Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit






GM River Days celebrate its 10th anniversary with headliners B-52’s, Patti LaBelle, SWV and more June 24-26

DETROIT - The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (DRFC) is proud to announce the return of Detroit’s unofficial kickoff to summer, the 10th Annual GM River Days presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, happening June 24-26, 2016. The inaugural festival began in 2007 to celebrate and showcase the newly renovated Detroit Riverfront and bring Detroit’s community together to enjoy one-of-a-kind activities along the backdrop of the Detroit River. This year’s GM River Days will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a star-studded lineup of national music acts and the return of entertainment on land, water and sky high.

“The Conservancy had to find a grand way to introduce the new world-class Detroit Riverfront to the people of Detroit in the summer of 2007 and the River Days festival was the perfect coming out party,” said Will Smith, CFO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. “For a decade now, GM River Days has brought millions of people down to a riverfront everyone can now be proud of and enjoy in so many ways.”

“The Conservancy has done tremendous work over the past 10 years and GM is proud to have supported their mission since the beginning,” said John Blanchard, director of local government relations, GM. “GM River Days is truly for the community and a great way for our region to kick-off summer together.”

Headlining National Music Acts
This year’s festival will have music’s biggest names hitting the Quicken Loans National Stage including The B-52’s, the iconic 70’s new wave band on Friday night and two-time Grammy winner and Queen of Pies, Patti LaBelle on Saturday evening with special guest 90’s girl group, SWV. R&B powerhouses Mint Condition and Jeffrey Osborne will close out the weekend long celebration on Sunday. VIP premier seats are available for purchase during the headlining concerts. Tickets cost $35 and include admission to the festival. Tickets can be purchased online through A full music lineup of more than 40 music acts across four different stages will be announced in the coming weeks.

10 Years and Counting…
This year marks the 10th anniversary of GM River Days and to help celebrate, Flagstar Bank is sponsoring the 10th Anniversary GM River Days Giveaways. The public can enter to win one of many prizes for a true VIP festival experience by visiting Winners will be notified on Thursday, June 23rd. The list of prizes includes:

(10) Free Admission Passes
(10) Zip Line Ride Passes
(10) VIP Passes for Friday night’s show featuring the B-52’s
(10) Diamond Jack Boat Tour Vouchers
(10) GM River Days Meals (Packets of $10 in River Bucks Each)
(10) Carnival Band Vouchers
(10) Hats/Apparel from Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

In addition, The Flagstar Bank Kids Zone in Rivard Plaza will keep kids entertained and help celebrate GM River Day’s 10th anniversary with birthday party-themed activities. Parents just need to pick up a free sticker from the Flagstar Bank booth at the festival. Produced by The Parade Company, the Kids Zone will feature story time, magic and puppet shows, as well as activities with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Science Center, Arts & Scraps and more. Children and families will experience an entertaining lineup on the Meijer Kids Stage. Rivard Plaza will also be the site of a 50-ton sand sculpture presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and designed by Team Sandtastic.

Return of Festival Favorites
Last year, fearless festivalgoers enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the Detroit River from high in the sky while riding on Oakland County Park’s Zip Lines. This year, thrill seekers will get to soar directly above all the action. The 300-foot long zip line will send two people at a time straight through the festival. Tickets will cost $15 for one ride or two for $25.

This year’s GM River Days celebration will also include the return of the airshow over the Detroit River. Three performances are scheduled: 1 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The show is being staged by the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum. Scheduled to appear are aerobatic pilots flying upside down and sideways, jets from the World Heritage Air Museum, an airplane flown by the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, several racing airplanes, and a demonstration of precision formation flying by the museum’s own four-aircraft demo team. The airshow will also feature emcees at all festival stages. This is one of the very few airshows in all of North America that features mostly local performers.

The Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine will once again be the star of the Pepsi Taste of Detroit Food Court. In addition, more than a dozen eateries will present a wide array of dining options throughout the weekend, including Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine, Granite City Food & Brewery, Famous Dave’s, Treat Dreams and Bert’s Marketplace.

"The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort looks forward to not only supporting this 10-year tradition on Detroit’s riverfront, but also interacting with the attendees who come from all across the region to River Days,” said Raul Venegas, director of marketing & entertainment, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. “The international riverfront and unique programming make River Days the perfect backdrop to showcase our resort, entertainment and great cuisine.”

As always, festivalgoers can take advantage of great fun on the water with Diamond Jack River Tours, as well as tours of the Appledore IV Tall Ship presented by Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center docked at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Dock. In addition, festival favorite Typhoon Tommy and his world-class jet ski team will use the Detroit River as their stage to perform big air jumps, flips and underwater dives for the crowds along the riverfront. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will help celebrate the weekend with rescue demonstrations and the opportunity to board and tour a Coast Guard cutter.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will provide a variety of hands-on activities, including a rock climbing wall, for children and adults in the William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor during the festival. Guests can stroll through the park and talk with wildlife and fish experts, foresters and conservation officers. Booths will be set-up across the park to learn about Michigan’s birds of prey and reptiles. Festivalgoers will also have a chance to try their hand at archery and other outdoor skill challenges.

The 2016 GM River Days presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort kicks off Friday, June 24 at 11 a.m. and spans from the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor to the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Terminal & Dock, just past the Renaissance Center. Festival hours are 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Conservancy will charge a $3 admission fee (and $5 after 3 p.m.) to help underwrite programming and operational costs for the festival. Admission to the festival is FREE before 5 p.m. on Friday, June 24. For a full lineup of events, visit

GM River Days presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is supported by Budweiser, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Eagle Security, Flagstar Bank, General Motors, Meijer, MetroPCS, Michigan Economic Development Corporation/Pure Michigan, Michigan Lottery, New Amsterdam Vodka and Gin, Pepsi, Quicken Loans, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Sprint and T-Mobile. Media partners include: TellUsDetroit.Com.

About The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
The ultimate vision of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is to transform and revitalize 5.5 miles of riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle. As the permanent stewards of the riverfront public space, which includes the RiverWalk and the Dequindre Cut, the Conservancy is responsible for construction, operations, maintenance, security and programming, along with raising the funds to support all components of the project.




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