Romeo-Washington Chamber shoots for the stars, honors John Paul Rea

When it comes to celebrating one’s hometown, perhaps nobody does it better than Romeo.

Between Tillson Street trick-or-treating, the Michigan Lavender Festival, and of course the Michigan Peach Festival, Romeo residents have a lot to be proud of. There’s even more to celebrate, though: The town also has a fantastic array of cuisine, art, and music made by locals.

That’s what Night Under the Stars is all about.

For the 6th year in a row, the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Night Under the Stars celebration. The event features local music, art, food, and wine, as well as a keynote speaker known as a “hometown success story.”

This year that honor goes to none other than John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.

“We were really excited to choose John Paul. He was class president back when he graduated Romeo High School in 2001, and he’s had so much success since then, while staying local at the same time,” said chamber Executive Director Kelley Stephens. “He’s got an interesting story.”

In his keynote address, Rea will discuss his journey from Romeo to where he is now.

“We’ve had keynote speakers from all different fields—arts, literature, film, sports—but we’ve never had someone from the political sphere until this year,” Stephens said.

Around 140-180 people attend the event every year—so get your tickets soon.

“This is one of my favorite events that we do,” added Stephens. “The money that we raise funds scholarships for graduating high school seniors, so it’s a way to celebrate the community while giving back.”

Night Under the Stars takes place from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Historic Douglas House. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple. To reserve your tickets, call (586) 752-4436 or visit


Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.


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