Have the best Detroit August ever with these essen...

Have the best Detroit August ever with these essential events

Fash Bash 2019, on Aug 15, is a fundraiser for the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Welcome to Detour Detroit’s curated events guide for August 2019. Whether you’re looking for culture, boozing or both combined, we’ve got you covered. Bookmark this list; we’ll update it throughout the month. But start planning out your days now — we’ve got ways to help your community, workshops to expand your skills, ideas to get active outdoors, tours through city history and plenty of pop-up eats. Go forth and get busy this August in Detroit!



📰 Attend “Soft Shards: A Night of Nonfiction” with readings from Lia Greenwell and Jennifer Quartado, plus music by Shells. Recommended by Detour member Dan Wickett. (Aug. 2, New Center, free, info) 

🕊️ Explore peace, power and utopia at the 7th annual Sidewalk Festival, with art, storytelling, music, dance, poetry and theater for your enjoyment and participation. (Aug. 2-3, Old Redford, free, schedule)

🎤 Don’t sleep on Detroit’s other electronic music festival — Charivari showcases the best of Detroit DJs on three jam-packed nights, with art and yoga, too. (Aug. 2-4, West Riverfront Park, free, info)

🛍️ Detour member Lisa Diggs brings the Buy Michigan Now festival back to help you shop local — this week and forever. The three-day festival features bands, Michigan-made artists and producers and a book sale and signing featuring authors from the Mitten State. (Aug. 2-4, Northville, free, info)

💸 Support businesses impacted by Livernois Avenue construction at a Cash Mob and First Friday convergence. Recommended and co-organized by Detour member Amber Hunt. (Aug. 2, Avenue of Fashion, free to attend, info)

📸 Chat all things photo, see work from some photogs and welcome FREE FILM: USA, a public art project distributing and processing 35mm film for free. (Aug. 2, North Corktown, free, info)


🧶 Examine what freedom means in Detroit with the unveiling of a community-created Four Freedoms Quilt at the Detroit Historical Museum. (Aug. 3, Cultural Center, free, info)

🥀 Poke some dead things and celebrate the unusual at the Detroit Oddities & Curiosities Expo. (Aug. 3, Novi, $10, tickets)

🍗 Answer once and for all the timeless question: who makes the best wings in the city? Let your tastebuds decide with chicken from 15 local restaurants at the Wing Out Detroit food fest, accompanied by reggae. (Aug. 3-4, Roosevelt Park, $56, $20 discount with promo code DETROIT20, info)

🛍️ Be the first of your Instagram followers to snag a coveted item from this next-wave fashion pop-up at Posie Atelier. Coup D’Etat, launched by Detour member Angela Wisniewski, specializes in fashion for the rebellious woman by emerging and independent designers. (Aug. 3-4, Eastern Market, free to attend, info).


🚴‍♀️ Take a guided bike tour highlighting treasures of Northwest Detroit, while supporting the Neighborhood Service Organization, on the Handlebars for the Homeless ride. (Aug. 4, Pilgrim Village, $40, info)

🥂 Kick off a lazy Sunday at a secret garden brunch on the Peterboro’s patio with DJ Dave Lawson. (Aug. 4, Cass Corridor, free to attend, info)

🙅‍♀️ Send some dollars to ACLU of Michigan and Planned Parenthood at the Not Going Back fundraiser, with a stellar music lineup, food by Pakistani pop-up Khana and intriguing raffle donors. Co-organized by Detour fellow Sara Aldridge. (Aug. 4, New Center, $10 donation, info)

kayaking on the detroit river



🥟 Satisfy your cravings with the Pietrzyk Pierogi Pop-Up, whether your tastes run from classic to spicy to Mediterranean. (Aug. 5, Milwaukee Junction, dishes run $3-$10, info)

📈 Learn over lunch how to apply to the Accelerate Michigan entrepreneur competition for a chance to win a chunk of the $1 million in prizes this November. App registration is due Aug. 16, so get writing! (Aug. 5, Downtown, free, info)

🍸 Get buzzed for a cause at Communal Buzz, where a guest bartender from New Orleans’ Manolito will sling drinks at the Skip, with all proceeds going to Alternatives for Girls. (Aug. 5, Downtown, free to attend, info)


