Detroiters Do Labor Day the Right Way

August 20, 2018  |   Story by Stephanie Angelyn Casola  |   Photos by Jason Vaughn, Vito Palmisano

Detroiters know this – once Labor Day rolls around, it’s time to breathe in all the excitement the Motor City has to offer. Whether you’re visiting Detroit or have made the city your home, there are a few outdoor activities and festivals you just can’t miss come Labor Day weekend.

Five festivals

Labor Day in Detroit offers no shortage of major festivals. Our top five picks are family-friendly and known for their sights, sounds and thrills.

  • Arts, Beats and Eats: Founded to highlight arts and culture in Oakland County, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, presented by Soaring Eagle Casino, celebrates 20 years this Labor Day weekend. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3 in the heart of downtown Royal Oak. The massive event brings together a kid’s zone, juried art show, food by an array of restaurants and more than 200 performances on nine stages.
  • Detroit Jazz Festival: In its 38th year, Detroit Jazz Festival is known as the largest free jazz festival in the world. Presented this year by Quicken Loans, it brings together an exciting array of more than 100 performers featuring jazz, blues and soul from Aug.31 – Sept. 3 to Hart Plaza on the Detroit riverfront.

    Onlookers at the Detroit Jazz Festival

    Jazz Festival by @kathybondyfessler

  • Hamtramck Labor Day Festival: The corner of Main Street and Jos. Campau will transform this Labor Day weekend, playing host to some of the best local music, food and entertainment around. The festival is sponsored by HATCH Detroit and runs Sept. 13 in downtown Hamtramck. Expect a Golab-K 5 run, bike valet courtesy of Wheelhouse Detroit, an art fair, carnival rides, live music by more than 50 bands and DJs, and of course push-cart yacht races along Jos. Campau.
  • Michigan Peach Festival: Romeo is home to the only state-wide festival that combines a Peach Festival Fun Run, 5K or 10K races with everything from carnival rides to a classic car show, a corn maze, craft show, floral parade, book sale and even a Beers Around the World tasting. Meet the Peach Queen and her court. The Michigan Peach Festival was founded in 1931 to promote economic growth and carries on its traditions today. It is held Thursday, Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 3, 2017 in Washington Township and Romeo.
  • Michigan State Fair: Carrying on beloved traditions that date back to 1849, today’s Michigan State Fair is a privately-run entity with a strong commitment to the support of small business, agriculture and entertainment. Drawing more than 152,000 last year, the event offers Shrine Circus performances; livestock exhibitions, a carnival midway, live music and more. The Michigan State Fair returns 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3 to Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi. Purchase tickets for the fair only, or carnival rides and circus included. Tickets range from $6-$30.

Bank more beach time

Sneak in more time on your favorite sandy beach. While the Great Lakes make fantastic getaways too, don’t forget these sights for Detroiters sticking close to the city.

  • Detroit International RiverWalk: Check out a beach volleyball game, bike, hike or lounge along the RiverWalk, with its sweeping views of the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario.
  • Belle Isle: Find yourself a nature trail, soak up sun on the shores or paddle away while kayaking the Detroit River from the Riverside Kayak Connection’s Flynn Pavilion launch. It’s all available on the city’s only island park, Belle Isle.
  • Boat and tour Lake St. Clair: From Circle the Lake Tours to restaurants that lake offer unparalleled sunset views, boat owners know how to make the most of this holiday. Brownie’s on the Lake welcome crowds – by boat, bike or car. This Labor Day weekend – on Sunday, Sept. 3 – Brownie’s will host its annual White Party with DJ’s, fire performers, dancing and more. Tickets are $10-$20 and available now.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
    600 GM Renaissance Center, Ste. 1720, Detroit, MI 48243313-566-8200Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Belle Isle State Park
    2 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit, MI 48207313-821-9844Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Comerica Park
    2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-471-2000Highlight on map | More Details
  4. Detroit Tigers
    2100 Woodward Ave., Comerica Park, Detroit, MI 48202313-471-2000Highlight on map | More Details