DEARBORN — As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, the Ramadan Suhoor Festival and the Downtown Dearborn Ramadan Nights conclude this month with high attendance turnouts throughout all nights of operation.
This was the first year of the Downtown Dearborn Ramadan Nights held on West Village Drive in the heart of Downtown Dearborn between Mason and Monroe Streets. More than 10 food trucks lined West Village Drive, allowing individuals to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the ambiance of the downtown area. Several of the local businesses extended hours of operation as well.
Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud said the city plans to reinstate the concept during its annual Summer Market.
“We’re looking at some artisan vendors, some fresh produce vendors like we’ve always done, but also try to mix in maybe two or three food trucks that can bring in some traffic into the brick and mortar areas and generate some more foot traffic,” Hammoud said. “So that will be launching this summer, and then we’ll see how we continue this tradition in the years to come.”
The Downtown Dearborn Ramadan Nights saw around 3,000 to 5,000 attendees every night of operation, according to Hammoud.
Downtown Dearborn Ramadan Nights, Photos: OnDearborn
He said there has been overwhelmingly positive feedback and city officials hope to continue this and increase foot traffic in the Downtown Dearborn area.
“From our eyes, we thought it was very successful,” he said. “Feedback has been overwhelming from the business owners that all participated as well as those in the area, and we’ll look forward to feedback building on from residents, from business owners to see how we can always improve in the years to come.”
This is the fourth year of the Ramadan Suhoor Festival, which initially began in a parking lot in 2018. It became an official festival the following year. The festival was located at Fairlane Mall in Dearborn with tent pavilions set up in the parking lot that held more than 70 vendors, including food, dessert, drink, general merchandise and Islamic wares.
Hassan Chami, founder of the Ramadan Suhoor Festival, said this year’s festival was the most successful. He said local hotels were full with individuals from all across the nation coming to attend the festival, as well as several social media stars who made appearances.
“We had amazing feedback with the infrastructure, organization, food, programs and more,” Chami said. “Police, Fire and Wayne County reserves were very happy with the event as many brought their own families to experience it.”
The Ramadan Suhoor Festival, Photos: Dearborn.org
Charity, Chami said, is the premise of the festival, “as it gave tens of thousands to local charities.”
Eighteen festival attendees won pilgrimage trips to Umrah or Ziyara and 20 attendees won Lawrence Technological University scholarships worth $72,000 each.
“Back in 2018, when I first saw how vendors all over the city were attracting large crowds, I thought to myself, how can we take this vendor idea and infuse the Ramadan Spirit into it and give back to our community?” Chami said. “And that’s how the Ramadan Suhoor Festival was born.
“As I tell my vendors, the purpose is not to just organize a festival and pay our expenses, the purpose is to organize a festival that brings in enough proceeds that’ll have a massive charitable impact on our community, and with God’s blessings we were able to achieve that again this year.”
Both events highlighted community not just within the city of Dearborn, but also the community that exists between people, the convergence of individuals from all walks of life celebrating and honoring this holy month.