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SummerFest BackyardText

Gather with family, friends, and your whole community at SummerFest, The War Memorial’s three-week festival of summertime fun! You’ll enjoy free outdoor concerts, theater, and movies, all overlooking the sparkling waters of Lake St. Clair.

Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays
July 9 through 25 • Free and open to all

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Performances at 7:30pm
Movies at 7pm

Light concessions including popcorn and candy will be available for purchase, and food trucks will offer a wide variety of delicious options. You're welcome to pack your own picnic, but no alcoholic beverages are permitted. A cash bar featuring water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and liquor will be available at each event.

Food trucks may vary per event; movie events will not feature a food truck. Call ahead for complete details.

SummerFest 1

Grounds open at 6:30pm
The Never-ending Story
begins at 7pm
Hook begins around 9:30pm

The Never-ending Story

PG | 1984 | Drama/Fantasy | 2 hours 10 minutes

On his way to school, Bastian ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book called The Never-ending Story, Bastian begins reading it in the school attic. The novel is about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by "The Nothing," a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if Fantasia is real and needs him to survive. Film rights licensed through Swank Motion Pictures.



PG | 1991 | Fantasy/Action | 2 hours 24 minutes

When his young children are abducted by his old nemesis, Capt. Hook (Dustin Hoffman), middle-aged lawyer Peter Banning (Robin Williams) returns to his magical origins as Peter Pan. Peter must revisit a foggy past in which he abandoned Neverland for family life, leaving Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) and the Lost Boys to fend for themselves. Given their bitterness toward Peter for growing up — and their allegiance to their new leader, Rufio — the old gang may not be happy to see him. Film rights licensed through Swank Motion Pictures.

SummerFest 2

Water Works Theatre Company is sponsored by

SummerFest WaterWorks Sponsors

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Performance at 7:30pm

Water Works Theatre Company presents
The Comedy of Terrible Errors

The Comedy of Terrible Errors is an original world-premiere spoof by popular American playwright Don Zolidis. Four unprepared actors desperately need help from the audience to get their version of The Comedy of Errors on its feet. Directed by Water Works Theatre Company veteran Lisa Melinn.


SummerFest 3

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Performance at 7:30pm

Dave Bennett and Band

Dave Bennett doesn’t fit the mold.

For starters, you don’t find many jazz clarinet players who name Alice Cooper, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chris Isaak among their influences. You also won’t find many musicians who are equally conversant with the music of Benny Goodman (the “King of Swing”) and Roy Orbison (“The Soul of Rock and Roll”).

Bennett is a clarinet virtuoso who plays electric guitar, piano, drums, and vocalizes. Saluting swing to rock, he covers music from the Swing Era to early Rockabilly and Country, to Elvis Presley and more. Leading his Tribute to Benny Goodman, Dave has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops (2013) and has played the show with 35 other US and Canadian orchestras including Nashville, Detroit, Rochester, Omaha, Toronto, Vancouver, Orlando, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine, and Houston.


SummerFest 4

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Thor Ragnarok
 begins at 7pm (showing indoors in The Patriot Theater)
Wonder Woman begins around 9:30pm

Thor Ragnarok

PG-13 | 2017 | Fantasy/Science | 2 hours 10 minutes

Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor's quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization. Film rights licensed through Swank Motion Pictures.


Wonder Woman

PG-13 | 2017 | Fantasy/Science | 2 hours 29 minutes

Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny. Film rights licensed through Swank Motion Pictures.

SummerFest 5

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Performance at 7:30pm

Your Generation in Concert

YGIC transports its audience on a musical tour through the soundtrack of their lives with outstanding musicianship and remarkable vocals. The group has shared stages with Lenny Kravitz, Flo Rida, Jason Derulo, The Billy Joel Band, Sheryl Crow, Huey Lewis, and more.

In 2010, YGIC was created by orchestra and choir contractor Steve Trudell. Highly respected in the music industry, Trudell contracts musicians and singers globally for musical tours for a diverse roster of artists including, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Billy Joel, Idina Menzel, Disturbed, Cage The Elephant, Il Volo, Dave Chappelle, David Foster, and others. Today, Trudell continues to manage and produce YGIC, working closely with a group of very creative and talented people. YGIC is timeless and intergenerational, playing music as diverse as its audience. Join us as we rock the world!


SummerFest 6

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Performance at 7:30pm

Mainstreet Soul

Detroit's premier dance and Motown band, Mainstreet Soul returns to our stage with an energetic and wide-ranging array of musical hits sure to please young and formerly-young alike! Everyone will jam to songs from Adele, Stevie Wonder, Chicago, Pharrell, Tower of Power, Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Kool and The Gang, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Sly and The Family Stone, and more.

Mainstreet Soul's powerful vocals, entertaining musicians and an incredible horn section have been featured in venues across the Metro Detroit area including MotorCity Casino Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit and Caesars Windsor.


SummerFest 7

Grounds open at 6:30pm
 begins at 7pm
Big Hero 6 begins around 9:15pm


PG | 2017 | Fantasy/Mystery | 1 hour 49 minutes

Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history. Film rights licensed through Swank Motion Pictures.


Big Hero 6

PG | 2014 | Science fiction/Action | 1 hour 48 minutes

Robotics prodigy Hiro lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro's closest companion is Baymax, a robot whose sole purpose is to take care of people. When a devastating turn of events throws Hiro into the middle of a dangerous plot, he transforms Baymax and his other friends, Go Go Tamago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred into a band of high-tech heroes. Film rights licensed through Swank Motion Pictures.

SummerFest 8

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Performance at 7:30pm

Michigan Opera Theatre presents
Summer Serenade

A jewel in our SummerFest lineup, War Memorial partner Michigan Opera Theatre returns to the stage with an entracing concert of music from the opera and Broadway stages.

The five resident artists of Michigan Opera Theatre Studio, tenor Michael Day, soprano Monica Dewey, Baritone Harry Greenleaf, bass Erik Van Heyningen, and mezzo soprano Briana Elyse Hunter, represent some of the most exciting emerging talent in opera today. Coming to Detroit from all different areas of the country, these young opera professionals gain valuable experience through myriad performance opportunities in main stage and community productions, and hone their skills through master classes and training with an array of world class professionals, guest artists, and coaches.


SummerFest 9

Grounds open at 6:30pm
Performance at 7:30pm

The Beat Club

Relive Beatles Hysteria or discover the world's most iconic band for the first time in this unrivaled tribute! The Beat Club looks like, sounds like, and entertains like the real thing. You're sure to hear your favorite tunes, along with a healthy dose of comedy and showmanship. Join us on the lawn — or on your boat! — as we celebrate the height of summer in this grand finale event.

One of the most authentic Beatles tribute acts in the nation, The Beat Club features “Beatles” veterans, with ties ranging from double first-place honors at national Beatles-tribute band competitions to performances at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. From a naturally left-handed “Paul” to actual 60s vintage guitars and amps, this talented foursome has the details down cold. These lads are delivering spellbinding performances for many high-profile events across the country, including opening for Mitch Ryder, Randy Bachman and more!


SummerFest at The War Memorial is made possible through the generosity of our sponsors.

Title sponsors

The Kresge Foundation

Dave Bennett and Band sponsors

Mary and Ron Lamparter

Friend sponsors

George G. Johnson & Company
Robert Loomis and Associates

Media sponsor

Grosse Pointe Magazine