If an activity-packed outdoor party — full of fun for all ages — sounds like a terrific way to spend the day, Proud Lake State Recreation area is the place to be on July 18.
In celebration of Michigan's state parks and recreation areas' 90th anniversary, Proud Lake invites the community to visit the park's RiverHawk Complex beginning at noon and enjoy live music, exhibits, guided nature walks, canoeing, a walk-climbing wall, inflatables, food and more.
And it's all free.
“We're calling it a hootenanny — the same kind of thing which some people might remember was held out in Highland for many years,” said Bobbi Audette, accountant for the Proud Lake park. “Then we added a bunch of other things — other activities, food, local vendors, artists.”
Judy Aldridge, office manager for Proud Lake, said the event is a great opportunity to see what the park has to offer — and to have an overall great time. “We want people to make memories in the park,” Aldridge said. “More people are discovering this place every day.”
Audette added that Proud Lake has the added benefit of the Huron River, which flows through the recreation area.
“It's a trout-supplied stream that stretches for so many miles, and it's great for canoeing,” she said.
Canoes will be available for rent during the event, or people can supply their own. Audette reminds people to bring along lawn chairs to sit on while they listen to the variety of bands that will be performing on a stage outside the RiverHawk Complex, from 1 to 11 p.m..
Headlining the musical entertainment is Swampside, featuring classic rock music. The group is expected to be on stage around 9 p.m.
“Earlier in the day, there will be softer, acoustic music. Toward the end, it will be harder rock,” Audette said.
Another of the bands set to perform is the alternative rock group, Bars of Gold, which Audette said played gigs at Michigan State University for several years.
Kozmos Koney Island of Milford will provide an assortment of food, available for purchase. People can also bring their own coolers.
The Proud Lake staff will be selling commemorative stuffed bears, coffee mugs, travel mugs and water bottles marking the 90th anniversary.
“This will be an event for the whole family,” Audette said. “You can sit down with your kids and watch the concerts — teenagers will love the music — do the rock climbing wall, just have a great time. Be the Michigan family you are,” Audette said.
The Proud Lake State Recreation Area is at 3500 Wixom Road in Commerce. Follow the main entrance driveway to the RiverHawk Complex. A state park motor vehicle permit, $6 for the day or $24 for the year, is required for entry.