Eight Labor Day Weekend events offer a slew of opportunities
to enjoy the waning days of summer,
Special to the Jewish News
ike cool jazz? Sizzling rock? Fast
cars? One-of-a-kind artworks?
Campy carnival rides? Centuries-old
Find all of these — and diverse gour-
met food — over the Labor Day weekend
in Metro Detroit. Eight massive events
offer enough fare to satisfy just about any
Head into the hub of Motown and find
the Detroit International Jazz Festival,
the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the
Michigan State Fair. Go north of Eight
Mile and browse Art in the Village in the
center of Franklin; Arts, Beats & Eats in
Pontiac; and the Michigan Renaissance
Festival in Holly.
A drive near midtown carries visitors
to the Hamtramck Polish Festival, while
a drive northeast brings riders to the
Michigan Peach Festival in Romeo.
Two Jewish event planners, deeply
involved with the holiday hoopla, remain
aware of the many choices offered event-
goers and discuss some of this year's
"We hope that each event has its own
personality, and part of the personality
of the Detroit International Jazz Festival
will be the beauty of the riverfront site
and Saturday fireworks:' says Mark Loeb,
operations director, who has responsibility
for the stages, sound equipment, signage
and facilities for sponsors and volunteers.
"I work with several festivals in the area,
including the Detroit Festival of the Arts
and the Clay and Glass Festival and Taste
of Royal Oak, and I try to go to festivals
in other states and countries in between
projects to watch for new trends:"
Loeb points out that live broadcasts of
this year's jazz performances will be car-
ried by the National Public Radio station
based in New Orleans. New this year will
August 30 m 2007
be activities in Cadillac Square and a bar-
becue kitchen in a semi-trailer.
Jon Witz, producer of Arts, Beats & Eats,
invites visitors to feel very much at home
"Our downtown area has undergone an
incredible makeover, and we've tried to
make sure there is something for every-
one, including a beautiful presentation by
137 artists, incredible food prepared by
50 restaurants and nine entertainment
stages:' Witz says.
"It's our 10th anniversary, and we're
having a fun promotion that will give
10 winners all-expense-paid trips to the
Caribbean. A new attraction is a health
and wellness tent that will offer free
services, such as medical tests, nutrition
advice and yoga classes. There also will be
a section with presentations by 15 envi-
Because of the many events competing
for sponsor dollars and patrons, planners
are thinking of ways to promote their
events to attract people living outside the
metro area. To help you plan your week-
end, we offer a roundup of events:
Headliners among the stellar lineup of
the free 28th Detroit International Jazz
Festival include Regina Carter, Herbie
Hancock, Bill Charlap, Patti Austin, Maria
Muldaur and Dave Brubeck. The festival
opens 4-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, and runs
noon-11 p.m. Saturday-Monday, Sept. 1-3.
Various stages are arranged to feature
a variety of artists, including Michigan's
Jesse Palter (3 p.m. Sunday on the Hear
& Now Stage) among the close to 30 local
Musical heavyweights from Detroit and
Chicago flavor the festival. Detroit-born
and -raised Carter, the festival's artist-
in-residence, performs 7:15 p.m. Friday
on the Chase Main Stage, followed by
Chicago-born and -raised Hancock at
Crowds jam Saginaw Street in downtown
Pontiac during Arts, Beats and Eats.
Views of the Detroit skyline visually
enhance the sounds of the Detroit
International Jazz Festival.
Charlap performs 7 p.m. Saturday on
the Absopure Waterfront Stage. Austin
brings her Avant Gershwin material to the
Carhartt Amphitheatre Stage 9:30 p.m.
Sunday. Jazz-blues chanteuse Maldaur
joins up with James Dapogny's Chicago
Jazz Band 3:30 p.m. Monday, also on the
Legendary composer and pianist Dave
Brubeck, 86, and his quartet perform 4
p.m. Saturday on the Carhartt stage. Out
this month with a new solo piano CD,
Indian Summer, Brubeck studied early
in his career with famed French Jewish
composer Darius Milhaud. In a nice inter-
generational touch, Brubeck's sons Daniel
Brubeck (drums) and Chris Brubeck
(bass and trombone) perform as part of
the Brubeck Brothers Quartet 1:45 p.m.
Saturday on the Absopure stage.
Food stations are available for different
taste and price preferences. For a complete
schedule of performers and special events,
call (313) 447-1248 or go to
ARTS, BEATS & EATS
Amid the 200 music entertainers on a
myriad of stages, artwork by people from
around the country, restaurant stations
and carnival attractions filling downtown
Pontiac for Art, Beats & Eats are an abun-
dance of kids' activities.
Youngsters can see performers dem-
onstrating skills in magic, juggling and
spoon playing, and they can display
their own talents on a special stage.
Sportapalooza offers competitive events in
basketball tossing, golf putting and more.
In crafts, children can try making candles,
edible sculptures, T-shirt designs and
other original items.
The event goes 4-11 p.m. Friday, Aug.
31; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept.
1-2; and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3.
(248) 334-4600 or www.artsbeatseats.com .
The Michigan Renaissance Festival in
Holly takes visitors back in time with
authentic food, activities, wares and
costumed entertainers. While adults can
indulge in Feasts of Fantasy and Royal
High Teas, youngsters might favor a pet-
ting zoo, knighting ceremony or chances
to make magic wands and masks.
Candles, figurines, portraits completed
on the spot and hair flowers are among