June 14-July 7 • Top of the Park Series — Strangely enough, one of the best ways to spend a nice summer evening in Ann Arbor is atop a parking structure (the Power Center Parking Structure at 121 Fletcher, to be exact.) Every evening of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival there will be music, films or both on top of the park. Some of our favorites: The boogie-stomp blues of Al Hill opening for Hitchcock’s The Birds (June 19), the soul-filled sound of the Wtichdoctors with Raiders of the Lost Ark (June 20) and the revved-up hillbilly swing of the Cigar Store Indians with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (July 3). Call 734-647-2278 for the complete listings.
July 3-7 • Tastefest — With it’s jaw-dropping roster of local and national entertainers and mouth-watering food vendors, the 2002 Tastefest will overwhelm the senses. Eating some barbecue ribs with a little Von Bondies? Jerk chicken with a side of Joan Jett? Dr. John and Carl Craig with some Cajun? In a word: delicious! It takes place in the heart of the New Center area; call 313-872-0188 for information.
Aug. 20-Sept. 2 • Michigan State Fair — The undeniable (albeit somewhat seedy) appeal of the Michigan State Fair is the final word of Detroit summers. It’s about the pig races and carnival rides, elephant ears and the world’s largest stove. And looking down Woodward while high atop the Ferris wheel, it can be about a whole lot more — the State Fair is the quintessential endcap to a summer in the city. It all happens at the State Fairgrounds, Woodward and Eight Mile in Detroit; call 313-369-8250 for information.