Sunday, March 23, 2008

Downtown Hoedown 2008

It doesn't get much better than this combo: free concerts, country music, Hart Plaza and all the people watching you can possibly handle! That my friends, is the Downtown Hoedown. The 26th annual 2008 Downtown Hoedown will take place May 9-11. Check out 99.5 WYCD's Web site for the entire three-day lineup.

I am really impressed with some of the artists that will be rockin' out at this year's Hoedown, such as Trisha Yearwood (seriously a country music legend!), Little Big Town, Chris Cagle, Jewel and Gretchen Wilson.

I myself was wondering how the Hoedown came to be, so here's a bit of the background. The Downtown Hoedown dates back to 1983 and is recognized as the largest country music festival of its kind in the world. It's regarded by the country music industry as the premier event to showcase new and seasoned artists. More than 800,000 people are expected to swarm Hart Plaza during the three-day concert. Something really interesting I didn't know is that some HUGE country artists got their start at the Hoedown, including my personal favs Rascal Flatts, Garth Brooks (rumor has it he may show up to cheer on wifey Trisha!), Reba McEntire and Big and Rich.

You can guarantee I will be there in my cowgirl hat singing at the top of my lungs! Even if you aren't a country music lover, it's a fun, FREE event and a great excuse to hang out in D-town for the day/evening.

Sidenote -- I HEART WYCD's morning show with Dr. Don, Grunwald, Rachael and Jason the 300-pound cowboy. By far one of the most hilarious morning shows that broadcasts to metro Detroit!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I Heart Petoskey!

I had an amazingly relaxing/stress-free weekend, and I felt compelled to document my experience in a post. I was a deprived child (OK that's exaggerating) and I never went camping up north or had the chance to see all the beauty that makes northern Michigan such a desirable tourist attraction. So finally, thanks to my wonderful MAL, I got the chance to take a trip up north to Petoskey. And also thanks to my lovely friend Becky for the great suggestion of staying at her place of employment, Stafford's Bay View Inn. Stafford's, which also owns two other properties in Petoskey, was the absolute picture-perfect place to stay for two people like myself and MAL who lead very busy, and often times stressful lives. It was peaceful, quaint, warm, extremely clean and just an overall great getaway destination. If you want the ultimate picturesque room, go for the aster suite 17! I would love to come back and visit in the summer when I can enjoy the non-iced-over lake, the lush foliage and restaurants on the bay.

Downtown Petoskey was also adorable. The mom-and-pop and boutique shops were perfect for a shop-a-holic like myself. I bought some really neat jewelry from Oliver's Trendz (they also have a shop in Birmingham). We went ice skating and sledding at the Winter Sports Park and had some grub and drinks at City Park Grill. One of the best attractions about the city is that it's really rich in history and every place seems to has its own little story.

So needless to say, I am happy to be back to my city life, but I really wish our mini-vaca could have lasted just a tad bit longer! Reality will hit hard tomorrow, but Petoskey definitely put a cushion under the rough week ahead :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cast Your Vote for a Local Hero

The American Red Cross of Southeastern Michigan currently is accepting nominations for the People's Choice Hero Awards. Six brave and selfless heroes from around southeast Michigan have been nominated for this year's award. The deadline for voting is 5 p.m. on March 14. The winner will be recognized March 27 at the Red Cross' 12th annual Hero Awards.

Here's a brief snapshot of the nominees:
  • Ronald Mitchell, member of the Detroit Fire Department's Tactical Mobile Squad. He rescued his partner from a burning building.
  • Zach Lazanja, a nine-year-old boy who saved his friend from drowning when he had a seizure in a swimming pool.
  • April Fowlkes and Mindy Corby, members of women's pro football team Detroit Demolition. They caught a thief while he was trying to steal a teammate's car.
  • Cary Thompson, a Royal Oak firefighter and instructor at Safety City USA. One of his students alerted her family that their house was on fire so they could quickly get to safety.
  • Anthony Altovilla is devoting a year of his life to doing volunteer work with City Year in Detroit before heading off to college.

It was a really tough decision for me because in my opinion, all these nominees should be awarded for their heroic actions. I won't say who I voted for to avoid swaying any decisions, but I hope everyone who reads this takes the opportunity to vote for one of these amazing individuals!