Sterling Heights

Farmers market, beer garden, and concerts in the park to welcome summer back to Sterling Heights

What’s happening: This Thursday, June 2, marks the return of what’s become a welcome summer tradition for Sterling Heights and the surrounding communities, what’s unofficially been called Thursday Nights in the Park. The Dodge Park Farmers Market returns for the season, the outdoor beer garden Patios n’ Pints returns to the Upton House, and the 47th Annual Music in the Park concert series returns to the Dodge Park Amphitheatre — and all on the same day. The events occur each Thursday throughout the summer.

Check your itinerary: The Dodge Park Farmers Market is open each Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. from June 2 through the end of September. Complementing that is the Patios n’ Pints event, an outdoor beer garden at the Upton House organized by the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce (SHRCC) that runs from 5 to 8 p.m. each Thursday through August. The Music in the Park series, which also runs through August, opens the summer season at 7 p.m. with a performance from Magic Bus, a Woodstock-era tribute band. A full line-up is available online.

Tom Whittaker, program and events manager for SHRCC (File photo: Steve Koss)Veggies, beer, and tunes: “It’s become a whole ‘Thursday night thing’ here,” says Tom Whittaker, program and events manager for SHRCC. “You can pick up your fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, grab a beer from us at the Upton House, and go check out the music happening across the street in the park.”

Patios n’ Pints: Each Thursday, Patios n’ Pints will feature a different brewery with opening day having Blake’s Hard Cider Co. on hand. Representatives from the Armada-based company will attend the event, handing out giveaways and prizes and maybe, Whittaker says, even some of their famous donuts. While the Patios n’ Pints programming mostly features Michigan craft brewers, there will be exceptions, like “College or Dad Beer night” this August. Local food vendors will start making appearances mid-June.

What they’re saying: “This all started with the renovation of Dodge Park — that beautiful farmers market pavilion, the bandshell. It’s a gorgeous space that allows the city to put together something special for Sterling Heights. Come see your tax dollars at work,” Whittaker says. “There really is something for everyone.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.