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August 01, 2013
GROSSE POINTE FARMS AND CITY — A lot of fish are going to wish they stayed in bed the morning of Saturday, Aug. 10.

Many are destined to end up dangling from hooks cast into Lake St. Clair by hundreds of competitors in the 65th annual Grosse Pointe Farms-City Family Fishing Rodeo at Farms Pier Park, at the foot of Moross.

Boys and girls aged 17 and under living in either the Farms or City of Grosse Pointe are eligible to enter the rodeo.

“It starts at 8 a.m. and ends by 11:30 a.m.,” said Dick Graves, rodeo organizer and Farms resident. “That gives moms and dads plenty of time to spend the afternoon golfing, cutting the grass or taking a nap.”

Contestants and their families from the two communities present their park passes at the Pier Park gate for entry.

Every contestant gets a prize, averaging $30 in value, Graves said.

There’s no cost or registration fee.

A doughnut breakfast and hot dog lunch are free, too.

“Just show up with a fishing pole,” Graves said. “Everything else is provided.”

Trophies are awarded to residents of each city for catching the first fish, biggest fish and largest game fish.

The largest trophy is nearly 4 feet tall. It’s displayed at the park concession stand.

The schedule is:

8 to 9 a.m.: Free coffee, juice and donuts at the concession stand; prize tickets issued;

9 to 10 a.m.: Fishing rodeo;

10 a.m.: Free hot dogs, chips and pop;

10:30 a.m.: Presentation of awards and prizes.

Graves’ late father, Pointe police and fire fighters founded the rodeo in 1948.

“Here’s an opportunity to spend quality time with family, friends and neighbors,” Graves said. “It’s like being in Mayberry for a few hours.”

Entire families attend.

“We are seeing a sharp rise in grandparents, aunts and uncles,” Graves said. “It makes sense. They fished as kids.”

Prizes for adults include restaurant gift certificates, electronics and a flat-screen television.

“You don’t want to miss this rodeo,” Graves said. “We have many special surprises to celebrate out 65th year. You may be taking home one of four $300 mountain bikes we raffle for free.”

The rodeo is held rain or shine.

“We anticipate having 1,100 people,” Graves said. “Even when it rains, we have about 1,000 people show up with raincoats and umbrellas.”

Free prizes, raffle items and food are possible due to sponsors.

“These are challenging times financially,” Graves said. “When it comes to children and tradition, this community and its sponsors do whatever it takes. It’s priority for them.”

Sponsors are:

Jack English family

Chris and Debbie Nesi family

Paul Nuccilli family

Lakeshore Optimist Club

St. John Providence Children’s Hospital

Crowther Carpet & Rugs

Bill and Connie Albrecht family

Sine & Monaghan Realtors

Ray Laethem Buick-GMC-Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge

Dr. Frank Nesi

Connell Building Company

Allegra Printing

Pointe Alarm

Irish Coffee Bar

Mark Sanford family

Kolojeski family

Chris and Sharon Mannino family

John Crowley family

June Mabarak

Mickey and Kathy Kurap

Tom Graves family

Hala Besmar family

Jim Farquhar family

John Shook of Fifth Third Mortgage

Arbor Pro Tree Service

Alexander & Polen

William and Kelly Smith family

All Pointes Plumbing & Heating

Mike and Eddie Johnson family

Better Made

Billy and Danielle Albrecht family

Cadillac Coffee Co.

Joe and Susan Schmitt family

City of Grosse Pointe

Grosse Pointe Farms

Robert Gorski D.D.S.

Greco Title Agency

Grosse Pointe Florists

Higbie Maxon Agney Realtors

Moe’s Bait Shop

Grosse Pointe News

Harper Sport Shop

Grosse Pointe Farms Boat Club

Jerry’s Club Party Store

Lund Distributing

National Coney Island

Farms Pier Park Concession Stand

Gary Wilson, counselor at law

“Chip” Gibson Painting

Village Kroger

Healthy Living Medical Supply

Brian Potter family

Leo Beil family

Christine’s Portraits

Brian and Juli Suarez

Metropolitan Baking

Embree Sign Company

Gibraltar Trade Center

Whistle Stop Hobby Shop

Paul Stavale.

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