As a first time Detroit Grand Prix attendee, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Although, after a full day spent exploring the event on Detroit’s Belle Isle, I have a much better idea what this whole thing is about. Plus, how to better plan for attending the event again next year!
The Detroit Grand Prix is a series of races carried out along a 982-acre island in the Detroit River. For the racing weekend, held in 2019 on May 31- June 2, Belle Isle is transformed from a state park, rich in natural history, to an adrenaline packed paradise!
Having been to the island before, to enjoy the conservancy and aquarium located there, I couldn’t wrap my head around how a racetrack would fit. Honestly, I still can’t tell you… it just works! Walking around the island during the Detroit Grand Prix was like visiting a new location I’d never been before. It’s a roaring racetrack built near the heart of Detroit, and I loved it!
If you’re thinking that sitting and watching a race all day just isn’t for you – I get it. Even being the car-loving girl that I am, the thought of watching cars whiz by me in circles all day made me feel… let’s just say… unsure. I’d rather be driving them! However, after experiencing that first rush of adrenaline as a race car sped by me and soaking up the fan energy throughout the day, I want more and I’ll definitely be back again next year!
Planning For a Great Day
It’s hard to know what you don’t know. Right? So here are just a few of the things I wish I’d known going into a day at the Detroit Grand Prix.
1 . There will be a LOT of walking – good shoes are a blessing. Typically, when we visit Belle Isle, we can just drive onto the island and park. For this event, parking is off-site at one of the city public lots. Shuttles are available to run guests back and forth to the event.
Once on the island, the walking continues! While it’s fun to sit and watch the races, there are also tons of vendors to shop and eat at. Let’s just say, I came home with two very achy legs!
2. Don’t skip on checking out the vendors. Several of them were pretty neat! Not only were there car company booths and vendors selling car related goods, but there were awesome food vendors and quite a few liquor providers. There were even various areas with games to play, like fowling and giant Connect4!
Side note: has anyone here tried “Fowling” before? It’s a game played by throwing a football at bowling pins and that’s pretty much all I know about it. Tell me in the comments if you’ve played it and what you thought.
3. Please, just don’t forget the ear plugs! Since I’ve never attended an event like this before, I didn’t even THINK to bring ear plugs…
4. Did you know that the Detroit Grand Prix also has concerts throughout the weekend? This year, they had some really great performances from artists like Frankie Ballard and Stone Temple Pilots. Be sure to plan on staying later in the evening if you want to catch all of the acts.
5. Pack a jacket, sunscreen, and a rain poncho because this event is outside and it is rain or shine! But seriously, it’s Michigan, I had to switch between all three of these things within the several hour span that I was at the event.
6. Remember to cushion in extra time to get back off the island. Since everyone had to ride a shuttle to get ON to the island, the same went for leaving. Even though I left earlier in the evening, there was still a semi-long line waiting to grab a bus over to the parking garages.