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Detroit Events and Things to Do Over Labor Day Weekend, 2014

Events, Festivals, Attractions, Shows, Walks and Marathons


Labor Day Weekend falls relatively early in the year in 2014. In fact, the holiday weekend begins on Friday, August 29th and runs through Monday, September 1st. Most of the events listed below are crafted to cover the entire weekend, and there is a long list of musical artists set to perform across the Metro-Detroit area. To help you schedule your activities, here is a list of Detroit Events and Things to Do over Labor Day Weekend in 2014.

If you are looking ahead to September and beyond, check out the Yearly Calendar of Events for Metro Detroit.

Arts, Beats & Eats Festival

Pontiac's Arts, Beats & Eats, 2007
Photo © Ken Martin

When: 8/29/14 through 9/1/14 (Labor Day Weekend)
Where: Just west of Main Street (between Lincoln and 11 Mile), Downtown Royal Oak

The annual Arts, Beats & Eats Festival promises its usual celebration, humanitarian efforts, and several stages filled with live entertainment, Among the 250 live performances are national music acts, local bands and kids shows. The festival also includes a fine arts show, as well as 50 local restaurants and caterers cooking up great food.

Detroit Jazz Festival

Detroit International Jazz Festival, 2007
Photo © Sujoy B. 2007. All Rights Reserved.

When: 8/29/14 through 9/1/14 (Labor Day Weekend)
Where: Hart Plaza to Campus Martius Park, Downtown Detroit

The Detroit Jazz Festival is in its 35th year, and where better to celebrate the art form that is Jazz than in downtown Detroit? In 2014, the free event will have four stages of continuous entertainment, including Straighten Up and Fly Right, Joshua Redman, Cyrus Chestnut Plays Dave Brubeck, Cyrille AImee, Phil Woods Quintet and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band -- just to name a few.

Hamtramck Labor Day Festival

Hamtramck Polish Day Parade, 2007
Photo © Greg Kirchner

When: Labor Day Weekend
Where: Downtown Hamtramck

The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival has been celebrating all things Polish with a Labor Day Parade and Festival for going on 34 years. In 2014, it will feature yacht races down Jos. Campau, the Golab-K 5K run, art fair, music, food, carnival rides, and two stages of entertainment. The festival has traditionally offered a pierogi-eating contest, pub crawl and Polish dancers. 

Michigan State Fair

Michigan State Fair
Photo © Sam Sefton

The Michigan State Fair closed permanently in 2009 but was resurrected on a limited scale in 2013.

When: 8/29/14 through 9/1/14
Where: Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi

The Michigan State Fair is the second oldest state fair in the nation. It began its long run in 1849 and closed permanently in 2009 after a 161-year run. In the beginning, the fair traveled around the state; but Lansing was chosen as its permanent host in 1889. In 1905, community leaders, including Joseph L. Hudson, moved it to the 135-acre site off of Eight Mile in Detroit, where it remained until 2009...Read more about the history of The Michigan State Fair.

2014: The Michigan State Fair, now sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi over Labor Day Weekend. Like days of old, the fair will include livestock exhibits, circus performers, entertainment tents, a beer garden, and midway. Tickets start at $6 an adult.

Michigan Renaissance Festival

Renaissance Festival in Holly, 2007
Photo © Wigwam Jones

When: Weekends from 8/16/14 through 9/28/14
Where: Holly

At Michigan's Renaissance Festival, you get to eat an enormous turkey leg, let loose a cat call to passing crowds, watch a joust, and generally get saucy as you go back in time to the Elizabethan era -- more or less -- and experience life among the peasantry. Permanent buildings help create the illusion of 16th century England; and jugglers, comedians and sword swallowers help set the mood by providing their own unique brand of entertainment. Of course, theme weekends might reflect a slightly different era or culture, such as the Royal Pet & Ale Fest! (8/16 & 8/17), Highland Fling! (8/23 & 8/24), High Seas Adventure! (8/30 & 9/1), Wonders of the World (9/6 & 9/7), Shamrocks & Shenanigans! (9/13 & 9/14), Harvest Huzzah! (9/20 & 9/21), Festival Friday! (9/26), and Sweet Endings! (9/27 & 9/28). Admission is $21.95 an adult / $12.95 a child at the gate.

Shows and Concerts

Photo by Steve McNicholas
When: Throughout Labor Day Weekend
Where: Detroit-area concert venues

At any given time, Detroit hosts a variety of shows and concerts, including music and comedy concerts. Over Labor Day Weekend, the following concerts are scheduled:
  • The Doobie Brothers at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston
  • Smokey Robinson at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights
  • Mudhoney / Easy Action / Protomartyr at the Majestic / Magic Stick in Detroit's Midtown

Tigers Baseball

Tigers Baseball
Photo by Spike, © 2008 Radiospike Photography

When: 8/30/13 through 9/2/13 (Labor Day Weekend)
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit

The Detroit Tigers are in town over Labor Day Weekend in 2013. The Tigers play the Cleveland Indians on Friday, August 30th at 7:08 PM; Saturday, August 31st at 7:08 PM; and Sunday, September 1st at 1:08 PM.

Beaches and Parks

Metro Park Beach
Photo © Ri Pizza
When: Throughout the summer
Where: Parks throughout the Metro Detroit area

As might be expected, the Great "Lakes" State has plenty of swimming and beach opportunity. From small swimming holes to Great Lake beaches, the Metro Detroit area has it all. Your guide to Metro Detroit beaches and parks includes crowd information, boat rental availability, general descriptions and other amenity information.

Water Parks and Slides

When: Throughout the summer
Where: Throughout the Metro-Detroit area

If natural ponds and lakes don't provide enough excitement for you this summer, check out the many Detroit-area water parks and slides.

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