ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – On Thursday evening, the Royal Oak Farmers Market will transform into a performing arts and party pavilion for “Arts du Jour,” the official “appetizer” of the 2011 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival.

Marking its ninth year, the evening event is the charity preview to the summer festival and offers partygoers the chance to be the first to taste, hear, see and feel what’s to come during the Labor Day weekend festival, while raising money for nearly a dozen metro Detroit area nonprofits.

Event promoter Jon Witz said 50 of Metro Detroit’s restaurants, eateries, sweet shops and beverage boutiques will showcase their culinary delights by serving samples during the evening.

“Just an array of restaurants, you know, that we’re so excited to feature. Then, we’re going to have wonderful entertainment, we’ve got Sean Blackman and Viola, we’ve got Persuasion, Black Thorn, the Nadanta Dancers, two stages, one inside the Farmers Market and one outside,” Witz said.

Ten nonprofit organizations will receive 75 percent of the proceeds from Arts du Jour and event attendees can choose which of those organizations their ticket benefits. The recipient organizations are:

  • The Arthritis Foundation
  • Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County
  • Forgotten Harvest
  • Gleaners Community Food Bank
  • Michigan Pet Fund Alliance
  • Rose Hill Center
  • Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce High School Scholarship Fund
  • South Oakland Shelter
  • The Children’s Center
  • The Rainbow Connection

Witz said the event is expected to raise more than $50,000 for nearly a dozen local non-profit organizations.

Strolling illusionists, acrobats and pyrotechnics by Detroit Flyhouse performers will keep partygoers wide-eyed throughout the evening with their strolling ‘Cirque du Soleil’ style of performing art. Also performing will be Nadanta Dancers, a  cultural Indian dance troupe, led by Chaula Thacker, who specializes in East Indian dance. Live bands, DJs and Detroit’s unique musical performers will also spread the energy and spirit of music and arts throughout the night.

“Arts Du Jour” runs Thursday night from 6 to 11 pm. Tickets for Arts du Jour are $75 each and include samples from more than 50 metro Detroit restaurants, three drink vouchers and live entertainment. A cash bar also will be available. Upscale attire is required.

Parking will be available at and around the Royal Oak Farmers Market, located at 316 E. 11 Mile Road.

For more information on Arts du Jour, visit

The 14th annual Arts, Beats & Eats will be held over Labor Day weekend in downtown Royal Oak, September 2-5. For more information, click here.


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