Source: Sherman Publications

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Lake Orion Lions Jubilee this week

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

June 22, 2011

The Lake Orion Lions' Club is gearing up to host their annual Jubilee.

This year's festival, at Canterbury Village, looks to be bigger and better than ever before.

According to Club President Joseph Hildebrand, the carnival company responsible for providing rides and other amenities lost an event further north and the spare equipment will be brought down to augment the local Jubilee.

"We're expanding the carnival area to in front of the Christmas store, and we've rented the Oakland County stage," said Hildebrand. "We're going to have live entertainment from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"Local gymnastic dance groups from FlipSpoT will provide some of that entertainment in addition to local bands and Saturday we have a BMX demonstration accompanied by a skateboarding display."

In addition to the live entertainment, an arts and crafts promoter will provide activities. A "bigwheel" track will be in place on Saturday, allowing kids between four and seven years of age to test their racing - and peddling - prowess.

The Jubilee, which originated in 1976, succeeded a similar event. According to a Lion's member of 50 years, there has been an event that coincides with the Fourth of July for a, "very long time." One estimate puts the beginning of the event as 60 years ago. Following a brief delay in 1977, the Lion's Club brought the Jubilee back in a big way, with a carnival, a food tent, and drinks. They have had a Jubilee every year since.

This year plans to be the biggest yet. What adds probability to that is the additional space allowed by Canterbury over the Jubilee's former home -- Lake Orion Village's business district.

"We were told in 2009 we couldn't use the downtown area because of the impending road construction, which didn't happen, but the same went for last year," said Hildebrand. "Honestly, we're very happy with Canterbury.

"We cannot put all the rides we'd like to -- especially with this situation with the carnival company this year -- in the village. The space constraints make it so we're limited in what we can do. The other issue is with business owners. Yes, it helps some, and those owners like the Jubilee, but it's about a 50-50 split between supporters and those who feel inconvenienced."