ROYAL OAK, Mich. — The 19th annual Ford Arts, Beats and Eats continues today on the streets of downtown Royal Oak this Labor Day. By the end of the weekend, more than 300,000 people are expected to have passed through the gates to enjoy the wonderful artwork, live music and food choices. Admission is $3 before 5 p.m. and then $5 afterwards.
More than 135 artists from across North America are displaying their works in a variety of different mediums.
“My husband is a woodworker and we’ve come up with a woodworker’s take on stained glass,” said artist Trisha Sikora from Strongsville, Ohio. “Many of our lanterns and hanging pieces basically incorporate mostly hard woods with glass. Some of them have interchangeable panels so you can customize your wood and glass combination. They come with a clip-in socket so if you wish to run it on a battery-operated candle, you can do so as well.”
Visitors can step inside the DIA Away trailer and get a hands-on look at some of the artwork from the Detroit-based museum.
“I’m selling my screen prints, they’re kind of a graphic design style,” said artist Tim Gralewski from Royal Oak. “I do everything on the computer and then screen print everything out by hand. A few of my pieces are kind of Detroit-centric. This one shows iconic buildings and images from Detroit.”
Kids have the opportunity to make their own arts and crafts and take them home. It was free for the first time in six years.
There are a total of nine music stages at this year’s Ford Arts, Beats and Eats. Over 200 national and local acts are entertaining audiences. Every genre of music is being offered for attendees to enjoy.
“It’s great, the food is good, the bands have been great, no complaints,” said attendees Katie and Craig Hearu from Berkley. “We saw Ben Sharkey on the R&B stage. He was great. The International Stage was really interesting, too. I didn’t even know that was here.”
The Michigan Lottery Stage featured well-known names like Gavin DeGraw, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Three Dog Night and Our Lady Peace. Country music singer Cole Swindell performs tonight at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s pretty good, I’m just trying all of the food and looking at the crafts and stuff,” said attendee Liz Bayer from Ferndale. “We’ve tried the grilled cheese sandwich, ice cream sandwich and the chicken gyro, which is really good.”
Kids have the chance to shoot the puck at the Detroit Red Wings experience. Everyone receives a Frisbee just for participating.
Many of the top restaurants from across metro Detroit brought their signature dishes to the festival. That’s everything from cultural selections to classic American staples and desserts.
“I’ve got some smoked pulled pork, smoked turkey legs, fully loaded baked potato and our famous corned beef sandwich,” said Scott Quenneville, manager of Vintage House. “The taste is a sampler, you get one slider. For the full, you get the two sliders. Sales with the weather being great, I think they have been great. Everybody comes out to enjoy the music and the great food.”
Ford Motor Company returned as the title sponsor of Arts, Beats and Eats. Attendees can earn six food and beverage tickets by test driving a Ford vehicle at the event.
“We have macaroni and cheese, hot wings, garlic parmesan, honey barbecue, pistacho pudding, German chocolate cake and Italian sausage with red peppers and onions,” said Sheryl Ellis, owner of B.L. Ellis Catering. “For a taste, you get one scoop of macaroni and for a full, you get two scoops. This is a great opportunity for people to come out and enjoy themselves and enjoy all of the different varieties of food and the music.”
The 2016 Ford Arts, Beats and Eats continues today in downtown Royal Oak. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Labor Day. Admission is $3 before 5 p.m. and then $5 afterwards.
For more information about the festival, visit www.artsbeatseats.com.
Stay tuned for more great photos in a future gallery…