Dally in the Alley, the annual alt-street fair, returns to the streets of Midtown for its 37th year.
The Dally, also known as the North Cass Street Fair, is an annual street festival held in the alleys between Second, Third, Hancock and Forest. Starting in 1977, the Dally has showcased local bands and performers, businesses and everything else Cass Corridor and Midtown have to offer.
“The annual event attracts tens of thousands of attendees throughout the day to the live music, DJs, art, vendors, food, reunions with old friends and the making new friends,” said Dally spokesman Steve St. Germain. “The festival-goers, a colorful and diverse cross-section of Detroiters, experience a unique party that has become one of the most-loved festivals in Detroit.”
The Dally is unlike any other festival in Detroit said St. Germain.
“One major difference is that Dally prides itself on being free of corporate sponsorship, in fact free of any major sponsorships. It’s always been an event organized for the community by the community,” he said.
Even without major sponsorships, the Dally doesn’t charge for entry.
“The event is free and it happens only over the course of 12 hours, just once a year. Dally is not a two-day or weekend festival like many others.”
Over 40 bands perform at five different stages throughout the day, with artists from all over the city. Dozens of vendors apply for limited spots available around the fair. Their booths sell everything from clothing to food to IT solution services. Vendors treasure the opportunity to come out and share their product with the surrounding community.
“I think it’s really dope to be able to showcase work as well as interact with the teenagers and with students and adults,” said Ebony Rutherford, whose booth sold modified Wayne State T-shirts among other clothing and accessories last year. “It’s an opportunity to grow your business. You also have an opportunity to make some money and give back to the community. It’s a win-win situation.”
Vendors like Rutherford set up their “stores away from stores” and work the crowd of Dally-goers around them. This isn’t always an easy task however, as the crowd is vastly diverse. Multiple generations can be found walking the streets, or in case of the young ones strolling.
“You have alumni coming in to support the school, then there’s the freshmen who have no idea what’s going on and they come down and experience what’s going on and just everybody comes down, said WSU senior Tim Wieczerza. “It’s become such a big festival you can’t help but to come.”
After coming to the Dally for the past three years, Wieczerza said he’s a veteran of the fair. “The amount of people here makes it festive. You get to meet new people, find some other friends you haven’t seen in awhile and just enjoy the atmosphere.”
“There was a really great set list last year, a lot of bands I haven’t heard of so that was great,” said WSU senior Ryan Gumbleton. Being in a band himself, Gumbleton hopes to play at the fair this year. “I’m looking forward to just another awesome crazy whole day extravaganza of seeing people you haven’t seen in a long time, hearing the music and enjoying some great food.”
The Dally in the Alley will be Saturday, Sept. 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.dallyinthealley.com/.