Who knew road construction could be this festive? The East Warren streetscape project — bringing better walkability, bike lanes and connectivity to the eastside business corridor — is basically complete except for a few finishing touches. You can check out the new crosswalks (and better yet, the new retailers) at a street fair on Thursday. 

If you like free fests and art even a little bit, you’ll probably want to pair your visit to E. Warrenfest with a slow lap through Eastern Market, which will be jam-packed Thursday night for Eastern Market After Dark. Then, later in the weekend and into next week, find more fests, discussions on food heritage and vacant land activation, Black films and a dance party in the park. 

Keep reading this week’s Get Busy roundup for all our top event picks. What’s on your calendar? Email kate@outliermedia.org and let us know what events are worth checking out. 

Red-and-black flyer that says, “​​Eastern Market After Dark. Sept. 21st, 6pm-11pm.” The flyer shows an illustration of a large shed structure; logos for the Gilbert Family Foundation, Detroit Month of Design, UNESCO and Design Core Detroit; and a repeating pattern made of the words “Eastern Market After Dark.”
Image credit: Via Eastern Market

🌃 Eastern Market After Dark — Detroit Month of Design’s biggest party — returns Thursday with live music, art showcases, food, small vendors and much more. Last year’s event drew more than 30,000 people to Eastern Market, so get ready to mingle. Free. 

🎉 The City of Detroit began construction on the East Warren Avenue streetscape last summer, and one year later, work to improve walkability on the strip between 3 Mile Drive and Cadieux Road is nearly complete. To celebrate, the E. Warren Development Corp is hosting E. Warrenfest Thursday evening, with three music stages, plenty of vendors and new businesses to check out, including Terri’s Cakes Detroit, MorningSide Cafe and Next Chapter Books. Free; organizers are also looking for volunteers to work the fest.

👱‍♀️ Join The Divas of Detroit on Thursday for Taylor Swift Drag Queen Bingo at Brooks Brewing South in Ferndale. It includes a show with metro Detroit’s hottest queens and male entertainers, and you can win prizes from small businesses. $20. 

🪄 Light up and prepare to have your mind blown at Smokus Pocus’ 420 Magic Show at Andy Arts on Friday. The tricks will leave you mystified, any impairment aside. $30+. 

🪡 🛠 The Ferndale DIY Street Fair is back Friday through Sunday with its annual family-friendly festival full of crafts, fine art, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking and other artisan offerings. Food, brews and bands are on tap as well. Free. 

🎨 Cranbrook Art Museum is hosting a panel and closing reception for Sonya Clark’s exhibit “We Are Each Other” on Saturday. The artist will be joined by Poet Laureate of Michigan Nandi Comer and Africana studies professor Renée Ater in this afternoon of poetry readings and cultural appreciation. Free with museum admission (up to $10). 

💲 Learn how to get precious Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) dollars on Saturday at the Detroit Public Library main branch. The workshop is geared at teens who need some help navigating the financial aid application for college. If you can’t make this one, another workshop will be held on Oct. 23. Free.

Collage with the words “Detroit Land Lab” and photographs of lettuce plants and flowering shrubbery, and an illustration of people working together around a table with greenery behind them.
Image credit: Via Detroit Land Lab

🌻 Explore challenges and opportunities waiting to bloom in empty lots at Saturday’s Detroit Land Lab event, which will help you get ready to reclaim and transform vacant land. Hosted on Heidelberg Street on the eastside, workshop topics include lot design, working with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, regenerative land techniques and soil testing. Free; donations welcome.

💃  Dance the daylight away on Saturday at a pop-up silent disco. Hosted at Riverside Park, it’s a chance to quietly show off your steps to oldies as well as the latest tracks trending on TikTok. Free. 

😋 Appreciate culinary traditions among people of color at The State of the Black and Brown Plate discussion at Eastern Market on Tuesday. Panelists include chef Amanda Saab of Amanda’s Plate, chef Omar Mitchell of Table No. 2 and journalist Serena Maria Daniels from Eater Detroit and Tostada Magazine. Free.

YouTube video
Trailer for “Speak Up Brotha!” one of the films featured in the Detroit Black Film Festival. 

📽️ Immerse yourself in a world of captivating cinematography at the fourth annual Detroit Black Film Festival, Wednesday through Oct. 1. Take in the flicks at multiple locations downtown and in the Cultural Center while celebrating diversity and talent within the Black film community through provocative documentaries and discussions. $15+.

🧱 Join author Gerald Van Dusen at the Detroit Public Library’s main branch on Wednesday to go deeper on the history of the Birwood Wall. A literal divider and symbol of the historic redlining that segregated Black neighborhoods near 8 Mile, the wall has been turned into a monument and mural. Free. 

Kate (she/her) is passionate about journalism that involves Detroiters from the start and helps readers solve problems and find joy in their daily lives. Her favorite Detroit spot to watch the sunset, play soccer, watch the freighters go by and feel a little haunted is Historic Fort Wayne.

SaMya (she/her) believes in empowering and encouraging minority voices through local journalism because journalism is a service to the community, not vice versa. She loves Campus Martius, especially during holiday time with the bright lights and snow.

Alex (she/her) believes that the best journalism is done by members of the community being served, and the stories should always reflect those people. When it comes to Detroit, the city is her playground, but her favorite place to go is the Detroit Institute of Arts.