Concerts and small business markets highlight summer programming plans for downtown Detroit parks

What’s happening: A lot. The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) recently released their summer programming plans for the six downtown Detroit parks and public spaces under their purview, a group that includes Beacon Park, Cadillac Square, Campus Martius Park, Capitol Park, Grand Circus Park, and The Woodward Esplanade. It’s a calendar that includes everything from outdoor movie nights to dog proms in dog parks, fitness classes, and family-friendly events — and no shortage of live music.

A day at the beach: The Beach at Campus Martius is undergoing a bit of a refresher with the outdoor bar and restaurant BrisaBar replacing The Fountain Detroit. And beginning on Friday, June 10, and running through Friday, Aug. 26, is the Friday Night Beach Parties series, which features live music and DJ sets from the likes of Brett Lucas, Root Vibrations, One Love Reggae Band, DJ Bruce Bailey, and DJ Eddie Riot. That series runs from 4 to 10 p.m. each Friday throughout the summer.
Overlooking The Beach at Campus Martius Park
Small biz support: The DDP has made it a point to support local small businesses by way of markets and more. The returning Downtown Street Eats program is touted as Michigan’s largest weekly food truck rally, and this year features more than 80 food trucks rotating weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cadillac Square and The Woodward Esplanade. Market Fridays also returns to Cadillac Square, the weekly pop-up market occurring each Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And at Beacon Park it’s the Night Market, which features the wares of Detroit-based shops each Saturday night from 6 to 11 p.m. with live music and DJ sets throughout.

But wait, there’s more: Family Fun Days return to Beacon Park each Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and feature storytelling, arts and crafts, music, and more. Yoga and other fitness classes are scheduled in a number of the downtown parks. And Movie Nights in The D shows family-friendly films at Campus Martius Park each Thursday at 7 p.m.

Live music abounds in downtown Detroit this summer.Special events: Notable special events include a pre-Juneteenth showing of “Summer of Soul,” the Academy Award-winning documentary of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival directed by Questlove and presented in partnership with the Motown Museum (6 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, at Campus Martius Park); the Hot Sam’s Presents Detroit’s Black Wall Street event will feature a fashion show, live entertainment, food trucks, and more (6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at Campus Martius); and the Beacon Park End of Summer Concert features performances from Grammy-nominated artists Etana and Skip Marley (Saturday, Aug. 27, at Beacon Park).

Visit the Downtown Detroit Partnership online for a full schedule of events.

What they’re saying: “Downtown Detroit is celebrated locally and nationally for having so many wonderful and active parks and venues,” says David Cowan, chief public spaces officer for the Downtown Detroit Partnership. “With 100 years of caring for our Downtown, the secret to success has always been providing a diversity of signature events while preserving opportunities to explore our city’s dynamic cultural, retail and entertainment scene. We invite everyone to celebrate our milestone by joining us this summer in the heart of Detroit.”

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.