Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to Host Fundraiser and Block Party

Head to the West Riverfront Park this weekend for musical performances, food, and activities
Brownstone - Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
R&B girl group Brownstone, pictured above, will perform at the West Riverfront Block Party on Sept. 18. // Photograph courtesy of Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is hosting a weekend of family-friendly fun. The nonprofit, which was founded in 2003 to develop public access to the city’s riverfront, will present its annual Shimmer on the River benefit on Sept. 17 and the West Riverfront Block Party on Sept. 18.

Taking place at West Riverfront Park, located at 1801 W. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit, the Shimmer on the River event includes a performance by Detroit soul group The Spinners, eats from 10 food trucks, and an Adventure Park with a 300-foot zip line, inflatable obstacle courses, bounce houses, mini-golf, and more. A VIP reception, scheduled from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., will include the presentation of the Shimmer Award, the nonprofit’s highest honor.

Tickets to the VIP reception are $250 each, while tickets for the main event, which takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., are $150. Every ticket holder can bring up to two children 12-and-under to the event at no cost. Proceeds will support the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s work. 

“Over the past year, having a safe, outdoor space in our community to gather has been more important than ever,” said Cassie Brenske, chief development officer of the nonprofit, in a press release. “This year’s Shimmer event will be a very special reunion for riverfront supporters and the funds raised will help us to continue our essential work maintaining the riverfront as a safe, tranquil, and accessible refuge for everyone.”

The West Riverfront Block Party will also take place at the West Riverfront Park. Musical performances kick off at 11:30 a.m. on the Local Stage. Acts include the traditional Mexican dance group Ballet Folklorico de Detroit, pop artist Natalie Lucassian, alternative soul band Lvrboy, and funk and Latin jazz artist Damon Terrel. Meanwhile, headliners booked for the event are Detroit band New World Soul; ’90s R&B girl group Brownstone, which recently reunited for their 25th anniversary; and El DeBarge, a Detroit-born musician and producer who was the lead singer of the Motown Records-signed family group DeBarge. They’ll each play sets on the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Stage.   

Twenty food trucks will be on-site, and attendees can also enjoy an acrobatic jet ski demonstration by Typhoon Tommy, access to the Adventure Park, and children’s activities like crafts, experiments with the Michigan Science Center, and a monster mural. 

“We’re excited to welcome people to West Riverfront Park for this family-friendly event,” says Rachel Frierson, director of programming for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, in a press release. “With a great musical lineup, wonderful food, and fun activities, West Riverfront Block will have something for everyone.”

Tickets for the block party are $5 each. Children three-and-under are admitted at no cost. VIP tickets — which give ticket holders admission to a VIP seating area for the New World Soul, Brownstone, and El DeBarge shows — are available for $40.

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