GM to Sponsor River Days Festival Again


DETROITThe Detroit RiverFront Conservancy announced General Motors will return as title sponsor of the signature River Days festival by the Detroit Riverfront June 21–23. The lead sponsorship from GM comes as the Conservancy celebrates its 10-year anniversary. The event’s new name, GM River Days presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, reflects GM’s support for the event. 

“We are incredibly fortunate to have General Motors as a champion of River Days and a committed corporate partner that has supported the Conservancy’s efforts since the beginning,” said Matt Cullen, chairman of Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. “Our many great public and private partners have made it possible for us to make significant progress on the riverfront as we continue to develop public access and serve as an anchor for economic development.”

“General Motors is proud to continue its longtime support of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and return as the title sponsor of River Days,” said Tim Mahoney, General Motors chief marketing officer. “We applaud the Conservancy for its remarkable work over the last decade that has led to miles of beautiful riverfront for our community, and employees, to enjoy during this spectacular festival.”

“General Motors has been an incredible partner to the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy over the last decade,” said Faye Alexander Nelson, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy president & CEO. “GM was instrumental in the launch of River Days in 2007, and we are thrilled to welcome them once again as our title sponsor in this milestone year for the Conservancy.”

Organizers also announced one of the most legendary musical line-ups in the festival’s history on the Michigan Lottery Stage, featuring The Guess Who, The O’Jays and George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars. The Guess Who will perform on Friday night, while The O’Jays will sing on Saturday night.  On Sunday evening, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars will close out the festival.

Three local Detroit bands were selected as opening acts on the Michigan Lottery Stage throughout the weekend including SuperLast, Soul Preacha’s featuring Marcus Cole & Mark A’lleven and The Infatuations. Third New Hope Baptist Church in Detroit is scheduled to perform Sunday afternoon. The full music line-up of more than 40 musical acts and kids’ stage entertainment will be released early next month.

Returning to the River Days festival includes:

Detroit River ArtScape, an open art competition, is returning with more featured artists and increased cash awards totaling $17,000 thanks to the Knight Foundation. This year, the artwork from the 15 finalists will be on display along the RiverWalk, beginning Monday, June 17 through Sunday, June 23.  In addition to a professional juror panel, the general public and River Days attendees will have the opportunity to also vote for their favorite artist through a special text-messaging program, courtesy of ePrize.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will expand their involvement in the festival with more than 40 activities and programs that will take place inside the William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor, including campfire and s’more making exhibits. The experts will be on hand to offer instructions on recreational activities such as fishing, birding, and disc golf. Demonstrations on camping, hiking, biking, paddling, and archery will be provided. 

Located on Rivard Plaza, The Flagstar Kids Zone is open all weekend long. Parents should pick up a free wristband from the Flagstar Bank Booth at the festival. The Kids Zone produced by The Parade Company will feature magic and puppet shows, face painting, hand painting with the Detroit Institute of Arts, recyclable crafts with Arts & Scraps and AM 910 Radio Disney entertainment on the Meijer Kids Stage. Rivard Plaza will also be the site of a 50-ton sand sculpture presented by Quicken Loans and designed by Team Sandtastic.

Kicking off the festival activities on Saturday, June 22, the DMC River Days 5K Walk and Run will showcase the Detroit RiverWalk, including the Milliken State Park and provide a healthy, fun experience for participants.

Proceeds from the event will help support the non-profit conservancy. Interested runners may register at

Strolling Busker Entertainment, a popular addition to last year’s event, will return for the second straight year. Magicians, acrobats, living sculptures, musicians and more will be in three areas along the RiverWalk,.

There will be activities on the water with the Diamond Jack River Tours, as well as tours of the Appledore IV tall ship presented by Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center docked at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Dock. Typhoon Tommy and his world-class jet ski team will use the Detroit River as their stage to perform big air jumps, flips and underwater dives for the crowds along the Riverfront.

The Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine will be at the Pepsi Taste of Detroit Food Court. In addition, more than 20 eateries will present food throughout the weekend, including Detroit’s own Cliff Bell’s, Palm Palace, Wingstop and River Walk Café.

“The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is excited to step up our partnership with River Days and the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy,” said Raul Venegas, marketing director for the Mt. Pleasant Resort. “We see River Days as a unique regional festival with a beautiful backdrop and large crowds, making it perfect to showcase our resort, entertainment and great cuisine.”

The 2013 GM River Days Presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort kicks off Friday, June 21 at 11 a.m. and spans from the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor to the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Terminal & Dock, just past the Renaissance Center. Festival hours are 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday. The Conservancy will charge a $3 admission fee (and $5 after 5 p.m.) to help underwrite programming and operational costs for the festival.  For a full schedule of events and activities, visit