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Decision to move South Lyon Pumpkinfest upsets many neighbors

Posted: 6:26 PM, Jul 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-12 18:29:53-04

Just about everyone in South Lyon loves and looks forward to the South Lyon Pumpkinfest, held annually in Downtown South Lyon.

“I always love it. They always have the parade… they always close off the street,” said resident Mike Markiewycz.

However, the city is buzzing over the recent decision to move the fall event out of downtown South Lyon and over to Atchinson Park in Lyon Township, according to the South Lyon Pumpkinfest Committee’s website.

“Why they would want to move it? I have no idea. I love it right here,” said Markiewycz.

According to the committee’s website, the new location will allow the event to grow and become an even better event.

But the idea of out with old, and in with the new is not sitting well with South Lyon lifers who say they want to preserve the hometown charm of being able to walk to the parade and other festivities.

They also want to keep the tradition going and some say they have even bigger concerns.

“The township park has safety concerns in regards to people drinking and driving,” said Thad Bogert, who volunteers at the event every year. “You can understand their need or want or desire to grow the event and it’s exciting that every year it has grown... but not sure if it’s a direction that really fosters community.”

7 Action News is told there are others who welcome the change.

The debate on whether to move the event has gotten heated, playing out over social media. We tried to connect with someone from the committee. They would only say they will be making a statement tomorrow at the committee meeting tomorrow.

Those who want the South Lyon Pumpkinfest to stay in downtown South Lyon say they want answers, including former mayor Tedd Wallace. Wallace, as mayor in 1985, helped start Pumpkinfest that year and has enjoyed seeing the event grow in the downtown area.

“We’ve lost our hotel… the historic hotel, to fire three weeks ago tomorrow.  Were losing our local hamburger joint, built by the same family 56 years ago the same family has run it and it’s called Brown’s Root Beer… people love their icons,” said Wallace. “People love their Pumpkinfest downtown.”

7 Action News is told the committee is holding a meeting at the South Lyon Fire Station at 7 p.m. - It is open to the public and it’s likely to be open for public input.

A large turnout is expected.