Those lazy days of summer are at hand but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do with your time. All across the Detroit area, there are concerts, festivals and venues that are calling for visitors. The five below offer some of the best enjoyment, all at a price a family can afford.
Lake St. Clair Metropark
31300 Metro Parkway
Harrison Township, MI 48045
In the summer, there is nothing like an outdoor concert and what is even better, the concert series at Lake St. Clair Metropark is free. Every Sunday this month, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Thomas S. Welsh Activity Center in the park, a well-known band from Michigan will take to the stage. This month alone, on July 7, the Sun Messengers performed some of the best horn-driven R&B music around and on July 14, the big band sounds of the 1940’s and beyond will fill the air when the Rick Lieder Band takes to the stage. On July 21, Intrigue Band, which is considered one of the best bands in the nation, will be on hand and on July 28, the month finishes up with the big band sound of the Rhythm Society. A park permit is required for entry into the park, which is $25 for an annual pass, $5 for a day pass and $15 for a senior citizens pass.
Wyandotte Street Art Fair
Biddle Ave. between Eureka and Oak Sts.
Dates: July 10-13, 2013
If you like street festivals and art fairs, then you are going to love the Wyandotte Street Art Fair. For the 52nd year, the festival which has grown to become one of the best in the nation, will offer up unique art works from 300 fine artists, musicians from across the country, food from 25 restaurants and concerts each night. There is a children’s area where art pieces of interest to children will be for sale for under $5. This program is in place to help foster a child’s interest in art. All along the fair, there will be food to enjoy and in the music area, bands will be performing throughout the day. This is one of the best local festivals around and should be a destination for anyone who enjoys a festive atmosphere.
Wild Summer Nights Concerts
8450 W. 10 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Things are getting wild each Wednesday night in July and August at the Detroit Zoo when the annual Wild Summer Night concert program gets underway. Music will fill the air in the Zoo’s main picnic grove from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. when local bands take to the stage. Musical styles include children’s music, folk and blues, pop and jazz. All are invited to bring a blanket and picnic lunch or enjoy food, snacks, beer, wine and soft drinks from concessionaires on hand. Admission after 6 p.m. for the concerts is only $6 with the zoo remaining open until 8 p.m. if you would like to take a walk and look in on the zoo’s residents.
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Mi. 48202
If you live in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties, there is a world class institution that is just begging to be explored — it is the Detroit Institute of Arts. When the tri-county millage was passed this past fall, it made entry into the Institute free for those living in the three counties. The only caveat is that the free entry is only for normal exhibits, not special presentations. But with the vast amount of artwork on display, you could easily spend a day or two taking in what the Institute has to offer. There are also special programs throughout the summer such as free concerts on the lawn most Friday nights and, of course, there is the Detroit Film Theater presenting some of the most unique films to be found. The Detroit Institute of Arts is a jewel just waiting to be explored this summer. For a look at events, just log onto the DIA’s event calendar page.
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
721 E. Huron St. Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Dates: July 17-20, 2013
If you want to explore some of the most unique art around, see street performers ranging from living statues to Mr. B who plays his piano on the street corner, then the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the place for you. One of the top art fairs in the nation, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair has become a tradition for many and can be a new experience for those who have not attended. Each day, there is music and entertainment at the Fountain Stage, art activity zones where you can try your hand at a variety of art forms and art demonstrations. Of course, there is also the art and artists that will be on hand that offer stunning pieces ranging from paintings and sculptures to some of the most unique metal working to be found.
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Award winning freelance writer and photographer Lawrence DiVizio is based in Southeast Michigan and works to convey in words and images the world around us. His work can be found at Examiner.com.