The first Friday of every month, businesses, musicians and artists come together to create a free event to showcase artistic and cultural features. This past Friday, Sept. 6, the Festival of the Honeybee took place in downtown Ypsilanti.
Vendors, artists and local businesses set up booths in the street selling art, food, services and of course: lots of honey. Canvases were lined up as numerous artists live painted. A band performed, while people wearing headbands with faux antennas made from black and yellow pipe-cleaners crowded the streets.
“Ypsilanti is an official bee city,” said Outreach Chair, Jane Brundage. “It’s a really wonderful way to connect businesses, artists and musicians.”
One of the many bee-friendly vendors at the event was Cecilia Infante, beekeeper and owner of Bee Warriors.
“So my partner and I have beehives on Whitmore Lake and in Ypsilanti, we breed bees with really good genetics so they have a better chance of surviving in Michigan.” Infante explained. “We also make therapeutic and medicinal honey as well as a variety of flavors. Basically, if you have a beehive, you have an apothecary.”
A number of the organizations present have a central focus on environment-friendly initiatives. We Adore Flowers grows one million bee-friendly flowers in Ypsilanti with organic and sustainable methods. Bee Present has educational services and produces sustainable products from beehives. Taylor Honey Farm attended, selling their honey.
“I’m just excited about being apart of this awesome town and contributing in a beautiful way,” said Ginette Blades, owner of We Adore Flowers. “I think that there is this ecological revolution happening right now and I’m just really excited to be a part of that, too.”
Many local businesses hosted events centered around art, culture, music and/or bees. Among countless other events, Star Studio hosted a “Honey Bee Hive Updos” hair show. Restaurants, such as Bona Sera, had special menus for the evening. It would have been impossible to attend every single event.
The Festival of the Honey Bee is one of many events included in First Fridays Ypsilanti. FFY provides free, self-guided art and culture walks on the first Friday of the month, April through December.
For more information on upcoming events, visit firstfridaysypsi.com.