Dinner cruise marks 30th anniversary, raises funds

Photo by Evelyn Cairns

Photo by Evelyn Cairns


Joy Squire of Taylor (right) prepares to board the bus to Detroit for the Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival 30th anniversary benefit cruise Aug. 29 on the luxury yacht Ovation. Debbie Mitek checks off the names of pas-sengers while Jill Ryan, in costume as the Boar’s Head Festival Partridge in a Pear Tree, looks on. More than 100 Downriver residents attended the an-niversary celebration.

By Evelyn Cairns
A dinner cruise about the luxury yacht Ovation on Aug. 29 marked the 30th anniversary of the Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival and raised funds for the pageant, which has been held since 1980, when it was launched by the late Josephine Ramage with the Is-landers theater group.

More than 100 festival supporters from throughout the Downriver area gathered on the island for bus transportation to the GM dock on the Detroit River, where they boarded the yacht for a three-hour cruise on one of the hottest days of the summer.

But the 90-plus-degree heat didn’t deter festival executive director and producer Jill Ryan from donning her traditional Boar’s Head Partridge in a Pear Tree costume for the occasion. Also in costume were Sharon and Paul Mandell as the Hag and the Beefeater.

Ovation crew members greeted the guests with glasses of champagne as they stepped aboard the yacht for appetizers and a dinner including beef tenderloin and smoked turkey breast with mango chut-ney.

Among the items in a raffle was a Renaissance pearl ensemble created by Burdett Milkens for the winner (Dawn Green) to wear as the Queen of the Boar’s Head Festival in December 2011.

Curtis Posuniak, who designed a Christmas ornament commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Boar’s Head Festival, accepted orders for the orna-ment.

The festival involves approximately 600 Grosse Ile residents, who sing, dance or assist with sets, costumes, lighting and sound. Because of the magnitude of the production, it is held approximately every four years.

Opera program, classes planned
The Downriver Council for the Arts and the Bellini Music Society will present “An Afternoon at the Opera” at 4 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut.

Performers include Eva Evola, lyric soprano; Lisa Agazzi, mezzo soprano; Shawn McDonald, tenor; and Dino Valle, baritone.

Lara Semetko, lyric coloratura soprano, a finalist in the Downriver Idol contest sponsored by the Southern Great Lakes Symphony, will be a guest performer. Jacqueline Csurgai-Shmitt will accompany the singers.

For tickets ($20; seniors and students, $10) or more information, call the DCA at (734) 720-0671 or the Bellini Music Society at (313) 702-9264.

A series of opera-appreciation classes titled “Discovering Italian Opera” will be conducted by Valle from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays Sept. 21 through Dec. 21.

Monteverdi, considered the “father of Italian opera,” will be the subject of the first two.

The fee for each class in the series is $15. For reservations, call the above number or go to dc4arts@downriverarts.org.

Old Car Show set at village
A replica of Henry Ford’s “Sweepstakes,” the race car that provided the automotive pioneer with the fi-
nancial backing to create the Ford Motor Company, will be on display at 6 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday during Greenfield Village’s 60th anniversary Old Car Festival.

Owners of some 500 antique vehicles will participate, and automotive historians will provide com-mentary on pre-1931 autos, including the Stanley Steamer, Visitors will be able to watch the assembly of a Model T in minutes.

Admission is $22, adults; $21, seniors; and $16 youths 5 through 12 (children under 5 are free). For more information, call (313) 982-6001 or go to www.thehenryford.org.

Coming up . . .
Sept. 9 — Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s annual steak roast; 4:30 to 9 p.m. (dinner, 5 to 8 p.m.); Woodhaven Recreation Center, 23101 Hall Road; for tickets, $35 ($30 in advance), call (734) 284-6000.

Sept. 11 — Art Ambience’s 16th Annual Clothesline Art Sale; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Commons Corner, Macomb at Meridian, Grosse Ile.

Sept. 11 — Annual scholarship benefit breakfast of the Overture Society of the Southern Great Lakes Symphony; 9:55 a.m. at the Grecian Center, 16300 Dix-Toledo, Southgate, tickets are $35; for reserva-tions, call (313) 382-7532 or (313) 382-2448.

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