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Local News / Entertainment

Friday, 21 May, 2010 0:45 AM

The Detroit River Days festival set to return along the riverfront, June 18 - 21

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Faye Alexander Nelson, president of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, announces plans for the 2010 Detroit River Days.
by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

DETROIT -- While many festivals across metro Detroit are scaling back or being canceled indefinitely, the Detroit River Days is an exception. The festival returns for its fourth year along the beautiful Detroit riverfront, bordering Windsor, Ont. The River Days will run from June 18 to 21 and will wrap-up with the Target Fireworks over the river. A lot of fun activities are planning for the entire family including a 5K run, jet ski demonstrations, ultimate air dogs, a kids zone, classic cars, tall ships and much more.

Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday and Monday. For the first time, the festival will impose a $3 admission fee. The first day of the festival, June 18, will be free until 5 p.m. The first hour of both Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon will be free. The final day of the festival, June 21, will also be free of charge for the 52nd Annual Target Fireworks.

"This will be the first time we are going to charge," said Sandra Van Meek, director of programming and external affairs for the Conservancy. "We are trying to make this accessible to everybody so there will be a free period everyday. If somebody wants to come by, pick up a wristband, come back later in the afternoon, we're going to make it pretty flexible for folks to come in. A lot of it has to do with the fact that the conservancy is a non-profit organization. This is going to help us fund the event."

New additions to the festival include the Coast Guard Cutter and Search and Rescue Demos, a chalk artist, sand sculptures, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Mobile Learning Center and fruits and vegetables from Detroit's own historic Eastern Market. Chalk Artist Lee Jones will create 6-foot by 6-foot street paintings. The 4th Annual Parade of Lights is scheduled for Saturday, June 19 at 10 p.m. Jet ski demonstrations will return to the festival after taking a year off in 2009. Team Sandtastic from Sarasota, Fla. will create a 50-ton and two 10-ton sand sculptures.

"We're bringing back again our annual Pooch-a-Palooza pet walk," said Faye Alexander Nelson, president of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. "A great way for dog owners and their best friends to enjoy our pet-friendly river walk. Our crowd favorite, the Ultimate Air Dogs are also back. Former Detroit Pitcher Milt Wilcox and his lively canines will again entertain us with their long-distance dock-jumping and ultimate vertical jumps of these wonderful canines. We are so pleased to be bringing back River Days again."

A great array of talent will perform on the national stage at this year's River Days festival. The Spin Doctors and Lonestar will perform on Friday night while Kimmie Horn and MC Hammer entertain audiences on Sunday. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Blues Traveler will perform on Sunday. The full line-up of local bands will be announced closer to the festival. Two tall ships will be docked at Rivard Plaza and will offer free tours to all attendees.

"River Days is something that we can all be proud of," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "This is something that you don't find in many cities. I've been to Baltimore and see what they do. I've been to San Antonio to see what they do. I've been to New York. We don't have to take a back seat to any of them. Bring your families down, get the word out to people in the communities, get the word out to everybody that you've got a relationship with and bring them down. "

The Pepsi Taste of Detroit will include local area restaurants, which will bring their specialties to the festival. Participating restaurants include American European Food, The Almond Hut, Big Mike’s Southwestern Grill, Damon’s Grill, Fun Foods, Harbor House, Heavenly Chicken & Waffles, Kirk’s Bar-B-Q, Kola’s Food Factory, Lakeview Hills Golf Resort, Mercurio Food, Happy Belly Cupcakes & Catering, Palm Palace, Red Wood Grill, Skewer’s House of Kabob, Trenton Ice Cream and Union Jacks.

"These are days that are very, very special," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. "Yes, we can compete with other cities such as Chicago and San Antonio that utilize something that is very precious, which is their riverfront. All of the entertainment, all the new acts is something that is very unique and something we should take advantage of and that's what we're doing. It accumulates with the fireworks, which is always a lot of fun."

For the first time ever, a River Days Run will take place on Saturday, June 19 at 9 a.m. The 5K race costs $20 for pre-registration and $25 on race day. All participants will receive a t-shirt, chip timing and admission to the festival. In addition, there will be a Kids' Fun Run on a shorter course, which is priced at $10 to register. To sign up for one of the races, visit the official website below. Registration is now underway.

For more information on the Detroit River Days festival, visit www.detroitriverdays.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Tony Michaels, President and CEO of The Parade Company, speaks with attendees.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano chats with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

2010 Detroit River Days sponsors

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A press conference was held on May 12, 2010 to announce plans for this year's festival.

 

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