Quantcast Summer 2012 Tip Sheet - VisitDetroit.com
GM Renaissance Center

The GM Renaissance Center is a centerpiece of the downtown skyline.

Summer 2012 Tip Sheet

03/01/2012

Summer in metro Detroit is packed with events for all ages and enthusiasts. From the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix to Arts, Beats & Eats, it's an exciting time of year for visitors to check out The D! For more information about the events below and other happenings in metro Detroit, contact Renee Monforton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">'+addy_text61370+'<\/a>'; //--> or Deanna Majchrzak at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">'+addy_text22832+'<\/a>'; //--> .

Celebrating its fifth year this May 4-6, the Plymouth Green Street Fair is an outdoor gathering of companies, artisans and entertainers passionate about the green movement. Visitors will enjoy workshops and demonstrations of eco-friendly, organic products available for purchase. For more information, check out facebook.com/greenstreetfair.

More than 200,000 people head down to Eastern Market Flower Day to scope out the bright colors and fresh scents of more than 15 acres of annuals, perennials, foliage, shrubbery, trees, exotics, tropical plants, flats, hanging baskets and more available for purchase. Be sure to mark your calendar for May 13 so you don't miss out on all the flowery finds. detroiteasternmarket.com

Celebrate Detroit being the birthplace of techno this Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28) at Movement: Detroit's Electronic Festival in Hart Plaza. Started back in 2000, Movement is one of the largest techno fests in the world, drawing thousands of fans who gather to hear more than 50 artists get their tech on. Tune in to movement.us, for this year's artist lineup, featuring Public Enemy, Lil' Louis and The Wizard (aka Jeff Mills).

Autopalooza, a celebration of Southeast Michigan's automotive heritage, kicks off this year with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the Hot Rod Power Tour and winds down with the Woodward Dream Cruise. A series of other major cruises, races and shows fill up the months of June through September, so be sure to motor on over to autopalooza.org so you don't miss out on any of the car-crazy fun.

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix returns to the Motor City this June 1-3 featuring the cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, Firestone Indy Lights Series and Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series. Race fans can enjoy local and national musical acts, including Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the B-52s and Ronnie Dunn. For ticket and up to date event information, go to detroitgp.com.

Celebrate the lives of Michigan's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender citizens, at the state's largest LGBT gathering, Motor City Pride, on June 2-3 in downtown Detroit's Hart Plaza. Activities include a family picnic, golf outing, Commitment Ceremony, parade and beer garden. For a complete schedule of activities, go to motorcitypride.org.

Sponsored by Hot Rod magazine, the Hot Rod Power Tour, widely considered to be the finest high-end automotive tour in the world, kicks off its seven-day, seven-city tour in Detroit this year at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford on June 2. Presented by GM Performance Division, the tour embodies everything that Hot Rod magazine has represented throughout its 64-year history, and features fun, food, games and music for all ages. Go to hotrod.com for more information.

The 17th Annual Arab International Festival celebrates the Middle Eastern culture and diversity of the Dearborn community with deliciously spicy Middle Eastern food, creatively cultural performances such as face painting and puppeteer acts and Arabic musical performances. The festival takes place June 15-17. For festival information, go to americanarab.com.

This year marks the WYCD Downtown Hoedown's 30th anniversary. Hundreds of thousands of country music fans will gather for this three-day celebration June 8-10 at a new location – the grounds surrounding Comerica Park – to hear more than 40 local and national artists on three stages. The lineup includes stars such as, Montgomery Gentry, Chris Young, Josh Gracin, Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert. For ticket information and a complete list of artists, go to wycd.com.

The Detroit River Days Festival is one of metro Detroit's most anticipated events of the summer. Thousands of visitors gather on the Detroit International Riverfront for a variety of family-friendly and eco-friendly activities to celebrate Detroit's ecological and culinary culture. Favorite icons of years past include the tall ships and towering sand sculptures. Festival dates are June 22-24. For more information on the festival's new and returning activities, go to detroitriverdays.com.

