Top 10 “Can’t Miss” Events in Detroit this Summer
Like summer festivals? Then you’re in luck.
Detroit offers plenty of them this year. Whether you’re a music fan, a ribs aficionado or a pizza connoisseur, you’ll find a festival that works for you this summer.
Here’s a look at 10 can’t-miss festivals taking place this summer in Detroit. We here at Rocket Fiber are proud to say that we are the Internet provider for many of these festivals, supplying the connectivity that consumers can use to find key information about the events.
- Flower Day at Eastern Market: It’s a tradition in Detroit, the annual Flower Day at the Eastern Market, 2934 Russell St. Held on the first Sunday after Mother’s Day, Flower Day has been a fixture of the Detroit festival scene every year since 1967. This year, the event will take place May 19 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. As its name suggests, Flower Day is all about the color and aroma of flowers, with growers offering a wide selection of flowers for sale. The organizers of the event have one tip: Come early to get the best deals.
- The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix: If you are a racing fan, then you won’t want to miss the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. This three-day event, running from May 31 through June 2 at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, features three different races to appeal to all ages.The Chevrolet Dual will feature the cars of the IndyCar series. The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic will feature the exotic sports cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The event will wrap up with the Trans Am series presented by Pirelli.The race has long been a tradition in Detroit, getting its start in 1982 when the competition was a Formula One race run through the streets of downtown Detroit.In 1989, the Detroit Grand Prix became a CART-sanctioned race and eventually moved to Belle Isle in 1992.The event ran every year through 2001, before economic challenges resulted in a spottier schedule. But the Grand Prix has again been held every year in Detroit since 2012.
- Movement Music Festival: Each year on Memorial Day weekend, thousands of people gather in Detroit to celebrate the birthplace of techno music. This year will be no exception, as the Movement Music Festival will again be held Memorial Day weekend here, May 25-27, in Hart Plaza along Detroit’s riverfront.The Movement Music Festival ranks as one of the longest-running dance music events in the world. If you’re a fan of electronic music, you don’t want to miss this festival.Performers this year include such dance-music greats as Josh Wink, Art Department, Carl Craig, Amelie Lens Soul Clap and Shigeto.
- Detroit Jazz Fest: Jazz musicians and their fans will hit downtown Detroit this summer for the annual Detroit Jazz Festival. The event, which is celebrating its 40th year, will be held Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 this year.The event, as always, is free.The goal is to showcase Detroit’s long history of jazz music. The event has been doing this since 1980, when Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance founded the festival. Today, the event is managed and produced by the Detroit International Jazz Festival Foundation.Each year, more than 60 performers come to the heart of downtown Detroit to showcase their ability. If you’re interested in the future of jazz, and its legacy, this is one festival you can’t miss.
- River Days/Ford Fireworks: The Detroit International Riverfront is an important area for the city of Detroit. To recognize this, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy began holding the annual River Days festival in June of 2007. That original festival marked the opening of several portions of the then-new Detroit RiverWalk. Today, the festival’s goal is to spotlight the green space and resources of this destination spot in Detroit.The event is held each year in late June, followed by an annual fireworks display. This year’s Ford Fireworks display will be held June 24 along the Detroit River. The fireworks will begin at 9:55 p.m. During the same evening, the Parade Company holds a key fund-raising event, the Rooftop Party presented by Ford Motor Company. That event is held atop the Center Parking Garage in downtown Detroit, next to the Renaissance Center.
- Mo Pop Festival: The trendiest event of the summer might be the Mo Pop Festival, held July 27 and 28 in Detroit’s West Riverfront Park. The event brings together top artists in the indie-rock, pop and hip-hop music scenes for one two-day party.This year’s event features artists such as Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Kali Uchis, Lizzo, Ella Mai and King Princess.The music, though, is just the start. The festival also features The Shipyard, which hosts a large roster of what festival organizers call Mo Pop-Up restaurants. Here, visitors can sample cuisine and beverages from Detroit-area chefs. If video games are more your thing, you can visit the Mo Arcade. Housed in an air-conditioned tent, the Mo Arcade will feature rows of classic arcade games along with music from local DJs.Other events at the festival include a line-up of food trucks, the Haute to Death dance party and an entire array of local coffees.
- Ribs and R&B Music Festival: The latter days of summer bring another classic event to downtown Detroit, the annual Ribs and R&B Music Festival. Held Aug. 9, 10 and 11 at downtown Detroit’s Hart Plaza along the riverfront, the event features plenty of ribs, of course, but also some of the top names in gospel and jazz music.This year’s artists include Dru Hill, Keith Washington, Michel’Le, Yancy Y and Chrisette Michele. There’ll be plenty of ribs, too, of course, so bring your wet wipes.
- Camelot to Kent State exhibit at DIA: The work of pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg and Corita Kent are on display now at the newest exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts, From Camelot to Kent State: Pop Art, 1960-1975.The exhibition will run at the institute, 5200 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, until Aug. 25. Visitors can view 73 prints, drawings and sculptures at the exhibition.There is plenty to look at here. Pop artists were wildly experimental, relying on everything from logos and comic strips to televisions and advertisements to create their art. This exhibit focuses on how pop art changed through the years, from a celebration of the Camelot years under Pres. John F. Kennedy to the protest years of the Vietnam War and the shooting at Kent State University in 1970.
- The Pizza Throwdown: Like pizza? Then you need to be at Detroit’s Eastern Market on Aug. 15 for the Pizza Throwdown 2019.The event, held at Shed 5 at the market, 2801 Russell St. in Detroit, offers the simplest of pleasures: Buy a ticket, and you’ll be able to taste slices from some of Detroit’s best pizza makers. For a single admission price of $15, you’ll receive one complimentary drink and one free slice.After that? You can spend as much as you’d like on additional drinks and pizza slices. Eat up. We won’t judge.
- Dally in the Alley: An annual event held in the historic Cass Corridor, Dally is the place to be on Sept. 8! This will be the 42nd year the beloved street festival takes place between Second and Third avenues and Hancock Street and West Forest Avenue.With thousands of attendees each year, you can expect to see people from all walks of life at this buzzing community block party. Many students from local colleges like Wayne State University and College for Creative Studies are frequent Dally-goers, as well as Detroiters who have lived in the neighborhood for years.Dozens of musical acts will perform on stages in the street, while over a hundred vendors sell locally made goods, art, clothing and more. As the event nears, be on the lookout for band, food and vendor announcements.
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