Arts, Beats, Eats... & The Village People?!

By BTL Staff

Labor Day Weekend's premier event, Ford's Arts, Beats & Eats, presented by FirstMerit Bank, celebrates its 17th year in downtown Royal Oak this weekend. The festival will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food and a number of new attractions.

The art element of the festival comes in the Juried Fine Art Show, one of the nation's most renowned. Top artists from across the continent will compete for cash awards totaling $7,500, showcasing original art in drawing, digital formats, painting, photography, ceramics, glass, graphics, jewelry, metal and more. Festival patrons have the opportunity to explore works at more than 135 booth spaces.

Featured performers for the "beats" of the event include 2014 "American Idol" runner-up Jena Irene and 2013 "X Factor" runner-up Jeff Gutt, both of metro Detroit. Other standout talent includes Motown legends, The Spinners, in addition to Night Ranger, Theory of a Deadman, Third Eye Blind and the Village People. Local acts like 50 Amp Fuse, Thornetta Davis and the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Woodwind Trio will also fill out the extensive entertainment schedule.

More than 50 metro Detroit area restaurants bring great tastes for everyone with upscale menu choices and, new this year, healthy food options identified by a color-coded system for health-conscious visitors. These options include low-carb, low-fat, gluten free, sugar free and vegan fare. Featured restaurants include Pronto!, Star Lanes Restaurant & Sports Bar, Lockhart's BBQ and more, with food choices ranging from barbecue and pizza to Prime 29 Steakhouse's filet mignon sliders.

Arts, Beats & Eats will take place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 29-31 and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 in downtown Royal Oak. Admission is $3-5. For more information, call 248-541-7550 or visit

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Special Section: Pride Source Votes
Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

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