New festival aims to find Saginaw's soul - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New festival aims to find Saginaw's soul

Posted: Updated:
SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(08/08/12) - After years at or near the top of the FBI's Most Violent Cities list, one group is hoping to have a big impact on changing that image.

Wednesday morning, committee members announced details about the first-ever 'Saginaw's Got Soul' festival.

It kicks off Aug. 8, 2013. It will take place in the heart of downtown.

The first event will be a blues concert, featuring Saginaw-native Larry McCray.

The YMCA of Saginaw will also offer a race along the Saginaw Riverwalk.

But perhaps the most excitement surrounds the return of the Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament.

"The town here really embraced it back in the day. It was a big deal," said Scott McNeal, the owner and creator of the tournament. McNeal says next year actually marks his 40th year in business.

The last time the tournament was in Saginaw, was 1999.

Organizers couldn't be happier.

"Saginaw is rising. Saginaw is changing, and people need to come here and find that out," said committee member Dr. Ziggy Kozicki at a news conference Wednesday morning at The Dow Event Center.

Committee members came up with the idea after a meeting last year. "We're just talking about, what we could do to help with some of the violence," explained Dr. Stephanie Baiyasi, another committee member.

Their answer - change Saginaw's negative image by offering something positive.

"We've got to take the attention of the violence and crime, and begin to look at what Saginaw's all about," said Pastor Larry Camel, with Parishioners on Patrol.

Camel's group will benefit from the 'Saginaw's Got Soul' festival. Money raised will help non-profits, like Parishioner on Patrol, who in turn help the community.

"Saginaw's got soul. Saginaw is a great community. It's gone through some hard times, just like many communities throughout the United States has, and we want people not to give up on Saginaw. Not to give up on themselves. We want them to believe that Saginaw is a rising community, with a whole bunch of potential," Kozicki said.

Organizers hope a gospel concert will bring people in, likewise for 'Beach Street Volleyball'. They'll truck in sand to this lot where the Saginaw Plaza Hotel is being torn down.

From music to art to sports, everyone involved hopes Saginaw's soul makes a strong comeback.

"I hope they come away with the fact that the Macker was part of the glue to bring this community back together. I think we have a bigger purpose than just playing basketball," McNeal said.

The group is still looking for people to help with the event. You can contact them through their website, by clicking here.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Commuters anticipate delays with upcoming I-75 construction

    Commuters anticipate delays with upcoming I-75 construction

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:45:17 GMT
    Davison resident Andrew Hall has had enough of winter driving conditions. Now it's time for the warm weather "hazards".    "I lived in Michigan all my life and it's that time of year. The snow goes
    Davison resident Andrew Hall has had enough of winter driving conditions. Now it's time for the warm weather "hazards".
  • Names release in plane crash in Shiawassee County kills two men

    Names release in plane crash in Shiawassee County kills two men

    Names release in plane crash in Shiawassee County kills two men

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:03:44 GMT
    (04/19/2014) - A plane crashed in Shiawassee County Saturday afternoon around 2:00 p.m. The plane went down in a field on M-13 and Potter Road. That is just near the Genesee County border. The Shiawassee County sheriff says two men died in the crash. According to online records, the plane was a two seater, single engine, and propeller powered. It was a replica of a Russian military plane. The plane is registered to Haywards Aviation in Vassar, Tuscola County. A pilot from the scene told ABC1...
    (04/19/2014) - A plane crashed in Shiawassee County Saturday afternoon around 2:00 p.m. The plane went down in a field on M-13 and Potter Road. That is just near the Genesee County border. The Shiawassee County sheriff says two men died in the crash. According to online records, the plane was a two seater, single engine, and propeller powered. It was a replica of a Russian military plane. The plane is registered to Haywards Aviation in Vassar, Tuscola County. A pilot from the scene told ABC1...
  • Bomb Squad called for a grenade found in Flint garden

    Bomb Squad called for a grenade found in Flint garden

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-04-20 15:42:04 GMT
    (4/20/14)- There were some scary moments in a Flint neighborhood when someone found a hand grenade.
    (4/20/14)- There were some scary moments in a Flint neighborhood when someone found a hand grenade.
Powered by WorldNow

abc12.com

ABC12 Main Station
810-233-3130

Mailing Address:
2302 Lapeer Road
Flint, Michigan 48503

Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WJRT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.