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Best Reasons To Visit Detroit In 2011

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(credit: Fabrizio Costantini/Getty Images)

(credit: Fabrizio Costantini/Getty Images)

With rich history and natural beauty, Detroit, Michigan has an undeniable appeal. From autos and music to art and history, learn about the some of our favorite events near Detroit in 2011.

January 10 – North American International Auto Show – Entering its 23rd year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world. This year’s event will again feature ride and drive of electric-drive and hybrid vehicles as well as 30-plus worldwide vehicle debuts.  More auto news

January 15 – Concert: Kid Rock at Ford Field – Kid Rock kicks off his tour with a 40th birthday party and is renaming the stadium Ford “40” Field. Nothing like throwing a birthday bash for you and 60,000 of your friends to get the party started. Event details courtesy of Ford Field. More entertainment news and local events

February 12 – Motown Winter Blast – Centered around Campus Martius Park, participate in fun events and attractions including free ice-skating in Campus Martius Park, musical performances, professional skating demonstrations, unique sculptures, family activities and more. More local events

February 12 – Detroit Boat Show – According to the Michigan Boating Industries Association, in addition to hundreds of boats, motors and accessories, the Detroit Boat Show is proud to offer special features that make this event fun for everyone. Come see the boats and enjoy the attractions – a day at the Detroit Boat Show is a well deserved taste of summer in the middle of Michigan’s winter. More events

April 15 – Detroit Music Awards – Similar to the Grammy Awards, the public can submit and vote on bands to be considered for nominations. Winners are determined by local musicians and industry professionals in southeast Michigan. Previous DMA events have featured appearances by Eminem, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent among many others. More entertainment news and local events

May 13-15 – The Downtown Hoedown - Established in 1983, the event is hosted by 99.5 WYCD, Detroit’s Best Country! Widely recognized as the largest Country Music Festival of its kind in the world. Stay tuned for 2011 Hoedown dates and details! More info at wycd.radio.com

May 28-30 – Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival – Typically held over Memorial Day weekend, DEMF claims to be the definitive experience of electronic music and its culture worldwide. Children 12 & are admitted free. More >> Best Downtown Festivals In Detroit

June (dates TBD) – River Days – The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy began the River Days festival in June 2007 to introduce the community and visitors to the transformed Detroit International Riverfront. Enjoy fireworks, tall ships, live music, sand sculptures, river tours, carnival rides, jet-ski demos, kids activities and lots of food. More local events

June 11 – Taylor Swift at Ford Field – 4-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift brings her “Speak Now World Tour 2011″ to Ford Field. The tour will visit 87 venues in 19 countries.

June 18 – Motor Muster at Greenfield Village - Classics, vintage wheels, motorcycles and muscle cars from the 1930s to today are on display and in a pass-in-review car parade at the fabulous Greenfield Village. Lectures, dramatic presentations, and evening events make Motor Muster more than just a car show. Event details courtesy of  The Henry Ford. More auto news 

July 8-10 – Detroit APBA Gold Cup – Experience more than 100 years of hydroplane racing history. It’s the oldest continuing unlimited hydroplane race in the world with the oldest trophy in all of motorsports. With engines generating approximately 3,000 horsepower, these hydroplanes can reach top speeds of more than 200 miles per hour and can cover the length of a football field in less than a second. more info

August 11 – Woodward Dream Cruise - According to the official site, it’s the world’s largest one-day celebration of classic car culture, attracting more than one million visitors and more than 40,000 classic vehicles.

Aug 20 – Kenny Chesney at Ford Field – The Goin Coastal Tour comes to Ford Field after four consecutive sold out shows from ’06 to ’09. Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker will join Chesney for his fifth summer stop in Detroit at Ford Field. Some of Kenny’s more popular songs include She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy, I Go Back and The Good Stuff.

September 2 – Detroit International Jazz Festival – This substantial event covers several city blocks in downtown. Experience 100 acts on five stages over four days. Participate in educational activities for adults and children. Plus, don’t miss the fireworks, late-night jam sessions and opportunities to meet the artists. Free admission

October (date TBD) – International Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum Induction and Awards

November 8 – One century later: Anniversary of Chevrolet – More Chevrolet news

November 24 – America’s Thanksgiving Parade – One of the country’s oldest and most celebrated parades. It starts on Woodward Avenue and Mack and ends at Woodward Avenue and Congress in downtown Detroit. More local events

The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau contributed to this article.

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