Hamtramck Fest offers a super local Labor Day weekend

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The annual Hamtramck Labor Day Festival is a neighborhood event that tries to make things as labor-free as possible for attendees.

The volunteer-run event has a carnival, two stages of local music, an art lounge and affordable food and beverages. Beers are $4-$5 and include local and national brands, plus Polish beer Okocim. Visitors can taste foods from Poland to the Middle East with returning vendors Srodek’s and Polish Village Cafe, plus newcomer Ali-Baba Shish Kabob.

While the food, carnival, parade and live music have been attracting attendees for years, one new aspect of the three-day event is an artists lounge with 60 arts and craft vendors. The artists’ area was conceived to honor Hamtramck resident Dmytro Szylak, creator of the outdoor art installation Hamtramck Disneyland who died earlier this year.

Also new this year, ongoing fowling in the street, set up by the Fowling Warehouse, one of Hamtramck’s newer entertainment spots. For the uninitiated, fowling is a mix of football and bowling.

This year’s musical lineup is loaded with acts of all stripes from the local rock scene (including many musicians from Hamtramck). Headliners include Tunde Olaniran — recently named by Rolling Stone as one of 10 artists to know — on Saturday night. Festival mainstays, the Polish Muslims, play 7 p.m. Sunday, and a soul/garage band, the Detroit Cobras, close out the event at 9 p.m. Monday.

One of the major Labor Day attractions in Hamtramck is the Polish Day Parade at 1:30 p.m. One of the largest ethnic parades in the state, the procession includes Polish dancers, veterans, marching bands and more.

The parade is preceded by the annual Hamtramck Yacht Race at Jos Campau and Edwin. Representatives from local bars race each other in push carts decorated to look like canoes and the winner gets bragging rights for a year.


Hamtramck Festival

Noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Monday

Jos Campau north of Caniff, Hamtramck

Free admission





South Stage

2 p.m.: Rhyta Musik

3 p.m.: Six & the Sevens

4 p.m.: Duende!

5 p.m.: Bison Machine

6 p.m.: The Erers

7 p.m.: Radio Burns

8 p.m.: Duane the Brand

New Dog

9 p.m.: Tunde Olaniran

North Stage

1 p.m.: DJ Steve Cherry

2:30 p.m.: Cosmic Light Shapes

3:30 p.m.: Tin Foil

4:30 p.m.: Colorwheel

5:30 p.m.: The Ill Itches

6:30 p.m.: Valley Husyh

7:30 p.m.: Turn to Crime

8:30 p.m.: Mexican Knives


South Stage

2 p.m.: Omamatik

3 p.m.: Devious Ones

4 p.m.: Electric Wiccans

5 p.m.: Cheerleader

6 p.m.: Bill Bondsmen

7 p.m.: Polish Muslims

9:30 p.m.: DJ Mike Anderson

North Stage

1 p.m.: DJ Richie Wohlfeil

2:30 p.m.: The Scrappers

3:30 p.m.: Pewter Cub

4:30 p.m. Human Skull

5:30 p.m.: Caveman

Woodman & Bam Bam Moss

6:30 p.m.: Prude Boys

7:30 p.m.: Growwing Pains

8:30 p.m.: John Krautner Band


South Stage

Noon: Hamtramck

Yacht Race

1:30 p.m.: Polish Day Parade

3 p.m.: Sick Smile

4 p.m.: Characteristics

5 p.m.: VSTRS

6 p.m.: Wasabi Dream

7 p.m.: Pretty Ghouls

8 p.m.: Beggars

9 p.m.: The Detroit Cobras

North Stage

2:30 p.m.: The Redones

3:30 p.m.: The Potions

4:30 p.m.: Lac La Belle

5:30 p.m.: Craig Brown Band

6:30 p.m.: Michael Hurtt’s Haunted Hearts

7:30 p.m.: Paint Thinner

8:30 p.m.: Anguish