Thursday, June 16, 2022

Canton Liberty Fest lights up this weekend

After a two-year COVID hiatus, Canton Liberty Fest will celebrate its 29th anniversary with three family-friendly days from beginning today, June 16 through Saturday, June 18 in Heritage Park, adjacent to the Canton Administration Building.

While the traditional events have returned along with some new attractions, organizers have changed the Liberty Fest fireworks display to dusk tomorrow, June 17. This will provide a “rain date” of Saturday should weather interfere with the event.

Hours this year are 1 until 10 p.m. today; from 1 until 11 p.m. tomorrow and 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday. Major sponsors for this annual community event, include: BJ's Grocery, Community Financial, and The Village Dentist.  Additional sponsors include: Brackney Chiropractic Health Center, Dermatology Specialist of Canton/Hamzavi Dermatology, The Goddard School of Canton, Star International Academy, U.S. Army, and Weatherguard Windows. 

Visitors can satisfy their appetites throughout the festival, where participating area restaurants and food trucks will present  local specialties. Liberty Festival food and the Beer and Wine Garden will again be located near the Amphitheater. On Friday and Saturday from 4-10 p.m., a variety of food trucks will be parked near the Amphitheater, with a tentative line-up that includes: Egg Roll Diva; Frio's Detroit; The Hoagie Roll; House of Mac; Impasto; Kona Ice; Little Caesars Pizza Truck; Little Kahua Shaved Ice; Little Lou's Hot Chicken; Meltdown Creamery; Poverino; Smokehouse 52 BBQ; and more. This year's participating food concessions include: Different Twist; Kona Ice; J & J Concessions; Veg-O-Rama and more. 

On all three days of Liberty Fest, the Canton Rotary Club and the Plymouth-Canton Optimist Club will be hosting a Beer and Wine Garden, which is sponsored by O&W Distributors, from 4-10 p.m. today, and tomorrow and from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday. The tent is near the Amphitheater, where a selection of craft beers, hard ciders, and wine will be available. Festival-goers must be 21 years to purchase these adult beverages. 

Tonight, the event includes Throwback Thursday Zumba at the Canton LIVE! Stage from 9-10 p.m. Music and instructors will be provided, visitors should be ready to move and dress in a style of their favorite decade. Participants are reminded to bring a water bottle to keep hydrated during this free event. 

 Flight will perform Rock and Jazz hits at the Canton LIVE Stage starting at 5 p.m. and beginning at 7 p.m., Allentown, a Billy Joel tribute band, will take the stage playing all of the piano man's hits. 

The Canton Chamber of Commerce 50th Anniversary Walk of Fame Opening will begin at 5 p.m. this afternoon near the Amphitheater Stage. In addition, Trilogy performs at the Heritage Park Amphitheater starting at 6 p.m., delivering Pop and Top 40 hits. Freelance will perform starting at 8 p.m., covering top favorite top 40 hits that the whole family  can enjoy.

Tomorrow, Friday, Canton LIVE! Stage highlights include Canton Community Groups performing from 1-5 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. Mainstream Drive Band will get the audience dancing with popular covers in all genres. Then at 8 p.m., The Fruits will take the stage performing Alt-Rock, Power Pop, Funk, and Jazz. 

Friday Amphitheater Stage entertainment will feature the Surfzup Band - Music of The Ventures, who will entertain audience members with hits from the '60s 5-7 p.m.; a special Hula Performance, featuring local dancers is planned from 7-7:55 p.m.; and Air Margaritaville, Detroit's premier Jimmy Buffet tribute band, will perform starting at 8 p.m.

Saturday highlights include the Canton Lions Club's Annual Pancake Breakfast from 8-11 a.m. at the North Pavilion. Chris Cakes of Michigan returns to flip pancakes high onto plates for those brave enough to catch them. Stop by for a tasty breakfast and make this a Liberty Fest tradition; while supplies last. In addition, a variety of fun characters will also be on hand adding to all of the fun from 9:30 until 11 a.m., including Princess Leia and Darth Vader. 

Canton Leisure Services is again joining forces with Running Fit to host the 8th Annual Liberty Run, including 5K, 10K, and One Mile events. Participants are encouraged to register at and run, walk, or stroll in these events. Participants will also receive finisher medals, as well as a race T-Shirt. Plus, running-theme awards will be handed out to the best “Liberty” running outfit. 

Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, the Canton Home Depot, located on Michigan Avenue, will be providing DIY hot air balloon model kits to the first 200 children 4 and older who stop by their craft tent, located near the Amphitheater.   

Other Saturday Canton LIVE! entertainment highlights, include: The International Festival cultural performances and displays which begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue most of the day.  Presented by the Canton Commission for Culture, Arts and Heritage, this special showcase will feature cultures from around the world, such as: Indian, Chinese, Polynesian, Mongolian, Japanese, and others. Youngest visitors are in for a real treat from 6 until 9:30 p.m. when mini-shows and special Meet and Greets featuring Peppa Pig and George™ will take place, courtesy of Oasis Productions, Inc. 

Saturday Amphitheater Stage highlights include: a special Juneteenth Celebration stage presentation staring at 3 p.m., featuring performances by Jack and Jill of America Incorporated - Ypsilanti, MI Chapter, and The Oak Park Marching Band. In addition, festival-goers will hear from keynote speaker and Mistress of Ceremonies Pamela Osborne, a Canton native and WDIV-Channel 4 anchor/ reporter. In addition, starting at 5:30 p.m., festival-goers can enjoy Motown favorites performed by a local band. This special Juneteenth Celebration will culminate with a special performance by Detroit Queen of Blues Thornetta Davis. She will perform from 8-10 p.m.   

Other festival highlights for both Friday and Saturday include: Axe and Archery Throwing from 1 until 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday when folks can take their best shot during these free activities located near the Canton LIVE Stage, sponsored and organized by Oakland County Parks.  Participants can shoot magnetic arrows at a target (great for older children) or throw inflatable Velcro axes at a giant dartboard (suitable for all ages). In addition, festival-goers can catch a wave at the water-less Surf Simulators, located near the Amphitheater stage from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. 

Hydration and misting stations will be available throughout the park giving festival-goers a chance to cool off. Organizers suggest visitors bring a refillable water bottle. Walk on the Wild Side, featuring Oasis Animals all day Friday and Saturday, will give all ages the chance to get up close and personal with some barnyard and exotic animals. KultureCity sensory-friendly tents will also be available on the north and south side of Heritage Park that will be a safe space for those with sensory challenges in which to rest, that will also serve as changing or feeding tents, with furniture sponsored by IKEA.

Merchandise from local artisans, crafters, businesses, and vendors will be displaying and selling their items around the large pond at Liberty Fest Marketplace from 4 p.m. until dusk and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to dusk. Liberty Fest returning favorites include: the Scholastic Book Fair; LEGO Station provided by MichLUG (Michigan LEGO Users Group); and others.  

Festival-goers are reminded that no dogs are allowed on festival grounds and all bikes must be parked in a bike corral.  In addition, a convenient Uber, Lyft, or parent drop-off/pick-off spot has been designated on Civic Center Boulevard in front of the Canton Public Library main parking lot. For more information, visit or call (734) 394-5360.