Beacon Park: What to know about Detroit's newest entertainment hub

Beacon Park opens in Downtown Detroit this week

DETROIT – Detroit's newest entertainment hub is set to open this week in west central Downtown.

Beacon Park - a project between DTE Energy and the city of Detroit, will bring music, family activities, food and more to a mostly outdoor venue.

The park area will be located on Cass Avenue and Grand River, near the DTE Energy headquarters, and nearby MGM Casino.

Beacon Park will open to the public on Thursday, July 20, with four days of programmed events including live music and markets.

The 1.5-acre Beacon Park will feature a restaurant and a central lawn with intimate walking paths and areas to sit, relax and recharge; a multi-use space for outdoor programmed activities; a site for perfomances; and areas for food truck vendors and bicycle parking.

Through a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation, more than 600 events will be planned for Beacon Park in 2017 by the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), which expects that the public space will attract one million visitors each year. 

"The name is fitting," said DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. "From the beginning, we envisioned this public space would shine light on the western edge of downtown Detroit, becoming a beacon for development, a beacon to bring more visitors and businesses to Detroit, and a beacon of continued progress for a city in the midst of revitalization. We're looking forward to seeing young and old, Detroiters and visitors alike, enjoy Beacon Park and all of the exciting activities and programming it will offer year-round."

DDP has scheduled a stellar lineup for the grand opening weekend. In addition to live music throughout the weekend, each day will feature special activities, including after-work parties on Thursday and Friday, a night market on Saturday featuring 25 unique boutiques and a gospel brunch followed by classical music on Sunday.

Here's the opening weekend schedule (more here):

Thursday, July 20

  • Ribbon Cutting — DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry AndersonMayor 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-recognizedDetroit-based chamber orchestra Sphinx Nonet presents an ensemble performance, 3-4 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/Photo Opp. for guests to sit in and "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.



About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.