Going South of the Border–Detroit-Style

Something must be cleared up immediately. It may seem that a journey to Mexico is about to be described–not so. Detroit is the only major city in the contiguous United States in which one must go south to go to Canada. That’s right, I actually live north of Canada, and quite close at that. As such, trips there have always been frequent.

Life in Japan meant not going to the great white north for several years. What a difference a radio advertisement makes. Cue the overdue update of my September 6 adventure.

After hearing about the Shores of Erie International Wine Festival on the radio, I am Ontario-bound.

The summer is waning, which means perfect weather; cool, but a jacket is not yet necessary. Bright sunshine is abundant as I drive along the Detroit River after crossing the boarder.

Upon reaching Amherstburg, I see a volunteer directing traffic and ask where I can park. She tells me where I will and won’t be towed. I am a bit confused.

“Are you saying I can park…for…free?!?” I ask.

“Yeah.” She replies, as if no one would ever think to pay for parking at a music fesival. (Hear, hear).

Baffled, I head for the parking lot of the 24-hour grocery store and hope that my car is not towed while I enjoy the music.

Amherstburg is lovely. I walk half a mile to the festival on the banks of the Detroit River. Motown looks beautiful from the Canadian side, but especially from Fort Malden as the sun slowly drops.                                                        

Because it is a food and wine festival, I am handed a glass for tasting as I enter. I walk around and take in the sights and the music. People wander around the food stalls which smell amazing.

Finally, the first of the main acts takes he stage. Justin Nozuka does an incredible set. Notably, he nails a Marvin Gaye cover; no easy task.

After Nozuka’s set, I am irked with the curse of outdoor music festivals. I have to use the bathroom–sorry, Canadian edition. I have to use the washroom. I make my way to the port-o-potties, filled with dread. They smell of strong antiseptic. My nose jumps for joy. It is not a great smell, but well toward the top of my list of preferable portable restroom odors.

Fitz and the Tantrums start readying the stage. They blow me away. Fitz and Noelle, the co-lead singers are perfectly synchronized and their dancing is ferocious. After their set, I meet them. They each sign my wine glass and take pictures with me.

After a beautiful afternoon with incredible music, scenery, and free parking, I realize I have just attended the perfect music festival. I walk to the grocery store and am thrilled to see that my car is still there.


About cjn56

World traveler, guitarista/ukulele-enthusiast, composer, wearer of many hats–both figuratively and literally.
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2 Responses to Going South of the Border–Detroit-Style

  1. Ashley says:

    That sounds awesome! What a nice mix of music, food, drink and lovely scenery!

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