Hart Plaza is part of the Detroit International Riverfront at the foot of Woodward Avenue, the most important street in Detroit. In 1701, Cadillac landed here to found the city of Detroit. The Hart Plaza, which is named after the late Michigan Senator, therefore includes a number of historic signs and bronze statues to Cadillac and founding fathers. Wikipedia estimates that 40,000 people can potentially fill the plaza which centers upon a large fountain, the Horace E. Dodge and Son Memorial fountain, designed by Isamu Noguchi and Walter Budd in 1978. This fountain was dry at the time I visited in late fall. There are several outdoor amphitheaters, and in winter an ice rink is created here. The Detroit Port Authority has berths for cruise ships, welcoming visitors to the very center of the city. The plaza also abuts the General Motors Rennaissance Center Complex. Significant artwork here includes Transcending, which will be described in the next tip.
Hart Plaza is a great place to go during the summer time. The festivals down there are epic such as The Detroit Hoe Down, The Ribs and Soul Fest, The Jazz Festival, The Techno Festival. A great thing about Hart Plaza is its location. It is on the Detroit River and is beautiful at night and its fun to look over to neighboring Windsor. But it is really a shame there is nothing to do during the other months of the year. Hart Plaza is really dead during the fall, winter and early spring. NEVER go to Hart Plaza past 11 at night. It is really a haven full of crackheads and bums.
HART PLAZA HOSTS ALL SORTS OF ACTIVITIES AND CONCERTS RIGHT ON THE DETROIT RIVER. THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER THERE ARE VARIOUS ETHNIC FESTIVALS, GOSPEL, COUNTRY MUSIC EVENTS, AND IS THE LOCATION FOR THE DETROIT INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL ( THE LARGEST FREE JAZZ FESTIVAL). IT HAS HELD ELECTRONIC/ TECHNO FESTIVALS INCLUDING THE DEMF. ON A HOT SUMMER DAY OR NIGHT YOU CAN COOL OFF IN THE FOUNTAIN!
THIS IS ALSO THE LOCATION OF OUR GREAT VICTORY PARTIES FOR OUR SPORTS TEAMS!
Hart Plaza is the central "free spot" along the Detroit river, where festivals are held almost every weekend, all summer long. In early May country music fans can experience the "downtown hoedown" where ranges of country artists take the stage for the entire weekend, and booths are set up with souvenirs, food, beverages and of course, cowboy hats! Memorial weekend hosts the annual fuse-in festival of techno music. HP also hosts many other cultural, ethnic and music festivals, and on the last WEdnesday in June you will expereince the freedom festival's annual fireworks show! But be aware of the traffic jams that will ensue during these events!! A must-have-pateince expereince!!
Hart Plaza has a large fountain and beautiful vista of the Detroit river, Belle Isle, and view of Windsor, Ontario's skyline and the Ambassador Bridge which connects Detroit to Windsor.
During the summer, the Detroit Ethnic Festivals are held here, virtually every weekend. They include; food, music, dancing and costumed performers from the group or culture featured that weekend. The Detroit Jazzfest is also held here every summer.