Explore Detroit this summer and submerge yourself in the traditions that articulate America’s great comeback city. Detroit offers plenty of summer activities combining cars, culture, gaming, music and sports.
Watch as hydroplane boats race down the Detroit River at speeds over 200 mph to compete for the oldest trophy in the history of motor sports, the American Power Boat Association (APBA) Gold Cup. Vintage race boats, a hot rod show, live music and entertainment complete the event, presented by the Detroit Yacht Club. The APBA Gold Cup Races take place July 11-13. The Gold Cup event covers a large area of the Detroit River, so viewing areas and ticket plans vary. For more information, go to gold-cup.com.
Roll up your sleeves and make something! Participate in the festival of invention and creativity, Maker Faire at The Henry Ford. Maker Faire is an award-winning event celebrating technology, education and sustainability in a family friendly environment. The event includes robotics, electronics, rockets, fashion, science, food and music. More than 400 makers are expected to participate July 26-27. Visit makerfairedetroit.com to purchase tickets and see the schedule of events.
View some of the world’s most notable classic cars at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in Plymouth July 27. This world-class exhibition features rare cars from all different eras and is a sure hit for any auto enthusiast. The Inn at St. Johns hosts the event, which also includes an art gallery and lunch. Go to concoursusa.org for a complete schedule of events.
Learn, celebrate and participate in Arabic and Chaldean culture at the 43rd Annual Arab and Chaldean World Festival Aug. 2-3 at Hart Plaza. The largest Arab and Chaldean festival in North America features music, an art gallery, children’s fair and fashion show. Visit arabandchaldeanfestival.com for more information.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History hosts the African World Festival Aug. 15-17. This event bursts with cultural traditions, including African drumming and dance. Have a taste of ethnic foods, listen to poetry and shop among the 150 vendors, all while gaining an insight of the African culture. Learn more at thewright.org.
Cruise Woodward like a real Detroiter in the 20th annual Woodward Dream Cruise Aug. 16. Thousands of people line the streets of Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Pontiac to catch the endless procession of classic cars. Eat, drink and watch as this Detroit tradition cruises by. Find out more about things to do at this year’s cruise at woodwarddreamcruise.com.
Take a trip back in time to the late 16th century at the Michigan Renaissance Festival Aug. 16-Sept. 28 (weekends only). The 35-year-old tradition in Holly lets you explore the fictional English village of Hollygrove. Interact with pirates, Vikings, wizards, rogues, mermaids, fairies, trolls and other fantasy characters. Fire-juggling, sword swallowing, comedy and costumes capture the Renaissance era. Learn more about the festival’s theme weekends at michrenfest.com.
Romeo marks the end of the summer with the Michigan Peach Festival Aug. 28-Sept. 1. Parades, sports tournaments and craft shows take place throughout the weekend. Beers around the world, a famer’s breakfast and of course, homemade peach pies, top off the food options. The festival also includes music and Vegas games. The most anticipated event is the coronation of the Romeo Peach Queen. Visit peachfestofromeo.com for more information.
The Detroit Jazz Festival exposes music lovers to the city Aug. 29-Sept. 1. The lineup not only includes local flair, but also features worldwide jazz performers. Detroit area food and vendors also accompany the festival. This year’s theme is Jazz Speaks for Life and the festival’s artist in residence is Joshua Redman. Other headlining acts include Christian McBride Trio, Marcus Belgrave and a tribute to the legacy of Louis Armstrong, Tim Ries and the East Gypsy Band, Tom Harrell’s Colors of a Dream with Esperanza Spalding and many more talented performers. Visit detroitjazzfest.com for a complete lineup.
Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is a Labor Day weekend tradition and one of the most anticipated festivals of the summer for many metro Detroiters. Tons of great food, live music and enough art to inspire a city outline the streets of downtown Royal Oak Aug. 29-Sept. 1. The performer lineup will be available in early August so be sure to check it out at artsbeatseats.com.
Get a glimpse of Michigan agriculture at the Fifth Third Michigan State Fair at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi Aug. 29-Sept. 1. The traditional state fair activities include livestock, agriculture exhibits and a carnival. Performances include the Detroit Shrine Circus and State Fair Superstar competition. Visit michiganstatefairllc.com for ticket information.
Hippies young and old can be found at Dally in the Alley Sept. 6 in downtown Detroit. The event features the collaboration of local artists depicting the American music scene. Kids are also welcome to take advantage of the kid’s fair. Be sure to check out the art, merchandise, food and beer. Visit dallyinthealley.com for more information.
Experience the art, history and lifestyle of the 1800s at the Northville Victorian Festival Sept. 12-14. Strolling entertainers, vintage baseball and the saloon set the tone of the era. A carnival and animal show are also a part of this family-oriented event. Find out more about the festival at northville.org.
Gear up and see The D from a different perspective. Explore the streets of downtown by bike with Tour de Troit. The 30 mile, police escort, leisure ride starts and finishes at Roosevelt Park by Michigan Central Station, passing by all of Detroit’s hot spots. For more experienced bikers, Tour de Troit offers a metric century (62 miles) option. The ride takes place on Sept. 20. Register at tour-de-troit.org.
Wanna rock? Don’t miss Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power at Henry Ford Museum now through August 17. The exhibit pays tribute to the strong female artists who’ve made a lasting imprint on the history of rock and roll —names like Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and many more. Check out handwritten notes, concert posters, photos and even musical instruments. Get an up-close look at Joan Jett’s black leather jacket, Madonna’s Blond Ambition bustier, and Carol King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” sheet music. The exhibit is presented by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Visit www.thehenryford.org/events/womenWhoRock.aspx for more information.
See and touch living sea creatures found on coral reefs and other tropical habitats in Stingray Cove at the Michigan Science Center through Aug. 31. Learn about freshwater stingrays, starfish and other coral inhabitants. Gaze at sea horses, tropical fish and much more in this hands-on exhibit.
New to the Michigan Science Center is the hands-on exhibit Kidstruction Zone. This 3,000 square-foot space is designed with 10 separate build zones for the architect or engineer inside us all. Build large structures with giant LEGO® bricks, create detailed buildings with Keva planks, invent futuristic vehicles with k’nex and get inspired with other Kidstruction building supplies. For more information, go to mi-sci.org.
In June of 2006, preeminent photographer Bruce Weber travelled to Detroit for the first time while on assignment for W, a monthly fashion magazine. The idea was to photograph a well-known model—in this case Kate Moss—as a starting point for a much broader exploration of an unfamiliar place, its culture, and, most importantly, its people. While many photographers at that time were recording the vulnerability of Detroit, Weber was completely taken with the vitality of the city and its citizens. He returned to the Motor City again last year, to partner with the Detroit-based company Shinola. This time, Weber sought out familiar faces as well as new individuals who could speak to the city’s dynamic evolution. The exhibit, Detroit – Bruce Weber, on display at the DIA through Sept. 7, is the result of these two assignments, presented together with portraits of prominent friends and colleagues who have strong ties to the city. For more information, go to dia.org.
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