Detroit Events and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Detroit, Michigan - MI, USA)

For many decades, live music has provided a major draw card for the city, with Detroit playing host to many established music festivals and related 'Motown' events during the course of the year. These are staged at venues such as the Fisher Theatre, the Fox Theatre, the Masonic Temple Theatre, the Motor City Casino and the Opera House, amongst others.

Located on Madison Avenue and within the theater district, the historic Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts regularly plays host to concerts. The Detroit Hart Plaza also holds a plethora of leading events, such as the Motor City PraiseFest, the International Freedom Festival Fireworks and the International Jazz Fest, amongst many others.

The annual Downtown Hoedown is also held at the Hart Plaza and began its life in the early 1980s, growing to become the biggest free country music festival anywhere on the planet.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • North American International Auto Show - held annually in mid-January, dates back to 1907 when the first Detroit Auto Show was held at Beller's Beer Garden. Today, the event is held in the Cobo Center and attracts over 700,000 people, showcasing the latest concept and production cars


  • Celebrate Black History Month - held at the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn


  • Central Collegiate Hockey Association - popular games held at the Joe Louis Arena


  • No major events in April in Detroit


  • Detroit Downtown Hoedown - an annual country music event held since 1983, that is staged in the surroundings of Comerica Park, featuring some of Country and Western's best performers
  • DEMF / Movement / Fuse-In - held annually in the city where electronic music originated. This electronic music festival comes with a fantastic display of light and sound, and attracts more than half a million people annually to the Hart Plaza


  • Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival - a joint Canada-US celebration of Canada Day (July 1st) and American Independence Day (July 4th) that is held annually over June and July, and culminates in a riot of dazzling fireworks over the Ambassador Bridge. More than 3.5 million people regularly attend the events, which include the Detroit River Days and many riverside activities
  • Motor City PraiseFest - mid-June, held at the Hart Plaza
  • Detroit Festival of the Arts - mid-June, a major arts festival held in the University Cultural Center
  • Motor Muster - mid-June, weekend event at Greenfield Village in nearby Dearborn
  • International Freedom Festival Fireworks - mid-June, an enormous fireworks display at the Hart Plaza


  • Spirit of Detroit ThunderFest - a powerboat-racing event that is held annually in mid-summer. Besides the daredevil racers, this also showcases some of the city's antique motor boats
  • Afro-American Music Festival - mid-July, with a number of open-air jazz concerts at the Hart Plaza


  • Woodward Dream Cruise - early August, a 16-mile / 26-km parade consisting of a staggering 30,000 classic automobiles that make their way down Woodward Avenue. More than one million spectators can be expected to attend
  • African World Festival - a vibrant, family style event celebrating African art and music, along with international cuisine from all over the world. African World is held annually in the Hart Plaza and attracts well over a million people, making it Detroit's premier ethnic festival
  • Detroit Football Classic - mid-August, attracting large crowds


  • Detroit International Jazz Festival - the city's most significant festival and the largest jazz event in North America, in which the Motor Town's jazz legacy is commemorated and celebrated. Roughly 800,000 people flock to the Hart Plaza to jive to some of the world's best jazz artists
  • Detroit Festival of the Arts - the city's most significant and sizeable arts fest offers fun for the whole family, with a kaleidoscopic array of dancers, musicians, storytellers, puppeteers, jugglers and artists of all description


  • No major events in October in Detroit


  • America's Thanksgiving Parade - held along Woodward Avenue, with large helium balloons


  • Twelve Nights of Christmas - holiday festivities held in Dearborn's Greenfield Village
  • Annual Wassail Feast - a historic event held at the Olde World Canterbury Village
  • Radio City Christmas Spectacular - Yuletide festivities at the Fox Theater
  • First Night - December 31st, alcohol-free festivities for all the family