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Local News / Entertainment

Sunday, 27 June, 2010 1:13 AM

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is now underway and runs through July 11

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Mucca Pazza marches through the crowd at the opening ceremony of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on June 18, 2010.
by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The 27th Annual Ann Arbor Summer Festival is going on now. It runs for three weeks in a row in the heart of the University of Michigan main campus. There will be more than 50 bands, 13 movies, kids activities and great food choices. The festival takes place at many locations around Ann Arbor including: Ingalls Mall, the Power Center, the Michigan Theatre, and the Hill Auditorium.

All of the activities at the Top of the Park (Ingalls Mall) are free with a ticketed charge for the other venues. Organizers ask that attendees donate $3 per person or $5 per family at Ingalls Mall, if possible. The festival kicked off with a parade to the Top of the Park stage with performances by Tokyo Sexwhale, Mucca Pazza and My Dear Disco on June 18.

"We've extended some of the weekend hours a little bit, " said Robb Woulfe, executive director of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. "Tonight we opened at 5 o'clock and weekends we'll be open at five. We're not going to be open on Monday nights because it's not been a high traffic night for us. We're taking a dark night on Monday nights. A little bit of something for everybody--music, dance, all kinds of musical genres. You name it, we're offering it."

Some of this year's main stage headliners include Patty Griffin with Buddy Miller, Bernadette Peters, Company T.P.O., John Pizzarelli, Cinematic Titanic, Caravan Palace, The Capitol Steps, Devo, Juan De Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Die Roten Punkte and Chris Isaak. Isaak's performance will take place on July 30 at Hill Auditorium, about two weeks after the rest of the festival ends.

Nearly every type of music is being offered at the Top of the Park stage. You'll hear bands like The West Side Winders, Valerie Barrymore and Foundation of Funk, The Sun Messengers, Aril & Zoey, Black Jack & The Carnies, Greensky Bluegrass, Drivin' Sideways, Bassam Saleh, Cadillac Cowboys, Orpheum Bell, Gemini, The Howling Diablos, NOMO, The Red Sea Pedestrians, Twistin' Tarantulas, FUBAR, Los Bandits de Michigan, Juice, Salmagundi, October Babies, The Ragbirds, Annie Capps Band, Groove Spoon, The Macpods, The Bugs Beddow Band and George Bedard & the Kingpins, among many others.

"I think it's very peaceful, relaxing," said Brennan Andes, a member of the band Macpodz, who will be performing at the festival on July 9. "I think the entertainment's typically pretty good. I'll be back here as much as possible. Make sure you put a tip in the tip jar so you can keep it happening for the kids."

Other activities at the Top of the Park include the Planet Rock climbing wall from June 25 to 27, the Craz-E-Crew stunt team from July 3 to 4 and the Stop.Motion photo exhibit by Myra Klarman now open through July 8. There will be soul dancing with Saints of Soul & Lady Sunshine and the X-Band on June 26 and swing dancing with Accidentally Hip Big Band & The Terraplanes on July 3, both at 6:00 p.m.

An artist chat with Juan De Marcos Gonzalez will take place on July 7 at 7 p.m. inside the Multipurpose Room at the Ann Arbor District Library. The topic will be "Evolution of Cuban Music." A screening of "Devo-The Complete Truth About De-evolution" will take place on July 1 at 7:00 p.m. inside the Stern Auditorium at the UMMA. A Mystery Science Theater 3000 panel discussion will take place on July 1 at 7:30 p.m. inside the Screening Room at the Michigan Theatre.

Many free movies are also being shown at Ingalls Mall. Festival goers will be able to enjoy Sherlock Holmes, Avatar, Casablanca, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Raiders of the Lost Ark, (500) Days of Summer, Night at the Museum 2, Fantastic Mr. Fox and West Side Story. Screenings of Star Trek (2009), The Princess Bride, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds have already been shown at the time of this article.

"I love it, it's a beautiful day, there seems to be a lot going on and a lot of people," said Allison Siegel of Kalamazoo, Mich. "I'm very excited to see what more it brings. I love the band that we saw when we first got here. My brother is in the band Mucca Pazza. I haven't seen the band play live. It's not very far from where I work so it's easy to get to on a Friday night. I'm just really happy to be here."

Nine restaurants have brought their specialties to the Summer Festival for attendees to enjoy. Festival goers will find Noodles & Company, Oasis Grill, Ray's Red Hots, Rendez Vous Cafe, Silvio's Organic Pizza, Stucci's, Sugar Shack, Sweetwaters and Tio's Mexican Cafe. Beverages are being provided by Coca-Cola, O & W. Inc., and U.S. Wine Imports.

Festival goers are encouraged to bring sunscreen, hats, lawn blankets, cash, photo ID for alcoholic beverages, lots of friends and dancing shoes. What's not permitted: outside food and beverages, dogs or other pets, bicycles, roller blades, scooters or skateboards in the festival area, soliciting, climbing on stages or unauthorized vending. Bike racks are available throughout the festival.

"If they don't have $3, we still want people to come down and enjoy the fun," Woulfe added. "Even though we're going to be dark on Monday nights, it's still 21 days of activity. Eighty-five percent of everything we do here is admission free. It's a big community celebration. It's great people watching here. A little bit of something for everybody."

Click here for more information and the schedule for the 2010 Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Tokyo Sexwhale performs on the Top of the Park stage on June 18.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Nine area restaurants are participating in this year's Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Activities for kids inside the Kid Zone tent

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Body Masterpiece Face Painters offered face painting to children from June 18 to 20.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

My Dear Disco performs on the evening of Friday, June 18.

 

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