📚 Discuss Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, a novel about two teens in London abandoned by their parents after World War II. The book was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. (Aug. 6, Grandmont Rosedale, free, info)

🌇 Meditate on the move on a silent walk as the sun sets along the Detroit River, guided by MindTravel, with music in provided headphones. (Aug. 6, Riverfront, free, register) 

🥘 Send a kid to an intro class on Indian cooking. (Aug. 6, Eastern Market, $20, tickets)

🚍 Join community members to tackle the big questions about how we create new mobility solutions that are inclusive and accessible to all people. Dinner provided. (Aug. 6, Corktown, free, info)

🐶 Drink with dogs at a Yelp-hosted event — water for your pup, cocktails for you. (Aug. 6, Corktown, free, info)


🥕 Join one of six bike or bus tours exploring different geographies and themes of Detroit’s urban farming movement, focused on everything from the power of organizing to different gardening models on the east side. (Aug. 7, Eastern Market, $15-$100, tickets)

🌓 Manifest the best in one another at a communal dinner at Fool House, where attendees can transmute collective fears and doubts into actions that shift the environment and inspire personal growth. (Aug. 7, North End, free, info)

👯‍♀️ Detroit is a dame’s town — learn the stories of its wild women on a history bus tour, with drinks and eats. (Aug. 7, $47, Eastern Market, tickets)

🌃 Party on a historic rooftop for DESIGNCONNECT, a nonprofit focused on expanding career opportunities in the design world for Detroit youth. (Aug. 7, Downtown, free, register)


🏢 Honor the best of Detroit’s commercial spaces at the Drinks x Design: Commerce Design Detroit Awards. (Aug. 8, Old Redford, free, register)

🏦 Bring questions about starting a business, applying for loans and more to a community chat with Chris Butterfield of ProsperUS. (Aug. 8, Southwest, free, info)

Featured event: Meet up with the Detour crew, taking over Marrow’s patio for a relaxed happy hour, with drinks, snacks and tunes by Peter Croce. Come say hi to fellow Detour readers and our fabulous Emerging Voices fellows! We’ve got limited space — RSVP today. (Aug. 8, Marrow, $3, register)  

Find out more about sharing your events with Detour readers. 

🕺 Dance fueled by late ‘00s nostalgia at the “I Miss The Old Kanye” party. (Aug. 8, Downtown, $10, tickets)

🦋 Float like a butterfly with an informative chat from Tom Allenson, who collects data about the winged creatures who live on Belle Isle. (Aug. 8, Belle Isle, free, register) 

🎬 Learn how “She Did That” in the film and panel exploring how black women turn passions into entrepreneurship from Renae Bluitt, featuring some local talent. (Aug. 8, Downtown, $25, tickets) 


🤣 Laugh in the secret lair of Green Brain Comics with stand-up from 10 comedians. Recommended by Detour member Dan Wickett. (Aug. 9, Dearborn, free, info)

🖼️ Check out the Detroit Swag Artist Series with work on view from mixed-media collage artist Judy Bowman. (Aug. 9, McDougal-Hunt, free, RSVP)

🚣‍♀️ Plan a different kind of ladies night at a Girls Night Outdoors kayaking session. (Aug. 9, Belle Isle, $16, tickets)

🏞️ Support the Playground Rescue Group at a benefit concert to fund their efforts to upgrade North Rosedale Park with a wheelchair-accessible surface and play equipment for kids with disabilities and sensory sensitivities. (Aug. 9, North Rosedale, $20, tickets)

🐾 Take your doggo out for a splash, caricature and viewing of “Space Jam” at the Pups in the Plaza event. (Aug. 9, Midtown, free, register)

🚲 Try out adaptive cycling options, including recumbent tricycles and tandem bikes with MoGo. (Aug. 9, RiverWalk, free, info)


🍄 Bring the kids to D-Town Farm for a family fest with activities, garden pizza and more. (Aug 10, West Outer Drive, free, info)

🌻 Marvel at the winner of the tallest stem contest and plenty more brown and yellow beauties at the Sunflower Festival at Lafayette Greens. (Aug. 10, Downtown, free, info) 

📺 Delight in the family eccentricities of the “Schitt’s Creek” characters with a live show from the cast, including real-life family Eugene and Dan Levy. (Aug. 10, Cass Corridor, $60-$100, tickets)


