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Lifestyle Guides

Annual Events

Arts, Beats & Eats in downtown Royal Oak

Plymouth Ice Festival

Art in the Park

Nothing gets Detroit down, and that includes the weather. No matter the season, there are plenty of festivals and annual events throughout metro Detroit to check out. The hardest part is choosing between them!
 
Spring
 
St. Patrick's Parade and Corktown Race
The annual Corktown St. Patrick's Parade, sponsored by the United Irish Societies every year on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day, has been around for over 50 years. The parade travels down Michigan Avenue through Corktown, which got its name from the large population of Irish immigrants from the County Cork who settled there in the mid-1800s. The annual Corktown Race is held before the parade.
 
Tigers Opening Day
There ain't no party like a Deee-troit party, and at no time is this more evident than during the Detroit Tigers home opener. While every home game is a reason for Detroiters to celebrate (and they do, for an average of 1 in 4 days out of the year, rain or shine), the home opener is veritable Detroit holiday. 100,000 people descend upon downtown to tailgate, hit the bars and head to the game. Not a sportsfan? Not a problem. This is more just another reason to celebrate, and is the unofficial start of spring in Detroit.
 
Wheelhouse Detroit
Wheelhouse Detroit is a bicycle retail, service and rental shop located on the Detroit Riverwalk in the Rivard Plaza. Buy a bike, get one fixed, or just rent one for a few hours, and don't miss out on their guided tours through Detroit's neighborhoods and scenic sites.
 
Motor City Brew Tours
By bus, bike, boat or foot, Motor City Brew Tours offers behind-the-scenes brewery tours year-round with an emphasis on biking and walking tours in the warmer months. For a fun road trip, check out their day trips to the breweries of Beer City USA: Grand Rapids.
 
Summer
 
Movement
Launched in 2000 as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and switching producers' hands several times over the years before finding what seems to be long-term success with Paxahau, Movement continues to be one of the world's premiere electronic music festivals right here in the birthplace of techno music, Detroit. Movement is held every Memorial Day weekend in Hart Plaza.
 
Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
95,000 auto racing enthusiasts will head to Belle Isle the first weekend in June for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, featuring a number of racing events including the IndyCar Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
 
BravoBravo!
One of the premiere arts fundraising events for young professionals, BravoBravo! has the reputation of being the see-and-be-seen event of the year. All of Detroit's movers and shakers get dressed in their finest to hobnob and enjoy food, drink and live music for the Detroit Opera House's largest annual fundraiser.
 
Art in the Park
Art in the Park, held every July in Plymouth, is Michigan's second-largest art fair and has been operating for over 30 years. This three-day event brings in over 400 artists selling all-original artwork from all over the country and nearly 300,000 visitors. There's also live performances and plenty of kids' activities. 
 
Pig & Whiskey
It is what it sounds like; no more, no less. Pig & Whiskey brings together some of the finest pork pushers in metro Detroit with their massive smoke-spewing rigs and pairs it with plenty of brown liquors for a weekend of meaty, sweaty, boozy fun. It's hot in July, but this is hotter.
 
Woodward Dream Cruise
They don't call it the Motor City for nothing … the Woodward Dream Cruise held every August is the annual celebration of all things cars (including traffic jams) down this historic stretch of highway.
 
Detroit International Jazz Festival
Held annually on Labor Day weekend since 1980, this free jazz festival covers three blocks of Woodward Avenue with music, food and art, and is one of Detroit's most iconic annual events.
 
Arts, Beats & Eats
Every Labor Day weekend, the streets of downtown Royal Oak are closed off and a full fair complete with carnival rides, food vendors, a juried art show, and more than 200 performances over 10 stages takes over.
 
Dally in the Alley
Summer isn't over yet! Dally in the Alley has been held the Saturday after Labor Day every year for over 35 years. The most local of Detroit festivals, Dally happens all over Midtown (once known as the Cass Corridor) with quirky Detroit vendors, musicians, food, and all the weird, random and wonderful things that make Midtown and Detroit unique. 
 
DIY Street Fair
Ferndale's most Ferndalien celebration is held every September and just keeps getting bigger every year. With an emphasis on all things local, the DIY Street Fair showcases local vendors (everything from T-shirt companies to jewelry makers to concert poster designers), local restaurants, local beer (their beer garden was the first all-local beer tent at a festival in metro Detroit), and local musicians. Now spanning three days, DIY is the perfect way to send out the summer.
 
Fall
 
Tour de Troit
Starting out with under 100 riders in 2002, Tour de Troit now pulls in over 5,000 riders every September for the largest cycling event in the city. The ride ends at Roosevelt Park, where riders feast on food from Slows BAR BQ and drink lots of local beer.
 
Detroit Free Press Marathon
The annual Detroit Free Press Marathon is a 26.2-mile run held on the third Sunday every October. The race draws in nearly 20,000 runners from all over the country, crosses international boundaries and is a qualifier for the prestigious Boston marathon.
 
Michigan Brewers Guild Fall Beer Festival
The youngest of all the Michigan Brewers Guild festivals, this one is held at Eastern Market every October and now spans two days. Sample hundreds of different beers (many one-offs, limited releases and special reserves) from more than 60 different Michigan breweries.
 
Theatre Bizarre
It has been called one of the best Halloween parties in the country (organizers refer to it as "The Greatest Masquerade Party on Earth"), and with good reason: massive, elaborate set designs recall turn-of-the-century carnivals and performances include top-talent burlesque, fire dancers, circus freaks, and noise/punk/shock/goth rock. Costumes are mandatory.
 
Winter
 
Pine Knob Ski Resort
You don't have to go very far to hit the slopes in the winter. Just head to Pine Knob in Clarkston where they have beginner and intermediate hills and a ski park with rails and jumps. They make their own snow so even if Mother Nature isn't cooperating, you can still get your ski time.
 
Plymouth Ice Festival
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. In this case, beat the winter blues by embracing the season with the Plymouth Ice Festival, the largest free ice sculpture festival in the country held every January.
 
Ferndale Blues & Music Festival
The Ferndale Blues & Music Festival is held every year over one whole week in January and February. 20 venues play host to this event, which includes live performances from blues bands and so much more. The annual Dino's Rib Burn Out rib competition is also part of this festival.
 
North American International Auto Show
Held every January, the North American International Auto Show is one of the top auto shows in the world. Held at the COBO Center, which is currently undergoing a $300 million renovation, the NAIAS brings in over one million attendees to see the latest in automotive technology and upcoming releases from Detroit's Big Three and automakers from all over the world (exotic and concept cars offer additional excitement).
 
Motown Winter Blast
The Motown Winter Blast is a celebration of all things winter with ice skating, ice sculpture gardens, marshmallow roasting, and dog sledding, as well as live music, food vendors, comfort stations and a kids' zone.
 
The Dirty Show
This International Erotic Art Exhibition is held every February (always over Valentine's Day) and is one of the largest art shows of its kind in the world. The purpose of the Dirty Show is to promote, publish and propagate erotic art in all forms. See hundreds of juried art pieces (from the sensual to the macabre) and stay for performances that include burlesque, drag, and suspension acts.

For more information and stories about cities in Oakland County, check out Oakland County Prosper
 
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