One-of-a-kind Beacon Park in Detroit opens as 'catalyst for revitalization'

Posted at 7:52 AM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 09:53:22-04

The city of Detroit is getting a brand-new park, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Beacon Park is situated in the west central area of downtown Detroit next to DTE Energy headquarters on Cass Avenue and Grand River.

Beginning Thursday, July 20, 2017 the park will be open to the public with a variety of live music, food, and entertainment for the whole family.

“It’s a catalyst for revitalization,” said Nancy Moody, Vice President of Public Affairs for DTE Energy. “We are excited about what is going to happen on this west side of downtown.”

A grand opening is slated for Thursday at 11 a.m. The fun is expected to continue throughout the year, they’ve got a huge goal of hosting 600 events in the space during the first year of operation, a total of 50 events are already scheduled from the grand opening up until the end of it’s first weekend. However, whether there is a slated event or not Moody told 7 Action News that there will always be a reason to be at the park.

“There’s a lot of way to relax and just enjoy the park,” said Moody. “We have great seating, music, food truck and beverage carts, even games for the kids. We have something for everyone.”

That includes musical see-saws that light up. When kids, or in some cases adults looking to relive their youth, teeter up and down the lights shift from side-to-side as musical tones bellow out. On early Thursday morning a handful of volunteers and security guards took their turns bouncing up and down, laughing before returning to work.

The idea of the park is to spur development in the area. Within it’s footprint there are already a lot of anchor businesses, and amenities, but this adds a different feature to the entertainment district which includes the all-new Little Caesar’s Arena, Comerica Park and Ford Field.

According to the people behind the park, even the name was meant to signify something special.

“The name is fitting,” said DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. “From the beginning, we envisioned this public space would shine light on the western edge of downtown Detroit, becoming a beacon for development, a beacon to bring more visitors and businesses to Detroit, and a beacon of continued progress for a city in the midst of revitalization. We’re looking forward to seeing young and old, Detroiters and visitors alike, enjoy Beacon Park and all of the exciting activities and programming it will offer year around.”

Schedule of Upcoming Events at Beacon Park:

Thursday, July 20
·  Ribbon Cutting — DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson, Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones will officially open the park at the 11 a.m. celebration.

· Grand Opening – Park opens to the public at noon with food trucks, live music, games and an interactive exhibit from IMPULSE from Quartier Des Spectacles.

· After Work Party – Kicks off at 5 p.m. with Happy Hour drink specials

· Headline entertainment – Robert Randolph & the Family Band will blend funk, soul and rock ‘n’ roll featuring pedal steel guitar with Thornetta Davis opening at 8 p.m.
Friday, July 21
· Downtown Games – Come Play Detroit will pit rival DTE Energy and other downtown employers against each other in fun active competitions, which are open to the public to watch, noon-5 p.m. 

· Beer Garden – Griffin Claw craft and specialty beer, live music and lawn games, 5-8 p.m.

· Musical entertainment – American indie rock band Lord Huron headlines, 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 22
· Fitness – To christen the new space and build community, a Yoga Mala, which consists of 108 sun salutations, will start the morning. Everyone welcome! Plus, Detroit’s first outdoor spinning experience featuring a LIVE DJ and a cardio workout, 9-11 a.m.

· Family Day – Fun for all with games, inflatables, make and takes, and face painting, plus a GVSU Charter school art fair, performances by Matrix Theatre Company, Ballet Folklorico, Moyocayani Izel, Detroit Youth Volume, Nadanta, Mosaic Youth Theatre and Detroit Windsor Dance Academy, Noon-6 p.m.

· Night Market – Detroit’s first ever Night Market will showcase the best of local indie music, food trucks, drinks, lawn games, and shopping from up-and-coming local makers and entrepreneurs. Noon until 11 p.m.

· Salsa, Tacos & Tequila – Food, drinks and entertainment, featuring headliners Plena Libre with their distinctive musical style of Puerto Rico, Bomba and Plena with Puerto Rican performing artists and cultural group, Bombarica, 8-11 p.m.

Sunday, July 23
· Fitness – A morning full of energy with Detroit’s first outdoor spinning experience featuring a LIVE DJ, plus yoga and a cardio workout, 9-11 a.m.

· Gospel Brunch – Michigan’s own award-winning Gospel Singer Bishop Marvin L. Sapp will be joined by local choirs, including Gospel Truth, and dance ensembles, noon-3 p.m.

· Classical Concerts – Nationally-recognized, Detroit-based chamber orchestra Sphinx Nonet presents an ensemble performance, 3-4 p.m.

· Movie Music Spectacular – A performance by Michigan Philharmonic leads up to a special screening of “Back to the Future” with a Car Display/Photo Opp. for guests to sit in and “travel through time” in a “Back to the Future” Delorean with Doc and Marty McFly, 6-8:30 p.m.