Downtown Port Huron kicks off the summer with music, art, and more

Downtown Port Huron is ready for the summer.

Live music, artist demonstrations, a celebration of local sweet shops, beautification efforts, and a Blue Water tradition. It’s all happening in Port Huron this Friday, June 4, as an array of events combine to make downtown an especially vibrant destination as spring transitions into summer.

“It’s kind of a crazy Friday because we have so much going on with all of these events but what better way to kick off the summer,” says Cynthia Cutright, director of the Port Huron Downtown Development Authority. “This shows what we have to offer here and gets people coming back downtown.”

Workers at the DDA have been busy this week, organizing three events and installing more than 40 hanging flower baskets throughout downtown — a beautification program that will expand to distribute more than 90 flower baskets next year.

With this Friday being June 4, downtown will once again host the First Friday event, a new series of programming first debuted this April. This month’s event appeals to the community’s collective sweet tooth, highlighting downtown businesses and their many desserts.

Scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m., the First Friday Sweet Stroll invites the community to come downtown, pick up a “dessert book” from Chef Shell’s Restaurant & Catering, and visit participating businesses as they hand out their favorite dessert recipes. It’s a list that includes Casey’s, Chef Shell’s, Raven Café, and more.

The Shop, Rock N’ Stroll series returns this Friday, featuring four bands at four different outdoor venues throughout downtown. The free outdoor concerts run from 6 to 8 p.m.

“It’s so important to have live music downtown; there’s nothing quite like it,” Cutright says. “To be able to have consistent events downtown and have people here to remind them that downtown is here and accessible, what better way to do that than live music?”

Another new event series this year is Live Look: Creators on Display. Scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at Quay Street Park, wood-burning artist Shannon Wheeler will create her artworks live and in front of an audience. Different art forms will be featured throughout the summer each Friday.

A reimagined Blue Water Sturgeon Festival is also scheduled for this Friday. Sturgeon cruises are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m. and tickets are available online.

Also in the news is the social district, which recently added the Fair Weather Grill and CityFlats Hotel to its list of participating establishments. The district allows for bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks to-go and to be consumed in designated outdoor areas downtown.

“These events, like Shop, Rock N’ Stroll, were developed as a response to COVID-19. We want to get folks back to shopping local,” Cutright says.

“We want to get people moving around downtown again.”

Visit Downtown Port Huron online to learn more about these events and more.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.