Event features three bands, food truck, heated tent, fire pits and drawings
By Jim Bloch
Forget about the unseasonably cold weather: Get outside and party for a good cause.
That’s the invitation extended to the general public by St. Clair residents Jon Janssen and Christopher Letarte.
With the summer calendar packed with special events and the early fall nearly as busy, Janssen and Letarte decided to hold their first annual “November Me on 7th Street” block party and fundraiser at the tail end of autumn.
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The outdoor event will be held from 5-11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23 on South Seventh Street between Clinton Avenue and Pine Street in St. Clair.
The event is not just open to residents of Seventh Street.
“Everybody is welcome to come,” Janssen told the St. Clair City Council on Nov. 4.
Three area bands will perform live on stage in a heated 100-foot by 20-foot tent: The Gobies, Brent Mireau, and Pav and Todd.
Janssen, who sings and plays guitar in the Gobies, said the live music will begin at 7 p.m.
DJ Skid and DJ Spradja will spin between sets.
“We’ve been wanting to do a block party on Seventh Street since I moved there and Chris is my neighbor across the street,” said Janssen. “There is so many events in town in the summer time — we’d love to do it in the summer, but we just couldn’t fit it in between all the other events. There’s also so many fall events. So we decided to a later one.”
Difficulty in finding a date when all the bands could play pushed the event near Thanksgiving.
“We knew we had a good avenue to raise some money for some families in need in our neighborhood so we’re going to do that this year,” said Janssen. “Hopefully we can do it annually and pick another family or charity and donate every year.”
Guests may bring their own alcohol and there will be a non-alcoholic beverage garden set up under the big top.
The food truck Eli’s Eats on the Street will be on-site and Trish and Beck will be selling their famous chili.
Outside fire pits will help keep the revelers warm.
“It’ll be nice,” Janssen said.
The event will include a basket raffle and 50/50 drawing.
The St. Clair City Council granted the organizers a special event permit on Nov. 4.
“We have all the necessary documents that are in compliance with the city ordinance,” said Police Chief Tim Raker. “There are fire hydrants accessible from Pine and Clinton. The residents on the street are aware of the event.”
Janssen and Letarte are asking for a $20 donation to attend the block party. Tickets will be available on the night of the event or may be obtained in advance by calling Janssen at 586-453-4457 or Letarte at 810-650-0731.
Parking is available at the city lot between South Seventh and Pine Shores Golf Course.
“Good luck, fellas,” said Mayor Bill Cedar.
Jim Bloch is an award-winning freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. He writes about the environment, local politics, art, music, history and culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.