addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwchatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrosseditemptyheartexportfacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgoogleimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusprice-ribbonImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruseryahoo

Once Around Belle Isle History with Joel Stone [$15 External Registration]

IMPORTANT: you must register for the OABI Beach Fest for $15 in advance or pay $25 at the gate.

On August 9th, the inaugural OABI Beach Fest will happen at Belle Isle. It promises to be the biggest beach party we've had in Detroit in a very long time. The organizers of OABI invited the Detroit Drunken Historical Society to host an event right in the middle of the action.

Thanks to Joel Stone of the Detroit (Sober) Historical Society, we are going to make it happen! Joel will present a history of Belle Isle and a question-and-answer session from 3pm to 4pm.

Sound confusing? It is a little bit. Here are the details.


Often called the crowning jewel of Detroit’s riverfront, Belle Isle has a long and storied history. A public playground for well over a century, it is where generations of Detroiters gathered for fun throughout the year. Belle Isle has hosted world class sporting events, musical performances and annual holiday parties. It has also witnessed massacre, riot and military incursion.

Perhaps as important as the established history are the forgotten stories and the might-have-beens. But for a few twists of fate, this beloved island could have been a much different place. Joel Stone, senior curator of the Detroit Historical Society, will offer a whirlwind “Once Around Belle Isle” (from the podium) and some of the stories you may have never heard.


Joel Stone is senior curator for the Detroit Historical Society, which oversees the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and a quarter million artifacts in the City of Detroit’s collection. Raised in the Detroit area, he has studied journalism, history, archaeology, and archival management at the University of Detroit, Wayne State University, and the University College Cork, Ireland. He supports a number of regional history organizations and is a board member of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History.


The festival costs $15 in advance ($25 day of) and includes a cash bar with Michigan craft beer (we can drink on Belle Isle and not get busted by state troopers!), live bands, a DJ and a paddlerama. The paddlerama is a chance for beginners and experts alike to get on the water to try kayaks and stand up paddleboards (SUP), take paddling lessons, do SUP yoga and compete in various SUP and kayak games.

The paddlerama runs from 12pm to 4pm. So get on the beach ahead of Joel's lecture and enjoy a session or two on the water.

FYI: OABI is an acronym for Once Around Belle Isle that was started by boaters at the Detroit Yacht Club taking cocktail cruises around Belle Isle.

IMPORTANT: you must register for the OABI Beach Fest for $15 in advance or pay $25 at the gate.

IMPORTANT: you must register for the OABI Beach Fest for $15 in advance or pay $25 at the gate.

Join or login to comment.

  • Paula

    A great time, sorry I misread it, I would have been there at 8am!

    August 9, 2014

  • Victoria

    Where do we find you?

    August 9, 2014

    • Victoria

      Under the big white tent with the music

      1 · August 9, 2014

    • Brian M.

      Belle isle beach. Google for Detroit Yacht Club. Then head west a bit. Look for the tent.

      1 · August 9, 2014

  • Beth M.

    I would love to attend this but am playing a zombie at birch run that day.

    August 3, 2014

38 went

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy