ROYAL OAK — The organizers of the 17th annual Arts, Beats and Eats announced Aug. 7 a lineup of musical acts that they say is the Labor Day weekend festival’s strongest yet.
“This is the best music lineup in the history of the festival,” said Mike O’Brien, Ford Motor Co. Detroit regional sales manager.
The headliners for each night include tastes from the ’70s, ’90s and the present from a mix of genres. They include acts like Third Eye Blind, the Village People and Jena Irene, the Farmington Hills native and runner-up in “American Idol” this year.
Sharing the stage throughout the weekend with the nationally known acts are more than 200 local performers.
“It’s going to be very exciting musically,” said Jonathan Witz, the event producer.
Also announced Aug. 5 was the winner of the Arts, Beats and Eats poster design contest.
This year, Royal Oak resident Tim Gralewski’s poster was named the top design.
Gralewski, an instructor of graphic design and art at Marygrove College, said he took a minimalist approach in creating the poster.
“I was going for a design that could incorporate all of the feel of the event,” Gralewski said.
He is proud to represent the artists of Royal Oak during an event taking place in his city.
“You work a lot of years and do different things and get a lot of rejection,” Gralewski said. “So it’s fun when you get a lot of good feedback at once.”
Many of the events of years prior, including the handing out of 1,400 free admission tickets to military veterans, are returning for 2014.
New to this year’s Arts, Beats and Eats is a Detroit Institute of Arts scavenger hunt called the Inside|Out Passport Contest.
The challenge for patrons is to find all of the DIA’s reproductions on display throughout downtown. Those who do receive a prize and enter a drawing to win a weekend at the Soaring Eagle Casino, dinner for four at the Royal Oak Town Tavern or prize packages.
For the health conscious visitors to Arts, Beats and Eats, Priority Health is introducing the “healthy option” logos that will be placed on food vendor menus that are either low in calories, low in fat or vegetarian.
“We like to say we bring the healthy options to every aspect of the Arts, Beats and Eats festival,” said Don Whitford, the vice president of the eastern region for Priority Health.
And announced in June as a new feature for 2014 is the inclusion of the Hair City feature, which will aim to highlight Royal Oak as metro Detroit’s epicenter of fashion and to provide free publicity for the local businesses.
A complete listing of events and maps of the festival can be seen at www.artsbeatseats.com.