5 Metro Detroit Labor Day Events to Keep on Your Radar

It’s not time to pull out the school supplies and backpacks just yet! There are still many weeks of fun left to be had in Pure Michigan. Take a trip to metro Detroit for a Labor Day extravaganza of witches and peaches (Sure, that’s an odd combination, but The D’s variety in events truly appeals to every traveler). For a weekend worth documenting, you may as well try to visit all of the events. Here are our recommendations:

Michigan Renaissance Festival
Holly, Mich.
Weekends Aug. 22-Oct. 4, Labor Day and Oct. 2
Ever wonder how the Knights of the Round Table lived? A 35-year-old tradition, Ren Fest takes you back to the late 16th century to a fictional English village called Hollygrove. You’ll find yourself rubbing elbows with pirates, wizards, fairies, trolls and other fantasy characters. The costumed presenters will juggle, joust, sing and dance to Celtic, folk and maritime music. There are scheduled shows, crafts, face and body art, jewelry, instruments, children’s toys, handbags, hats and period-specific clothing.

Ford Arts, Beats & Eats
Royal Oak, Mich.
Sept. 4-7
Do you prefer arts, beats or eats? Never mind choosing; have all three at one of the state’s favorite cultural fests. (The numbers prove it; in 2014 more than 365,000 visitors attended). This year marks the No. 18 for AB&E. Arts: Soak up works from artists around the country at the Juried Fine Art Show. They’ll put up their best brushes forward since they’re competing. Works include ceramics, photography, jewelry, sculpture, wood, glass, fabric and digital art. Beats: While deciding which masterpiece will look best over your fireplace, tap your toes to the tunes of local and other musical artists on nine stages across downtown. Eats: The deliciously diverse options come from some of the finest grub spots in The D. Whether you’re eyeing comforting mac ‘n’ cheese or sweet potato pie or a Priority Health-labeled gluten-free, low-carb or vegan option, our tip is to do a few laps before making a selection.

Arts, Beats & Eats. Photo Courtesy of Jason Vaughn.

Arts, Beats & Eats. Photo Courtesy of Jason Vaughn.

Detroit Jazz Festival
Detroit, Mich.
Sept. 4-7
The Detroit Jazz Festival is a downtown gem. It’s one of the year’s premier events that showcases Detroit’s authentic cultural flair. Whether you’re a hardcore jazz fan or not you’ll find an appreciation for the history and longevity of Detroit’s jazz scene. (The festival alone is now in its 34th year.) From Campus Martius Park to Hart Plaza and Detroit’s International RiverWalk you’ll find big names in the industry—think Terence Blanchard, Ramsey Lewis and Pat Metheny. A total of 100 acts will send smooth tunes across five stages. Staying true to its mission of nurturing young jazz musicians, each year the jazz fest hands the spotlight over to college and high school ensembles for performances on the Education Stage. There’s not much else like seeing young people inspired. 

Jazz Festival. Photo Courtesy of Jason Vaughn.

Jazz Festival. Photo Courtesy of Jason Vaughn.

Michigan State Fair
Novi, Mich.
Sept. 4-7
Cooking demos. Racing pigs. Carnival rides. Shopping. There’s only one place you can do it all: the Michigan State Fair. A true-to-form family-friendly event, the fair got its claim to fame in 1840 in Detroit by being one of the country’s first statewide fair events. With such a legacy, today’s fair strives to reflect its roots of supporting agriculture, small business and family entertainment while celebrating the new direction of the Michigan Agriculture Industry. The Equestrian Pavilion horse shows are back to feature famous riders and horses from across the state. The Shrine Circus, founded in Detroit, with a repertoire of a century full of performances, will deliver laughs, thrills and elephants. You can also count on live music, a farmers market, an arts exhibit, a beer garden, dog performances … you get the point. It’s going to be a good time.

