Arts, Beats. and Eats - Pontiac, Michigan
For the first time in about 10 years, I will be in SW Michigan over Labor Day. A friend recommended I try Arts, Beats, and Eats festival in Pontiac. I see that Los Lobos will be performing for free on Friday night and I'd love to see them. What can I expect in the way of food?
i have been to a/b/e every year from year 1 to 2007. didn't find the time or energy to go last year. sadly, it has geadually gone downhill for the past five years. the number of food vendors has steadily declined, the quality has weakened, and the price has gone up. the art fair and the carny (for the kids) portions of the festival have also deteriorated in size and quality. the music is the one constant strength. i fear that this year will be even worse due to michigan's economic depression. chrysler has been the main sponser of the event - but that ended when they filed for bankruptcy protection.
the food includes typical hot dogs, shish kabob, italian/polish sausage, corn on the cob, fresh cut/deep fried potato chips/ribbons (plain, cheese, chili/cheese, etc), thai/chinese, ice cream, miller, pepsi, etc. past highlights for me included:
hunter house burgers
lazy bones bbq
andre's (excellent louisiana jamablaya, red beans, corn bread - though his place in pontiac has been closed for 3 years now)
The art fair is a juried event and in the past has been very good. I'm sure it will be impacted by the economy (as all art fairs seem to have been) because artist can't afford to travel as much if the sales aren't there to support them. If you look in the Free Press, there are several articles about new restaurants to the festival. While AB&E did lose Chrysler as a sponsor, they are offsetting that by a $2 admission that is going to a number of local charities - which clearly need the additional support this year. Finally, all food prices are being held at $5 per serving and the parking lots (official) have lowered the cost from $10 to $8.
So - I'd highly recommend coming to the festival (and no, I don't work there)... I usually try to come at "off hours" especially if its hot out. Have a great time in the D - there is a lot to do for the holiday weekend.