Dally in the Alley

Annual block festival, early September

It is the Dally's 27th year, and the event is September 11th, with a rain date of September 12th.  It is always the Saturday after labor day! 

This is the big annual tribal gathering of Corridorians*.
It didn't used to be advertised much; it was word of mouth. Now the event is a fairly competent organization complete with website. Used to be that if you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't come; nor would you be missed. During the more recent years however, the publicity machine has been bumped up a notch, so - for better or worse - there's a lot more people who come to the event.
Unlike Chicago or New York, Detroit is a city that isn't so large that you can't see it's social horizon, but is just large enough to avoid social inbreeding; you'll never quite get to meet everyone interesting.
When I lived in New York, I became aware that intimate social groups were significantly smaller than they are in Detroit. I suspect that the sheer volume of people in larger cities make for smaller social cells, or tribes of people. In comparison, Detroit's tribes are huge, as evidenced by the volume of traffic at the "Dally in the Ally".

You can wonder around all day sucking down beer, buying T-shirts , gabbing with old friends and generally having a good ol' time.
X-Detroiter's jet in from all over the States to renew old ties and make new acquaintances. Goggle-eyed freshmen just starting at Wayne State University and who are new to the area get to realize that the place isn't quite as dull as they thought it'd be. Many will make friendships here that will endure past their halcyon days of education. Chances are you won't get bored even if you are just into standing around and taking in the scene; the place is a real eye-popper.
Located in the Cass Corridor, the Dally is organized from year to year by succeeding generations of folks who for the most part live on the block.
The event includes food made by local restaurants and served under canvas, beer and a plethora of bands and performers. The music starts up at noon and goes on till 11:00 at night, and it is here that you can catch some of the best experimental music available in the U.S. This stuff usually oozes out of Detroit and into the country at large; young musicians have in the past found no financial base in Detroit and eventually leave.
Home made jewelry, T-shirts, resale stuff and a wide selection of other goodies are displayed to the dally peruser.
A cluster of armchair revolutionaries also peddle their pulp in the form of books and flyers. If there's gonna be a revolution, this is where it's gonna begin, man.

Tourists? Sorry man, you've gotta be in the know to get in on this one. Try to meet one of those jetting tribe members when they return back on your turf an' see if they'll invite you next year.

* Corridorian.  Of the Cass Corridor - A loose term pertaining to anyone who is associated with, or has lived on or near Cass Avenue.
** Are you now, or have you ever been a Corridorian? Check out "Tribes of Detroit"