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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Visit Detroit today: summertime in The D

There’s no better time or place to celebrate cars, culture, gaming, music and sports than summer in The D. Metro Detroit’s auto events, music and art festivals, fairs and parades, exhibits and sporting events make the city a necessary and unforgettable destination.

Take in the iconic Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit exhibit at the DIA, cruise the Woodward Dream Cruise, cheer for the Tigers at Comerica Park or dance the night away at the Downtown Hoedown. There are plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy everything Detroit has to offer.

Start your engines for Autopalooza, the celebrated series of auto events taking place in metro Detroit all summer long. It kicks off with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix May 29-31. Catch other classics like Greenfield Village’s Motor Muster and the Woodward Dream Cruise. Experience the cruises, races, auctions and shows that make Detroit the Motor City. For a full list of event dates, head to autopalooza.org.

WYCD presents the 33rd anniversary of the Downtown Hoedown, June 5-6. Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts will headline this year’s fest at its new location on the grounds of West Riverfront Park. Recognized as the largest of its kind in the world, this country music festival showcases more than 50 artists for hundreds of thousands of fans. For more information, go to wycd.cbslocal.com/category/hoedown.

The energetic and empowering Motor City Pride Festival & Parade, Michigan’s largest LGBT pride celebration, takes to Hart Plaza June 6-7. Hosted by Equality Michigan, this street festival showcases both local and national performers, unique vendors and loads of entertainment in an opportunity to celebrate LGBT achievements and strive for equality. Visit motorcitypride.org for more information.

Every Saturday and Sunday June 13-August 23, Dearborn’s Greenfield Village hosts Historic Base Ball Games. These old-time games, accompanied by 19th-century music, celebrate America’s pastime the best it can – with the rules of 1867, no pitcher’s mound and optional gloves. Attendees can also enter to win Detroit Tigers tickets. Head to thehenryford.org for more information.

Greenfield Village is known for its classic summer events. Others include Motor Muster June 20-21, Annual Salute to America July 1-4, Ragtime Street Fair July 11-12, and the 65th Annual Old Car Festival Sept. 12-13. For more information, visit thehenryford.org.

Kick off summer on Detroit’s landmark riverfront June 19-21 at Detroit River Days, a three-day celebration filled with activities on land and water. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy originally launched this festival in 2007 to introduce the riverfront’s magnificent transformation. Now in its ninth year, this fest offers fun for all ages including rides and games, arts and crafts, music, boat rides, food and more. Head to riverdays.com for more information.

The weekend-long extravaganza leads up to The Ford Fireworks, a spectacular summer tradition taking place along the Detroit River Monday, June 22. For more information, go to theparade.org.

Bring your favorite blanket to enjoy the music of the Detroit Zoo’s Wild Summer Nights every Wednesday during July and August in the zoo’s Main Picnic Grove. Concerts feature live music from local performers spanning various genres – jazz, pop, children’s, folk, blues and more. For additional information, go to detroitzoo.org/events/wildsummernights.

Detroit is home to numerous concert venues and some of the most popular include Comerica Park, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Ford Field, Joe Louis Arena and the Fox Theatre. Keep an eye out on upcoming performances, and don’t miss favorites like Taylor Swift and Dave Matthews Band as they celebrate summer in The D. Go to visitdetroit.com for concert dates and locations.

Downriver celebrates Independence Day with four days of live music, carnival rides and games, fireworks, a banana derby and more. Uncle Sam Jam Fest takes place July 9-12 in Civic Center Park in Woodhaven. Enjoy more than 100 local and regional bands and tons of family fun at the 6th annual extravaganza. Go to unclesamjamfest.com for more information.

Calling all auto enthusiasts to the 37th annual Concours d’Elegance of America July 24-26 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. This world-class exhibition showcases beautiful cars from every era and celebrates classic, rare, collectible and prestigious automobiles alongside an art exhibit and vintage auto auction. Go to concoursusa.org for more information.

