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Local News / Entertainment

Saturday, 5 July, 2008 10:30 PM

Enjoy the 4th of July Weekend at the Comerica Cityfest in Detroit's New Center

Photo courtesy of www.newcenter.com

Ultra teen pop stars of music and television, sisters Aly & AJ bring their sassy, radio-friendly dance-pop to the Cityfest stage. Fresh off the Hannah Montana tour, they are recording their third album where they will expose a more rocking side to their fans.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

The Independence Day weekend doesn't just belong to Big Willie Smith with his new movie Hancock. It is also belongs to downtown Detroit, as people come down to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Comerica CityFest, which began late Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. and ends Sunday evening at 8 p.m. The admission is free; food and drinks can be purchase as tickets -- starting at 16 with $10, 32 for $20, and 64 for $40.

Unlike last year, Wednesday wasn't raining (not until late evening), tents weren't knocked over and the event went right on schedule. The Cityfest has grown, as vendors increased between 10-15 percent, and the audience could be estimated between 20,000-30,000 people each day.

As one of the biggest events in Michigan, the Cityfest is an opportunity for everyone to try all types of food, drinks, and desserts as well as listening to live music from jazz bands and the Kuungana African Drum and Dance, who performs at the event every year. Pop sisters Aly and AJ headline the festival on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the MotorCity Casino Stage.

A term means "to be connected" with people, God, and the Holy Spirit, Kuungana is a non-profit company that gives children ages 2-19 a safe environment, the chance to learn about West African culture -- "culture of our people", said CEO Baba Collins, who was one of the performers there the other day.

Last year, Kuungana performed on the streets -- using rugs/carpets for their dancing. Now, the kids are in the middle of the Cityfest -- on the grass. They, according to Anne Odom, weren't hot; their feet wasn't sweating. The kids are dancing in the shades -- comfortably cool. But Baba wasn't complaining. "Wherever God has us to go", he stated, "that's where we go."

Passing out free complimentary samples of Mint Mocha Chip Frappucino, being at the CityFest is an "tradition" for Starbucks Coffee. Taste fest, food fest, art fest, culture fest -- all rolled into one, stated employee Alison Cave. Add Starbucks into the mix, she continued, you have fine food and fine coffee.

Since 1988, the Comerica Cityfest didn't have as many Detroiters -- and there were no children. Now, twenty years later, there's more restaurants, boutiques, people, and so on. What was once an event for adults has become an family affair. For instance, kids can go rock climbing for $3, shoot for hoops from the Pistons/Shock Year-Round Basement Experts Truck Tour and win prizes; one shot is $1, and three is $2, and two shots equals winning a Pistons or Shock bandana.

With the Hockeytown parade, the River Days festival, the fireworks, the spirit of Detroit continues with the Comerica Cityfest. Despite the recession in the economy and rise in gas prices, the people are willing to come to this event -- because everyone around there is and always will be an survivor.

 

Comerica Cityfest Map

Map courtesy of www.newcenter.com

 

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