Jul 19, 2017

Detroit's Newest Public Space: Beacon Park

DTE Energy hosts free four-day festival to celebrate the opening of Beacon Park
The grand opening of Detroit’s newest public space features music, markets, games … and giant illuminated seesaws
               
Photo Credit: Mark Houston, DTE Energy

The corner of Grand River and Cass Avenue transforms into a place of light, energy, and motion when Beacon Park opens to the public on Thurs., July 20, 2017.  Downtown Detroit’s newest public space debuts with a weekend festival of music, art, dance, and games.  The festivities begin with the park’s official ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. on Thurs. and run throughout the weekend.

“We are excited to bring a vibrant and engaging park to this part of the city,” said Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy chairman and CEO. “The music, art, food, and games offered at Beacon Park are projected to attract a million visitors a year and serve as a catalyst for development in west central downtown.”

Beacon Park highlights include:
  • ·         Lumen, a Belgian brasserie, featuring rooftop seating with panoramic views of the cityscape and park events. The restaurant is scheduled to open in spring 2018.
  • ·         Recreational leagues, operated by Come Play Detroit, that range from volleyball to whiffle ball.
  • ·         130 small luminaires will be mounted at various heights throughout the garden spaces that respond to a variety of triggers: weather events, movement, sound or music, or to specific pre-programmed ‘dances’ by twinkling, changing colors, dimming, etc.
  • ·         Synthetic grass to ensure that the park could host a variety of events year-round, including recreational sports leagues and concerts.

One of the opening weekend’s premier events will be Impulse: An Interactive Art Exhibit. The work is comprised of giant illuminated seesaws that light up when ridden by visitors. Detroit is only the third city in the country to host the playful exhibit, which has primarily toured in Europe. According to the artists who created the exhibit, the seesaws are fitted with LED lights and speakers that produce a sequence of lights and sounds resulting in ever changing composition.
The park will host nearly 50 other activities and performances throughout the grand opening weekend. The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), supported by a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation, operates the park and produces events and programs both for the grand opening and throughout the year.

National musical acts performing during Beacon Park’s grand opening weekend include American indie sensation Lord Huron, Robert Randolph & The Family Band and Plena Libre. The park will host grand opening after-work parties on Thursday and Friday. Saturday will be filled with family-friendly entertainment in addition to a night market featuring 25 unique boutiques. Visitors are invited to a gospel brunch followed by classical music on Sunday. On Sunday evening, visitors can watch the movie Back to the Future on a giant screen while enjoying popcorn, snacks, a hover board demonstration, and giveaways.


“We’ve planned a weekend that has something for everybody because that is what Beacon Park is all about,” said Anderson. 

Grand Opening Highlights:
Thursday, July 20
·         Ribbon Cutting — DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson, Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones will officially open the park at the 11 a.m. celebration.
·         Grand Opening Park opens to the public at noon with food trucks, live music, games and an interactive exhibit from IMPULSE from Quartier des Spectacles.
·         After Work Party Kicks off at 5 p.m. with Happy Hour drink specials
·         Headline entertainment – Robert Randolph & the Family Band will blend funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll featuring pedal steel guitar with Thornetta Davis opening at 8 p.m.

Friday, July 21
·         Downtown Games – Come Play Detroit will pit rival DTE Energy and other downtown employers against each other in fun active competitions, which are open to the public to watch, Noon-5 p.m. 
·         Beer Garden – Griffin Claw craft and specialty beer, live music and lawn games, 5-8 p.m.
·         Musical entertainment – American indie rock band Lord Huron headlines, 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 22
·         Fitness – To christen the new space and build community, a Yoga Mala, which consists of 108 sun salutations, will start the morning. Everyone welcome! Plus, Detroit’s first outdoor spinning experience featuring a LIVE DJ and a cardio workout, 9-11 a.m.
·         Family Day – Fun for all with games, inflatables, make and takes, and face painting, plus a GVSU Charter school art fair, performances by Matrix Theatre Company, Ballet Folklorico, Moyocayani Izel, Detroit Youth Volume, Nadanta, Mosaic Youth Theatre and Detroit Windsor Dance Academy, Noon-6 p.m.
·         Night Market – Detroit’s first ever Night Market will showcase the best of local indie music, food trucks, drinks, lawn games, and shopping from up-and-coming local makers and entrepreneurs. Noon until 11 p.m.
·         Salsa, Tacos & Tequila – Food, drinks and entertainment, featuring headliners Plena Libre with their distinctive musical style of Puerto Rico, Bomba and Plena with Puerto Rican performing artists and cultural group, Bombarica, 8-11 p.m.

Sunday, July 23
  • Fitness – A morning full of energy with Detroit’s first outdoor spinning experience featuring a LIVE DJ, plus yoga and a cardio workout, 9-11 a.m.
  • Gospel Brunch – Michigan’s own award-winning Gospel Singer Bishop Marvin L. Sapp will be joined by local choirs, including Gospel Truth, and dance ensembles, Noon-3 p.m.
·         Classical Concerts – Nationally-recognized, Detroit-based chamber orchestra Sphinx Nonet presents an ensemble performance, 3-6 p.m.
  • Movie Music Spectacular – A performance by Michigan Philharmonic leads up to a special screening of “Back to the Future” with a car display for guests to sit in. Travel through time in a “Back to the Future” DeLorean with Doc and Marty McFly, 6-8:30 p.m.

All Weekend
·         IMPULSE from Quartier des Spectacles – Interactive, illuminated see-saws offer a publicly activated light and sound experience. Put into motion by its users, the see-saws are augmented by LED lights and speakers, which increase in light intensity and emit a randomized sound sequence.
·         Mindfield Lighting Activations – Historic facades around the park will illuminate after dark.

Visit the DTE Energy blog, EmpoweringMichigan.com, for the full schedule of nearly 50 weekend events.

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