woman singing into microphone
Erykah Badu is bringing her Unfollow Me tour to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sunday. (Denise Richardson/Shutterstock)

When Fourth of July rolls around each year, one might think of family barbecues and fireworks. But what’s there to do for the other three days of the long weekend? 

In Detroit, there’s a lot. From concerts to plays, poetry readings and fun at the park, here are a few happenings over the July 4 weekend. 

Friday, June 30

Dot’s Home Live! Interactive Play at Andy Arts Center

Detroit Action, an organization dedicated to housing and economic justice, is hosting the interactive play, “Dot’s Home Live!” alongside Rise-Home Stories, PowerSwitch Action and Detroit-based theater company, A Host of People. The play is based on the mobile game, “Dot’s Home,” which focuses on the titular character as she navigates her grandmother’s choice to buy or sell her home in a neighborhood in Detroit and what that decision means for her and her family. There will be two performances: 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Andy Arts Center, 3000 Fenkell Street. 

Kool and the Gang concert at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre 

Fans of old school R&B can enjoy the sounds of Grammy-winning band Kool and the Gang. The group is known for 70s and 80s hits such as “Celebration,” “Summer Madness,” and “Ladies Night.” Kool and the Gang will be joined by 80s R&B groups Atlantic Starr and The SOS Band. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Friday with ticket prices beginning at $39.50 on Ticketmaster. 

Poetry and Music at the DSO 

Detroit spoken word artist and vocalist LaShaun Phoenix Moore will host “Poetry and Music: Nothin’ But the Blues” inside the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Sosnick Courtyard. Beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, guests will get to see performances from Detroit’s “Queen of the Blues” Thornetta Davis and Columbus poet and author Scott Woods. 

Saturday, July 1

Family Fun Days at Beacon Park 

Family Fun Days feature a variety of hands-on science and technology activities to introduce young people to STEM and STEAM. The free summer series includes live stage performances, lawn games, arts and crafts, food trucks and more. Family Fun Days will be held from 1-5 p.m. Saturday. 

Xzibit, 8Ball and MJB and Tha Dogg Pound at the Aretha Amphitheatre 

Detroit native Xzibit will perform with 8Ball and MJG and Tha Dogg Pound. Xzibit achieved success in the early 2000s with the songs, “X” and “Get Your Walk On” and hosted the MTV show “Pimp My Ride.” His latest album “Napalm” was released in 2012. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets start at $35. 

LIGHT UP Livernois

LIGHT UP Livernois – Detroit’s fashion, art, and design festival celebrating creative influence and commerce along Livernois Avenue – showcases over 300 merchants on the city’s northwest side. Park, walk, shop, dine, and explore fashion runway shows, art galleries, beauty salons, eateries, and other amenities along the avenue. The event runs from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free

Sunday, July 2

Erykah Badu concert at Little Caesars Arena 

Eccentric R&B singer Erykah Badu is bringing her Unfollow Me tour to Detroit along with rappers Tobe Nwigwe and Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def. Expect to hear Badu’s hits like “Next Lifetime,” “Tyrone” and “Love of My Life.” The concert starts at 7 p.m. Sunday, with tickets beginning at $40. 

Tuesday, July 4

“Not Our Independence Day” concert at Shrine of the Black Madonna Church 

In the Tradition Jazz Ensemble is bringing back its Fourth of July concert, “Not Our Independence Day” for a second year, which combines music with excerpts from Frederick Douglass’ famous speech, “What to the Negro is the Fourth of July?” The event also features the Emancipation Marketplace with food, African clothing, jewelry and more. The church is located at 7625 Linwood Avenue and the concert will run from 1-3 p.m. and costs $10 per person, with children ages 12 and under admitted for free. 

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