Big name musical acts, karaoke competition, Zumba Guinness record attempt and a visit from the “Style Bus” are just a few of the new attractions that will make for non-stop Labor Day Weekend fun

Returning for its second year to its recently expanded Royal Oak footprint from Sept. 2-5, the 14th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Citizens Bank will pack an entertainment punch through its powerful music line-up, new attractions and returning favorite activities.

Ford Arts, Beats & Eats brings some of the country’s best recording artists to the Michigan Lottery National Stage, and across a total of 11 music stages, featuring more than 200 local bands. Among the national recording artists performing are: Vince Gill, Bret Michaels, Panic! at the Disco, Starship, Pyschedelic Furs, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, former frontman for Foreigner Lou Gramm, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Beatlemania Live.

The local band line-up includes Saving Abel, Alexander Zonjic, and rising stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. on the Michigan Lottery National Stage; Michigan Laith Al-Saadi, Julianne & The Rogues, TJ Kelly, Persuasion, and the Orbitsuns performing on the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Stage; Gasoline Gypsy, Killer Flamingos, Bear Lake, and Dirty Americans on the Ford Focus Stage; The Twistin’ Tarantulas, Just Another Band from Detroit, The Howling Diablos, and The Reefermen on the Budweiser Stage. Also headlining will be Larry Lee & the Back in the Day Band, Thornetta Davis, Hotsauce, and Tumbao Bravo, all on the Pepsi Stage.

The “Made in Detroit” Stage will feature a number of exciting interactive attractions this year. The DJs from the Movement Electronic Music Festival and D Records will take to the stage on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night of the festival from 9-11 p.m. The thumping beats and electric leads from Detroit’s signature techno styles will entrance and entertain guests as DJs such as Dan Bain, Ted Krisko and Tom Newman spin their tunes throughout the festival’s warm summer nights.

The Detroit School of Rock also will provide guests with interactive fun that is sure to get toes tapping to some good old rock-n-roll on the “Made in Detroit” Stage early each evening of the festival.

Additionally, Ford Arts Beats and Eats is looking to discover metro Detroit’s most talented singers during “Made In Detroit” Talent Search in partnership with Zodiac Entertainment, Michigan’s largest DJ/ Karaoke company; Persuasion, metro Detroit’s hottest band; and Royal Oak’s own neighborhood pub, Mr. B’s. Visitors will be able to sing their hearts out to their favorite music and maybe even become a star.

Along with the karaoke, each day the Kid Rock “Made in Detroit” stage will feature talented singers performing their own mini-show from 1-4 p.m. These Featured Singers spots are being awarded by current competitions in bars all over metro Detroit, including Mr. B’s in Royal Oak. The general public is invited to come and sing on the stage and just have some fun as well. Each day at 4 p.m. Featured Singers and the best singers chosen from general public will come back for a contest. Cash and prizes will be awarded to the winners and the 1st place winner advances to the Grand Finals on Monday.

Then on Monday, the extraordinary karaoke talent from Mr. B’s will be featured all day. Each of these singers will perform their own mini show and compete with each other and the winners from the previous days. There will be cash and prizes for the best singers. The Big Winner will also sing a song with Persuasion, one of Arts, Beats & Eats most popular bands that will close the festival with an exciting high- energy show.

New to the festival this year is the Citizens Bank Money Booth, which will give guests the chance to win up to $5,000 in cash and prizes throughout the weekend. Guests who stop by the booth will have the chance to be picked to step inside the eight feet tall wind tunnel booth and grab as much cash and prizes as they can hold. Located on Washington just north of 7th Street, the booth will operate Saturday through Monday from 1-7pm, with two guests per hour having the chance to step in and win.

The Mirepoix Cooking School International Stage will provide great flavor with musical styles from Caribbean and Latin to world fusion and Irish. Entertainers include Orquestra La Inspiracion, Blackthorn, The Nomads, Nadanta Indian Dancers, Dee Sound System, La Chispa & Company, RaionTaiko, Madame XD, and Roots Vibrations.

The stage will also be home to The Duel. Starting on Monday, Aug. 22, eight of the area’s finest chefs will face off in a series of cooking challenges in two initial rounds, with two chefs eliminated at the end of each round. Then on Friday, Sept. 2, the final four chefs will face off in a 90-minute duel that will eliminate two more and crown the third place winner with a cash prize. The competition will culminate with a final elimination challenge at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 4 on the Mirepoix International Stage. While the two finalists will receive cash prizes, there can be only one champion.

Long recognized for its family-friendly programming, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats has once again expanded its offerings for the younger crowd. Among the high points will be the Meijer Kids Zone, guaranteed to attract youngsters with fun, interactive programming throughout the four days of the festival.

The 14th annual Arts, Beats & Eats, Oakland County’s Taste, Music & Arts Festival, will be held over Labor Day weekend in downtown Royal Oak, September 2-5, 2011. Approximately 423,000 visitors attended the 2010 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats in its new home in Royal Oak. Fan us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @artsbeatseats. For additional public information, visit or call 248-334-4600.

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