Camping under the stars in the middle of Detroit is an experience you can have only once a year.
But camping enthusiasts arrived at 6 p.m. Saturday and don’t plan on leaving until 10 a.m. Sunday morning for Camping on the Cut, hosted by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.
The event is held on the Dequindre Cut, a greenway in Detroit.
“It kind of came to us about this opportunity to teach people how to like camp for the first time,” said Rachel Fierson, director of programming for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.
With shutdowns earlier in the pandemic, more people took an interest in the outdoors. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy said the Dequindre Cut has seen a 50% increase in usage, and this event helps cultivate people’s curiosity.
“We’ve got about 65 campsites that are down here,” Fierson said. “And we sold out an event in three days. So there’s definitely an appetite.”
Some people like Jazmine Sweatman have the interest, but don’t know where to start.
“I’ve never been camping,” she said. “So I thought this would be a way to like camp.”
The event let’s her ease into it.
“I’m excited now, like it’s all good time but like when it gets dark and stuff, it might be a little bit intimidating,” Sweatman said. “But hopefully with everyone being out together, you know, it’s kind of like we’re doing it together. So I think it’s gonna be alright, cool.”
The hope is this opportunity will spark a love for the great outdoors that will last a lifetime.
“You have a smaller experience here,” Fierson said. “And next thing you know, you’re at the metro parks camping or you’re up at a state park. And so we want to provide those here on the riverfront.”
In addition to tents and fires up, there will also be activities such as capture the flag and arts and crafts, and donuts in the morning.