LO Palooza 2018
The festival begins at noon on Sept. 15 at the Wildwood Amphitheater, 2700 Joslyn Court.
Tickets are available with a minimum donation of $15 online in advance, or $20 the day of the event. Kids 12 or under are free.
Kids’ activities are scheduled throughout the day but not all activities run from the start of the festival to the end. Organizers recommend that parents check the website for times of specific activities.
Online at www.lopalooza.org.
By Jim Newell
LO Palooza is back for the fifth year, a day of music, games, food and beverages and kids’ activities.
But the real rock stars who benefit from music festival are the special needs kids and adults. The festival is a fundraiser for the Daisy Project of Michigan and all the proceeds stay in the community, said Kristi Schons, president of the Daisy Project.
“The Daisy Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises funds to create more inclusive spaces for special needs children and their families,” Schons said.
The Daisy Project of Michigan runs the LO Palooza music festival and has donated proceeds every year to funding local projects for special needs individuals, such as the all-inclusive whirl at Friendship Park and the Orion on Deck softball field.
This year, the proceeds are going to the Miracle League of North Oakland County (formerly the Orion on Deck project), a special needs baseball/softball field that is going to be built at Friendship Park on Clarkston and Baldwins Roads in Orion Twp.
“The more money we get, the bigger the field can be, the more fun things we can add,” Schons said. “Last year, we donated $25,000 to the field.”
The LO Palooza music lineup has live performances by 11 bands, including The Jill Jack Band, The Gasoline Gypsies, 2XL, Levi Bootcut & The Straight Legs, Tripp ‘N Dixie, Steve Taylor Three, Nina & The Buffalo Riders, and The D-MAN Group. Performance times are on the LO Palooza website.
There will also be a comedian performing.
“A lot of fun is going to go on,” Schons said. “This year we’re super excited because we have sponsors for all of the kids’ activities: face painting, a video gaming trailer, rock wall, a bounce house, petting zoo. All that’s free this year.”
In addition to the music, LO Palooza includes a MotorCity Cornhole tournament, food and a beer tent. Anyone who wants to sign up for the cornhole tournament can do so through the event website.
Food trucks include Drunken Rooster, Lockhart’s BBQ and Chicago Brothers.
The presenting sponsor for the festival is Northern Flooring & Interiors of Lake Orion.
There are still sponsorship opportunities available through the LO Palooza website, Schons said.
Orion and Independence townships and Easterseals of Michigan are teaming up to create the Miracle League Field of North Oakland at Friendship Park, giving the area’s special needs athletes a field where everyone can play.
“The field is going to draw a lot of people to Orion Twp. They have one in Southfield, but it’s so far. This field is going to draw people from all over – from North Oakland, from Lapeer,” said Schons, who has a special needs son.
All the funds raised for the Orion On Deck campaign last year – around $170,000, plus contributions from Independence Twp. and Easterseals – will help with construction costs.
Plans for the Miracle League field include wheelchair accessible dugouts and temporary concession sales from the pavilion or a trailer until a permanent concession stand can be built.
Plans also include an exciting amenity for the kids – batting cages.
“So, if players from the youth leagues volunteer to be a buddy with a special needs player they’ll get time in the batting cages,” Schons said.
The Miracle League Field will have a rubber surface to make it safer for players, dugouts and the entire parking lot will be paved. It will be accessible to able-bodied and special needs players.
“The Miracle League makes you fall in love with baseball again and again. The magic of the league is the smiles on the faces of the families cheering on the athletes, the heartfelt feelings of the volunteers and the lifelong friendships that are created,” said Brent Wirth, Easterseals Michigan President/CEO.
The field will also be used for disabled veterans, therapeutic programs, the Lake Orion Wiffleball Association, kickball tournaments and the community-at-large
Many of the communities in North Oakland County – Orion, Oxford, Clarkston, Rochester, Waterford – have adaptive baseball teams for individuals with special needs who will use the new field.
Friendship Park already has two wheel-chair accessible swings, a seesaw and an inclusive whirl merry-go-round for people with special needs.