Sights and sounds of summer

Kick off the season with local festivals

By: Jennifer Sigouin | C&G Newspapers | Published June 1, 2011

 Addison Parker and Olivia Parker of Dearborn sell handmade jewelry at last year’s Berkley Art Bash. This year’s event will be on June 11.

Addison Parker and Olivia Parker of Dearborn sell handmade jewelry at last year’s Berkley Art Bash. This year’s event will be on June 11.


Combine talented artisans, good food, live entertainment and a little sunshine, and you have the makings of a great summer festival.

Beginning in June, such events are plentiful in metro Detroit. Here’s a sampling of just a few popular festivals that residents won’t want to miss this summer.

June 11-12
Clay, Glass and Metal Festival — downtown Royal Oak
In Royal Oak, one of the first big events of the season is the Clay, Glass and Metal Festival June 11-12.

Touted as one of the top juried art shows in the country, this year’s event will feature 140 artists selling such items as jewelry, pottery, home décor and architectural pieces.

According to Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce events coordinator Jennifer Clark, it’s not your typical art fair. In addition to selling their wares, artists also will hold live demonstrations of crafts, such as glassblowing. Festival visitors can leave their own mark on Royal Oak by contributing to a community mosaic.

“Each of the artists donates clay, glass or metal shards,” said Clark.

The pieces are assembled by passers-by throughout the festival, and then the final mosaic will be displayed along with previous years’ mosaics in the children’s area of the Royal Oak Public Library. It’s an ongoing project that the chamber plans to continue for years to come.

Festival hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The artists will line Washington Avenue, while food and entertainment will be stationed on Seventh Street.

For more information, visit

June 11
Berkley Art Bash — downtown Berkley

More than 100 artists — along with local authors, musicians and cottage food creators — will take to the streets of downtown Berkley June 11 for this year’s Art Bash.

Photography, garden art, jewelry, pottery, paintings and homemade edibles are just a few of the items visitors can expect to see at the event.

“One thing people love about the fair is the variety of art wares offered,” said Art Bash Director April McCrumb. “We intentionally seek out a diverse collection of artists who offer items with a large variety of price ranges, so there really is something for everybody.”

Younger festival-goers will also find several attractions just for them, including an inflatable slide and moon bouncer, spin art, a Berkley fire truck, and a student area where creative kids ages 8 to 18 will be selling their arts and crafts.

“This is a very family friendly event, with many Berkley residents walking to it from their homes with kids and wagons in tow,” McCrumb added.

The Berkley Art Bash will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on 12 Mile Road, between Tyler and Wakefield streets.

For more information, visit

July 15-17
Founders Festival — downtown Farmington

Downtown Farmington’s Founders Festival began 47 years ago to honor the city’s Quaker heritage, and over the years, the event has expanded to a weekend-long celebration, complete with crafts, music, kids activities, historical tours and more.

The festival, sponsored by the city’s Downtown Development Authority, will include a crafters marketplace, artisan and farmers markets, a variety of food vendors, an ‘80s-themed parade, live music and a kids zone.

“We are excited about some new activities this year,” said DDA Executive Director Annette Knowles. “A Go Green section featuring environmentally friendly products and services will be found on the grounds at Memorial Park. And, kitty-corner, across Grand River in Women’s Park, is a new antique area.”

Knowles added that festival-goers might also want to check out the Farmington History Booth, located on the lawn of Farmington City Hall. The booth will feature educational displays on the city’s history, and visitors can also purchase tickets for horse-drawn wagon rides to the Governor Warner Mansion, where more events will be taking place.

For more information, including entertainment and event schedules, visit

July 28-30
Sterlingfest — Sterling Heights

Sterlingfest, Sterling Heights’ signature summertime event, returns to Dodge Park and the nearby City Center campus July 28-30.

The event features an art show, a midway with games and rides, and musical entertainment from both local and regional acts on three stages: the Dodge Park Main Stage, the Jazz & Blues Stage and the Suds ‘n’ Sounds Stage.

There’s also Restaurant Row, a series of local eateries selling selections from their menus, and the Kidzfest Tent, with crafts and kid-friendly performances by magicians, musicians, animal handlers and more.

Sterlingfest 2011 runs 10 a.m.-11 p.m. each day. Dodge Park and the City Center are located at the intersection of Dodge Park and Utica roads. For more information, call Sterling Heights Community Relations at (586) 446-2489 or visit

Staff Writer Cortney Casey contributed to this report.