interiors, 2 East Washington St., offering Little Jockey Donut Holes and juice to eat. Activity for kids: coloring contest where kids win two hours design for mom and dad. The special during the derby is 20 percent off all art and kid's custom handprint art.

The Birdfeeder, Clarkston Flower Shoppe and Boutique on Main, 7150 North Main St., will have pink lemonade and lemon coolers. Kids can plant a Posie for mom. Discounts from The Birdfeeder is 20 percent off all birdfeeders, Bonnie & Clyde is 20 percent off all men's and women's graphic T-shirts. The Clarkston Flower Shoppe has 20 percent off all pre-booked Mother's Day orders

Church Street Studio, 6 East Church Street will have southern style berry lemonade and caramel corn. Kids can enjoy "Day at the Derby," photographs with O.A.T.S. pony from 1 p.m.- 2:30 p.m., with Parsonage Events. Church Street Studio will offer to families who stop by during the derby $50 off any sitting during the month of May.

The Clarkston News, 5 South Main Street, will offer derby snacks and bottled water, and have a coloring contest for kids.

Creekside Salon, 20 W. Washington Street, will have hot dogs, soda and bottled water. For kids, they will style "pony" tails and braids and yarn tails for all the kids with short hair. The special is place your bids discounts for hair services.

Essence on Main, 4 South Main Street, will have minty iced teas and "Win, Place, Show" cookies. Kids can adopt and name your own miniature derby contender from Essence Stables. They will offer a 20 percent off discount on pre-made Mother's Day gift baskets

Frank & Me, 20 South Main Street, will have "Frank"ly delicious Mimosas and truffles and 20 percent off storewide.

KH Home, 27 South Main Street, offers sweet tea and mini key lime pies. Local author Mary Douglas will read two of her books, "This Tree so High" and "Where the River Runs Blue." The readings are at noon and 2 p.m. The discount is 20 percent off one piece of furniture, artwork or gift item.

Kinetic Systems, 60 South Main Street, will have bales of honey stick straws, feed bags of Clif Bar Oats, buckets of Hummus and carrot sticks, troughs of organic apples for their treats. Their special discount is 20 percent off women's and girl's clothing and accessories.

Parsonage Events, 6 East Church Street, will have southern berry lemonade and caramel corn and will offer 20 percent off pre-ordered Mother's Day orders

Rudy's Market and Catering, 9 South Main Street, lets families sample their apricot glazed sausages along with a tasty southern refreshing beverage. They will have face painting and tattoos for the kids. The special for the day is buy one pizza and get the second one free.

Union General, 50 South Main Street, offers Mint Juleps and Chive Sea Biscuits with Honey Butter and Horsin' Around Vanilla Bean Mini Cupcake. Kids can decorate a popsicle-stick racing ponies. They offer a 20 percent discount off all non-food items

Village Fashion Boutique, 6 North Main Street, will have fresh popped popcorn and root beer floats. The kids will receive a candy bar. Shoppers will receive 25 percent off everything, excluding Brighton.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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