People danced to the sounds of Motown in the sweltering heat as Saline Summerfest kicked off Friday.
Crowds started a little smaller than usual as construction slowed the Friday evening traffic. The dark skies also may have scared some residents away. But the dark skies brought a much appreciated cool-breeze to the Summerfest patrons and by 7:30, the crowd picked up.
As the sun set over the familiar parking lot along South Ann Arbor Street, the Persuasian Band got people dancing with Motown classics and modern R&B hits.
Artists and craftmakers sold their goods at the Saline Summerfest Craft & Art Show on South Ann Arbor Street. Notably absent were the artists from Two Twelve Arts Center, but in their stead, Eric Rentschler and a group from Eluminous Studios were on hand to show art, provide crafts for kids, and promote the local arts scene. Several other creative Salinians were at the craft show. Lori Tursak, owner of Loreo’s, sold her handcrafted chocolate goodies. Other vendors sold jewelry, silk scarves, recycled furniture and more.
In the parking lot, the crowd was entertained by Amanda Coy and the Saline Twirlettes. Dancers from Dance Alliance, Rhythm Dance Company and Saline’s newest dance school, The O'Kennedy Irish Dance Academy.
Saline Rotary Club, raising money for their many civic projects, offered people the chance to play blackjack and craps. They also sold 50-50 tickets and continued to raffle off a new car from Crispin Chevrolet.
Mayor Brian Marl welcomed the crowd with brief remarks.
“I want to encourage you to come back tomorrow. There will be a lot of events, a lot of activities and a lot of amenities that will be available offered to you and your friends and neighbors,” Marl said.
Organizers were happy with the turnout for opening night.
“I think it was a fantastic turnout,” said Karen Ragland, one of the event’s organizers. “People are having a great time. I think tomorrow will be even better.”
Here’s the schedule for Saturday: