The 2008 Comerica Cityfest (formerly the Tastefest), is returning to the New Center area this year for the fourth of July weekend from July 2-July 6. The Cityfest, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is in essence a collection of food vendors, along with multiple performance stages which line the streets of W. Grand Boulevard between Cass and Third, essentially in front of the old General Motor's headquarters and the Fisher Building.
There will be four performance stages at this year's event, each one taking on its own personality. The stages include, The Motor City Casino Stage (presented by The Detroit News), The Pure Detroit Stage (presented by Real Detroit Weekly), The Grand Boulevard Jazz and Blues Stage (presented by Hour), and the New Center Council Park Stage (presented by Metro Times).
The Motor City Casino Stage will hold some of the most well known headlining acts which include performances by De La Soul, and George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic. For a free concert, it's hard to beat De La Soul and George Clinton. De La Soul is a classic hip hop group, and besides the obvious funk pioneer stature of George Clinton, he has a nice Detroit affiliation as well. In 1963, and early in Clinton's career, Clinton and his group Parliament moved to Detroit in hopes of recording for Motown. They ended up landing a contract with independent record label Revilot Records, which released numerous Parliament albums. Clinton also wrote songs for Motown groups, including The Jackson Five and Diana Ross.
Additionally the Pure Detroit Stage will mostly be showcasing Detroit's own best and brightest hip-hop, rock and electronica groups, the Grand Boulevard Jazz and Blues Stage will feature local and national Jazz and Blues acts including Detroit's own Thornetta Davis, and the New Center Council Park stage will show off Detroit's best folk and indie rock banks.
While the event is free, including all of the performances on each of the four stages, food and beverage purchases from the vendors help subsidize the cost. The food line-up is always extremely good and while not finalized yet, past years have included around 50 vendors with a wide range of unbelievable choices from a slew of great restaurants around metro Detroit. Each vendor has its own out door tent at which they offer a selection of some of their favorite dishes. Each item is priced in tickets which they sell at the event. The price is $7 for 11 tickets and while out of context that doesn't mean anything, from my experience, the prices are not too outrageous.
Moreover, this year festival-goers will have more time to experience Comerica Cityfest 2008 with its new extended hours. The festival will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
If you would like to learn more about Comerica Cityfest 2008 please visit the Newcenter website at: Comerica Cityfest 2008
If you would like to know more about previous Cityfest's, check out the 2007 website which lists performances from last year, as well as food vendors: Comerica Cityfest 2007
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