It’s GO TIME in Detroit. Events like the Ford Fireworks, Woodward Dream Cruise and Detroit Jazz Festival are excellent reasons to plan your next visit to The D.
Go inside the minds and the workspace of two of the 20th century’s most influential designers, Charles and Ray Eames, at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (thehenryford.org) now -Sept. 3. Making its U.S. premiere, The World of Charles and Ray Eames, explores the couple’s careers and the extraordinary work of the Eames Office. Featuring more than 400 artifacts, this limited-engagement exhibition showcases their influential work in architecture, furniture, graphic and product design, painting, drawing, film, sculpture, photography and more.
Take a unique journey into the Star Wars™ universe as characters are brought to life through a dramatic presentation of more than 60 original costumes. Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume, on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts May 20-Sept. 30, will closely examine the captivating process of costume design for iconic outfits featured in the first seven films of the Star Wars saga — from Queen Amidala’s lavish gowns to Darth Vader’s imposing black armor. For more information, go to dia.org.
Movement Music Festival (movement.us), a can’t miss for electronic music fans, returns to Detroit’s Hart Plaza with more than 85 acts performing on five stages over the three-day Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28.
Summer is the perfect time to revel in the Motor City’s automotive heritage. Start your engines at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear June 1-3, EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition June 17, 40th annual Concours d’Elegance July 27-29, the Woodward Dream Cruise Aug. 18 and several other auto-themed events. For more auto activities, go to visitdetroit.com.
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear (detroitgp.com) June 1-3 on Belle Isle features the Verizon IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli and the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks. June 1 marks Comerica Bank Free Prix Day.
Motor City Pride (motorcitypride.org), Michigan’s largest LGBTQ pride celebration, with more than 40,000 participants, returns June 9-10 to Hart Plaza. Live entertainment throughout the weekend and a selection of unique exhibitors lead up to the highly anticipated parade.
Music fills the air of the entertainment district outside of Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts during the second annual Detroit Music Weekend (detroitmusicweekend.org) June 14-17, showcasing the talent of Detroit’s premiere artists in a variety of genres. Saturday features a free-to-the-public festival and outdoor Legends Concert (Legends artist to be revealed soon), with an R&B Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday. Detroit’s cultural organizations, restaurants and retailers add to the fun.
Summer is the ideal time to explore historic Greenfield Village (thehenryford.org). Seasonal events like Motor Muster June 16-17 (Father’s Day weekend), Salute to America, complete with a Detroit Symphony Orchestra outdoor concert under a canopy of fireworks June 30-July 4, and an Old Car Festival Sept. 8-9. Maker Faire Detroit (makerfairedetroit.com) visits The Henry Ford July 29-30 to share creativity and inspiration.
Celebrate the city’s waterfront funscape at GM River Days (riverdays.com) June 22-24 with jet-ski demos, live music, sand sculptures, air shows, zip lines, boat tours and more on the Detroit Riverfront. Festivities lead up to the super spectacular Ford Fireworks (theparade.org), which light up the night sky along the Detroit River June 25.
The Concert of Colors (concertofcolors.com), a free-admission music festival, happens July 11-15 with a mission to unite the region’s diverse communities and ethnic groups through the power of music. The festival is produced by the Arab American National Museum, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, ACCESS and University of Michigan-Detroit Center.
The Mo Pop Festival (mopopfestival.com) returns to West Riverfront Park July 28-29 featuring tailgating games, food trucks, booze tents and an eclectic music lineup.
Detroit’s ethnic festivals recognize the diverse cultures that make up southeast Michigan. The Albanian American Festival (albanianusafestival.com) is June 16-17 in Hart Plaza, followed by the Arab and Chaldean Festival (arabandchaldeanfestival.com)—the largest in North America, also in Hart Plaza, July 28-29.
The African World Festival (thewright.org) takes place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Aug. 17-19. This free weekend event includes live performances, poetry, arts, crafts and African drumming.
