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Items of interest for young people planning to attend Arts, Beats, and Eats in Pontiac


Don't lose your shirt overpaying at the festival..

First of all, the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival, held over Labor Day Weekend (Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday Sept. 7) is a good time. Even if it’s drizzly or cool or anything which seems to have become August’s calling card this year, A, B, & E is a nice way to bid a fond farewell to summer . Yeah, yeah…say what you want about summer lasting until September 21. It REALLY ends when the school bells ring.

Back to the topic…Even though promoters have knocked themselves out to make this year’s festival fun and family-friendly, there are a few facts that you should know before you head out the door.

Don’t plan to attend without a parent after 6:30 pm if you are under 17. You won’t be admitted. Also, while young adults, 18-20, will be admitted after 7:00 without a parent, admission increases from $2 to $5 if they come unchaperoned. (That cheap weekend date just got a little more expensive.) On the bright side, however, where else can you go to enjoy the enormous number of bands and the thousands of pieces of spectacular art absolutely free once you’re in the gate? Also, a $5 plate of yummies from dozens of local vendors at the festival is one heck of a lot less costly than the pretentious restaurant you were planning to go to, right? So what if it means nibbling your baklava off of a paper plate with your fingers while standing next to some guy chomping away on a turkey leg? That's half the fun!

Also, in an attempt to win over the hearts of local young folk, festival promoters have posted on Facebook and Twitter and are offering free Silverdome parking and shuttle service to the festival to the first 2,500 people who sign up for that promotion through those venues. Check it out to cut back on the $5-$8 parking costs around the city.

Want to know about other cost-cutting offers from the fair? Do you ride a motorcycle? Are you free on Friday? Check out my article on cost-cutting hints for festival fun.