DETROIT (WXYZ) - Thirty-five thousands kids are expected to gather on Belle Isle today for Metro Detroit Youth Day for the event's 30th anniversary.
Metro Youth Day began following altercations between youth and Detroit merchants in the summer of 1980. The event was created to show youngsters that businesses, the community and civic organizations do care about our youth.
Today more than 300 community groups and companies will come participate in the event.
"The fun-filled day gives kids a chance to enjoy time away from home in the middle of summer while participating in supervised, constructive activities, with 1,600 volunteers helping and supervising," said Co-Founder and Coordinator Ed Deeb. "The day emphasizes sportsmanship, education, fair play and leadership."
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says the event is important every year, but especially this year. "We look for places for our young people to be safe and have adult supervision." The Mayor says the city's financial problems have forced them to cut back hours and activities at recreation centers.
Jacob Manning tells Action News that he looked forward to Youth Day for "the fun, the games and the free stuff." He went on to say that he really enjoys seeing all the animals. One booth allows children to get up close and personal with tarantula spiders.
Youth between the ages of 8-15 years will be able to participate in various sports clinics, contests, races, entertainment, and visit the education area including College Row where 14 universities will be on hand.
Also there will be groups who display their activities in the Exhibit and Education tents who plan to participate. In addition, there will be mini-workshops on anti-bullying, fighting crime, anti-obesity, and entrepreneurship to help teach the kids the basics of running a business and being your own boss.
The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the athletic field on Belle Isle.
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