Novi celebrates 50 years by remembering the “glory days”

Ananya Kamalesh, Staff Writer

As Novi approached its 50th year, it celebrated the milestone with a 50th Anniversary Celebration, on February 11th. The event brought together those residents who have lived in Novi from its start , to reminisce about the “glory days.”

“Where 7-Eleven “was the first modern store,” Julie Swanson said. “We thought it was such a big deal, we didn’t have big restaurants.” 

Swanson, an early education teacher, grew up in Novi and was part of the first graduating class at Novi High School. 

“In my school career, from 1966 to ‘78, we went from no high school to Class A, (based on athletics) which is big,” she said. 

At the time, schools were rated by classes: “A” being the highest level attainable and “C” being the lowest.

The Anniversary Celebration, at the Novi Civic Center, was filled with live music and food provided by Suburban Showplace. 

Novi has a great relationship with Suburban Showplace according to Edward Kriewall, the city manager of Novi from 1969 to 2000.

“The Twelve Oaks Mall and Suburban Collection Showplace. Those are two things [that are important to the city],” Kriewall said.

As Novi’s city manager for a little under 30 years, Kriewall knows firsthand what makes Novi appealing to residents..

 “It has a tremendous location on the interstate system,” he said, explaining that the reason people want to live and work here is because of all the access points. “That’s probably the biggest benefit to Novi.” 

At the event itself, the Novi Civic Center lobby was filled with memorabilia from the “glory days.” Displays featured everything from 50 year old Novi High School desks to a police car. 

“[Novi] is forever progressing. The city managers and city officials are pretty good at keeping progress in Novi.” Orlando Muscat, a Vietnam War Veteran said. 

Muscat grew up in Detroit, but moved to Novi 44 years ago.

“It’s not quite a big city [like Detroit], but it’s still nice. You get a city that has all the conveniences, with shopping and what not, but you still get the feeling of country. And where I live, I have almost 2 acres. Behind me there’s nobody so it’s like country to me,” Muscat said.

The Anniversary Celebration certainly took people back to the early days of Novi, and in doing so, illustrated how far the city has come since.