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Detroit’s Riverfront Will Fill with Sound This Summer Through Partnerships New and Old

Riverfront three

This summer, Detroit’s spectacular riverfront will have so many events that you may have a hard time finding a seat in one of the luxurious lounge chairs that line it.

But don’t worry about being able to afford it all – these events are free and open to all ages.

Riverfront twoThere will be free Friday night classic-rock concerts from mid-July through August thanks to the Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront, which is now in its ninth season. And, in breaking news, there will be a multi-million dollar investment in bringing healthy living and physical fitness options to the riverfront area.

A little bit about both events…

Starting July 11, Rockin’ on the Riverfront will offer shows from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the GM Riverfront Plaza. The shows are a partnership between 94.7 WCSX-FM and Chevrolet. The concerts start with The Guess Who (“American Woman” ring a bell?), Leon Russell on July 18, Starship on July 25, April Wine & The Rockets on Aug. 1 and America on Aug. 15. The show on Aug. 8 is to be announced.

These concerts are free and no tickets are necessary. Food and beverages are provided for sale throughout the plaza and grounds by Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and al fresco dining is open at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood.

The new series of events is a partnership between the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. BCBS has pledged $1 million to promote health and wellness with the big waters of the Detroit River as the backdrop, organizers said Friday as they announced it.

Riverfront threeThe groups’ multi-year program is called “Live the Riverfront,” and its highlights are both regular weekly events as well as plans for a riverfront fitness park in 2015. My God, the Detroit RiverFront is going to rival those in places like Chicago. Could retail and more entertainment venues be far behind? But I digress.

This partnership hopes to bring new faces downtown, specifically to the RiverFront. It offers new programming for this dynamic area. And it promotes taking care of our collective body, giving Michigan residents a reason to get outside and take care of their temples in a most glorious setting. Win-win.

“As a company that is deeply committed to Detroit, Blue Cross is proud to join the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy in making one of the city’s jewels an even more attractive and fun place to visit,” said Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in a statement.

Among the new events that form “Live on the Riverfront” are:

Walk the RiverWalk Wednesdays: This is a no-cost summer walking initiative starts May 7. Over 16 weeks,, registered participants are encouraged to visit the riverfront on Wednesdays to walk during the lunch hour or during scheduled breaks. For more information or to register, visit www.detroitriverfront.org/livetheriverfront.

At the May 7 kickoff, registered participants will receive a pedometer to track their progress. Those who check in via an online portal to record progress can receive a free BCBSM-branded health-related item for every third check in. At the program’s end Aug. 20, all participants who checked in eight or more times are eligible for a drawing of Detroit RiverFront Conservancy prizes, including memberships, engraved paver bricks along the waterfront and tickets to the Organization’s annual fundraiser gala, Shimmer on the River.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Riverfront Run/Walk: The much-anticipated Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Riverfront Run/Walk replaces the Conservancy’s popular waterfront River Days Run. Scheduled for June 14, this event showcases the Detroit riverfront and takes participants along the RiverWalk and the Dequindre Cut Greenway. This event is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants.

Riverfront oneThe Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Riverfront Run/Walk includes both a 5K and a 10K run/walk. The top three finishers in each male and female age group will receive medals, with all participants receiving a performance T-shirt and a wristband that is good for a one-day admission to the Conservancy’s upcoming Detroit River Days festival, held the weekend of June 20-22. Registration for the 5K run/walk is $30 per participant. The 10K is $40 per person. For more information or to register, visit www.detroitriverfront.org/livetheriverfront.

Weekly Fitness Classes: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy want participants to try something new and engage both mind and body by attending free weekly Yoga and Tai Chi classes at Rivard Plaza, starting June 2 and running through late August. Over the years, these classes have become extremely popular among fitness goers, and have drawn participants of all ages and skill levels.

Presented in partnership with Urban Solace, Yoga classes will be held twice a week from June 2 through August 22. Tai Chi classes will be held once a week through the week of August 18. No registration is necessary for the Yoga and Tai Chi classes. Participants are encouraged to bring their own Yoga mats.

Riverfront Fit Park: In 2015, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy will unveil a free outdoor public workout space along the riverfront consisting of stationary, permanently installed equipment, similar to other such spaces gaining popularity throughout the world.

The Riverfront Fit Park will offer a diverse program of exercise and wellness instruction, with the potential for including circuit workouts and boot camps. Details for the park, including the location and the specific type of equipment that will be featured, are currently being finalized.

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By the way, if you have some time and a need to use up some positive energy, you might want to check out the Hamtramck Firefighters’ Annual Firefighters March and Mass. The event is a day to honor all firefighters, past and present. It is attended by firefighters from throughout Michigan and Canada.

buttonThis Annual event was started in 1998 and takes place on the feast of Saint Florian, the Patron Saint of firefighters, explained Lt. Matt Wyszczelski. The firefighting community is among the most dedicated and tight knit I have ever witnessed, and I’ll vouch for Wyszczelski’s devotion to this event, St. Florian Church and his profession. He’s all kinds of all right.

The event begins 3:30 p.m. at the Hamtramck Fire Station at 2625 Caniff in Hamtramck. A parade consisting of an Honor Guard of local firefighters, firefighters and fire trucks will leave the fire station and proceed to St. Florian Church for 4 p.m. Mass. The March also helps kick off the Annual Strawberry Festival at Saint Florian’s Parish.

The Hamtramck Fire Department was founded in 1914 and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. This March and Mass is one of many events that we are hosting this year to celebrate our Centennial.  For more information on upcoming events visit the Hamtramck Firefighters website, Facebook and Twitter.

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