September 1, 2014 at 1:00 am

Culture goes on display at festivals

Metro area enjoys its weekend of music, parades and food

Hamtramck — Music and diverse crowds flooded the streets on Sunday in communities across Metro Detroit in celebration of the holiday weekend.

On Jos. Campau in Hamtramck, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer moved north, encouraging change for the state and unity among Michiganians.

“Hamtramck is a hardworking community filled with hardworking people. That’s why I’m here today,” said Schauer, who is challenging Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in November, as he and Conyers shook hands with festivalgoers. “This is a celebration of Hamtramck, its culture, its people, but also a connection to the labor movement.”

Conyers, a Detroit Democrat and son of an international United Auto Workers representative, said he and Schauer spent the earlier part of the day visiting churches in Detroit and the city’s 35th annual Jazz Festival. The pair will also attend the city’s Labor Day parade on Monday that’s expected to kick off with remarks from Vice President Joe Biden.

“We’ve got to build up collective bargaining. (Participation is) going down and, to me, it should be going up,” Conyers said. “That’s what created the middle class in the first place.”

The Hamtramck Labor Day and Detroit Jazz festivals are two of many events throughout the weekend, including the annual Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak.

Laura Macintyre, 48, took time on Sunday to appreciate the rich culture, artistry and music in Hamtramck’s downtown.

Macintyre, an artist who has resided in the community for nearly two decades, said it was a chance for her to reconnect with the culture and local talent.

“I spend all my time in my studio and don’t realize what’s here, right in town until I come out,” she said, noting the mix of hipsters, Muslim and Polish community members nearby. “Everybody is mobile and the whole town is up and around.”

Meanwhile, spectators of Detroit’s jazz festivities flooded in to Hart Plaza to enjoy the day’s roster of events.

Marcus May, 25, was joined by Sharica Sanders, 23, and their 1-year-old son, Benjamin. The couple said they plan to make it an annual trip.

“It is going to be a tradition now, because of him,” May said, motioning to his son, who was seated on the grass eating cheese covered butterfly potato chips. “We are just winging it on a Sunday.”

The Potions perform at the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival, one of several celebrations in Metro Detroit. Politicians John Conyers and Mark Schauer stopped by Hamtramck. / Photos by Robin Buckson / The Detroit News
Destiny Maslocha, 5, left, and Alana Maslocha, 7, take a spin on the ... (Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)