Down by the Riverside | (Detroit River Days Festival 2012 Recap)





So, it seems like everyone around here exploded into full-blown summer mode this past weekend. Normally, there's some kind of festival or show going on around metro Detroit, but over the past several days, countless activities have been vying for the attention of Michiganders near and far. For me, this involved choosing between art festivals, carnivals, boating on the lake, outdoor music venues, you name it. And if you know me, you probably already know that I just decided to do a little of everything.

One of my favorite highlights? The Detroit River Days festival, an annual event that does a nice job of combining aspects of Detroit's downtown culture and Michigan's water-loving population.
Nestled right up against the Detroit Riverfront, River Days offers a perfect balance of family-friendly activities, from a Ferris wheel and Radio Disney freebies to street performers and Boyz II Men (which we missed because the band was scheduled for a later time slot). Brad and I were kind of worn out from two days of running around, so it was nice to just be able to stroll along the riverfront, stopping here and there to take a look at everything.

This puts every sand castle I ever made to absolute shame.

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Art abounds. Left: Stained-glass chicken on an artsy (not real) carousel.
Right: Um. I can't remember what this is called, but I like it.

Of course, the festival probably wouldn't be complete without seeing a few interesting characters:

riverdays7.2    riverdays7.1 Left: Street magician. He didn't talk and he frightened me.
Right: He threw fire in the air. Like he just don't care.

I also have to throw out some big, ol' props to the stunt jet ski team, whose show occupied a good chunk of our time. I didn't know jet ski stunt shows were a thing, but apparently splits, complete underwater submergence, and riding on your head are all possible. That is, if you're capable. And just a little nuts.

This guy's peddling his legs like he forgot that his bike isn't up there any more.

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Left: View of the Renaissance Center from the Detroit Riverfront
Right: The USCGC Bristol Bay

Around dinnertime, Brad and I got to go on a quick tour of the USCGC Bristol Bay, the Coast Guard ship that hangs out on the Detroit riverfront. The inside of the ship was boiling since the doors were propped open and the air conditioner was turned off, but once we found our way out of the narrow corridors and onto the ship's outside decks, the view and change of perspective was worth it.

Looking out of the ship at the Canadian coast.
I really need to get my passport renewed, because a trip across that water is just calling out to me. Think one of my new Coast Guard buddies might be willing to give me a ride to the land of the maple leaf?

Yeah, I'd better get to work on those renewal papers.