ROYAL OAK (WWJ) It’s an end of summer tradition … The Arts Beats & Eats Festival kicks off this Friday in downtown Royal Oak and runs through Labor Day.
The beats are a big draw, to the tune of 400,000 attendees expected this year at the event that celebrates the best in art, music and food in metro Detroit.
There will be more than 200 musical acts, dozens of food vendors and arts as far as the eye can see along Washington Avenue in Royal Oak.
“We have a wonderful, diverse line-up from MC Hammer on Monday to Smash Mouth Friday, Montgomery Gentry, Guster — we love our headliners, we love our local bands,” said Arts, Beats & Eats Director Jon Witz.
If the beats are not your thing, check out the eats.
“Prime 29, which is doing filet mignon sliders, which I tried last week at Arts du Jour, were phenomenal — B.D.’s Mongolian BBQ, we love their grill; San Torini is new from Greektown,” Witz said.
It’s still a couple of days away, but preparations are already in high gear. The parking lot at the corner of I-696 and Main Street is full of fair vendors emptying trucks of equipment, and neighborhood streets around the downtown are already getting blocked off.
“We start by laying the electrical lines and then the tenting, each block goes in sequence, it’s really an intense process and we try to make sure everyone’s on time for when they’re supposed to be there so all the right vehicles can be on site at the right time and we’re ready to put on a great show,” Witz said.
Proceeds from parking in city structures, which costs $15 per car, go back to the city to support police time, cleanup and other costs. The official lots are on Lafayette, at Center and Third Streets and at Royal Oak Farmers Market on 11 Mile.
And beware a lesson learned by many the hard way. Don’t try to park on a neighborhood street anywhere near the festival. Police are vigilant about writing $50 tickets to anyone parked on a local street without a residents’ parking permit.