Spectacular firework displays over the waterways between Detroit and Windsor will light up the night on June 25 for the 54th Annual Target Fireworks. Sponsored by The Parade Company and Target, the Target Fireworks display is the largest international fireworks show of its kind. Go to theparade.org, for more information.

More than 100 local and national bands will perform on four different stages for a weekend celebration at the Stars & Stripes Festival July 1-4. Located in downtown Mount Clemens, this festival is absolutely free of charge. For a list of performers, go to funfestinc.com/new/stars.

Hear the roar of hydroplanes racing at speeds up to 200 miles per hour along the Detroit River as they compete for a chance at the American Power Boat Association (APBA) Gold Cup, the oldest active trophy in all of motorsports since 1904. Don't miss any of the action and be sure to mark your calendars for July 13-15. For ticket information, go to gold-cup.com.

Established in 1993, the Concert of Colors is metro Detroit's free, annual diversity music festival. In its 20th year, the event's goal is to bring together metro Detroit's diverse communities and ethnic groups and highlight the original music of the Motor City. Browse the selections from the ethnic food and merchandise vendors and enjoy the children's area with family activities. The 2012 dates have not been announced so check back to concertofcolors.com soon.

The 10th Annual Orchard Lake Fine Art Show&reg is an award-winning spectacle July 27-29 in the heart of West Bloomfield, bringing visitors hand-made, original paintings, clay, glass, sculpture, wood, fiber, jewelry, photography and more sold by local, world-renowned artists. For festival hours and location, go to hotworks.org.

Maker Faire at The Henry Ford celebrates creativity and discovery through interactive, family-friendly activities. Taking the do-it-yourself mindset to a new level, this event on July 28-29, presents more than 300 exhibiting makers, demonstrations and hands-on workshops in robotics, electronics, rockets, food and fashion. For ticket information, go to thehenryford.org.

The Arab and Chaldean World Festival on July 28-29 is the largest Arab and Chaldean festival in North America. Celebrating its 41st anniversary this year, the festival features Middle Eastern music, a children's fair with inflatable attractions, arts and crafts, games and a fashion show displaying attire from Arab countries. Art gallery exhibits include 1,000 Years of Arab Medicine, Arab Folklore and Customs and Arab Calligraphy. For more information, go to arabandchaldeanfestival.com.

Featuring prestigious collector cars, an automotive art exhibition, a vintage car auction and other social events, the Concours d'Elegance of America is in its second year at the Inn at St. John's and will take place July 29. The event was started by custom automobile coach builders and fashion couturiers of Paris in the 1920s as a unique marketing effort that combined automobiles and fashion. For ticket information, go to concoursusa.org.

Explore the sights, sounds, smells and textures of African and African American music and culture at Hart Plaza for the 30th African World Festival. Examine the work of more than 200 craftsmen and visual artists, and groove to global music from reggae to rock during this free, family-friendly celebration. For more details, go to thewright.org.

Join the 1.5 million visitors who gather along the 16-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue to see 40,000 classic cars from around the globe for the 18th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise on August 18. Started as a small fundraiser for a soccer field in Ferndale, the cruise has grown to be the world's largest one-day automotive event. For cruise news, go to woodwarddreamcruise.com.

Formerly known as the Big Day Prep Showdown, the Prep Kickoff Classic is the showcase and opening event for the Michigan high school football season. Celebrating its eighth year, the event features six games over two days, August 24-25, at its new location, the Tom Adams Field on the campus of Wayne State University. For ticket information, go to detroitsports.org.

From Thursday to Monday Labor Day weekend, the Michigan Peach Festival of Romeo is packed with events and hands-on activities for the whole family. Annual favorites include 5K and 10K races, craft fairs, a car show, a floral parade and more. For festival details, go to peachfestromeo.com.

Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Citizens Bank is Oakland County's favorite summertime festival, celebrating art with a highly ranked Juried Fine Arts Show, music with more than 200 performances on 10 stages and food with some of the finest cuisine in metro Detroit all Labor Day weekend. Check back to artsbeatseats.com as performers will be announced in the coming months.

