The fourth annual YpsiGLOW took place on Oct. 25 in downtown Ypsilanti. Community members of various ages took to the streets with luminarie art projects, Halloween costumes and anything that glowed.
A dance team performed throughout the night. There was a glowing bike parade. Some attendees carried around their glowing art pieces. DJs played music the entire night as attendees danced under a lit-up tent in the street. Business owners decorated their windows with various artistic displays.
“I went to one of the YpsiGLOW luminarie making workshops and we have instructors that help people make these. This is the first time I’ve ever done this, it was a ton of fun,” explained Jennifier Goulet, producer of YpsiGLOW, gesturing to the glowing art piece resting on her arm. “We have all the materials, we have all the inspiration and we just help people find their creativity.”
The entire month leading up to YpsiGLOW, there were workshops at Riverside Art Center over the weekends providing materials and guidance from local artists to create luminaries and costumes for the main event.
Engage @EMU also contributed to the event through Kristen Klochko, the Communication & Operations Manager of Engage, according to Goulet. A shuttle left every 30 minutes from various places around the city and EMU’s campus to encourage students to attend. The shuttle was decorated with glowing balloons and glow sticks. Glow sticks were given to riders for free.
Despite the effort to engage EMU students, Cameron Gold, an EMU student, attended the event and expressed that it was not what he expected.
“I liked how the event was very kid-friendly and considerate of all the age groups. I liked that EMU provided students free transportation to and from the event. The art was very creative, I liked the use of materials. I didn’t realize how much you can make out of just that material,” Gold recounted. “But I didn’t like some things. I saw this guy dressed up in an offensive costume that misrepresented Hispanic culture. I didn’t like how disorganized it was, I wasn’t sure I knew everything going on and there were just a lot of things happening at once so I couldn’t thoroughly enjoy the event.”
There were many who did enjoy the event. People danced in the streets, those with creative costumes took many photographs and parents attended the age-inclusive event with their children.
“I liked the decorations and stuff,” commented EMU student Sariyah Fahoome. “Like they had cute places to take pictures. I loved seeing all the little kids and dogs in their costumes.”
WonderFool Productions, a non-profit arts organization working with the Ann Arbor community, worked with the Ypsilanti community to produce this event. YpsiGLOW is an annual, free and age-inclusive event that is expected to continue in the future.
“I’m on the YpsiGLOW team,” added Goulet. “This is just the best night to celebrate everything that is about creativity and community in our town.”