“A big success story.”
That’s how Oxford Village Manager Mark Slown characterized the 5th Annual Celebrate Oxford, which took place downtown Saturday.
Slown was not alone in his positive assessment and praise of the community’s largest annual event, which drew thousands of visitors to partake in local foods, fun and entertainment.
“I’ve been coming here every year and this is the biggest I’ve seen it,” said Oxford resident Janet Kiss, who added that her favorite part is the “old cars” in the Rotary Club’s Classic Car Show.
“It’s always a good time,” said Eric Goodrich, owner of the Metamora-based Goodrich Apiaries, which had a booth set up on W. Burdick St. “This is one of our best festivals.”
“I think everyone’s having a good time,” said Michelle Bishop, new executive director of the Oxford Community Development Authority (OCDA), which coordinates and sponsors Celebrate Oxford. “It’s my first one and I think it’s gone pretty well. I’m having a lot of fun. I hope everyone else is too.”
Various fund-raisers conducted in conjunction with Celebrate Oxford enjoyed huge success.
“We had 175 tickets and we sold them all,” said Oxford Historic Home Tour Coordinator Suzanne Ardelan. “It was our best year ever. This was the first time we sold out.”
Proceeds from the tour’s ticket sales (which were $12 and $15 per ticket) will be split between the OCDA and the Northeast Oakland Historial Society Museum.
Approximately 130 people participated in the annual “Rural Pearl of a Bike Ride,” which netted a profit of about $3,000 for Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance and the Polly Ann Trail Management Council, according to Trail Manager Amy Murray.
Murray said the volunteers who helped organize this year’s bike ride “deserve all the credit for the financial gain.”
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.
The Oxford Lions Club’s pancake breakfast in Centennial Park served “in excess of 100 people” and made $350 profit for its Oxford High School Scholarship Fund, according to Lions member Randy Morreau.
As usual one of the premiere attractions of Celebrate Oxford was the Rotary Club’s Classic Car Show.
Eighty-two classic vehicles registered in this year’s chrome-studded show.
Winning “Best of Show” were Lake Orion residents Mark and Mary Kay Autenrieth with their 1973 Ford Mustang.
“It’s especially nice to win when the competition is so stiff,” Mark said. “Every year there’s very nice cars here. It’s always a very nice show.”
The Autenrieths won “Best of Show” with the same car three years ago, Mark said.
This year the couple also won “Best of Class E” (1969-1978) and “Best of Classes D (1961-1968) and E.”
At the council meeting Tuesday, Slown complimented all the village departments who participated in helping make Celebrate Oxford such a success.
The manager had special praise for Department of Public Works employees, whom he said did a “phenomenal job setting up and tearing down” for the event.
Bishop drew special praise from council President Steve Allen during his meeting comments.
“Michelle came through what could have been a baptism by fire relatively unscathed,” he said. “She handled herself very well. It was a pleasure to see her operate this weekend.”
“A big success story.”