Detroit Cristo Rey, Western International, and Cesar Chavez Academy high schools are wrapping up this season's play. Several games over the past couple days between the local teams marks the end of an exciting season. Historical Fort Wayne and Patton Park are shown in the photos and are host fields of area high school's girls soccer programs.
By insidesouthwest / in Featured, 48209, Youth / May 23, 2014
"For the love of lowriding." This is what Impala Tone of the Westside Detroit Majestics says is the motivation for the Majestics' annual get togethers. In fact, you will hear this repeated over and over as a reason for why club members and solo riders consistently come out of their pockets and comfort zones to gather with others across car club, ethnic, and neighborhood lines.
Southwest Detroit is the home to a handful of riders on Southeastern Michigan's lowrider scene including several members of Detroit's Uso, Majestics, and GoodTimes chapters. A larger number of lowriders have grown up in the neighborhood but have since relocated. Often lowriders who grow up in Southwest Detroit eventually get older, get jobs, and move to neighboring communities. But their cars and love for lowriding go with them. And, as if on auto pilot, they always find their way back to Vernor. For this reason it only makes sense that there are several spots in the neighborhood that host various annual events as well as informal cruising on the weekend. Vernor from Patton Park to Clark Park is a strip that attracts cruisers on the weekend. Also Clark Park, Western International High School's parking lot, Bagley and 21st Street, and countless numbers of taco trucks, taquerias, and local businesses are all popular among lowriders throughout the summer.
Cinco de Mayo weekend is considered the beginning of the lowrider season in Detroit. The parade has historically hosted a number of lowriders that gather afterwards for riders and spectators to enjoy. The Blessing of the Lowriders, hosted by Uso's and GoodTimes' Detroit chapters, coincides with this kick-off. For the past several years the Blessing has taken place at the Bagley Mercado at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge and is an opportunity to celebrate and consecrate the beauty and spirit of lowriding in Southwest Detroit. It recognizes lowriding as an opportunity for youth, adults, and others to gather around a mutual interest. From May-September the "official" season plays itself out through picnics, cruises, shows, and other events.
The Majestics' Hot Sunday gathering was hosted this past weekend on a cool, Fall-like afternoon. Riders came out for what is often one of the last opportunities to gather for the season (due to the weather). For the past 5+ years the Majestics have hosted a Saturday movie night for lowriders at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In in Dearborn followed by Hot Sunday between Clark Park and Western HS the next day. Having the opportunity to gather so late in the season allows riders to reflect on the season that is coming to a close and talk about what the next year holds for the love of lowriding.
Cars line up on West Vernor. Horns beep and bass shakes the neighborhood through the early night. People wave flags out of car windows. These are just a few signs that the Cinco de Mayo parade in southwest Detroit is on its way. This highly anticipated parade is the largest annual event celebrated in the community of southwest Detroit. Cinco de Mayo festivities have evolved from a one day parade to a series of celebrations stretching throughout the first week of May.
Since its beginning, generations ago, the Southwest Detroit Cinco de Mayo parade has been growing in size and popularity along with the growth of the local Latino population. Compared to only a decade ago, the parade is a huge version of its former self. Southwest Detroit residents and non-residents alike pack sidewalks along West Vernor to watch the parade during the first weekend in May. They enjoy watching Mexican bandas (bands) playing on parade floats, young break-dancers, lowrider bikes and cars, and school marching bands. Following the parade Clark Park has traditionally hosted a variety of festivities such as Mexican folkloric dance performances, music, art, and a sampling of local cuisine sold at booths.
This year the parade is incorporating several changes that will primarily affect the parade route and "official" activities after the parade. This year the parade will not begin at Patton Park as it has in the past... instead the parade will be two miles long, and will proceed down Vernor from Waterman to 24th Street in Southwest Detroit. Although there will not be activities at the end of the parade route as in the past, there is PLENTY to do before and after the parade throughout the neighborhood. Stay tuned to Inside Southwest Detroit for up-to-date information on events!
Check out the Inside Southwest Detroit Community Calendar for happenings:
Download the official 2010 Cinco de Mayo Parade Application:
Written by Carmen Mendoza-King for Inside Southwest Detroit