Romeo Peach Festival
Romeo, Mich.
Sept. 4-6
The second-oldest festival in Michigan deserves a few nods. The Romeo Peach Festival started in 1931 and has ripened into a multi-activity affair for the entire family. It’s a visual spectacle in Romeo’s downtown, with several parades and car events. But crowds always find themselves most giddy over the crowning of the Peach Queen. To burn off the calories after your peach cobbler, register for the Fun Run/5K/10K Race. Then round out your experience with the Craft Show and Business Expo, Paint and Pour at the Lion’s Den and a Farmer’s Breakfast. Ever heard of a bed race? It may have nothing to do with the peach, but you’ll find that here, too.

About the Author: Danielle Schmidt is the Marketing Specialist (aka storyteller) for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. She writes and edits for the Visit Detroit Blog, Visit Detroit magazine and various print and digital materials that promote The D and its comeback, while taking way too many pictures for Visit Detroit’s Instagram account.

Get Pure Michigan FIT this Summer

If your Labor Day or summer travels land you in Michigan, the Michigan Fitness Foundation has plenty for you to do and many chances for you to be “Pure Michigan Fit.” From their annual Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run to other intiatives, there are a number of ways to get moving this summer. Read from their team below and visit michigan.org to see more ideas on staying active around Pure Michigan.

The Michigan Fitness Foundation and Pure Michigan FIT envision a healthier Michigan and provide tools and resources that promote physical fitness and health in Michigan while hosting and promoting events geared toward fostering healthy lifestyles. If you’re visiting the Great Lakes State and looking for a fun activity that promotes health, there are a many fitness and wellness events to participate in and you can help Get Michigan Moving!

The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run is one of many fitness events hosted by the Michigan Fitness Foundation that aims to Get Michigan Moving. The Mackinac Bridge Run is a non-competitive five mile run that brings friends, families, and runners all across Michigan together and moving on Labor Day! The run is in its 10th year and it takes place on the beautiful Mackinac Bridge at sunrise on Labor Day. Hundreds of runners line the bridge and take part in the Michigan tradition of staying active on Labor Day.

We don’t just want to Get Michigan Moving, but keep Michigan moving and the Mackinac Labor Day Bridge Walk has kept Michiganders walking for the past 56 years. The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk brings thousands of people, together on Labor Day to get active and celebrate the end of summer while promoting and encouraging physical activity. While many see Labor Day as a day of rest and a celebration of the end of summer, we see it as a day to come together and promote physical activity and fitness around the state.

The push to Get Michigan Moving is always in effect. There are many events around the state of Michigan that promote physical activity and fitness on Labor Day. If you’re visiting, check your nearby community to see if they’re hosting a Labor Day Community Walk event. Community Walk events are organized communities walks that bring people together and moving on Labor Day. This event allows you to take part in the Michigan tradition by being active while having fun and exploring the communities around you.

If you already have plans for Labor Day, don’t worry, there are many fitness and health events happening all summer long in Michigan! The Michigan Fitness Foundation has partnered with Pure Michigan FIT to endorse fitness events that are a part of the Pure Michigan FITness Series. This series highlights programs that promote physical fitness, wellness and healthy living. No matter where you land in Michigan or what you like, there is something for everyone to do. From 5k races to relay teams, there is a variety of fitness events to keep you moving all summer long.  A list of events can be found through the Michigan Fitness Foundation’s event finder tool.

If you want to spend your Labor Day being active and promoting physical activity and being Pure Michigan Fit, then visit the Mighty Mac and take part in Michigan’s tradition. Take part in Getting Michigan Moving, you’ll be glad you did.

The Michigan Fitness Foundation’s mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities by helping people eat healthy and be physically active. The Governor’s Council and Michigan Fitness Foundation works to bring about behavior change through programming, special projects and events that encourage citizens to build physical activity and sound nutrition into their daily routine.  By empowering, facilitating and celebrating healthy choices, we will foster prosperity for all.