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The original item was published from 5/21/2020 1:37:57 PM to 9/1/2020 12:05:04 PM.

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Posted on: May 21, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City of Sterling Heights announces cancellation of Sterlingfest 2020, Music in the Park series

Planning underway for Dodge Park Farmers Market, Patios ‘n’ Pints craft beer nights and other safe activities and events.

The city of Sterling Heights is announcing the cancellation of the 39th annual Sterlingfest Art & Music Festival scheduled for July 23, 24, 25, 2020.  State and federal health guidelines limiting large gatherings of people necessitated the cancellation of Macomb County’s largest outdoor music festival. Sterlingfest draws 125,000 visitors annually to Dodge Park for the very best in live concert entertainment, amusement rides, kid’s tent, juried art vendors and food from some of the best local restaurants.


“This is the first time Sterlingfest has been canceled in its 39-year history,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. “We did not make this decision lightly, and we know how disappointing this is. But we also know this is the responsible thing to do. Like many other Michigan festivals, we concluded that Sterlingfest could not be conducted in a manner that ensures the health and safety of everyone in attendance is not compromised based on current guidelines. So, it’s better to forego 2020 and be able to bring all our residents back healthy for Sterlingfest 2021.”


The City is now shifting efforts to plan an enhanced Sterlingfest 2021. All Sterlingfest 2020 headline acts, including Simply Queen Tribute, Plain White T’s and Lou Gramm The Original Voice of Foreigner And Asia Featuring John Payne have agreed to return for performances at Sterlingfest 2021, scheduled for July 29, 30 and 31.


Discussions are also being held to determine the feasibility of transitioning the annual Sterlingfast 5K into a virtual race, and City officials are working with the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce, who manages Sterlingfest’s Suds ‘n’ Sounds beer tent each year, to work on the potential for hosting additional smaller craft beer events on Thursday nights in conjunction with a scaled back Dodge Park Farmers Market. These Patios ‘n’ Pints events will run this summer from July 16 to August 27 adjacent to the Dodge Park Farmers Market Pavilion.


“We know everyone is disappointed in this announcement, but we completely understand that we all need to do whatever we can to keep our community safe and healthy,” said Sterling Heights Regional Chamber President and CEO Stacy Ziarko. “We will be back and better than ever in 2021.”


In addition, the City has announced plans to cancel the 2020 Music in the Park concert series on Thursday evenings. However, the Parks and Recreation Department is working on plans for several other fun activities that will meet the governor’s guidelines for safely reopening the community. Due to size limits on events and the need to socially distance, the new special event lineup for the summer is set to include a road rally, drive-in movie with laser light show, car show and a timed kayak race on the Clinton River. New programs and social opportunities will also be coming soon including art classes, e-sports/games, kite making, scavenger hunts and more. In addition, there will be virtual summer camp experiences that will have similar activities to traditional Summer Playground and Adaptive Day Camp programs. The Sterling Heights Regional Chamber is also planning a Macomb County Scavenger Hunt on June 27.


In light of this year’s festival cancelations, City and Chamber representatives are encouraging residents to continue to shop and support local restaurants and businesses via curbside pickup or delivery. For more information, visit 


The City continues to monitor conditions and may cancel further events. Please contact the Community Relations Department at for future updates. For a schedule of library virtual events, please go to

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