Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels set to rock Howell Melonfest
It’s Motown meets hometown as Mitch Ryder rolls into Howell for Melon Festival. Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels are set to headline the Saturday night festivities at the 2012 Howell Melon Festival. This year’s festival takes place Aug. 17- 19 in downtown Howell. The live performance by Motor City legend Mitch Ryder and his band is set for 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18.
The concert is free to the public, and will be held on Grand River Avenue across from the Livingston County Courthouse in downtown Howell. During this year’s festival, Grand River Avenue will be closed to road traffic from Barnard Street to Chestnut Street.
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels are famed for their soulful, wailing 1960s-era music that generated such high-energy chart toppers as “Devil With A Blue Dress On,” “Sock It To Me-Baby!” and “Jenny Take A Ride.” Ryder has recorded dozens of songs and albums spanning a 50-year career as a musician, and was named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 50 most influential rock and roll singers to come from Detroit.
Born William Levise, Jr., Mitch Ryder began performing as Billy Lee in a high school band called Tempest and sang in a Detroit soul club called the Village. At 17, he recorded rhythm and blues single, “That’s The Way It’s Going To Be/Fool For You,” for the Detroit gospel label Carrie. In 1965, he moved with his band to New York City and redefined his stage name to the now-famous Mitch Ryder after discovering it while flipping through the Manhattan phone directory.
Ryder has performed and recorded in the industry for decades, including the release of a Memphis-based album, 26 albums in Europe and an album produced by John Mellencamp. Today, he continues to perform throughout the United States and abroad.
“Get ready for a rock-and-roll ride down memory lane and join us for a family-friendly night out,” said Stephanie Schlittler, Melon Festival chair. “The concert with Mitch Ryder is going to be a fun highlight of the event. Melon Festival weekend is a popular time for friends and family to gather, and is often considered the official high school reunion party. Whether you’re looking for the perfect entertainment for your high school reunion or you’re a fan from back in the day, or you just want to experience a live concert right on Grand River in the midst of downtown Howell, this show promises to be a hit for all ages.”
Preceding the concert, a meet-and-greet session with Ryder will be offered. The exclusive opportunity includes VIP reserved seating for the concert. A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased for $50 each in advance at the Howell Main Street DDA office, 122 State Street.
Activities for this year’s Melon Festival take place through the weekend, including the annual Melon Ball on Thursday evening, the 35th Annual Melon Run, festival tent with Michigan micro-brews, barbecue and live music, fine arts and wares show, melon ice cream and more. Outdoor ice skating will be added to the festivities on an artificial outdoor ice rink on State Street. Hours are Friday from 3- 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with on-site skate rental available. Saturday’s events focus on children’s and family entertainment throughout the day. Following the Mitch Ryder concert, a complimentary movie will be offered as “Happy Feet” is shown on an outdoor inflatable screen on State Street.
For complete details on the 2012 Melon Festival and the meet-and-greet with VIP reserved concert seating, visit HowellMelonFestival.com, or call (517) 545-4240, ext. 3.