‘Monroe Street Midway’ Brings Safe, Inclusive Fun to Detroit All Summer Long

Photos courtesy of Bedrock Detroit Multimedia Team

‘Monroe Street Midway’ Brings Safe, Inclusive Fun to Detroit All Summer Long

May 24, 2021

It’s hard to believe we’ve been apart for more than a year. The pandemic separated us from our friends and loved ones as we learned to navigate a strange reality sheltered away from the people and places we loved most. At the Rocket Community Fund, we understand how important safe, inclusive public spaces are to strengthening the social and economic resiliency of our communities. That’s why we’re always searching for new avenues to provide universal access to public spaces that inspire joy and bring people together safely. This summer, we’re excited to partner with Bedrock and Rollercade to transform the future of the Monroe Blocks development into a hub for outdoor recreation and so much more with the Monroe Street Midway!

Beginning Memorial Day Weekend, residents and visitors to the city will be able to enjoy the following attractions:

  • Rollout Detroit, roller rink operated in partnership with Rollercade, Detroit’s oldest continuously opened, black-owned skate rink
  • Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone, four half-court multipurpose sports courts in partnership with the Rocket Community Fund
  • Original artwork by renowned Detroit artists Sheefy McFly, Olivia Guterson, Phil Simpson and Jessica Care Moore
  • Performances by local DJs, along with outdoor fitness classes
  • Food and beverage served from concession stands and rotating food trucks

The Monroe Street Midway is a continuation of Bedrock’s “Decked Out Detroit” initiative in partnership with the Rocket Community Fund to bring safe, family-friendly experiences downtown. The summer activations will be running until the fall of 2021. “We know that everyone has spent a lot of time indoors over the last year, which is why we are so excited to debut our most immersive experience yet at the Monroe Street Midway and offer residents and families a safe and memorable option for outdoor recreation this spring and summer,” said Ivy Greener, Chief Operating Officer at Bedrock. “RollerCade’s expertise paired with the work of so many talented local artists will make the Midway a truly one-of-a-kind activation.”

Read on to learn more details about the specific installations, activities and attractions open to the public all summer long.

Celebrate Detroit’s Roller Skate Culture with Rollout Detroit

Southwest Detroit’s RollerCade is partnering with Bedrock to operate the city’s only outdoor skate rink at the Monroe Street Midway. Opening in 1955, RollerCade is the oldest continuously opened, Black-owned skate rink in the City and one of the oldest in the country. Looking to practice your skating skills? Skate sessions will be blocked off in hour time slots and will cost $10 per session, and roller skates will be available to rent at $3 a pair. Walk-ins are welcome or sessions can be booked ahead of time here.

Rollout Detroit will be open daily during these hours:

  • Sunday–Wednesday: noon- 9:00 pm
  • Thursday–Saturday: noon- 11:00 pm

Enjoy Art Installations from Detroit Artists

Four of Detroit’s most prominent artists will display their work throughout the Monroe Street Midway. Featured artists include:

  • Multidisciplinary artist Sheefy McFly will paint a mural directly on the skate rink. His work will also be displayed as another prominent artistic moment within the Midway. Follow Sheefy’s work here.
  • Fine artist and muralist Phil Simpson will be designing the Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone courts with unique murals on the floors of each court. Follow Phil and see more of his work here.
  • Contemporary artist Olivia Guterson & poet Jessica Care Moore will collaborate to create a large painted wall mural inside the Monroe Street Midway. Follow Olivia’s work here and follow Jessica’s here.

Come Play at Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone

Previously, The Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone was held in Cadillac Square. This year, we’re bringing the Sports Zone to the Monroe Street Midway, and it will be bigger and better than ever before!

This unique activation includes the return of the four basketball courts that are so popular with visitors. Plus, for the first time ever, the Sports Zone will include a multi-use sports court that will host a wide range of athletic and recreational activities including futsal, pickleball and handball. The Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone was developed by the Rocket Community Fund’s Public Spaces team as part of our commitment to provide access to safe and inclusive public spaces.

“We’re so excited to bring the Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone into the Monroe Street Midway,” said JJ Velez, Director of Public Spaces on the Rocket Community Fund. “The Sports Zone has always been one of the biggest highlights of downtown during the summer and the way we’re expanding it alongside all the other activations from Bedrock will ensure there’s something fun for everyone to do.”

ComePlayDetroit will operate the space and those who are interested can rent sports equipment. The Sports Zone will be open daily from noon- 9:00 p.m. and are available on a first come, first served basis.

Explore Additional Activations

The Monroe Street Midway will also be featuring additional attractions and special activities. Food trucks will be rotated on the site daily, and a concession stand will also be serving snacks. Rollout Detroit plans to host themed skate sessions for all ages as well as open skate and private lessons. DJ performances, outdoor workout classes and additional programming activations are planned throughout the summer. There is a little something for every age and taste to explore and enjoy, and we are excited to partner with Bedrock on offering this unique programming. To learn more, please visit Deckedoutdetroit.com.

Photo courtesy of Bedrock Detroit Multimedia Team.

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