🏺 Scoop up some ceramics on the cheap at the Pewabic Pottery annual summer sale, with discounts up to 50% off. (Aug. 11, Indian Village, free to attend, info)

🚘 Reminisce about classic cars — with the backdrop of a historic fort, and without the modern intrusions of Woodward cruisers. (Aug. 11, Delray, $5, info)

🎙️ Enjoy a soulful evening with the iconic Gladys Knight at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre. (Aug. 11, Rivertown, $46-$76, tickets)

Via frame

AUGUST 12-18


🚌 From Cadillac to Cobo, educate yourself on “enemies of freedom” throughout Detroit’s history on a bus tour. (Aug. 12, Cultural Center, $20, tickets)

🎉 Celebrate Eid Al-Adha with an evening of family fun at the Arab American National Museum. (Aug. 12, Dearborn, free, info)


🔐Learn about the Freedom of Information Act (you know, the law that gives citizens like us the right to know what our government is doing), and get one-on-one advice to filing a FOIA from legal experts and Free Press journalists. (Aug. 13, Southwest, free, register)

🍲 Cook and share recipes in company with other moms at the club de mamas. (Aug. 13 and Tuesdays, Southwest, free, info) 

📊 Plan your business’ future with the scoop on making accurate financial projections. (Aug. 13, Avenue of Fashion, free, register)


🧘 Calm down at a yoga session under the moonlight led by instructor Michelle Moten of Detroit’s Urban Solace studio — with glowsticks. (Aug. 14, RiverFront, $5, register)

👖 Upcycle your jeans after taking a class on mending denim with Sashiko and Boro techniques. (Aug. 14, Kercheval and Chalmers, $35, tickets)

🎭 Have a dreamy night in the park at an outdoor performance of “Dreamgirls,” a play that takes you back to that magical musical time of Motown and the ’60s, with forays into the inner workings of the entertainment industry and the beginning of disco. (Aug. 14-18, New Center, free, info)

👩‍🍳 Dine with the country’s best and brightest chefs at frame’s Eater Young Guns Eat + Drink Week — whether you want a culinary journey to San Francisco’s Koreatown with chef Deuki Hong, a seafood experience with chef Jacob Harth of Portland’s Erizo, or something entirely different. (Aug. 14-18, Hazel Park, $55-$85, info)


💰 Become a community investor at a workshop that explains how to put your money into local companies. (Aug. 15, Southwest, $10, tickets)

👒 Make a splash at Fash Bash, a benefit for the Detroit Institute of Arts with runway show and after party. Recommended by Detour member Colleen Robar. (Aug. 15, Cultural Center, $150 and up, tickets)

🍕 Get out of your pie rut and pick a new favorite slice at the Pizza Throwdown. (Aug. 15, Eastern Market, $5-$90, tickets)


🦉 Cultivate some quiet and tune your ears to the skies during a cemetery bird walk. (Aug. 16, Elmwood Cemetery, free, info)

🎼 Check out the “trance-funk beauty” of Mauritanian musician Noura Mint Seymali, trained in the ardine harp by her grandmother and in composition by her father. (Aug. 16, Eastern Market, $15-$20, info)

🥁 Get into the spirit for the 37th annual African World Festival, with performances, crafts, African drumming and dance, foods of the diaspora and joyful crowds. Recommended by Detour member Julién Godman. (Aug. 16-18, Cultural Center, free, info)


🍽️ Taste the diverse flavor profile of the Arab American community at dining spots along Michigan Avenue on the Yalla Eat! tour. (Aug. 17, Dearborn, $45, tickets)

🧖‍♀️ Find beauty products, panels and demonstrations all celebrating natural hair at a busy expo with more than 90 vendors. (Aug. 17, Downtown, $15, tickets)

🎈 Prepare your best Spice Girls look or Troll Doll hair to make waves at a ‘90s throwback block party. (Aug. 17, Milwaukee Junction, free, info)

💓 Pour your heart out at a poetry workshop focused on the word “love,” and return in the evening for a lovely concert. Recommended by Detour member Julién Godman. (Aug. 17, Banglatown, free, info)

🌿 Take home some wildflowers and native plants grown by the experts at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens sale. (Aug 17-18, Ann Arbor, free to attend, info)


