The first-ever FLINTer Fest aims to celebrate the city’s diverse talents with music, visual arts and food


FLINT, MI — A first winter festival taking place this weekend in the city will focus on diversity and talent with a showcase of musical artists, visual art, collaboration and more.

FLINTer Fest, an event to celebrate diverse community assets, takes place from 1 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, February 12, on Second Street between Saginaw and Beach streets in downtown Flint.

The event, organized by IVAN, Wav Village, Aaron Christopher’s Events, Flint Social Club and Kerale C. Events, and made possible by the Greater Flint Arts Council’s Parade of Festivals program, is free and open to all ages.

Funding for the event comes from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

“One of the main goals was diversity,” Jerin Sage, acting director of place creation for the What’s Up Downtown project, told MLive-The Flint Journal. “The whole point of this is what happens when you put five completely different people from different backgrounds into this one project to try and show what they do, and so we ended up having strong elements from each of our influences to be present there.”

Sage also owns IVAN, or Immersive Visual Arts Network.

He became acting director of the place-making role for What’s Up Downtown after Kady Yellow left the position.

The event will feature musical artists from several different genres such as Third Coast Swing, Inner Mitten Blues, The Blue Hawaiians, Some Black Cat, TRÏB®, Brelia Renée, Ace Gabbana, Cameron Tyler and others.

“The whole concept is to put Flint on the map in this whole community of people with all this kind of music, the more we can mark Flint in these different types of cultures and communities, the more we are going to diversify. see our landscape,” Sage explained.

The artists will perform on the roof of a 40-foot bus as their stage, Sage said, which will also serve as their warm-up center.

Comma Bookstore & Social Hub, 132 Second St., will host games and crafts from Sprout Worldwide and serve as a warm-up center.

The Loft, 460 S. Saginaw St., will offer food from noon to 3 p.m. during the event, with food provided by Pita Way and Great Harvest Bread Co. The downtown club will also serve as a warm-up center .

Festival attendees can also warm up inside a 20 by 80 foot tent with heaters and relax in its lounge.

Food vendors, hosted by Flint Social Club, are also an option for a bite to eat at the event.

In addition to food, the event will include a 21+ bar with signature drinks and a hot chocolate bar.

Sage hopes to see 1,000 people attend the event.

Free parking is available on the flat lot and at the curb.

“The idea is to celebrate Flint and celebrate the winter months and try to encourage our community to get outside,” Sage said. “Shake off some of those winter blues, get ready for a really great 2022 that we have ahead.”

Learn more about the free event here.

Learn more about MLive:

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