Royal OakJune 25, 2012
New items slated for Arts, Beats & Eats
By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer
ROYAL OAK — About 335,000 people hit the streets of Royal Oak last year for the Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival, and officials recently announced a bevy of new features for this year’s event.
The city is hosting Arts, Beats & Eats for the third straight year, but Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said he expects Aug. 31-Sept. 3 to be even more exciting this year with new groups benefiting, new restaurants participating and even former NBA player Muggsy Bogues joining the fray.
“Year after year, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats continues to demonstrate that it is among the premier summer events in Michigan,” Patterson said in a release. “The vibrant displays of art, outstanding lineup of music and mouthwatering array of food bring people from across the region to the streets of Royal Oak. What’s often overlooked is that the festival raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and has numerous community collaborations.”
Among those groups that will benefit are Autism Alliance of Michigan, Autism Speaks, the Children’s Miracle Network at Beaumont Children’s Hospital, Karmanos Cancer Institute, and the deaf and hard-of-hearing population.
“The wide reach and incredible impact of this year’s community initiatives is to be applauded,” said Mike O’Brien, Detroit regional sales manager of title sponsor Ford Motor Co., in a release. “From helping families with children on the autism spectrum, to supporting those in the deaf community, to assisting local arts organizations, to providing dollars for critical medical research, the festival is helping causes from across the area.”
Select families dealing with autism will receive an all-access pass to the 15th annual festival Sept. 1 and 3 that includes free parking, free admission, free lunch, free carnival rides and moonwalks.
Ford has also donated more than $15,000 of exhibit space for the first Deaf Arts Festival, which will feature artwork from about 10 hearing-impaired artists, as well as 10 regional arts organizations such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and the Dearborn-based Arab American National Museum. The deaf and hard-of-hearing artists will also be on-site to interact with festival patrons.
In addition, a Soft Rock 105.1 Calls for Kids radio-thon will collect pledges for funds from both attendees and 105.1 FM listeners to benefit children at Beaumont Hospital.
Attendees will also have a chance to enter an hourly Citizens Bank “Miracle” Money Booth where they get to keep all the cash they can grab in an 8-foot wind tunnel within 20 seconds.
Citizens Bank will also host its annual drive to collect food donations for the Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.
Priority Health will host a pair of back-to-back health and wellness events at the festival Sept. 1. The Priority Health Arts in Motion 5k presented by DMC is expected to kick the morning off with more than 500 runners participating, before a Zumbathon to benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute begins immediately afterward. The hour-long workout to Latin and international music is expecting more than 1,000 participants.
The cost to enter the Zumbathon is $5, but participants are encouraged to raise money by securing pledges. Instructors interested in forming a team are asked to contact Susan at email@example.com. Registration for both events begins in early July at www.artsbeatseats.com.
With all the charity and exercise, Metro PCS is adding an Android twist to traditional basketball competitions of HORSE, Around the World and Shootout, as well as basketball trivia at a trailer that will feature Samsung mobile devices.
For longtime basketball fans, Bogues will be available for photos and autographs 5-7 p.m. Aug. 31 and 1-3 p.m. Sept. 1. Known for his 5-foot-3 stature, Bogues played point guard in the NBA for 14 years, primarily with the Charlotte Hornets from 1988-97, and helped the U.S. national team to a gold medal at the 1986 FIBA World Championship in Spain.
Although event organizers have not released the list of musical acts or restaurant vendors for the festival yet, several new restaurants have signed up to join the pool of more than 70 from 2011, including Gemmayze, Hamlin’s Corner, Bastone’s Brewery, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Beans and Cornbread, Slab and Slice and the Polish Village Café.
For more information on the festival, visit www.artsbeatseats.com.
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