Beacon Park: DTE Energy beckons visitors to downtown Detroit with a public space filled with light, energy and motion

DETROIT  — Reflecting the park’s mission to bring light, energy and motion to west central downtown, DTE Energy today announced the name for Detroit’s newest world-class public space and entertainment hub — Beacon Park.

Beacon Park – located on Cass Avenue and Grand River in Detroit – adjacent to DTE Energy’s headquarters campus, will open to the public on Thursday, July 20, 2017, kicking off four days of grand opening events that include live music, a night market and family entertainment.

“The name is fitting,” said DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. “From the beginning, we envisioned this public space would shine light on the western edge of downtown Detroit, becoming a beacon for development, a beacon to bring more visitors and businesses to Detroit, and a beacon of continued progress for a city in the midst of revitalization. We’re looking forward to seeing young and old, Detroiters and visitors alike, enjoy Beacon Park and all of the exciting activities and programming it will offer year-round.”

The 1.5-acre Beacon Park will feature a restaurant and a central lawn with intimate walking paths and areas to sit, relax and recharge; a multi-use space for outdoor programmed activities; a site for perfomances; and areas for food truck vendors and bicycle parking.

Both the park’s location and its distinctive amenities will help spur development in the area. Sited between the entertainment district – home of Little Caesar’s Arena, Comerica Park and Ford Field – the Central Business District, Corktown, Motor City Casino and MGM Grand Casino, Beacon Park is centrally located within quick walking distance to many of Detroit’s largest sports and entertainment venues.

The park’s immediate impact will be felt in the number of visitors each year. Through a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation, more than 600 events will be planned for Beacon Park in 2017 by the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), which expects that the public space will attract one million visitors each year. Nearly 50 events are planned for Beacon Park’s Grand Opening weekend, July 20-23.

“Safe and vibrant gathering places are the social and economic heartbeat of a thriving core, and Beacon Park expands the energy of renewal permeating downtown,” said DDP CEO Eric Larson.  “The Downtown Detroit Partnership is thrilled to partner with DTE Energy to add Beacon Park to the portfolio of the great public spaces we program, maintain and manage.”

DDP has scheduled a stellar lineup for the grand opening weekend. In addition to live music throughout the weekend, each day will feature special activities, including after-work parties on Thursday and Friday, a night market on Saturday featuring 25 unique boutiques and a gospel brunch followed by classical music on Sunday. Family activities, from inflatable games to a movie night, make the fun accessible for everyone.

Grand Opening live entertainment includes indie sensation Lord Huron, American funk and soul band Robert Randolph & the Family Band as well as plena and bomba group Plena LibreImpulse: An Interactive Art Exhibit will be on display at Beacon Park for the entire grand opening weekend. The work is comprised of giant illuminated seesaws that light up when ridden by visitors. Detroit is only the third city in the country to host the playful exhibit, which has primarily toured in Europe. According to the artists that created the exhibit, the seesaws are fitted with LED lights and speakers that produce a sequence of lights and sounds resulting in ever changing composition.

Visit DTE Energy’s blog, Empowering Michigan, for a full listing of the weekend activities.

 

Beacon Park rendering courtesy of DTE Energy

 

Grand Opening Highlights:

Thursday, July 20

  • Ribbon Cutting — DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson, Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones will officially open the park at the 11 a.m. celebration.
  • Grand Opening Park opens to the public at noon with food trucks, live music, games and an interactive exhibit from IMPULSE from Quartier Des Spectacles.
  • After Work Party – Kicks off at 5 p.m. with Happy Hour drink specials
  • Headline entertainmentRobert Randolph & the Family Band will blend funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll featuring pedal steel guitar with Thornetta Davis opening at 8 p.m.

Friday, July 21

  • Downtown Games – Come Play Detroit will pit rival DTE Energy and other downtown employers against each other in fun active competitions, which are open to the public to watch, noon-5 p.m.
  • Beer GardenGriffin Claw craft and specialty beer, live music and lawn games, 5-8 p.m.
  • Musical entertainment – American indie rock band Lord Huron headlines, 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 22

  • Fitness – To christen the new space and build community, a Yoga Mala, which consists of 108 sun salutations, will start the morning. Everyone welcome! Plus, Detroit’s first outdoor spinning experience featuring a LIVE DJ and a cardio workout, 9-11 a.m.
  • Family Day – Fun for all with games, inflatables, make and takes, and face painting, plus a GVSU Charter school art fair, performances by Matrix Theatre Company, Ballet Folklorico, Moyocayani Izel, Detroit Youth Volume, Nadanta, Mosaic Youth Theatre and Detroit Windsor Dance Academy, Noon-6 p.m.
  • Night MarketDetroit’s first ever Night Market will showcase the best of local indie music, food trucks, drinks, lawn games, and shopping from up-and-coming local makers and entrepreneurs. Noon until 11 p.m.
  • Salsa, Tacos & Tequila – Food, drinks and entertainment, featuring headliners Plena Libre with their distinctive musical style of Puerto Rico, Bomba and Plena with Puerto Rican performing artists and cultural group, Bombarica, 8-11 p.m.

Sunday, July 23

  • Fitness – A morning full of energy with Detroit’s first outdoor spinning experience featuring a LIVE DJ, plus yoga and a cardio workout, 9-11 a.m.
  • Gospel Brunch – Michigan’s own award-winning Gospel Singer Bishop Marvin L. Sapp will be joined by local choirs, including Gospel Truth, and dance ensembles, noon-3 p.m.
  • Classical Concerts – Nationally-recognized, Detroit-based chamber orchestra Sphinx Nonet presents an ensemble performance, 3-4 p.m.
  • Movie Music Spectacular – A performance by Michigan Philharmonic leads up to a special screening of “Back to the Future” with a Car Display/Photo Opp. for guests to sit in and “travel through time” in a “Back to the Future” Delorean with Doc and Marty McFly, 6-8:30 p.m.

All Weekend

  • IMPULSE from Quartier Des Spectacles – Interactive, illuminated see-saws offer a publicly activated light and sound experience. Put into motion by its users, the see-saws are augmented by LED lights and speakers, which increase in light intensity and emit a randomized sound sequence.
  • Mindfield Lighting Activations – Historic facades around the park will illuminate after dark.

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