Add These 7 Detroit Summer Events to Your List

Detroit is diverse, determined and dazzles residents and visitors alike. Why are our festivals and events so widely attended? Because we add a special ingredient to each of them: soul.

You can attend a car event nearly anywhere around the country, but the Motor City has the largest, free one-day car cruise full of gearheads and every type of car imaginable. You can listen to a DJ mix some beats on stage, but the birthplace of Techno has a 3-day massive gathering of international artists mixing never-before-heard tracks in front of thousands of techno diehards.There is plenty to do this summer in Detroit, so browse these seven major summer attractions and plan your trip to The D today.

1. Movement
May 28-30
Hart Plaza

Approximately 120 performances across six technologically-rich outdoor stages including a 3-D show, a posh VIP setting located behind the main stage, dozens of official afterparties, an interactive technology center featuring the hottest gear in the industry and several art displays to stimulate the senses all inside Detroit’s legendary Hart Plaza on Memorial Day weekend – Detroit knows how to have a good time.
Since its inception, Movement has been globally recognized as one of the most influential festivals in the country for its unique programming as well as its long-standing tradition of promoting a wide spectrum of up-and-comers, local luminaries and pioneers of electronic music, in the birthplace of Techno.

Photo Courtesy of Joe Gall

2.Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
June 3-5
Belle Isle, Detroit

Sit trackside and watch your adrenaline increase as the cars zip along the 2.4 mile track at speeds of 190 mph. The event features the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the trucks of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks presented by TRAXXAS. There’s plenty to do for families including fun carnival-like games, concerts from major performers and interactive displays.

Photo Courtesy of LAT Photography

3. Motor City Pride Festival & Parade
June 11-12
Hart Plaza

Live entertainment throughout the weekend and a selection of unique shops lead up to the highly anticipated Motor City Pride Festival & Parade. Detroit hosts the largest LGBTQ pride event of its kind in Michigan so if you are looking for an empowering weekend, look no further than Hart Plaza on June 11-12.

4. Concours d’Elegance of America
July 29-31
Inn at St. John’s

Attention elite auto owner: display your world-class cars from every era and celebrates classic, rare, collectible and prestigious automobiles alongside an art exhibit and vintage auto auction at Concours d’Elegance of America. And for the enthusiasts, this is your chance to admire and adore the cars like never before. Exhibition showcases beautifully display art on wheels. If you’re interested in the art of the automobile, this is an event you can’t miss.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Arace

4. Maker Faire
July 30-31
The Henry Ford

Thomas Edison would be proud. Maker Faire is a collection of actual and wannabe scientists who build really cool things! Hundreds of new makers typically join Maker Faire veterans Life-Size Mousetrap, Eepy Bird(the Coke and Mentos guys) and the 64-by-26-foot fire-breathing dragon Gon KiRin in building and showcasing their projects – it’s like attending an entertaining and awesome science fair but on a grand scale, at The Herny Ford. The Detroit location is one of seven national major Maker Faires, so visitors come from far and wide to see and show their “makes”.

6.Woodward Dream Cruise

August 20
Woodward Ave. between the cities ofFerndale andPontiac.

Imagine a place, or corral, where you can park your favorite muscle car and hang out with other owners who share your passion. Then imagine admiring and talking to kit car gearheads who built cars from the ground up. Imagine a 4-lane boulevard packed with shiny, rare cars cursing from sun up to past sun down.
Now stop imaging because it’s real – it’s the Woodward Dream Cruise, the largest, free, one-day car event where enthusiasts and newbies meet for one reason: to appreciate the automobile.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Arace

7. African World Festival
August; Dates TBD
The Charles Wright Museum of African American History
This free cultural extravaganza weekend includes live performances, poetry, arts, crafts and African drumming you’ll have to see to believe. Celebrate with over 150,000 attendees worldwide. Eat ethnic cuisines and dance to music, perfect for the whole family.

Which of these events are you most looking forward to? Share by commenting below!

Dan Fuoco is the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (VisitDetroit) and is responsible for building and engaging with the community via social media. He has been interviewed by Marketing Sherpas for two social campaigns: once for a USA Today social voting campaign focused on Detroit sports whose results saw more than 4 million Twitter impressions and another for an email marketing campaign that earned 1,400+ subscribers in less than 8 days.

Dan is active in two groups that he co-founded: “Social Media in The D” and “Tour Michigan”. These groups of professionals practice social media both in metro Detroit and statewide. Follow him on TwitterInstagram and periodically on Pinterest.