👙 Love the skin you’re in at a body-positive pool party and feel yourself with a lineup of LGBTQ performers. (Aug. 18, Midtown, $20, tickets)

🍔 Have your cake and eat it too at Trendy’s, Street Beet’s vegan take on Wendy’s fast food. (Aug. 18, North Corktown, free to attend, info)

🥙 Connect with Jewish and justice organizations while you sample vegetarian and kosher foods at Hazon’s Michigan Jewish Food Festival. Plus, spend some time learning sustainable practices like plastic bag crocheting, worm composting and working with wool. (Aug. 18, Eastern Market, free to attend, info)

🥃 Get tipsy with the Bard at an inebriated, abbreviated reading of his “The Two Noble Kinsmen” play to support nonprofit Shakespeare in Detroit — your ticket comes with three shots. (Aug. 18, Corktown, $30, tickets)

Via Senate Theater

AUGUST 19-25


🎸 Spend a Monday night out with anti-capitalist, anti-racist feminist jam band Gauche of D.C. Supporting acts Double Winter and phased out. (Aug. 19, Downtown, $10, tickets)

🎶 Art, music and writing are better together. Get all three at the Brain Candy night. Recommended by Detour member Dan Wickett. (Aug. 19, Dearborn, free, info)


💃 Pop on over to Cadillac Square Park for CulturePopDetroit, with workshops and performances from Motor City Street Dance Academy. (Aug. 20, Downtown, free, info)

📓 Don’t miss a reading from poet Glenn Taylor, and grab a copy of his first collection, There Isn’t Enough Dark in a Room. “Maybe my love for Detroit isn’t / good enough or the right kind.” (Aug. 20, Grandmont Rosedale, free, info)


🎨 Let your imagination run wild at an arts and crafts pop-up from Mint Artists Guild. (Aug. 21, Palmer Park, free, info)

🏍️ Rev up to welcome a crew of Milwaukee motorcyclists with your own wheels at the Foundation Hotel’s Bike Night takeover. (Aug. 21, Downtown, free to attend, info)


🥟 Party like a polka star at this festival dedicated to the humblest Polish delicacy, the pierogi. (Aug. 22, Royal Oak, $8-$13, details) 

🍾 Check out up-and-coming Detroit band ATMIG (Jack White’s Third Man Records pressed their LPs) in your best summer duds for The Whitney’s swank annual garden party. (Aug 22, Midtown, $5, RSVP)


🏖️ Pull out some aviators and flip flops to close out the Friday Beach Parties at Campus Martius, with sounds by Zion Lion. (Aug. 23, Downtown, free, info) 

🎞️ Decamp to the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula for the Idlewild International Film Festival, screening films on topics from nature and resiliency to gentrification, with more experiences celebrating Black History and the area’s rich cultural legacy. Organized with Detroit connections. (Aug. 23-24, Idlewild, $20-$70, info) 

💃 Dance on the street, dance for peace and watch the pros do it on stage and screen at the Detroit Dance City Festival. Expect choreographers and performers at the top of their game, plus family-friendly options. Recommended by Detour member Cherie Abbey. (Aug. 23-25, Cultural Center, $0-$100, info)


🏛️ Step inside eccentric and inspiring interiors on the self-paced, 2nd annual Weird Homes Tour. Tix too steep? Sign up to work a four-hour shift as a house wrangler and get two free. Recommended by Detour member Alex Dimitrijeski. (Aug. 24, Metro Detroit locations, $30-$45, tickets) 

📽️ See large-scale projections of photographs by a range of the city’s well-known and emerging visual creators lit up among the stars in the nighttime sky. The Focus on Detroit Photography Festival also incorporates workshops, food trucks and a beer garden into the pictorial happenings. (Aug. 24, Oakman Blvd., free, info)

🛍️ Score some great deals at the North Cass Neighborhood Summer Sidewalk Sale as you stroll through patio performances from Lac La Belle and other bands. Recommended by Detour member Alison Piech. (Aug. 24, Midtown, free, info)

🍿 Whip yourself into a “Reefer Madness” at a screening of the cult classic as part of the Hot, Sweaty and Weird film series. (Aug. 24, Southwest, $5, info)

