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Reasons To Visit Detroit In 2012

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(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Start making your plans to travel to the Motor City now! Detroit is a world-class sports and entertainment city, we build some of the coolest cars on the planet and music is part of our DNA. Come experience the D!

January 9-22 – North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world.

January 20-22 – Plymouth Ice Festival – Boasting more than 100 ice sculptures, amazing food, live carving demonstrations, outdoor shopping, winter sports activities and much more!

February 11-13 – 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.

February 18 – SportsFest – Typically the second Saturday in February, SportsFest is 97.1 The Ticket’s ultimate sports nut convention.

February 21 – Paczki Day In Hamtramck – Metro Detroit’s Polish Town will celebrate with live music, delicious paczek, food and drink.

March 11 – The Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade follows Michigan Avenue through Corktown, Detroit’s oldest surviving neighborhood. Learn how Detroit celebrates St. Patrick’s Day.

April (dates TBA) – Detroit Restaurant Week – Enjoy an incredible variety of fine dining at discounted prices. There’s also a fall edition in September.

April 5 @ 1:05 p.m. – Detroit Tigers Home Opener Vs. the Boston Red Sox – Comerica Park is the place to be on April 5th. After finishing the 2011 season in the playoffs — 2012 is bound to be interesting. Plus visit the 97.1 The Ticket Opening Day Block Party at Grand Circus Park (one block east of the southwest corner of Comerica).

April – 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.

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo in Mexicantown – Celebrations kick off early with a fun run and a parade — then crowds gather in the streets of Southwest Detroit to show off their rides, enjoy live music, street food and one of the many great restaurants and bars near W. Vernor Highway.

May (dates TBA) – 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 2012 Hoedown dates and details! More info at wycd.radio.com.

May 26-28 – 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 & under are admitted free.

June 1-3 Belle Isle Grand Prix – World-class auto racing will return to the Motor City the weekend of June 1-3, 2012 as the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will roar through the streets of Belle Isle Park for the first time since 2008.

June (dates TBA) – River Days and Target Fireworks – 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.

July (dates TBA) – 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.

August 18 – 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.

August 31-September 1 – 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. Admission is free.

September (date TBA) – Detroit Lions Home Opener – With a much improved 2011-2012 season, the home opener at Ford Field is a must see for Michiganders and NFL fans across the nation. Eastern Market is a favorite of tailgaters. Will they make a run for the Super Bowl in 2012? Weirder things have happened.

October (date TBA) - Red Wings Home Opener – When summer is cooling off, the storied Detroit Red Wings heat up Joe Louis Arena. With 20 post-season appearances, the “Wings” are synonymous with hockey.

November 22 – 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.

Notable events outside of the Metro Detroit area.

January 25-30 – Zehnder’s Snowfest is one of the top snow sculpting competition events in North America. Plus entertainment for the entire family including fireworks, petting zoo and children’s activities.

July 18-21 – Ann Arbor Art Fair – One of the most well-known events of its kind in the country. The majority of town and parts of the U-M campus are taken over by more than 500,000 fairgoers.

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