The Ford Arts Beats & Eats is back for its 15th year, and come Labor Day weekend, the streets of downtown Royal Oak will be completely transformed into a big fun-fest.
The community will come alive as thousands of visitors from across the state make their way to the Festival.
With so much going on, it might be easy to become overwhelmed. That's why Patch has compiled a complete guide of what to expect at the 2012 event.
Over 140 booth spaces will house artists from across the nation, highly skilled in media including ceramics, fabric and fiber, painting, leather, photography, sculpture, drawing, wood, digital art, graphics and printmaking, glass, jewelry and metal. The much-talked about Juried Fine Arts Show will feature these artists vying for cash prizes totaling $7,500.
Unique this year is the first-ever Deaf Arts Festival, which will feature the work of a number of artists that are hearing impaired.
Guests who purchase art with their U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa card will receive double points.
Royal Oak will get a taste of over 150 artists playing across 10 stages over a four-day period. Headliners on the Michigan Lottery Stage include R.E.O. Speedwagon, Theory of a Deadman, The Guess Who, Travis Tritt, Mayor Hawthorne & The County, Morris Day & The Time, G. Love & Special Sauce, along with Saving Abel, whose performance was cut short at last year's festival due to thunderstorms. Detroit deaf hip-hop artist Sean Forbes will also perform.
Dozens of local bands, including 50 Amp Fuse, Stewart Francke and Larry Lee & Back in the Day. will have the chance to show off their talents for the crowds.
The Made in Detroit stage will host a special "Detroit's Got Talent" Karaoke contest all weekend. Singers will have the chance to perform their own mini-show each day from 1-5 p.m. All of the contestants were selected through a series of competitions in Detroit area bars prior to the Festival. If you weren't picked, you can still participate in the fun by singing on the stage during open karaoke.
For a complete entertainment lineup, visit the Arts Beats & Eats website here.
More than 50 of the area's most-loved restaurants will set up shop on the downtown Royal Oak streets. Even if you're a picky eater, there's a little something to satisfy everyone's taste-buds, from summer delights to seafood to decadent desserts.
Restaurants to be present at the Festival include: Apolonia Dressings, Beans & Cornbread, BD's Mongolian Grill, Cosi, D'Amato's, Gaucho, Hamlin's Corner, Hudsonville Ice Cream, Kola's Food Factory, La Marsa, Lockhart's BBQ, Polish Village Cafe, Olga's Kitchen, Ryba's Fudge Shops, R.U.B. BBQ, Sangria Tapas Cafe, Slab-n-Slice, Soaring Eagle, The Almond Hut, The Cutting Board, The Potato Factory, What Crepe and many more.
All ages are welcome to attend the Ford Arts Beats & Eats. A fun, interactive "Kids Zone" will be set up throughout the four days, complete with interactive programming. Special arts and crafts areas will also be set up around downtown.
Kids can also join in on the entertainment fun by checking out the performers on the Oakland County Parks Kids Stage which will include music, ventriloquists, clown acts, magic tricks and more.
Furthermore, the Metro PCS USA Basketball Dream Tour will allow kids to show off their best moves on the court as they compete in the friendly ball games of HORSE, Around the World and Shootout. Former NBA and USA basketball star Muggsy Bogues will meet and greet guests at the booth on Friday from 5 - 7 p.m. and Saturday from 1 - 3 p.m.
Health and community-conscious activities
Saturday will be a day of celebrating health and wellness as the Priority Health Arts in Motion 5K returns to the Arts Beats & Eats Festival, with proceeds benefiting Michigan Youth Arts. Following the race, Priority Health will kick off a Zumba-thon celebration to raise funds for the Karmanos Cancer Institute.
A new radiothon make its way to the Ford Arts Beats & Eats Festival this year. "Soft Rock 105.1 Calls for Kids" will generate funds for the Children's Miracle Network at Beaumont through phone pledges. Festival-goers will also be selected each hour throughout the weekend to step inside the Citizens Bank "Miracle" Money Booth to take their turn grabbing as much as they can in 20 seconds. Citizens Bank will match the amount grabbed in the form of a donation to the Children's Miracle Network.
Patrons are encouraged to ride bikes to and from the Festival, and store them in the Bike Corral. To help reduce traffic and promote the environment, riding a bike also promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Additionally, Ford Arts Beats & Eats is teaming with the Autism Alliance of Michigan and Autism Speaks to offer select families an all-access pass to the Festival grounds, including no cost for admission, lunch, carnival rides and parking.
All Royal Oak parking meters will be closed during Arts Beats & Eats. Parking at all downtown lots and structures is $15, and will begin charging at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday through Monday.
A shuttle to/from Royal Oak High School will be operating throughout the weekend, except on Friday. Parking at the shuttle lot is $10, but there is no cost to ride the shuttle.
Patrons are also encouraged to ride their bikes, free to park in designated bike corrals. The corrals will be open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
For a complete list of designated lots and corrals, click here.
Win a new car!
Last but not least, don't walk away from the Ford Arts Beats & Eats empty-handed; enter for your shot to win a new car! Ford will set up a number of interactive displays throughout the perimeters of the Festival as patrons can stop by and check out the latest vehicles from the company, and even test-drive the new 2013 Ford Escape. There's a chance to win exciting prizes, including a new Ford vehicle of the winner's choosing.
11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday
11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Monday
11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
For complete details on the 2012 Ford Arts Beats & Eats, visit www.artsbeatseats.com.