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to create something, explore technology and connect with a community of forward thinkers at Maker Faire Detroit July 25-26. This award winning weekend event takes place at The Henry Ford in Dearborn and remains the ultimate show and tell of ingenuity, resourcefulness and geekdom. Maker Faire invites all makers – from the novel inventors to the garage tinkers – to learn and explore new technologies. Visit makerfairedetroit.com for more information.

West Bloomfield’s 13th annual Orchard Lake Fine Art Show takes place July 25-26 and features original and handmade art from world-renowned and local artists. Paintings, sculptures, glassware, jewelry, photography and more will be available for purchase at the award winning, professionally juried art show. Head to hotworks.org/orchardlakefineartshow for more information.

Detroit is home to the largest celebration of Arab and Chaldean culture in North America. The Arab and Chaldean Festival returns to Hart Plaza August 1-2 for two days of food, art, live music and dance plus tons of family fun. Festival traditions include a children’s fair and a fashion show, which showcases attire from all of the Arab countries. Go to arabandchaldeanfestival.com for more information.

Performances, poetry, arts and crafts, African drumming and dance plus all-ages events comprise this year’s African World Festival, August 14-16. This free weekend event takes place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit during the celebration of its 50th anniversary. The premier ethnic festival includes cuisines from all over the world, a fun-filled family village, genre-spanning music and more. Go to thewright.org for more information.

The world’s largest one-day automotive event, the Woodward Dream Cruise, is August 15 right here in metro Detroit. This iconic cruise celebrates all kinds of car culture – from muscle cars and hot rods to custom and collector vehicles that span the decades. Taking place along Woodward Ave. from Pontiac to Detroit, Woodward Dream Cruise is a crowd favorite event attracting more than 1 million people and generating more than $56 million for the metro Detroit economy annually. Speed over to woodwarddreamcruise.com for more information.

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is a time-travel adventure to 16th century England filled with comedy and theater shows, games and rides, music and more. Enjoy endless entertainment, fabulous food and artisan galleries for seven unforgettable weekends at this interactive outdoor festival in Holly’s “Hollygrove” village. This year’s festival runs weekends and Labor Day, Aug. 22-Oct. 4, plus Festival Friday, Oct. 2. Head to michrenfest.com for more information.

The 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series regular season wraps up in Detroit on Lake St. Clair Aug. 27-30. Lake St. Clair is one of the best smallmouth lakes in the country and it ranked 16th on Bassmaster's 100 Best Bass Lakes this year - it was No. 1 in the nation in 2013. Lake St. Clair has hosted several Bassmaster events in recent years, including the 2013 regular season Elite finale won by Chris Lane. For more information, go to bassmaster.com.

The Detroit Sports Commission Prep Kickoff Classic, hosted at Wayne State University, is Michigan’s premier season-opening high school football event. Designed to deliver a memorable experience for players, fans, coaches, cheerleaders and band members, this locally created event is recognized for excellence in attendance, marketing and community presence by the National Association of Sports Commissions. This year’s kickoff classic takes place August 28-30. Go to detroitsports.org to see the 2015 matchups.

Arts, Beats & Eats, one of Oakland County’s favorite summer festivals, celebrates the metro Detroit community with more than 200 musical performances, a highly ranked Juried Fine Arts Show and the finest local cuisine. The culturally unique fest takes place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-7, in downtown Royal Oak and admission fees benefit local charities and the community. For more information, visit artsbeatseats.com.

Another can’t-miss Labor Day weekend event, Sept. 4-7, is the annual Detroit Jazz Festival, occupying several blocks of downtown Detroit – from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius Park – with five stages and 100 musical acts, activities for all ages, fireworks and more. This non-profit event is the world’s largest free jazz festival and remains one of Detroit’s premier tourist attractions. Visit detroitjazzfest.com for more information.

The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair will be at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi Sept. 4-7. Expect agricultural exhibits, craft beer tents, entertainment, farmers markets, art exhibits, the Shrine Circus and more! The fair celebrates Michigan’s agricultural industry and small businesses while bolstering the traditions of the grand old State Fair – and it gets bigger and better every year. Go to michiganstatefairllc.com for more information.