The Detroit Jazz Festival is a downtown favorite during Labor Day weekend. Covering several blocks from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius Park, this free festival celebrates the history and development of jazz music with 100 performances on five stages, educational activities for adults and children, fireworks, late-night jam sessions, opportunities to meet the artists and more. For festival details, go to detroitjazzfest.com.

Sword swallowing, jousting tournaments, wizards and pirates are all a part of the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly. With more than a month of interactive, outdoor activities (August 18-Sept. 30), including several themed weekends, this festival will take you back to a fantasy village during the days of Queen Elizabeth I. For ticket information, go to michrenfest.com.

To commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard in collaboration with partners and local state, county and city officials, will be putting on special events all over America, including events in Detroit Sept. 5-10. During this time The Niagra and Pride of Baltimore will both docked be at the Detroit Port Authority. Go to ourflagwasstillthere.org, for event details.

The Arts & Apples Festival in Rochester Sept. 7-9 attracts more than 125,000 festival-goers and 285 artists from across the country to showcase local entertainment acts, a free Kids Art Zone, Activity Zone, food courts and everyone's favorite tasty treat, homemade apple pie. Go to artandapples.com, for festival details.

At the 24th Annual Northville Victorian Festival Sept. 21-23, visitors can stroll the tree-lined streets of historic downtown Northville into a simpler era. Old-fashioned games and food booths, Victorian teas and fashion shows and costumed entertainers, storytellers and magicians will allow townspeople, artists and business owners to turn back to the clock and transform themselves into a Victorian Village. For more information, go to, northville.org.

Ignite your senses this summer with unique outdoor art installations and exceptional exhibits throughout metro Detroit. The Titanic Exhibit sails into The Henry Ford this spring, and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is creating outside experiences in neighborhoods around metro Detroit.

See more than 300 artifacts spanning across a 10,000-square-foot exhibit at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition inside the Henry Ford museum. The exhibit gives visitors the chance to experience one of the most captivating stories of the 20th century. Walk through extensive room re-creations, take a picture near the full-scale replica of the Grand Staircase, or learn about the life of the Titanic including its construction, passengers, the ill-fated voyage and the artifact rescue efforts. The exhibit runs March 31 through Sept. 30. For ticket information, visit thehenryford.org.

On Jan. 29, 2012, the Henry Ford museum revealed the world's premiere automotive exhibition, Driving America. The display features 100 vehicles, authentic artifacts, 18 digital touchscreens for interactive play and stories that will take you back to the days of muscle cars and other historically significant vehicles. Experience transportation from a car lover's perspective and witness the ways in which the automobile has changed our lives. For more details, visit thehenryford.org.

Be one of the first to see the premiere American museum exhibition of Patti Smith: Camera Solo at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Through photography Patti Smith captures the people and places that she has drawn her inspiration from over the past decade and illustrates the connection between art, architecture, poets and the everyday. The exhibition is comprised of 70 prints and a small selection of original Polaroid prints and items from Smith's personal collection. The exhibit runs June 3 through Sept. 2. For more information, go to dia.org.

Behold works of art throughout the streets and parks of metro Detroit. The Detroit Institute of Art's Inside|Out program organizes seven to 10 high-quality reproductions of masterpieces from the DIA's collection within walking or biking distance from one another in participating communities. Dates and locations for the spring cycle are currently available, and new communities that will be featured during the summer cycle will be announced soon, so keep posted to dia.org.

Experience the luxury of the House of Fabergé, the brand created by distinguished artist and jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé (1846–1920) at a new exhibit coming to the DIA this fall. Fabergé: Designing Luxury is comprised of 200 exquisite items including four one-of-a-kind imperial Easter eggs, the objects most famous with the name Fabergé. The exhibit runs Oct. 14, 2012 through Jan. 20, 2013. Go to dia.org for more information.

Explore the artistic journey of Jerry Pinkey at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History June 14-Sept. 9. As the producer of some of the most renowned children's books of our time, Pinkney continues to influence the impact of visual storytelling throughout generations. Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney offers visitors the chance to see an exhibition that captures major historical milestones and highlights personal perspective on remarkable moments in life through words and pictures. For exhibit details, visit thewright.org.

