Family Life, Feature Story

Detroit Families Celebrate 50 Years of Sesame Street at Sold-Out Road Trip Tour

Detroit families love their Sesame Street! Over the weekend, Sesame Street visited families at Lafayette Park in Detroit for the Sesame Street Road Trip Tour. The city was the fourth stop on the tour and it was held in celebration of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary. 

Because of the large response for tickets, parents were encouraged to register for specific time slots. When I tried to register my family, the only time slot available was the 9 A.M. block. Even then, it was challenging for my registration to go through because there were so many people who registered! 

SESAME WORKSHOP OFFERS FREE TICKETS TO ROAD TRIP TOUR

It’s perfectly understandable why there was such an overwhelming response to the event. First, the Sesame Workshop offered free tickets to families. Yes, free! 

I thought that was very kind of Sesame Workshop to create a free event for children. The second reason why the tour tickets went fast is that…well, it’s Sesame Street

Who doesn’t love Sesame Street? From Big Bird to Oscar the Grouch and Elmo, many people have grown up watching the beloved children’s show at some point in their life. Moms and Dads grew up watching the children’s show and now their children are big fans of the show. I guess you could say it’s a family thing!

Despite not being one of the lucky ones to score tickets to the Sesame Street event, I did attend the festivities to document and share with you! 

FAMILY FUN AT THE SESAME STREET ROAD TRIP TOUR AT LAFAYETTE PARK

It was a huge turnout at Lafayette Park, and the weather was just beautiful. Thankfully, with the designated time slots, it helped keep the crowd size at a comfortable capacity. There was even a special lot roped off for “stroller parking.” 

Many fun activity stations were set up at the event. Children were able to go on a grocery scavenger hunt at the HBO tent, for instance. At another tent, there was a pretend play station where children could play dress-up. 

There were even Instagram-worthy photo stations with Sesame Street props and summery backgrounds. My favorite was Oscar the Grouch’s trash can! Staff members at each station were kind enough to snap photos for the families. 

Cookie Monster and Elmo performed a happy skit on the main stage with their Sesame Street friends. As soon as the two furry monsters hit the stage, children cheered and shouted their names. It was so sweet and a joy to watch the little ones get a big smile on their face when they saw their favorite characters.  

MINI INTERVIEW WITH SESAME WORKSHOP’S ED WELLS

Before Elmo and Cookie Monster’s first performance, I connected with Ed Wells, the Senior Vice President International Media and Education at Sesame Workshop. Wells was really excited to be in Detroit because he is also from the metro area.

Jennifer Hamra (JH): Since you’re from Detroit, how does it feel to be here?

Ed Wells (EW): It’s incredible! It’s such a great opportunity to be back in my hometown celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street in the community where I grew up!

JH: Why is Sesame Workshop here in Detroit?

EW: This is part of the ongoing celebration of our 50th anniversary. We’re taking a road trip around the entire country. It’s really important to us that we get into the communities that we serve and be able to actually spend time with those kids and families and allow them to have those touch point with the characters. 

Ed Wells speaks at the beginning of the press conference
for the Sesame Street Road Trip Tour.

JH: Can you tell me a little bit about the (Big Bird) segment that was filmed in Detroit?

EW: It’s Big Bird getting into the communities and meeting his friends and talking to his friends in the community and talking about what makes their community so special. We’re really excited to be able to showcase that in Sesame Street’s program.

JH: What has the response been overall in the other cities you guys have already been to?

EW: Today is the fourth stop. We’re sort of just getting started, but the response has been absolutely incredible. The minute we announced the road trip and made it available for people to RSVP, it sold out immediately. So we’ve been absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed with the support of the community and the continued interest in Sesame [Street].

SESAME STREET AND USPS UNVEIL NEW COMMEMORATIVE STAMPS

At the beginning of the program, the United States Postal Service (USPS) unveiled the new Sesame Street Forever stamp collection.

The Sesame Street stamps feature 16 iconic characters: 

  • Big Bird
  • Ernie
  • Bert
  • Cookie Monster
  • Rosita
  • The Count
  • Oscar the Grouch
  • Abby Cadabby
  • Julia
  • Herry Monster
  • Guy Smiley
  • Snuffleupagus
  • Elmo
  • Telly
  • Grover
  • Zoe

USPS trucks were also at the event so families could purchase the new Sesame Street Stamps. 

OTHER FUN SESAME STREET SURPRISES

Last week, Elmo visited children at Detroit Public Schools Community District Fleming Early Learning Center. The students learned about musical instruments with help from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Elmo was also seen exploring the Detroit Institute of Arts. Meanwhile, a Sesame Street TV segment was filmed right here in Detroit. The segment will be included in Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary special and it featured Big Bird visiting children in Detroit. The special will air in November.

Elmo teaches students about musical instruments at a special program on Thursday, June 20, 2019. (Photo credit: Sesame Workshop)

REMAINING DATES OF SESAME STREET ROAD TRIP TOUR

If you didn’t get a chance to catch the Sesame Street Road Trip Tour, then you may still have a chance to join the festivities in another city. If you’re traveling to any of the cities listed below, then check out the upcoming tour dates.

  • Chicago, IL: Saturday, June 29th
  • Dallas, TX: Saturday, July 6th
  • Kansas City, MO: Saturday, July 13th
  • Denver, CO: Saturday, July 20th
  • Seattle, WA: Saturday, July 27th
  • Los Angeles, CA: Saturday, August 3rd

For more information about Sesame Street’s Road Trip Tour, visit the official website here.

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Unless otherwise stated, all images are courtesy of Good Life Detroit.

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