Rock ‘n’ Rides Returns to Royal Oak

Get out and enjoy music, food, entertainment, and more
Fairgoers enjoy the Mega Shot ride at the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Rides event. This year’s festival will feature 20 rides. // Photograph by Zack Zinser

Royal Oak is kicking off the summer with Rock ‘n’ Rides. The outdoor festival returns to the city for its second year from June 17-20. It will feature an expanded carnival, live music, tasty treats, and even a block party with live DJs and rock groups.

Jonathan Witz and Associates — the company behind the annual Arts, Beats and Eats festival — is producing the event and is confident that it is just the thing the local community needs to bounce back from the pandemic. “Rock ‘n’ Rides signals hope and a sense of normalcy. People are eager to return outdoors for community events, and we’re happy to deliver that and still have safety protocols in place,” says Jon Witz, president of the company, in a press release. “The event is a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together to feature local musicians, entertainers, and food trucks, all excited to get back to work and recover from the challenges of the past year.”

The carnival is made up of 20 different attractions with some standout ride options including the Cliffhanger, Ring of Fire, and Vertigo. Kids can also enjoy activities such as live magic and music shows and crafts with Arts & Scraps. Meanwhile, for adults, the festival is hosting the Royal Oak Block Party, which will feature a stage for live DJ performances and a stage for local rock acts like Raising the Dead, The Reefermen, and Cast Iron Cornbread.

Dining options at the block party include food trucks like Grampies Clam Shell, Hog Heaven, Hogback BBQ Pit, Crepe Day-Twah, and Island Noodles. Carnival eats — such as corn dogs, funnel cakes, elephant ears, and homemade lemonade — will be available throughout the festival.

Rock ‘n’ Rides is partnering with the Henry Ford Health System to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in an effort to encourage more citizens to get the vaccine. The vaccine clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 17, in the parking lot just east of The Rock on 3rd bar and grill. Patrons who chose to get vaccinated at this site will be granted carnival wristbands that are good for free rides on any day of the festival or two free tickets to Arts, Beats & Eats during Labor Day weekend.

Admission to Rock ‘n’ Rides is free on Friday before 5 p.m. On June 17 and Friday after 5 p.m., admission is $5. There is no cost for kids under 3. Carnival wristbands are available for $18 per person on June 17 and will be sold for $28 per person from June 18-20. Individual ride tickets will range from $3 to $6. For each carnival wristband purchase, $1 will be donated to the Open Hands Food Pantry in Royal Oak and Forgotten Harvest.

Face masks are optional for fully vaccinated guests. Those who are unvaccinated are asked to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing guidelines.

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