From celebrating the automobile to recognizing the region's ethnic diversity and musical contributions, the city of Detroit knows how to throw a great event. The city is known for its unique major festivals and events - not found in any other part of the country.
The North American International Auto Show, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association's annual extravaganza showcases the latest and greatest in automotive design. Held every January, the event has grown steadily since its humble beginnings in the early 1900s and has broadened its reach beyond the automotive supplier industry. The NAIAS is one of the world's top international auto shows, drawing show goers from outside the Detroit region. Special events during the show include awards ceremonies, entertainment, themed attractions, and special appearances by auto racing drivers.
Also in January, the Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular presents an awe-inspiring display of frozen art featuring more than 400,000 pounds of ice. The oldest and largest ice-carving event in North America, festival goers enjoy more than 100 statues carved from a single block of ice. Unlike other winter events, visitors can watch a carving from the very beginnings of stacking the ice blocks through the carving process to the finished work of art.
The city of Detroit possesses a rich African American heritage. Black History Month in February at The Henry Ford examines the ideas and innovations of the Civil Right Movement through music, drama and hands-on activities. At the Charles M. Wright Museum of African American History, the museum expands programming to address the African American pursuit of emancipation through tours, workshops, performances, lectures, films, and more.
February also sizzles with Detroit's Winter Blast, a unique combination of hip and fun winter events centered around Campus Martius Park, as well as indoor events throughout Detroit. Activities include ice skating, snowboarding, ice sculptures, kids' activities, a film festival tent, and the famous Winter Blast marshmallow roasting brazarios.
The nation's premiere lineup of college hockey, the Super 6 Championship game of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association is held at Joe Louis Arena. This is a great event to watch the best teams pit for the top spot.
Meanwhile March Madness kicks off at Ford Field for the NCAA Men's Basketball Regional Games. The Division I Men's Basketball Tournament includes two sessions, two Sweet Sixteen games and one Elite Eight game to determine one of four teams that will advance to the Men's Final Four.The 2007 games at Ford Field eclipsed the all-time attendance record for the NCAA Regional Games at 78,129.
The premier showcase for established, new and local country artists, the Budweiser Downtown Hoedown is recognized as the largest free country music festival in the world. The music fun continues on Memorial Day weekend with Detroit's Electronic Music Festival, a free event held in Hart Plaza. The event celebrates techno music - the world's most popular new music - in the city of its origin.
The region's unrivaled international arts festival, the Detroit Festival of Arts features everything from hot Latin rhythms to the comic antics of international street theater to a 75-ton sand sculpture. The event presents outstanding visual and performing artists from around the world, while showcasing the city's premier cultural institutions.
The International Freedom Festival Fireworks is the world's largest international-border festival with fireworks and festivities held in downtown Detroit's Hart Plaza and across the river in Windsor, Ontario.
More than 500,000 fans gather to watch aerodynamic piston- and turbine-powered hydroplanes race at incredible speeds during the Chrysler Jeep Detroit APBA Gold Cup Hyrdroplane Races. Teams race for the oldest active motor sport trophy in the world.
Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance, or "gathering of elegance," presents more than 250 luxurious classic cars on Oakland University's plush golf course. Activities include entertainment, automotive art and food tents.
August is also the month for the best of golf. The PGA Championship is held at the Oakland Hills Country Club, while the Buick Open is also held the same month in Grand Blanc.
The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, featuring the cars of the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series come together for world-class Motor City racing Labor Day weekend. Another outstanding Labor Day weekend event is the Detroit International Jazz Festival.
Held on Thanksgiving Day morning, America's Thanksgiving Parade features floats, bands, equestrian units, and helium balloons as they parade down Woodward Avenue while onlookers anxiously await the arrival of Santa.
From wassail and caroling to tree lighting ceremonies and Kwanza, Detroit knows how to celebrate the holidays in style with endless festivals, events and programs.
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