8 Reasons To Start Your Summer with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix! (CLOSED – Plus a Giveaway!)

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is a weekend full of excitement between the four major racing series that are covered in this short time. Of course, some people might not know that the event is actually a complete international festival held on Detroit’s own Belle Isle Park with a range of enticing activities for the family!  Let’s start it off with number eight…

8. The Meijer Fan Zone

Meijer returns as a partner in 2015 to deliver one of the greatest recreational areas in all of Motorsports! The premises will have a plethora of fun activities, cool displays and enticing entertainment for fans of all ages throughout the weekend.  If you’re a huge car enthusiast, (which you should be, given the event!) displays from Chevy Racing and Autopalooza will have a range of unique motor vehicles from cruising or racing. The Detroit professional sports teams will have displays and some of the top Detroit sports legends will also be appearing and signing autographs. Surely you’ll want to get some face paint and show off your glamorous side, or maybe enjoy the simple pleasures of balloon art as you take advantage of the craft areas.  The Meijer Fan Zone is a key element that makes the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix feel less like a few races, and more of a holiday celebrating the jewel that is Belle Isle Park.

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

7. The Leinenkugel Biergarten

It’s hard to start your summer without considering refreshments… much less that picturesque condensation dripping off an ice cold bottle of your favorite drink.  Don’t worry, The Grand Prix team partnered up with Leinenkugel to give our 21 and over fans what they deserve: The Leinenkugel Biergarten (and yes that is “beer garden”).  Strategically placed between the Meijer Fan Zone, FirstMerit Bank Bridge and a relevant first-aid center, you won’t have issues finding something to quench your thirst or satiate your hunger.

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

6. Pirelli World Challenge Series

One of the four major racing series held at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is the Pirelli World Challenge Series.  The goal of this series is to gather a host of manufacturers, teams, and aftermarket suppliers to show off what’s under the hood.  Enjoy these beautiful, powerful metal stallions on the road.  Where else can you go to see a Bentley and a Ford racing alongside a Ferrari and a Honda? Better yet, there will be two races…with one on Saturday and one on Sunday so you can’t make up excuses to miss out.  Go to to check out the different classes, and get more information on the series!

Photo courtesy of Cadillac Racing

Photo courtesy of Cadillac Racing

5. Concerts

On a race track one can expect the powerful roar of an engine, the enticing squeal of tires on pavement and the fizzes and hums of the vehicles bolting by.  What you probably don’t expect is for some truly epic musical entertainment.  The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is taking it to the next level as the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage will rock Saturday night with 3 Doors Down and Sunday with Smash Mouth. Top local bands will also perform during the course of the weekend as well. Check out the full lineup of entertainment at

Photo courtesy of Smash Mouth

Photo courtesy of Smash Mouth

4. SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road presented by TRAXXAS

Legend speaks of magical flying crafts, soaring through the air in constant battle with each other, in the shape of human trucks.  Okay so maybe that’s just slightly over the top, but not by much. Enter SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS. The idea here is to take a select group of high-class drivers and  put them in some super powered trucks to race. My guess is that one of them figured, “hey why not add some massive jumps to send us a solid two stories high?” This event is something you have to see to believe!

Photo courtesy of Rock Media Photography

Photo courtesy of Rock Media Photography

3. TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

Last year, two major races decided to get together and spawn one coolest racing series on the planet.  Again things can be a bit confusing with the four different classes driving alongside each other at the same time, but understand that these drivers are world-class.  Some of the best on the planet, right here in your back yard. A few of the races in this series go for 12 and even 24 hours straight!  Can you believe that? But Detroit is a  bustling city, so we decided to give the crowd a couple of super intensive, shorter races instead. Don’t miss it! Check out for more information.

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

2. Autograph Session

Muster up some courage and get an autograph from your favorite driver! Throughout the weekend, there will be occasions where drivers from each series will come out and relax to hang, shoot the breeze, and sign some goodies.  Not often do opportunities come by where professional athletes take the time to get to know their admirers, so be sure to take advantage of the autograph sessions.  This is a true, “for the fans” moment and selfies are not frowned upon.

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Photography

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Photography

1. Verizon IndyCar Series

So you come to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, and you have that craving.  You’re not really sure what it is… You already stopped by The Leinenkugel Biergarten so your stomach is satisfied.  You heard some awesome performances by some legendary musicians, so you have a good vibe. But something is missing. Here at the Grand Prix, we cater to every need. We will personally deliver two heaping portions of pure, unadulterated, furious speed. The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans is back, and it’s going to be exactly what you waited for. Experienced IndyCar fans know that this is some of the fastest, most intense racing in the world with IndyCar legends and can be a lot to handle. But I say indulge. Dig in. It’s race time. Shoot over to to keep up with your favorite IndyCar racer or receive all other relevant IndyCar needs.


Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

GIVEAWAY: Do you want to score a pair of tickets to this year’s Grand Prix? Simply tell us what events you would attend by commenting below!  We’ll then select two lucky winners at random to win a pair of tickets to the race. To be eligible, simply submit your comments (along with your email address) by Thursday, May 28 at 2:00 p.m. EST. We’ll contact the winners Friday morning using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).

UPDATE: This contest has ended and the winners have been contacted via email. Thank you to all those who participated!

Profile Picture - Tyler HTyler Hoornstra, 23, is currently a public relations intern for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. He graduated in 2014 from Michigan State University and James Madison College.