Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI, United States
Fri.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
FREE before 5 p.m. on Friday; $3 before 3 p.m., $5 after
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GM River Days returns to Detroit’s beautiful riverfront this summer.
This one-of-a-kind festival, now in its 12th year, takes place along the Detroit River from the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Terminal and Dock just west of the GM Renaissance Center, to Rivard Plaza and the William G. Milliken State Park. Sponsored by the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, River Days is a celebration of the city’s waterfront funscape with activities on land and water. Experience all the RiverWalk has to offer, from the jet-ski demos to live music, sand sculptures, air shows, zip lines, boat tours, delicious eats and much more!
Admission to GM River Days will support the non-profit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. GM River Days is FREE to enter on Friday between 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Headlining National Music Acts: The 2018 GM River Days event will welcome an array of national music stars to the Quicken Loans National Stage, including classic R&B group Kool & the Gang along with tribute band Beatlemania on Friday evening. Legendary funk sensation Morris Day and The Time will electrify the stage on Saturday, along with smooth R&B singer Donnell Jones. The fun picks up again Sunday evening with the melodic sounds of multi-platinum soul singer Avant. Canadian R&B singer Tamia will also perform Sunday. VIP premier seats are available for purchase during the headlining concerts. Tickets cost $35 and include admission to the festival. Tickets can be purchased online through RiverDays.com. A full music lineup across four different stages will be unveiled in May.
Festival Family Favorites: The Flagstar Bank Kids Zone returns with programming produced by The Parade Company. Families are invited to “step right up” into the Kids Zone action, which will include story time, magic shows, strolling River Walk buskers, as well as activities with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Science Center and more. Additionally, an entertaining lineup will perform on the Meijer Kids Stage. Rivard Plaza will also be the site of a 50-ton sand sculpture.
Bike Night is Back: Motorcyclists are invited to ride on down to the riverfront. Free parking will be provided on Atwater Street between St. Antoine and Rivard starting at 6 p.m. on Bike Night on Friday, June 22.
The Great Outdoors: The Metro PCS Zip Line returns, offering a 300-foot long zip line ride for two people straight through the festival. Tickets will cost $15 for one ride or two for $25. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will once again provide a rock climbing wall for children and adults in the William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor during the weekend. Festivalgoers are also invited to try their hand at archery and to experience learn more about park’s natural resources by talking with wildlife and fish experts, foresters and conservation officers who will be on hand.
Look Up: The celebrated Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum will present an aerial, and educational, thrill with performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Festival goers can expect lots of gravity-defying maneuvers with pilots flying upside down and sideways, an airplane flown by the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, and a demonstration of precision formation flying by the museum’s own four-aircraft demo team. The airshow will feature emcees at all festival stages. This is one of the very few airshows in all of North America that features mostly local performers.
All Things on the Water: Festival-goers can also take to the water with Diamond Jack River Tours. Typhoon Tommy, a festival favorite, and his world-class jet-ski team will turn the Detroit River into their stage. Pilots will use a variety of freestyle jet-skis and hydroflight devices to perform big air jumps, backflips, corkscrew spins and underwater dives for the crowds along the riverfront. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will add to the fun with rescue demonstrations and the opportunity to tour a Coast Guard cutter.
Pepsi Taste of Detroit Food Court: The Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine will headline the Pepsi Taste of Detroit Food Court with more than a dozen local eateries and waterfront dining options.