Food, music, and cultural festivities are gradually returning to Detroit after a yearlong pause. Many annual events are postponed or canceled for 2021, and some restaurants have voluntarily paused indoor dining, but there are some places to eat and drink out this season. Here are some ideas for how to make the most of the weekend in Detroit.
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Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Beacon Park
Commemorate Mexico’s victory over France a few days early at this free outdoor event Sunday, May 2, with food, cocktails, and entertainment in downtown Detroit. Be sure to grab a margarita from Lumen Detroit and fill up on food from Los Dos Amigos Taco Truck and Pablo’s Tacos. The event also features salsa, timba, and cumbia lessons. For social distancing, pre-register for the event or join the event from home via Facebook Live.
Dining with the Spirits at the Whitney
The Whitney “pulls back the curtain” and paranormal hosts lead the way on a tour of the the history and legends of the Whitney family and estate. Beginning at 5 p.m, Sunday, May 2, the evening includes a historical Champagne tour of the mansion, a four-course dinner with selected spirits, followed by the paranormal expedition of the mansion, gardens, and carriage house. Tours limited to 14 reserved guests, 21 and older-only. This event ($185) will be in compliance with all social distancing and health requirements.
Often called the little sister of Oktoberfest in Germany, Frühlingsfest means “springfest” and comes to Detroit with a socially-distanced event Saturday, May 1, at Eastern Market Brewing Co. and Sunday, May 2, at Ferndale Project. What’s on tap? 10 a.m.: Beer is flowing. 1 p.m.: Live German music plus keg-tapping ceremony. 2:30 and 4:15 p.m.: Stein-hoisting competitions. Food trucks include Teeners Weiners.
Fundamentals of Mixology at the Sugar House
Learn about liquors, liquors, and libations in a two-hour Mixology Fundamentals from the Sugar House, one of Detroit’s most essential bars. The class on Saturday, May 1, is a condensed version of the course required for completion to work as a bartender at the Sugar House. Participants will be served a welcome glass of punch while discussing ingredients required to make mixed drinks, and mixology tools and equipment. The class will make three drinks, covering techniques like shaking, stirring, and straining. Students will leave with enough knowledge to stock a home bar. Tickets are $129.
Grapes, Grains & Gears Club Ride
The Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room-Auburn Hills and Blue Skies Brewery-Auburn Hills cycling club is back with an hourlong bike ride around the area. The free event is intended for riders of all abilities, from beginner to experienced, but no alcohol during the ride. Meet at the Michigan By the Bottle Tasting Room-Auburn Hills / Blue Skies Brewery-Auburn Hills at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 1.
Rochester Farmers’ Market
Opening Day for the outdoor market’s 22nd season is Saturday, May 1, in downtown Rochester. The market will feature dozens of artisans and food entrepreneurs offering baked goods, spices and teas, artisan cheese, fish, donuts, fudge, gnocchi, sausage, and more. To monitor capacity, only the Third Street entrance will be available. Visitors are asked to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of distance from others not in their group.
Palestinian Dinner by Chef George Azar
Chef George Azar of Flowers of Vietnam pops up with traditional Palestinian cuisine at Frame in Hazel Park Thursday, April 29 to Sunday, May 2. The five-course tasting menu ($120 per person plus tax and service charge) celebrates the diversity of Azar’s culture and family traditions. Reservations, at a very limited capacity, are available for the dining room and seating is socially distanced. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a yurt for parties of six.
Wine Tasting at Detroit Vineyards
Stop by the Eastern Market tasting room for a taste of wines made at Detroit Vineyards, the first winery in the city in 60 years. Tastings are $20-$25 per guest; reserve a 50-minute slot for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, with a $10 deposit. Groups are limited to four people.