Plans for the 2012 Ford Arts, Beats and Eats are well under way. I attended a recent press conference and learned more about the changes and expectations for this year's Ford Arts, Beats and Eats festival. Arts Beats and Eats will take place August 31st through September 3rd (Labor Day) 2012.
Here are some changes the festival goers can expect to see this year at the 2012 Ford Arts Beats and Eats:
An Autism Initiative - "Speaking Up For Those With Autism"
This year Ford Arts, Beats & Eats will be teaming up with local autism initiatives Autism Alliance of Michigan and Autism Speaks. Select families will be given a unique experience and an all-access pass to the festival. On both Saturday and Monday, hundreds of children on the autism spectrum and family members will enjoy access to the festival that includes free parking, courtesy of the City of Royal Oak, as well as free admission, free lunch, free carnival rides and moonwalks. When I asked Jon Witz, Arts, Beats & Eats Producer, how will families qualify for this opportunity, he replied, "Our plan is that Autism Alliance and Autism Speaks are going to reach out to community organizations that deal with families who have a child on the spectrum, and let them nominate participants to do it." I further asked if it was going to be limited to a certain number of participants, to which he replied, "Yes, 150 families on Saturday, and 150 families on Monday. If we can make it bigger we will. We might be able to grow it. If the response is overwhelming, we'll try to do it every day!"
Radiothon - Also new is the radiothon "Soft Rock 105.1 Calls for Kids" which will benefit the Children's Miracle Network at Beaumont Children's Hospital. Throughout each day of the festival, festival attendees, as well as 105.1 listeners, will have the opportunity to make donations to help kids at Beaumont. While generating pledges, festival goers will be selected to paricipate in a wind tunnel cash grab to see how much money they can gather in 20 seconds.
USA Basketball Dream Tour - Arts, Beats & Eats is also starting a new USA Basketball Dream Tour. Visitors will be able to show off their skills on the basketball courts in games of HORSE, Around the World, and Shootout. When not on the courts, players can use provided mobile devices that will feature an array of basketball and trivia applications that will pit visitors against one another in friendly competition. Additionally, former NBA and USA Basketball star Muggsy Bogues will be by to meet and greet guests, sign autographs, and pose for pictures on Friday between 5-7pm and Saturday between 1-3pm.
New Restaurants - There are some new restaurants in the lineup at Arts, Beats & Eats. More than 70 eateries, caterers and dining attractions will be participating. Some of the newbies include Gemmayze, Hamlin's Corner, Bastone's Brewery, Mitchell's Fish Market, Beans and Cornbread, Slab and Slice, and the Polish Village Cafe.
New Health Initiatives - Two health related events will fall back-to-back at this year's Arts, Beats & Eats - the Arts in Motion 5K and the all new Zumbathon celebration. Registration for these events begins in early July and can be accessed at www.artsbeatseats.com.
At this year's Arts, Beats & Eats you will see a dedicated space for Deaf Fine Artists and Regional Arts Organizations. This gives the audience the opportunity to become educated and celebrate the arts and diversity through interaction among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Artists.
The fee for full access to the festival’s renowned entertainment programming after 5 p.m. will be increased to $5. The admission fee before 5 p.m. on Saturday through Monday will remain $3, and admission before 5 p.m. on Friday is free.
Click here for 2012 Arts, Beats and Eats Entertainment and Concert Schedule.
Click here for Arts Beats and Eats parking info.
Click here for more Oakland County and Metro Detroit, Michigan events, activities and things to do.
Click here for the Arts, Beats and Eats official website.