ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – We haven’t touched a grain of summer sand yet but the festival that marks the end of summer vacation for thousands of area kids is in full planning mode.

Arts, Beats and Eats in Royal Oak will have a bit of a different look when you walk down the streets this Labor Day weekend.

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The festival organizers are encouraging artists with a municipal inclination to take part in the Meters Made Beautiful contest.

Anyone can apply to paint a design on one of 150 parking meters – which will take place a week before the event – if you are picked to paint.

“We can leave Royal Oak with artwork well beyond the festival — which fits the dynamic atmosphere of the downtown,” says event organizer John Witz. “We do think that the meters will be the fun new addition — walking the sidewalks of Royal Oak.”

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“It’s been great for the city of Royal Oak,” says Mayor Jim Ellison, “and I think we’ve been good for Arts, Beats and Eats as well.”

The first place winner of the meter-made beautiful will take home $1,500.
More details on Meters Made Beautiful.

The festival runs Sept. 2-5 and offers more than 200 performances on nine stages, a highly ranked Juried Fine Arts Show, and local restaurants with some of the finest cuisine in Metro-Detroit. Each year international, regional and local attractions at the festival make the City of Royal Oak the premier destination for Labor Day weekend.

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In 2015, over 380,000 visitors attended the festival and over $250,000 was raised for local charities. Festival admission is $3 until 3 p.m. and $5 after 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is free to enter until 5 p.m. on Friday only.