🏎️ Bring your hot rods, choppers, customs and bobbers to the Hamtramck Hustle, a long-running classic car meetup for the most legit gearheads you know. (Aug. 24, Hamtramck, free to watch or $10 to register a vehicle, info)

🌹 Head up to Heavenly Scent Herb Farm for an adventure-filled afternoon through nature’s assortment of olfactory delights. Wander the gardens or shop the more than 50 food and retail vendors on site. (Aug. 24-25, Fenton, free, info)

 🖼️ Maybe all art fairs are kind of similar, but are you really going to go the whole summer without visiting one? Check out some art in Hazel Park while taking in the sights and sounds of a local band or aerial performance troupe. (Aug. 24-25, Hazel Park, free, info)

🏗️ Two schoolteachers met Frank Lloyd Wright and commissioned a home from him (can you imagine?!). The Smith House, referred to by Wright as “My Little Gem,” is an excellent example of hiss utopian vision of homes for the American middle class. Take a semi-private tour guided by the experts at Cranbrook. (Aug 24-25, Bloomfield Hills, $55, info).


🚴‍♀️ What’s one part scavenger hunt, one part bike adventure and all parts awesome? The 2019 Scavenger Roll/ Caza Ciclista competition, benefiting the urban enterprise Southwest Rides. (Aug. 25, Southwest, $15+, register).

🥣 Be the first to hear about Detroiters’ best projects and business ideas, and vote for your favorite to fund over a community soup dinner. (Aug. 25, Milwaukee Junction, $10 suggested donation, info)

Via PizzaPlex

AUGUST 26-31


✍️ If you’re an entrepreneur with writerly aspirations, take a workshop on turning your book idea into a reality that brings value to your business with book coach Vickie Gould. (Aug. 26, Downtown, $35, tickets)

♣️ Compete like a Michigander at a Euchre tournament, with prizes and free-flowing beer. (Aug. 26, Downtown, $7, info) 


🍶 Six tastings of sakes and personalized instruction from Flowers of Vietnam bartender Marlowe Johnson will make you an expert on this Japanese rice wine. (Aug. 27, Hazel Park, $60, tickets)


👩‍🎤 With a wig and some liquid courage, this weekly karaoke session at PizzaPlex (Haireoke, get it?) hosted by Cole Davis will be a night to remember — or forget! (Aug. 28, Southwest, free, details)

🚲 Take a guided bike tour of Detroit’s urban farm movement with Kido Pielack from Keep Growing Detroit and Wheelhouse Detroit. (Aug. 28, Rivertown, $30/$40 with bike rental, info)


🍷 Being a boss lady can be isolating. Meet and mix at a Ladies Night Out for local entrepreneurs hosted by the brand-new Detroit Writing Room. (Aug. 29, Downtown, $30, tickets)

🧘 Take a backyard yoga class at Hostel Detroit hosted by Brittany Stoeckel and enjoy an after-stretch snack from the Pink Flamingo. (Aug. 29, Corktown, free, info) 


🎤 This karaoke night is dedicated to all those songs in Español we love to belt out, and named in honor of that classic Selena ballad, “Como La Flor.” Recommended by Detour member Juan Carlos Dueweke-Perez. (Aug. 30, Southwest Detroit, free, info here)

🏘️ Tour the tiny, affordable homes at Cass Community Social Services. (Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Dexter-Linwood, $75, info) 

🎶 Love it or love to rag on it, the Soaring Eagle Arts Beats & Eats festival invades downtown Royal Oak this weekend. Details are still under wraps, but it will feature well-priced bites from local restaurants, a juried art show and three nights of music from bands near and far. (Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Royal Oak, more info here).


🏛️ Travel back in time with a Preservation Detroit tour of historic Ferry Street, home to the Hecker Mansion, the Charles Lang Freer House and the Inn on Ferry Street. Recommended by Detour member Alex Dimitrijeski. (Aug. 31, Midtown, $15-$20, tickets)

Kate Abbey-Lambertz is the co-founder and editorial director for Detour Media. She leads editorial strategy for the signature Detour Detroit newsletter, The Blend and special projects, while shaping Detour’s membership program, audience development initiatives and design. Kate was previously a national reporter at HuffPost, where she covered equitable cities and urban issues. She launched HuffPost’s Detroit vertical, serving as reporter and editor, and has reported on Detroit for a decade. Follow her on Twitter: @kabbeyl