Hundreds of Grosse Pointers, maybe even thousands, perused the artist-decorated Grosse Pointe Perch Wednesday getting the first look at the fish that will dot the streets of the five communities beginning next week.
The 51 Perch were sponsored by various local businesses and families and then decorated by professional artists. The project launched by the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce is intended to draw people to the five communities to not only see the works of art but also to frequent the many businesses here.
In October, the fish will make their way to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club where they will be auctioned off to benefit Services for Older Citizens, which is in the midst of a capital campaign for its future and permanent home behind Cottage Medical Center.
The themes of the fish varied widely. Some were fitting of the businesses that sponsored them while others were more about Michigan or Grosse Pointe. Others had a fish or water theme.
Among them was one community-decorated fish completed by the education staff of Pewabic Pottery. The community decorated tiles that were used to cover the Perch's body and small clay fish that were secured to the base.
The fish lined a stone walkway on the grounds of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House Wednesday night. It is the only time all of the completed fish were able to be seen in one location.
Many attendees took pictures of themselves or their children posing with certain fish. Crafts for children, food and drinks as well as a raffle were offered. Additionally, the attendees were asked to vote for their favorite fish for the People's Choice Award.
They will remain at the Ford House throughout the weekend and then be moved to various locations throughout the Grosse Pointes. According to a map handed out at the entrance Wednesday, the heaviest concentration of the perch will be along Mack and Kercheval avenues.