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WATCH: Interviews with Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison, Artist Tim Gralewski and Kurt Eddy of Awrey Bakeries

WATCH: Festival Producer Jon Witz announces the music line-up

WATCH: 2011 Arts, Beats and Eats press conference -- Parts Two & Three

 

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Local News / Entertainment

Friday, 12 August, 2011 1:45 AM

About 70 restaurants and 11 music stages to be featured at Ford Arts, Beats and Eats

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Pronto! is among nearly 70 restaurants that will participate in Ford Arts, Beats and Eats over Labor Day weekend.

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

|

ROYAL OAK, Mich. -- Months after announcing additions such as greater music artist totals, chef competitions, and the Arts in Motion 5K, representatives and sponsors of Arts, Beats and Eats 2011 unveiled a number of the highlight performers and other notable events from the stage of the Royal Oak Music Theatre.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Pat Reardon of Citizens Bank, and other recognizable figures behind the event were keen to not only reveal the major weekend names, but also enthusiastically endorse the cuisine that will receive extra vending space, some of which was demonstrated near the bar area courtesy of restaurants like Pronto! and Palm Palace.

“[At the last meeting], I was pleased to announce expansion,” said Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison. “But today, I’m announcing 80,000 more feet. It was so successful last year that we're really pumped up for this year. On the arts side, we've gone on Lincoln a little bit so we can get more art booths in. Parking was easy last year. We never had full parking decks last year. Don't be afraid to come down and park in the deck, there's spaces there. We have 400,000 people coming down for a weekend that would normally be a dead weekend for the restaurants.”

From there, the moment had arrived when the highlight artists and groups playing AB&E ’11 were shown via video display. On the Friday of that weekend, some of the artists attendees can expect to see include Jessica Hernandez, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., and Panic at the Disco.

Saturday will likely be more thick with 80s-style mullets thanks to appearances from the likes of Foreigner’s Lou Gramm and Poison’s Bret Michaels.

Sunday will also lean to classic rock taste with Starship, yet also get rather contemporary with country icon Vince Gill.

"I think Ford Arts, Beats and Eats can't come quick enough," the Oakland County Executive said. "We need some positive, some fun diversion. I certainly didn't think we could beat the numbers for 2010. We're going to have about 175 fine arts booths, that's 30 more than last year. We're going to have 250 entertainment acts on 11 stages, that's 50 more acts and two more stages than we had last year. We hope we can deliver millions of dollars of economic impact to the downtown business community and Oakland County in general."

It is Monday, however, that might influence the most stomp and sways from the audience. Not only is local Funking Father George Clinton bringing the P-Funk legacy with him, but such a groove probably motivated the Tom Tom Club to join in on the festivities. Such percussive drives will be given additional brass thanks to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, while New Wave’s colored hair enterprisers the Psychedelic Furs will provide steady if droning back beat to the more purveyant beats.

The line-up of 25 top local bands, who will be performing inside the Royal Oak Music Theatre, will be announced on August 15.

"This is our first year at Arts, Beats and Eats, said Kurt Eddy, community outreach for Awrey Bakeries. "We'll have a booth at the corner of Washington and Fifth. We'll have our new products here, which are our individual desserts, some of our heritage products that the company was founded with. Our Long John Coffee Cake, our Date Nut bars, our Bumpy Cake, our Bill Knapp's Cake that we still make today. The ones that we will be selling will be individual bite-sized desserts, which we are showing here today, along with our brownies."

About 70 local restaurants will be selling their specialties at Arts, Beats and Eats. The food area is moving to Center Street and it will have a larger dessert district than last year. Awrey Bakeries, California Pizza Kitchen, Olga's Kitchen, the Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine, Little Tree Sushi, Katana Japanese Steakhouse, Pronto! and Rangoli are among some of this year's participating restaurants.

The festival will try to break a new Guinness World Record for the most people doing a Zumba fitness class. The world record attempt will take place on the Michigan Lottery stage from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 3.

"Last year was my first year participating," said artist Tim Gralewski of Royal Oak, Mich. "It was an awesome show. I'm really excited for this year. I'm a printmaker-graphic designer so everything that I do, I do on the computer. When I go to print it, I print everything by hand, they're all screenprinted. Screen printing is a nice kind of merger of graphic design and fine art. It could probably take four or five hours to print it. The hardest part is the designing of them. Sales were very good last year. I'm hoping the same for this year as well."

Parking will be a breeze at Ford Arts, Beats and Eats. A fleet of shuttle buses will transport crowds from parking lots around the area. In addition, parking spaces will be available in downtown Royal Oak.

The ability to open up more space was perhaps in relation to having a greater donation window. Reardon, of Citizen’s Bank, added that “Last year, we collected up to $10,000 in donations. This year, we hope to raise that to $15,000.“

For those looking to volunteer at the festival, mark your calendars for Saturday, Aug. 13. The Hudsonville Ice Cream social will take place inside the Art Van Furniture store at 32301 Woodward Ave. The event will include free ice cream, snacks, refreshments and music.

For more information about the Ford Arts, Beats and Eats festival, visit www.artsbeatseats.com.

Related Story: Officials announce expanded Ford Arts, Beats and Eats with more activities

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson (pictured right) and other guests at the press conference.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Irene's Myomassology Institute will be providing back massages at the festival.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Another local restaurant brought their specialties to the media event.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Samantha Mertins is the manager of community campaigns at the Arthritis Foundation.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"The Arthritis Foundation is one of over 60 non-profit and community organizations that participate in Ford Arts, Beats and Eats," she said.

 

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