The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s 13th Annual Detroit River Days will take place June 21-23 at a new location — the West Riverfront Park near the main U.S. Post Office. The annual event will offer musical and street performances, food trucks, air shows, and children’s activities.
The 22-acre park is located at 1801 W. Jefferson between Rosa Parks Boulevard and Eighth Street along the river and is the site of the future Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, slated to open in 2022.
“River Days is a great opportunity for everyone to experience West Riverfront,” says Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “Detroiters and visitors will be able to enjoy exceptional music, delicious food, fun activities, and the spectacular views that the west riverfront has to offer during the festival. It will be a great preview of what’s to come as we break ground on the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park next year.”
The park hosts summer concerts and events including Mo POP Festival and Detroit Touch-A-Truck.
For 2019, Detroit River Days has partnered with the Motown Museum and will feature performances from Grammy-winning Smokey Robinson, the “King of Motown;” R&B group Mary Jane Girls; funk and R&B group Luther Re-Lives; R&B singers Brandy, Brian McKnight, Faith Evans, and Carl Thomas; local band Notorious; and local singer Brielle Lesley. Music will be performed on the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort National Stage. Soaring Eagle is the presenting sponsor.
The festival will also include local Motown music and spoken word presented by Motown Museum through its Motown 60 at 6 program, in honor of the Motown Records’ 60th anniversary. The shows will take place each evening at 6 p.m. Participating food trucks will take part in a cooking competition to create a Motown-themed dish.
“Bringing Motown magic to anticipated events like River Days is important to us as an organization invested in the success of Detroit and our community,” says Raina Baker, program manager for Motown Museum. “We are honored to participate in this year’s event as another way the local community can celebrate this milestone year with us all year long as we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of Motown Record Corp.”
Other acts will include rock, pop, indie, blues, soul, and country music and will take place on the Metro by T-Mobile Stage and the Michigan Lottery Stage.
The Kroger Food Truck Rally will include more than 110 food trucks throughout the weekend and be Michigan’s largest food truck rally yet. Participating trucks include BeaverTails Detroit, Cosmic Burrito, D Motown Deli, Detroit’s Original Seafood Truck, The Great Lakes Food Truck, Mz. Moma Jean’s Kitchen, The Smoke N Pig, and Wahlburgers.
The Tuskeegee Airmen National Historical Museum will offer air shows at 1 p.m. on Friday and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will provide hands-on activities including educational games, live animals, and fishing demonstrations.
Typhoon Tommy and his jet ski team will bring the Detroit River USA Freestyle Championships to the river. Pilots will use jet skis and hydroflight devices to jump, flip, spin, and dive.
The Flagstar Bank Kid’s Corner, produced by The Parade Co., will be open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and include a monster mural, craft stations, sand art, spin art, face painting, and themed activities from the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Michigan Science Center. There will also be magic, science, music, and animal shows.
The Ninth Annual Shimmer on the River, hosted by the conservancy, is an exclusive preview to Detroit River Days. On June 20, the event will host Motown legends The Four Tops for a live performance. Guests will also enjoy a food truck rally, live piano karaoke, games, refreshments, and activities for all ages. The conservancy will recognize Nettie Seabrooks with the Shimmer Award for her commitment to the riverfront’s revitalization. Tickets for the event start at $75. More information on the event is available here.
The 2019 Detroit River Days will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. each day. The admission fee is $5, and each guest will receive a $3 coupon to use toward a food truck purchase. Admission is free before 5 p.m. on Friday. More information, a full line-up of events, and parking information are available here.