Detroit’s GM River Days To Return To Detroit June 24-26 - Opportunity Detroit Blog

Detroit’s GM River Days to Return to Detroit June 24-26

Presented by the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, the GM River Days will take place June 24-26 along the Detroit Riverfront.

This year is sure to be special as River Days is celebrating10 years of festival fun.

From carnival rides to three music stages, River Days has something for everyone. First introduced in June 2007 as a way to feature the transformed Detroit International Riverfront, the festival now holds an annual appearance, bringing crowds of Detroiters and out-of-towners into our growing city. This year, the festival has several events and attractions that will guarantee a memorable day in the “D.”

With such an exciting, jam-packed weekend, we have all the information you need to make the most of your River Days experience.

Flagstar Bank Kids Zone

From face painting to stage performers, Kids Zone is the place to be for your child (or inner child!)

Activities include a sand art station, craft station by Arts and Scraps, and a life size coloring book page by Monster Mural.

Sponsored by Meijer, there will also be Kids Stage performers like a master magician, live reading of children’s stories, and an animal handler.

Be sure to check out the full line-up of Kids Zone events on the Detroit River Days event’s page.

Sand Sculptures

Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Team Sandtastic is bringing back their amazing creations all the way from Sarasota, Florida.

Using only water and sand, Sandtastic will build a 150-ton sand sculpture near Rivard Plaza & Pavilion.

Visitors are welcome to watch Sandtastic or try their own hand at sand castle construction in the play area next to the sculptures.


If you’re looking for an opportunity to have fun while learning something new about the great state of Michigan, check out Milliken State Park Activities, sponsored by Pure Michigan and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Located next to Rivard Plaza and Pavilion, free actives including a climbing wall and target shooting will be available for children and adults alike.

Be sure to stop by the Nature Discovery with Michigan amphibians and reptiles as well as the Wildlife Recovery, where you can learn about how to protect and manage Michigan birds.

Action on the River

There are a few ways to get your adrenaline pumping this year at the festival.

The first is a zip line ride, flying 34 feet over the festival. Located between St. Antoine and Beaubien, this attraction allows two people to zip simultaneously while riding 300 feet across the festival. Tickets cost $15 for one ride or two for $25.

Another sure-fire way to get pumped for summer is by watching the Tuskeegee Air Show, staged by the Tuskeegee Airmen National Historical Museum.

If you’re a history buff, check this out: jets from the World Heritage Museum and an airplane flown by the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II will put on a dazzling show filled with upside down flights and daring dives.

Fun fact! This is one of the few airshows in North American that features local performers.

Last, but certainly not least, are the jet ski demonstrations, the largest freestyle event of its kind in metro Detroit. Performing daredevil tricks like corkscrew spins and backflips, the pilots are sure to put on a unique experience for the River Days crowd.

Festival Feasts

This year, Pepsi sponsors the Taste of Detroit Food Court bringing everything from Atomic Chicken and Atwater Bistro to Bert’s Marketplace and Treat Dreams.

Be sure to check out the complete list of vendors and get a taste of all the wonderful and diverse foods Detroit has to offer.

Staying Fit at the Festival

Looking for a way to find inner balance? Hosted by Detroit Bikram and located on the GM Plaza is “Yoga on the River,” Saturday, June 25 at 9:30 a.m.

For only a $5 donation, everyone from beginners to experienced yogis are welcome to participate. Included in this event is a free parking voucher for the Beaubien Place Garage and two free festival admission passes for River Days.

Make sure to register for the event, as spaces are limited.

Quicken Loans National Stage

From the new wave music of the B-52s to the R&B soul of Patti LaBelle, the Quicken Loans National Stage has some of the biggest names in music starting Friday, June 24.

VIP passes and premier seats are available for purchase during the headlining concerts. Tickets cost $35 and will include admission to the festival.

Check out the website for the complete music schedule.


Admission is $3 before 3:00 p.m. and $5 after 3:00 p.m. Children under 3 years and seniors 65 and up are free. All proceeds support the non-profit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy.


There are quite a few places you can park downtown. Here are just a few that are close to the festival gates:

Beaubien Place Parking is located on Atwater & St. Antoine and is open 24/7. Monday – Friday, parking fees are $2 for every 30 minutes with a maximum daily rate of $20. Saturday – Sunday rates are $3 per hour with a max daily rate of $15.

River East Parking Deck, on Rivard & Atwater is open Saturday from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. during the festival. Parking fees are $10.

Ford Underground Garage, by the GM Renaissance Center, is open Friday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. – midnight. with a flat rate of $10.

Millennium Garage by Hart Plaza and Cobo is open 24/7 with a flat rate of $10.

For a list of more parking structures, with directions on how to get to them, visit the River Days website or check out our list of parking in the downtown area.

Counting the Days ‘Til River Days

With only a few days left until the festival, be sure to “like” and follow the updates on all River Days events on Facebook.

See you there!

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