'Arts, Beats & Eats' returns with flair of fitness, fashion

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ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The 17th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will have a fitness and fashion flair this year.

The festival, which is a mix of art, food and music, will be held in downtown Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1.

New to the event this year is "Hair City," a showcase of downtown Royal Oak's premier salons with 16 hair shows on multiple stages and mannequin style exhibits throughout the streets; and healthy fun presentations by Life Time -- The Healthy Way of Life Company, the area's top health and fitness centers, and NBA Nation presented by Sprint, a multi-faceted interactive basketball experience hosted by NBA Nation Ambassador and NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins. 

"Ford Arts, Beats & Eats has become a Michigan summer tradition bringing visitors from all over the state to downtown Royal Oak on Labor Day weekend to enjoy beautiful art, vibrant music, and delicious food," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "I'm excited about the new partnerships this year bringing new fitness and fashion additions to the festival."

Hair City:

Talent from participating Royal Oak hair salons with 24 hair shows on multiple stages and mannequin model exhibits highlighting street corners.

Salons currently participating: Alex Emilio Salon, Aqua Salon, Black the Salon, Iconic, L'Esprit Academy and Palazzolo Salon at the Fifth.

Fitness fun:

  • Leading the fitness fun at the festival this year is new event partner, Life Time -- The Healthy Way of Life Company, which will hold classes throughout the festival led by its professional training instructors. Classes will be up to 45 minutes in duration and include a variety of Life Time's signature fitness programs, including General Fitness, LifePower Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Zumba, Insanity, No Limits Circuit, and Cardio Kickboxing. Complete schedule and times will be announced. Participants can RSVP for the classes on any Detroit Life Time Facebook page and receive a "Stronger Together" t-shirt.
  • Also new this year, NBA Nation presented by Sprint will make one of only eight summer stops nationally at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. Official NBA Nation Ambassador and NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins will bring basketball enthusiasts an unforgettable, interactive hoops experience with a variety of contests and clinics across its footprint of 20,000 square feet. Basketball fans can take their best shot at calling a game; win cash in a dunk contest; learn skills; meet NBA and WNBA players, legends, mascots and dancers; and make that basket of a lifetime.
  • Those who want to create their own play by play video can stop by the Broadcasting Booth to recreate a NBA game highlight or request a song at the DJ Booth. Who's the best amateur dunker in Detroit? The Slam Dunk Showdown will find out as it gives amateur dunkers the chance to win $2500 and to compete in the Championship event to win $10,000. (*Must be 18 years of age or older and dunk must be executed on 10' rim to be eligible. For complete rules visit nba.com/dunk.)  Festival players can step up to the line and take the Sprint Ultimate Shot, a one of a kind basket elevated 25 feet off the ground.
  • Zumba returns to Ford Arts, Beats & Eats on Aug. 30. The Priority Health Zumbathon®  Celebration will transform the Michigan Lottery Stage into a red-hot, exhilarating dance fitness explosion from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.   Last year nearly 1200 people participated in a huge Zumba class-style event at the festival. In conjunction with Vibe Fit, a metro Detroit fitness company, the class will feature other local Zumba® instructors from across Michigan.  Registration is now open.  Advance registration is $7 and day of registration is $10. For more information, please visit www.artsbeatseats.com/priority-health-zumbathon.
  • Also on Saturday morning, Aug. 30, the streets of Royal Oak will be filled with hundreds of runners for the Priority Health Arts in Motion 5K/10KWalk/Run benefiting non-profits Michigan Youth Arts and Rock CF, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the quality of life for people with cystic fibrosis. Performers and artists from Michigan Youth Arts will cheer on participants throughout the race course. Registration info is available at www.michiganyoutharts.org/5k. In addition to getting a little exercise and helping a good cause, registrants receive freebies including a Tech Shirt and four tickets to Arts, Beats & Eats. 
  • For those with dietary and health concerns, Priority Health Healthy Options is a new program providing festival guests color-coded food designations at participating vendors. Designations include: Low-carb, Low-Fat, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, and Vegan. Vendor menu boards and the festival app will indicate these healthy options.

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