There’s no cooler event than the nostalgic Woodward Dream Cruise (woodwarddreamcruise.com) on Aug. 18. Watch the sea of classic cars and hot rods cruise along Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Detroit.
Michigan Comic Con (michigancomiccon.com) Aug. 17-19 at Cobo Center is a comic book convention celebrating comic books, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, anime, manga and cosplay. A roster of comic industry professionals, and comicdom-related celebrities are in attendance for attendees to meet and greet.
Travel back in time to the sixteenth century at the Michigan Renaissance Festival (www.michrenfest.com) Aug. 18-Sept. 30 (weekends and Labor Day), complete with building reproductions of Renaissance shops taverns and a magnificent castle and more than 300 artisans. Continuous entertainment takes place on the streets and on 17 themed stages; featuring full-contact armored jousting, comedy and theater shows, music, games and people-powered rides.
Powerboat racing returns to the Detroit River with the Spirit of Detroit HydroFest (detroitboatraces.com) Aug. 25-27. Friday features free admission to the grandstands and the cold pit during the practice runs.
Thunder Over Michigan at the Yankee Air Museum (yankeeairmuseum.org) is an air show you don’t want to miss. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds take flight Aug. 25-26 above Yankee Air Museum. Book a ride in any of the museum’s historic flyable aircrafts and experience what it was like to be a military pilot.
The Michigan Peach Festival of Romeo (romeopeachfestival.com), the state’s second oldest festival, closes out summer over Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 3. Family fun includes parades, craft shows, games, music, a Peach Queen and plenty of delicious peach products.
The Michigan State Fair (michiganstatefairllc.com), a long-time tradition for many families, returns to Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi Aug. 30-Sept. 3. The fair includes agriculture and farm experiences, cooking demos, eating contests, dog performances, an equestrian pavilion, farmers market, home arts, live music, livestock, midway rides, racing pigs, a parade and the traditional Shrine Circus.
Ford Arts, Beats & Eats (artsbeatseats.com) Aug. 31-Sept. 3 delivers just what the name promises. The festival offers more than 200 performances on nine stages in downtown Royal Oak, a juried Fine Arts Show and local restaurants with some of the finest cuisine in metro Detroit.
The Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Quicken Loans (detroitjazzfest.org) is the world’s largest free jazz festival. Every Labor Day weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 3), the jazz fest creates unique musical explorations in Hart Plaza from jazz legends, those in their prime and up-and-coming artists who are keeping the legacy alive. Musicians and fans from around the world travel to Detroit to experience this uniquely American art form.
Taking in a Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park is a great way to experience the pride that Detroiters have for their sports teams. For the Tigers’ complete lineup, visit mlb.com/tigers. Pair it with the Play Ball: Baseball at the DIA exhibit (dia.org) through Sept. 16 and one of the Historic Base Ball Games at Greenfield Village, where 1867 rules apply (thehenryford.org) played weekends June 9 through Aug. 19.
Detroiters’ love of music is evident by the variety of big name concerts that the area draws to venues including the new Little Caesar’s Arena, Comerica Park, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Ford Field and the Fox Theatre. Don’t miss popular artists like Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Jay-Z & Beyonce, Shakira and Kenny Chesney. Check visitdetroit.com for concert dates and locations.
Detroit will host several top sporting events this spring and summer—from USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships and the Fishing League Worldwide Tour to pro bowling finals and championships and skating competitions. Check detroitsports.org for event dates and details.
Save 20 percent or more on popular Detroit attractions with The D Discount Pass. Current participants include the The Adventure Park At West Bloomfield, Automotive Hall Of Fame, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Institute of Arts, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, The Henry Ford, Legoland Discovery Center Michigan, Lucky Strike Entertainment, Michigan Science Center, Motown Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center, Sea Life Michigan Aquarium and Wheelhouse Detroit. The D Discount Pass is accepted at participating venues through December 31, 2018. Take advantage of these offers at visitdetroit.com/discount.