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Trenton is excited and getting ready to rock at the 37th Annual Mid-Summer Festival. If you somehow haven’t yet heard, rock legend Mitch Ryder will be performing on Friday, July 13.

What you may not know is that rumor has it that this is an encore performance by Ryder – about 44 years later!

Back in 1968, as some Trenton residents remember it, Ryder performed at a summer dance held at the Kennedy ice rink. These dances, I am told, showcased up-and-coming bands including Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, as well as possibly such soon-to-be-huge acts such as MC5 and Bob Seger.

Although most memories are sketchy about these dances, I did find an article in an issue of the Trenton Times from June 1968 about the “Trenton Teen Club” dances being held that summer at the ice rink. No mention of Ryder or other bands directly, but it’s some proof that these dances are not just an (sub)urban legend.

Stella Dixon of Southgate, who grew up in Trenton, remembers.

“The night he (Ryder) played at the ice rink it was packed… They added more adults to help with security. Most of the dances you would have kids around the stage about 10 deep, but that night I remember they went half way out into the rink. They (the band) were loud — that I do remember — and when they played Devil with the Blue Dress the place went crazy! Everyone was dancing … There were bellbottoms flapping everywhere!”

Ryder is just coming off a big European tour supporting his new album, The Promise, his first release in over three decades, as well as a book tour for his autobiography Devils & Blue Dresses: My Wild Ride as a Rock and Roll Legend. The book has been awarded the “IPPY” (Independent Publisher) award, gold in the national category of Performing Arts, as well as National Indie Excellence award.

If you missed his first performance, now is your chance to see this bona fide rock-and-roll icon for free right in your backyard!

Bellbottoms are optional.•

The Trenton Historical Society would like to remind residents that it will have a booth at the Mid-Summer Festival. The organization will have information, books and other items available, including genealogy aids to help you find  your family’s ancestors, free handouts, old and new calendars, pen and ink drawings of the “mystery ship” schooner the Alvin Clark,  and order forms for the new book Images of America – Trenton.

The book uses archival photos to tell the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. The book is scheduled to ship the week of Sept. 24, and will cost $21.99 for pickup or $26.99 to be mailed to your home.

Did you know? … Downtown Trenton has had three department stores: Mulias and Ellias, Felder’s and Kline’s.

Trenton once had a permanent voting booth.  Built in 1939-‘40 with WPA funds, it was a small brick building used only for voting. It was located on the north side of St. Joseph Street between Riverside and Jefferson.  It was precinct #2.

Visit the Trenton Historical Society’s booth to learn more Trenton trivia!

Email Terey Delisle at

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