Detroits’ Cass Corridor community hosts the annual Dally In The Alley
In Detroit Everybody looks forward to the yearly Dally In The Alley, right after Labor Day. This local community based festival has been going strong for more than 32 years; in an alley. yes in an alley where everybody comes to meet, mingle and have a great time.
it’s only held for one day, and that one day is a party unlike any other. it’s grown so large that they now close down the major street that borders the alley; to allow the festival to stretch it’s legs, safely. this means they can have twice the people, vendors, music and fun, fun, fun.
if you graduated from wsu, or live in the area, you make sure to mark this event on your calendar. it’s where you go to catch up with friends you only see once a year, but always make it a point of seeing.
There are families who plan to attend this event yearly, as a group. unbelievable in this day and age that you could attend an event, that’s free. you, your kids, your friends – all find eachother and something interesting to do, and enjoy. that’s really unique especially since it’s a community based event – and it’s free. Personally, I have seen punkers and grannies with tots in tow. yeah..
Here’s A Preview from 2007
If We tell you what’s there – That would destroy the fun
we know folks who go just to look for books, others go to look for records, some go for the art, the jewelry; others want the second hand goods. the workers world bookstore has one of the best booths we visit each trip. they offer the news, tee shirts, books, videos and alot of good common sense talk about what’s Really Going On. they’re also one of my best hook ups for politico tee’s at a cheap deal. usually if you’re a dollar or two short, they still work it out with you. just make sure you go by the store which is about three blocks away after the event and get a book, or spend a few hours volunteering in the shop. they are really a fine buncha foiks. and don’t let the name put you off, because it’s all about Workers, not communism or revolt.
last year they had Obama and Mc Cain folks there to answer questions. yeah that was hillarious as they did the pc mac thing when folks asked them questions. really a show in itself. the political operatives make sure to show their faces and shake a few hands. it’s tradition if you want the vote in university district; you come to the dally and hang with the neighbors.
From the fire-eaters to the strippers, the event showcases the finest in alternative entertainment found anywhere on the planet. you’ll have a booth of people from the michigan medical marijuana coalition set up next to vendors from Senegal selling hemp clothes and belts. the safe sex and hiv awareness folks have the dancefloor so you can come in and hang out while you get free condoms, advice and confidential testing info.
You’ll find delicious homestyle indian food next to american hotdogs and chicken wings. you find freshly squeezed bahamian ginger lemonade and ice cold detroit vernors pop in trash cans at the same booth. the vendors do not discriminate, they want your money.
the folks who put this festival together every year know to expect about 100,000. folks in the 12 hours the festival takes over forest between third ave and second ave. the huge stages are pulled up on trucks; and set up complete with sound systems for the revelers. the sound of all kinds of music reverberates through the entire festival;
Everywhere LIterally, There is Music. All Kinds Of Music and Dance Happening Spontaneously. people just get up and start shaking a leg, when the mood hits.
it’s fun to watch. last year a man on a walker walked over to me as I was bouncing and started doing the bump. yeah the bump, and we wore em out. they were all bumpin by the time the song was done. and just think a man on a walker started it. Only at the Dally baby, only there.
there is also art, lots of art, oh the art. performance art, strippers, kids, drill teams, ballet, hiphop dancers, spirit dancers, fire eaters, acrobats, mimes, break dancers, african dancers and drummers, caribbean dj’s and dancehall winders; if you want to hear it, you can walk around and no doubt it will be there. one year I remember seeing an operetta being performed in the alley, by a full troop complete with acrobats, flames and people throwing money at the performers at the end. it was marvelous. and yes it was free. FREE..
the local rock bands turn out enmasse. many of them formed for the event – yes all-stars that combine just to play one set. the people I’ve seen in that alley for free. you just wouldn’t believe that one year I looked up and there was george clinton on the back porch stage of some one’s house and the funkadelics were throwing down; yes live, for free. unbelievable.
it’s craft, vintage, custom, one of a kind, artesian and ethnic fashion heaven. you have your African, Asian, Arabic and European vendors all set up side by side. The African vendors bring the shoes from hong kong along with the knock off bags and belts. Halima the Henna Lady is always there, with a line waiting for her exquisite designs. the multiple hair braiders are there; the tattoo artists were there last year and apparently they did well, so I’m sure they’ll be there again this year. who knows if the price is right, I just might get that tat finally. they have free face painting, and kids activitys as well.
I mostly look at the goods that are in the alley, set out carefully to get the most attention from those looking for bargains, and old bric a brac. a few years ago I actually did set up a booth and made quite a bit of money selling jewelry and accessories. I made more money on the readings tho. people actually started coming up to the booth asking for readings – even tho there was no indication or signage to indicate that I was doing spiritual readings.
who knows how the word got out, but the line formed and I read for bucks. at the end, I was well compensated. I’m still not sure how they knew but I’m just happy they did. in fact one of my customers started handling the line, and another took over selling the jewelry for me. yes it’s that kind of an environment – a community based affair complete with the village attitude.
this year I’m going with my chair, trusty waterbottle sling, handiwipes, a french shopping bag; and lots of dollar bills. no doubt I will return with treats and treasures of many origins; all just as special as the vendors who provided them. I also plan to sit and listen to the lectures at some of the booths, and the music, oh yes I am going to sit and listen and when the spirit moves me – I’m going to join in to the crowd and shake my groove thang. you can never loose when you work with the stuff I use. LOL. I know,, I know..
this year I’ll be at the Dally Early looking for friends, bargains and enjoying the atmosphere in the alley – and so should you.
Co’mon out and Meet Me at the Dally In The Alley September 12, 2009 11am – 11pm. I’ll be looking for you, and if you see me in the crowd -
Make Sure to Holla @ A Bad Gal, I’ll Holla Back – Promise,