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In a surprising turn of events, the Dexter Daze Committee recently announced on its website that it will cease operations. While the news is shocking initially, the committee explains the show will go on for its 53rd
year under a different authority.

In its statement, the group said, “The Dexter Daze Committee, after thoughtful consideration, is thrilled to announce the passing of the wand to the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce,”

The decision to disband came after several discussions between Dexter Daze representatives and the Dexter Chamber of Commerce. The Dexter Daze Committee had struggled with organizational structure and support, which imperiled this year’s festival. The group began discussing dissolving to make room for another authority to oversee the summer event. On March 22, the group confirmed its dissipation.

The Dexter Chamber of Commerce was privy to the conversations and made plans to jump in if the Dexter Daze Committee elected to disband. Given the relatively short timetable to organize the festival, the Chamber moved into action once the decision had been made.

Chamber President Becky Cobler has high praise for the people taking it on, saying, “The only reason this is a possibility is because each person on the Chamber board is fully dedicated to the community of Dexter. Every member has committed to taking on the heavy lifting of creating opportunities for the community and businesses of Dexter to engage and connect. I am so awed by the unselfishness of each and every member of the Chamber Board of Directors.”

The festival is scheduled for August 9 and 10, the traditional second weekend in August when it has been held. When asked if it will be the same Dexter Daze that we all know and love, Cobler replied, “Similar but not identical. There will be many basics that everyone has come to know and love, such as the music and entertainment, kids’ activities, the social tent, and great vendors. We will not have a parade. It is logistically difficult to organize, and with the planned Memorial Day Parade, Bicentennial Parade, and Homecoming Parade in the fall, we opted to drop that for this year. Sadly, we are not planning fireworks. We love them, but the $25,000 price tag was beyond our means, given the short timeline. Those are probably the two most obvious changes for this year.”

The reimagined festival aims to maintain the core experiences that have made the event a local favorite while adapting to the new organizational structure and the realities of planning an event on such short notice. Cobler reports that the community response has been overwhelmingly positive, with many individuals and businesses eager to support the new festival.

The former Dexter Daze Committee encourages people to support the festival, stating, “As we close this chapter, we want to remind everyone that we’re still part of the book, and we will continue to contribute to our community in various ways. We’re excited to see what the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce has in store for the future of Dexter Daze, and we hope that you’ll join us in supporting this year’s festival.”

The next step for those interested in getting involved with the Dexter Summer Festival is to attend a happy hour hosted by the Chamber at Aubree’s downtown on April 30, 4:30-6:30. This will be an opportunity for community members to learn more, volunteer, and offer suggestions for the festival.

If you are interested but cannot attend, contact the Chamber at 734-325-4030 or email info@dexterchamber.org.

“We are an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff,” says Cobler. “If no one answers, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

And lastly, Cobler unveiled the new name as “Dexter Summer Festival.”

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