Ford to host 15th annual Arts, Beats & Eats in Downtown Royal Oak

By Stephanie Sokol

Food, music, arts and community events will fill the streets of downtown Royal Oak for the 15th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, presented by Citizens Bank, Aug. 31 to Sept. 3.

Founded by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as part of a series of quality of life events, Arts, Beats & Eats, returns for a third year to Royal Oak.

“The event revolves around both entertainment and the community,” said Jon Witz, festival producer for Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. I am energized by the new music and food offerings this year.”

The Arts

With more than 140 booth spaces, artists from around the country will sell artwork in the Juried Fine Arts Show.

The first annual Deaf Arts Festival will provide the work of hearing-impaired artists including hip-hop artist Sean Forbes of Detroit, who will perform Friday night at the Michigan Lottery National Stage.


The Beats

Musical performances will include national recording artists R.E.O. Speedwagon, G. Love & Special Sauce, Theory of a Deadman, The Guess Who and Sean Forbes.

Singers selected from bar competitions throughout Metro Detroit will compete daily from 1 to 5 p.m. in the second annual “Detroit’s Got Talent” Karaoke Contest, for a prize of $1,000.


The Eats

This year’s festival will feature more than fifty restaurants, caterers and food-related attractions.

An area of the festival known as BBQ Alley will be catered by local eateries including Lockhart’s BBQ and R.U.B. BBQ.

New restaurants included in this years festival are Mitchell’s Fish Market, Bastone Brewery, BD’s Mongolian Grill, Happy’s Pizza and Polish Village Café. a Family and Community


Partnering with Local Charities 

A big part of the festival focuses on community betterment, according to Witz. Partnership with the Autism Alliance of Michigan and Autism Speaks, as well as a telethon benefitting Children’s Miracle Network, a 5K marathon and Zumbathon are just some of the events aimed at raising money for local charities.

“Year after year, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats continues to demonstrate that it is among the premier summer events in Michigan,” said Patterson in a Ford Arts, Beats & Eats press release. “What’s often overlooked is that the festival raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and has numerous community collaborations.”