By BTL Staff
DETROIT – There’s no excuse for not having plans for Fourth of July weekend. The 17th annual Comerica TasteFest has your weekend plans covered.
What is that, you say? You’re low on dough? TasteFest offers concerts by over 60 different music acts for free. You don’t have time? TasteFest runs from June 30 to July 4. There’s plenty of time to get yourself to one of Detroit’s best events of the year.
This year’s Comerica TasteFest, held in Detroit’s New Center, will showcase more than 60 top local and national musical acts performing free concerts throughout the five-day event. Headliners appearing on the MotorCity Casino Main Stage (located in the Fisher Building parking lot) include American songwriting icon John Hiatt and North Mississippi Allstars along with 60s rock band The Box Tops (“The Letter”) featuring Alex Chilton, roots rockers Los Lobos, punk group the New York Dolls, R&B star Faith Evans, reggae icons Toots and the Maytals, R&B and hip-hop fusion trio G. Love & Special Sauce, and jazz superstars Down to the Bone.
The top electronic and garage rock artists will return to blow the roof off the Pure Detroit Stage (at Second Avenue and Lothrop) featuring the Brazilian Girls, Carl Craig, Electric Six, The Reefermen, Platinum Pied Pipers, The Hard Lessons, Amp Fiddler and many more.
Meanwhile, soulful sounds will resonate from the Jazz & Blues Stage (at Grand Boulevard at Cass) spotlighting the Thornetta Davis Band, Marcus Belgrave’s Tribute to Louis Armstrong, Nathaniel Mayer and the Shanks, The Strange, Motor City R&B Pioneers and Lyman Woodard with special guest Robert Lowe.
Across the boulevard in New Center Park, the Park Stage (Grand Boulevard at Second) will feature an eclectic mix of the city’s most brilliant singers/song writers and showcase up-and-coming Detroit talent. Artists include Detroit’s own enrapturing storyteller Audra Kubat, Jon D. Rice, Great Lakes Myth Society, Troy Gregory and the Stepsisters, Ty Stone, Space Heaters, and Kelly Caldwell.
Between acts, a mouthwatering array of eats from over 40 local restaurants will tempt your taste buds including Melting Pot, Lazybones Smokehouse, Crave, Seldom Blues, Steve’s Soul Food, La Shish, Under the Eagle, and Beans & Cornbread. Those with a sweet tooth can again indulge in the Dessert District’s decadent delights.
If it’s liquid refreshment you seek, wine lovers can sniff and swirl to their hearts’ content at the Ravenswood “Zinfomaniac Tour.” The Town Pump Tavern will have a full bar in a plaza setting to quench your thirst. And, for those who want to do the TasteFest alcohol free, there will be plenty of fresh squeezed lemonade and fruit smoothies.
For those born to shop, the 2nd Ave. Street Market will feature more than 20 local specialty stores. Detroit Hardware will make their Comerica TasteFest debut, joining City Knits, Noir Leather, Detroit Spice Co. and many other retailers.
Other fun events include live cooking demonstrations, the MotorCity Casino Karaoke Finals and the second annual City Knits “Knit Out.”
The Tastefest is a family friendly event featuring an ever-expanding Tot Lot including Kevin Collins and his African Drummers, Arts & Scraps, and special activities courtesy of the Girl Scouts. Other activities for kids include miniature golf, Detroit Pistons’ Shoot-Out, and skateboarding demos on an all-new “Street Course” in The Youth Zone.
Each year over 500,000 visitors come to TasteFest, filling the streets adjacent to the historic Fisher Building on West Grand Boulevard between Woodward Avenue and the Lodge Freeway. Comerica TasteFest is produced by the New Center Council, Inc., which uses the proceeds to support its charitable activities including an award-winning summer youth program and the yearly maintenance of the New Center’s outdoor public spaces.
This year will also feature an online auction at http://www.comericatastefest.com featuring donations from restaurants, sponsors and other participants of the Comerica TasteFest. The online auction will be conducted until July 5.