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to celebrating Arab American history and culture. The museum highlights the diversity of our nation by featuring contributions by Arab Americans to political, economic and cultural elements of America and works to dispel misconceptions about Arab Americans and other minorities. This summer the AANM will feature an exhibition on Arabic foods set to open in late July. For updates on the upcoming exhibit, visit arabamericanmuseum.org.

Observe more than 120 three-dimensional objects including different forms of furniture and more than 50 historical documents including drawings and photographs in the exhibit George Nelson: Architect / Writer / Designer / Teacher at the Cranbrook Art Museum. The exhibit accentuates Nelson's many achievements in American design and architecture and runs June 17 through Oct. 14. For more information, visit cranbrook.edu.

Along with a summer of fun festivals and events, and interesting exhibits, there are several new developments taking place around The D.

The $300 million transformation of Downtown Detroit's convention center, Cobo Center, is well underway. When completed in 2015, Cobo Center will offer 722,500 square feet of exhibit space, a 38,000 square-foot, divisible ballroom, 100 meeting/breakout rooms, 2,200 parking spaces and 31 loading docks. Learn more about the new Cobo in this recent article published in Successful Meetings magazine: successfulmeetings.texterity.com/successfulmeetings/201203?pg=72#pg72.

The Detroit Historical Museum will be closing May 25 to Nov. 23, 2012 to complete major upgrades and improvements that will update or add 7,500 square feet to the facility. Changes will include three new permanent exhibits: the Gallery of Innovation, the Allesee Gallery of Culture and Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy; An expanded Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad exhibit; and updates to the Streets of Old Detroit and Motor City exhibits. In addition, the plaza outside of the Detroit Historical Museum will be transformed into Detroit Legends Plaza, an outdoor destination meant to honor Detroit's stars of sports, entertainment and media, featuring handprints of Detroit legends from Gordie Howe to Martha Reeves.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum will also receive 2,500 square feet of updated or new exhibits and will close from Dec. 10, 2012 through April 27, 2013. The major improvement will be a new core exhibit titled Built by the River to be located in the John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation Gallery

For more information about these museums, go to detroithistorical.org.

After a two-year, $22 million construction project the Cranbrook Art Museum reopened in November 2011. The construction encompassed both a complete renovation of the museum's landmark 1942 Eliel Saarinen-designed building and a new 20,000-square-foot Collections Wing. While the restored galleries (including a new state-of-the-art climate control system and other sophisticated museum technologies) will continue to provide the Art Museum with a venue for innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions, the new Collections Wing houses and makes accessible the Museum's celebrated permanent collection of nearly 6,000 works of art, architecture and design from the Arts and Crafts Movement to the present. Cranbrook Educational Community's extensive Archives and Cultural Properties collections also moved to the facility, creating a dynamic new center for exhibition, research, and educational programming. For more information, go to cranbrook.edu.

Detroit's Eastern Market has broken ground on a $3.9 million upgrade of Shed 5, which serves as the heart of the market's plant and flower sales. The upgrades include a community kitchen to incubate and educate, as well as an expansion of the plaza toward Russell Street. For more details about Detroit's Eastern Market, go to detroiteasternmarket.com.

New restaurants have been opening up all over metro Detroit lately and there are plans for more to open soon.
Here are a few of the new restaurants:
COLORS, colors-detroit.com
Dago Joe Food Truck, dagojoes.com
Hudson Café, hudson-cafe.com
Joe Muer Seafood, joemuerseafood.com
London Chop House, thelondonchophouse.com
Mercury Burger Bar, facebook.com/pages/Mercury-Burger-Bar
Roadside B & G, roadsidebandg.com
Seva, sevarestaurant.com


Other restaurants opening soon in the area include Buffalo Wild Wings, Olga's, Vinsetta Garage, Morels and Gastronomy.

Travel Tip

“The lemurs [at the Detroit Zoo] are my favorite ... the way they jump and run and swing around ... and have you ever heard them scream, oh boy!” – Cathy H.

Submit a travel tip!