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Experience Metro Detroit Cultural Celebrations All Summer Long

Posted on Thursday, July 07 2016 in Culture

African World Festival blog

Spend a summer in metro Detroit and you'll feel you've traveled the globe. This summer's roster of metro Detroit cultural festivals and events prove the strong traditions of our history live on – in food, music, handmade crafts, artwork and dance. From pierogi or meatball eating competitions to musical performances from local and national legends, plan your ultimate staycation now. No passport required.


When: July 8-10, 2016
What: American Polish Festival and Craft Show
Why should you go? This annual event draws friends and family from across the state and as far as Ohio and Illinois. Where else can you find out how many pierogi you can consume in 10 minutes time? The record is 67 so start practicing. In addition to delicious Polish food, highlights include works by 50 original crafters, Polka, Polish Dance Ensemble performances and a memorable weekend.
Where: The American Polish Century Club
More: Admission is $2 and parking is free. Visit americanpolishfestival.com for more information.

When: July 14-17, 2016
Concert of Colors
Why should you go? Going 24 years strong, this musical celebration of diversity is set to showcase Detroit's most loved music in all forms. Experience Japanese rock duo Cibo Matto one day. See the film about Afrobeat activist Fela Kuti, titled Finding Fela, another. Highlights include songs and artists spotlighting music from the Detroit Free Press Detroit's 50 Greatest Songs project. Don't miss the return of Don Was' Detroit All-Star Revue.
Where: Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center
More: Concerts are free. Visit concertofcolors.com for more information.

When: July 15-17, 2016
What: Festa Italiana
Why should you go? Enjoy three days of family fun, a taste of Italian music, food and more. Where else can you find both a cannoli eating contest and a meatball contest -- along with a weekend full of performers like Mark Randisi and Aaron Caruso to keep crowds singing and dancing along? Festa Italiana is a celebration of Italian heritage like no other.
Where: Freedom Hill County Park
More: Free to enter. Parking is $10 daily. Visit iacsonline.com for more information.

When: July 15-17, 2016
What: Paradise Valley Music Festival
Why should you go? More than 75 artists join to celebrate this noted Detroit neighborhood. Detroit's legendary Thornetta Davis and jazz ensemble Pieces of a Dream are ready to take crowds on a musical experience throughout the weekend, while vintage cars are featured on display and original arts and crafts are available.
Where: Hart Plaza
More: Festival is free. VIP passes cost $25-$45. Visit detroitparadisevalleymusicfestival.com for more information.

When: July 30-31, 2016
Arab and Chaldean World Festival
Why should you go? In one word, art. As the largest Arab and Chaldean Festival in North America, this is the premiere cultural event for the Middle Eastern community. In its 45th year, the festival combines music, fashion, an annual children's fair and the must-see attraction: the art gallery. Catch art on display from 1,000 years of Arab medicine, eye-catching Arab calligraphy and Arab folklore and customs.
Where: Hart Plaza
More: Free to attend. Visit arabandchaldeanfestival.com for more information.

When: Aug. 5-6, 2016
St. Andrew's Society of Detroit Highland Games
Why should you go? The 167th annual Detroit Highland Games returns to celebrate Scottish culture and heritage through music, food, dance and sport. Experience Highland dance and athletic competitions. Hear the pipe and fiddle competitions and check out the Parade of Clans presenting Scottish clans coming from across the United States. Celtic crafts and collectibles abound.
Where: Greenmead Historical Park
More: Admission for advance games is $15 or $20 at the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Visit highlandgames.com for more information.

When: Aug. 19-21, 2016
African World Festival
Why should you go? More than 150,000 attendees are expected to join in the celebration for performances, poetry, arts and crafts, African drumming and dance, as well as delicious food.
Where: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
More: The event is free and open to all ages. Visit thewright.org for more information.

What's your favorite festival? 

By: Stephanie Angelyn Casola

Photo credit: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History