Free Fall Festival parking and shuttle rides
Sep. 8, 2015 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
“We just want to be involved in the community. This is a way we can give back.”
Want to add to the enjoyment of the Plymouth Fall Festival this year? There is no need to pay for parking and then attempt to wrangle the family from one end of town to the festival activities and then back to the car. For the third year, nearby Praise Baptist Church is offering free parking and free shuttle rides to and from all the festival activities.
Church members performed the service for the past two years with great success, noted James Hooper, a member of the church who helped organize the shuttle.
This year the church members are hoping even more folks will use the shuttle service they offer using two vans and a bus to transport folks to the heart of the festival and back to the church parking lot, about a 5 minute ride.
“You couldn’t walk to your parking spot in town in that time,” Hooper said.
The vans run constantly so there is no wait and continue from half hour before the festival opens on Friday and for half hour after the event closes on Sunday.
“We also have a sign-up sheet, to be sure we don’t leave anyone behind,” said Lori Hooper.
The service again this year will be free.
The larger bus provides accommodations for handicapped riders “The effort is simply a public service of the church,” Hooper said, “We just want to be involved in the community. This is a way we can give back.”
The church, located at 45000 North Territorial Road, will be open so that there is no threat of standing in the hot sun or rain waiting for a shuttle.
This year, the shuttle will have a new drop-off point located on Penniman Avenue between Harvey and Main streets.
Hooper said there will be parking spaces closed on Penniman to accommodate the drop off and there will be a canopy erected to keep passengers out of the sun. The return route runs through the municipal parking lot between Penniman and Fralick Street and then back to Praise Baptist.
“Last year we averaged about 7 minutes between pick-up to drop-off. Try to find a parking space that quick during Fall Festival,” Hooper said.
The vans will not leave anyone standing or waiting, Hooper said, and will not wait until there is a full load of passengers before making the short trip to downtown. “If there are people at the church or at stop in town, the vans will take them downtown or back to the church,” he said.
“These are experienced drivers who do volunteer driving for the church, Hooper said. “We just want to get everyone there safely so more people can enjoy the festival.”
Hooper added that the church members and the volunteers were very pleased with the way the service worked last year as was Eric Joy, the festival president of the Fall Festival Committee.
“This is such a good idea, I decided to do it myself, and I can park anywhere I want all weekend,” Joy said with a smile.
“It’s a great community service. I hope everyone uses it.”
The shuttle service, however, is just one example of Praise’s ongoing commitment to the Plymouth Community, Hooper said.
Praise Baptist hosted a community celebration of God through music and message in Kellogg Park Aug. 2, he said. The purpose of the service was to raise awareness of Gleaner’s Food Bank and the event collected nearly $1,000 in donations for Gleaner’s, he added.
The church also participated in the Heartbeat of Plymouth event Aug. 15 and 16 in the park. Local Plymouth churches including Praise Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, Our Lady of Good Counsel and Plymouth Church of the Nazarene came together to present the two-day event. The festival featured nationally-known Christian artists at free concerts both days, speakers at the Penn Theatre, service projects, and activities for children and youth, Hooper said.