The Romeo Peach Festival hits the streets Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-6. This family fun fest hosts events like parades and cruises, craft shows and races plus tons of peach-packed goodies from local orchards. For more information head to facebook.com/peachfest.

Set in the unique and historic alleys of the North Cass Corridor in Detroit, the community music event Dally in the Alley takes place on Sept. 15. Aside from unforgettable ambiance, this fest offers art and t-shirt booths, food, drinks and great people watching as an unofficial end to summer. Proceeds support the North Cass Community Union projects and efforts to improve the quality of life. Visit dallyinthealley.com for more information.

Learn about the tumultuous and highly productive year that Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in Detroit through the exhibit Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts through July 12. The ticketed exhibit features approximately 70 works of art and examines the economic conditions of the era, the industrial life of Detroit and its workers and the controversy that surrounded the Detroit Industry murals. For more information on this must-see exhibit, go to dia.org.

Inside|Out, a DIA program bringing reproductions of masterpieces outdoors, will adorn ten venues from downtown Detroit all the way to Ortonville through July 19. These exhibits are clustered in close proximity to encourage outdoor activity such as biking and walking tours. The DIA also plans to create a community garden and host an exhibition on the Huron riverfront this summer. For more information, visit dia.org.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History celebrates its 50th anniversary with I, Charles H. Wright: My Story, an exhibition honoring Dr. Wright and his accomplishments on display now through March 10, 2016. Wright was a physician, institution builder, philanthropist, author and moviemaker committed to advocating freedom and equality. For more information, go to thewright.org.

The Arab American National Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary with Ten: The Exhibition, a diverse range of work exploring cultural concepts from 10 notable Arab American artists through Oct. 4. This accredited museum resides in Dearborn, a city home to the largest population of Arab Americans outside the Middle East, and brings the voices and faces of Arab Americans to mainstream audiences by paying tribute to diversity. Visit arabamericanmuseum.org for more information.

Roaring, snarling, animatronic dinosaurs are coming back to the Detroit Zoo in the thrilling Dinosauria exhibit May 22-Sept. 7. They no longer roam the earth, but these fascinating and lifelike prehistoric creatures will wow audiences of all ages. Visit detroitzoo.org for more information.
Cranbrook Art Museum will host the Nick Cave: Here Hear exhibition June 20-Oct. 11. Collections of sculptural Soundsuits, the artist’s famous embellished costumes, are dynamically displayed among other artworks including videos of performers wearing the costumes around Detroit. These symbolic costumes, inspired by African art, are designed for sound, mobility and dance. Head to cranbrookart.edu/museum for more information.

Roadside America: From the Lens of John Margolies is an unforgettable exhibit running June 20, 2015 through Jan. 24, 2016 at the Henry Ford Museum, featuring quirky photography documenting roadside architecture and design from the back roads of America. John Margolies highlights small-town entrepreneurialism in a humorous and emotional manner in this fascinating showcase. Visit thehenryford.org for more information.

America’s premier automotive manufacturing exhibition, the newly reimagined Ford Rouge Factory Tour, offers dazzling interactive technology, including a multisensory experience where you can witness the engineering of the Ford F-150 from concept to highway. Ford’s environmental innovation is also shown, as the world’s largest “living roof” can be seen on top of the plant. Go to thehenryford.org/rouge for more information.

Coming soon to The Henry Ford as a permanent exhibition is Mathematica, an explanation of mathematical phenomena through kinetic installations, models, imagery and hands-on interaction. The exhibit aims to provide visitors with entertaining and educational elements of science, technology, engineering and math and is set to go on display in 2016. For more information, visit thehenryford.org.

Save 20 percent or more on popular Detroit attractions with The D Discount Pass. Current participants include the Arab American National Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, The Henry Ford, Michigan Science Center, Motown Museum and Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. The D Discount Pass will be accepted at participating venues through Dec. 31, 2015. To take advantage of these offers, go to visitdetroit.com/discount.

Stay connected with what’s going on in The D
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