The Rapidian

Fourth annual Burton Heights Reunion to celebrate unity

On Saturday, July 7, families from all over the Greater Grand Rapids area are invited to Garfield Park to celebrate with the Burton Heights neighborhood. The event will begin at 12 noon in the park and will run to 8 p.m. There will be food, games, activities, and music, all free of charge.
Garfield Park will host the fourth annual Burton Heights Reunion

Garfield Park will host the fourth annual Burton Heights Reunion /Amy Carpenter

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4th Annual Burton Heights Reunion

Theme: Together We Stand
What: Food, Music, Games, Activities, Fireworks, Prizes
Where: Garfield Park, corner of Madison and Burton, SE
When: Sat. July 7, 12 - 8 pm
Who: Everyone in the Greater Grand Rapids Area is invited
How much:  Free of charge
Donate: Message the Facebook page to bring juices, waters, candy, or prizes

Hillside RoRo is one of the lead organizers of the Reunion.

Hillside RoRo is one of the lead organizers of the Reunion. /courtesy of Hillside RoRo

Poster for the 4th Annual Burton Heights Reunion

Poster for the 4th Annual Burton Heights Reunion /courtesy of Hillside RoRo

On Saturday, July 7, families from all over the Greater Grand Rapids area are invited to Garfield Park to celebrate with the Burton Heights neighborhood. The Fourth annual Burton Heights Reunion will begin at 12 noon in the park and will run to 8 p.m. There will be food, games, activities, and music, all free of charge. People who grew up in the neighborhood are welcome to come renew old friendships, and people who want to get to know Burton Heights better are welcome to come and meet new people.

The lead organizer of the event is Hillside RoRo, who runs an entertainment company out of the Heights. He welcomes people to “come out and celebrate community and unity.  We can make new memories while we look back on old ones.” He also hinted that there will be a few new surprises this year. While he wouldn’t give everything away, he did say there would be bounce houses, pony rides, fireworks, and prizes.  

“This year’s theme is “Together We Stand” for Burton Heights,” said RoRo. As in previous years, his goal is to bring Burton Heights together “in a good light - something that the community can be proud of every year.” Though previous reunions have taken place on Father’s Day, RoRo said “we moved the date this year because we wanted to try something new and add a fireworks show.”

RoRo said the Garfield Park pavilion will be the home base for the Reunion. “This year the food will not be served in the gym. Instead we’ve hired a caterer and will be serving it outside under the pavilion.”

Though some may describe Burton Heights as a lower income neighborhood, RoRo has shared previously, “Growing up in the Heights was great, the best part being the ethnic diversity. We had and still have every ethnicity in our community. As I got older I learned how it helped me relate to a lot of other people in life.”

RoRo started the event a few years ago with a few of his friends and fellow entrepreneurs from the neighborhood. He said while the neighborhood comes together to help sponsor the event, he and his friends do most of the organizing work. “And that’s okay. We don’t mind taking a day out to give back to the kids and the community.”

People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, tents, and other items since the event will be outside. Anyone interested in donating juices, waters, candy and small toys for prizes, or in volunteering to help, can contact Hillside RoRo through the event’s Facebook page.

 

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