Tag Archives: Capital City Dragon Boat Races

Creating a Festival

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photo by Ariniko Artistry http://www.ariniko.com

Over the weekend I had a photo shoot at the Great Lakes Folk Festival in East Lansing, MI. It was obvious from the elaborate setup, well organized music stages and greatness of its capacity that this had been a festival many years in the making. In fact this was its twelfth year. As someone who has attempted to create a new festival for four years now, it’s hard to not be envious of the success of this festival, or really any other festival that is thriving. It’s a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of connectedness to the community. I feel I cash in much of my “social equity” to make this event happen. However it’s not impossible. Through the years I’ve watched organizations put on successful event after successful event. I have also seen groups of individuals put together a great event with very limited resources. Some of those events are yet to be held this year. Here’s a sample of some of Lansing’s upcoming locally created festivals. 

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photo by Ariniko Artistry http://www.ariniko.com

New World Flood Backpack Expo: August 18 at the Lansing Center. New World Flood is the do good non-profit that makes the world better one rain drop at a time. This event brings together almost everything a student would need to succeed at school. All children and their parents are welcome to stop by, collect needed school supplies and receive other services that might help them out.

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photo by Ariniko Artistry http://www.ariniko.com

Lansing Flow Fest & Lansing Bless Fest: August 22 & August 23 at Adado Riverfront Park.  Two all day events meant to give back to the community. This event is put on free of charge to attend so the community can be blessed. Flow Fest is an evening outdoor concert featuring Christian Rap and Hip Hop music. On Saturday return for another fun filled day of giving. There’s free food, music, raffles, kids games and so much more.

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photo by Ariniko Artistry http://www.ariniko.com

Art Attack: September 6 1123 S. Washington Ave. This event is actually the same location as Peace of Lansing. It used to be a cool dirt parking lot but now it’s a cool, paved parking lot owned by Riverview Church. They generously allow these events to take place on their property. Art Attack is a laid back, art filled gathering with music and on site art creation.

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photo by Ariniko Artistry http://www.ariniko.com

Capital City Dragon Boat Races: September 13 and 14 at the Adado River Front Park. This fantastic event is back on track after taking a year off. I haven’t been involved with this year’s planning like years past but I am excited to see it back. I know from the year I helped out on the committee that there was a very small groups that really put all the guts into this race.

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photo by Ariniko Artistry http://www.ariniko.com

Peace of Lansing: September 21 at 1133 South Washington Ave in REO Town. This is the event I host. I mostly run the show. Each year we provide peace crafts for kids, entertainment, relaxation activities, book give away and a collection for Lansing Public School teachers. It’s a wonderful way to get the community thinking about peace. The theme of this year is “Who will you make peace with?”

Community strengthening is the goal of all of these events. Each and every one of these gives back to the community. Check them out, volunteer or participate. I’m sure all the organizers would appreciate it! I know I would!

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It’s a Race


More Dragonboat photos here
I was late. The meeting started at 9:00 a.m. and it was now 8:30 a.m. By car it would normally take me only 15 minutes to get into town. However this day I decided to ride my bike for my Dragon Boat meeting. I raced from Haslett, through East Lansing, into Lansing and finally, only ten minutes late, my destination; Cooley Stadium. Since joining the Dragon Boat committee I’ve participated in a handful of meetings. I will be the site coordinator during the event and I am also helping put together “Land Cruises”; meetings held at public locations where our volunteers, teams and location patrons can actually grab a paddle and practice. We hope to also bring in the dragon boats so folks can check them out. We hope these events will help inform the public about forming teams (by June 15) and the actual event during Labor Day Weekend. I am also a committee member for Ignite Lansing.
I am helping organize the volunteers for this event. It’s really extraordinary watching these great events come into existence. I love participating with these groups. I enjoy the brainstorming for the next great location, theme or way to publicize the event. Both of these events were inspired by a person or a couple of people who decided they wanted their specific event here in Lansing. They trusted that our city, full of creative and generous people and businesses, would be able to pull it off. I’ve participated in festivals like Capital City Film Festival that operated at a level equal to other well established festivals its first year.

This year I will be photographing Dirty Feat.
It’s another festival put together by a handful of energized people. Last year in Old Town I ran into two of the organizers riding around on their bikes putting together stopping points for their race; two guys, on a bike. At today’s meeting it was the City Saunterer on a bike, a Lansing Center Events Manager, a Lugnut manager, a retired police detective and a dragon boat leader standing in a circle on the stadium grounds. We talked about where we could park the dragon boat, how many reserved spots we would need to fit it (7). We talked about how we’ve all talked to people who seem a bit confused by the boat part of it. I’ve had people ask how they put the boats together or that they couldn’t do it because they don’t have room to store a 20 person boat. We’ve decided that just offering up detailed information will help people understand that the boats are being rented from the American Dragon Boat Association. Essentially if you can find 25 people who would like to participate then we will supply the boats, life jackets, training and steering person. You can download an application here. And learn more here!
So the race is on! The race to create fantastic festivals, the race to keep Lansing vibrant and exciting and the race to get this summer of festivals going!
Where I walked

Here are a few more festivals and summer fun:

Festival of the Sun
Festival of the Moon
Scrap Fest
Turner Street Outdoor Theater
Common Ground
Michigan Mosaic Music Festival
Dirty Feat
Ignite Lansing 5.0