Community | Events | Outdoors

Partying along Detroit's Riverfront

I was greeted by the intoxicating smell of fire and crispy (slightly burnt) s’mores as I walked toward Milliken State Park to attend Rivière28’s first happening event of the summer, “Light up the Riverfront”.

For the last three years, this event has signaled the early start to summer. It never fails that by 9 p.m., it is cold enough for a jacket. (Hence the multiple mini-bonfires.)

I wish I could capture  for you in words or in a photo the pristine beauty of Detroit’s shimmery riverfront. It’s not possible. You just have to experience it.

We all know how much the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is doing to beautify and populate Detroit’s Riverfront. With the invention of Rivière28, the next generation makes its mark on Detroit’s natural resource by creating hip, user-friendly events in the various Riverfront hot spots. And…if you don’t check them out, you’re not only being anti-social, you’re making some sort of statement about not wanting to experience Milliken State Park or the Dequindre Cut. Come on now!

Well, so, you’re in luck, because there is a second event to check out later this summer. “Soiree on the Greenway”, event number two of the season, is slated for August 7. Make sure your creative juices are flowing because mural-making is part of the package. Of course there’s live music, food trucks, and it wouldn’t be a soiree without great conversation. I will see you then and there.

Here’s what I loved about “Light up the Riverfront”:

1. I saw some of my favorite Detroit-loving, make-it-happen-type friends. I saw people whose faces I knew, and whose names I now know…and vice versa.

2. Despite the dry-cleaning bill later on, I love smelling like fire.

3. The shimmery riverfront cannot be beat.

Here’s what YOU would have loved:

1. The great live music and dancing.

2. The BYOB policy makes for drinking your favorite libation all night long.

3. There are enough cross-sections of people who attend, that you will see: someone you work with, someone you used to work with, someone you know you’ve seen at an event somewhere recently, someone you had coffee with…and now they’re a business owner, someone from another country…or two, three, six, and someone you’ve been wanting to meet.

See you on the Detroit Riverfront, whether it’s for a soiree (hint, hint) yoga or dog-walking.

Natalie Bruno
Natalie Bruno is the Director of Talent & Organizational Culture at Mango Languages, a business that enriches lives through language and culture, via cutting-edge language-learning software. Prior to this appointment, she was the Chief Operating Officer & Vice President for Development with Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, Eisenhower Dance, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. In 2009, she launched Detroit Passport to the Arts with a group of young professionals and was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business 2010 “40 Under 40” honorees for her work in attracting audiences to cultural organizations. A native of Chicago, Natalie has made Metro Detroit her home since 2003. She remains active on the board of Detroit Passport to the Arts, and also serves on the board of Challenge Detroit. Follow her @NatalieBruno11.