The third annual Brazilian Day Street Festival Michigan is happening on Saturday, Sept. 14 on Detroit’s east side. Founder and organizer Kelvin Wyatt says the event is growing surprisingly fast since the first one in 2017.
“The first year, about 305 people attended, the second year it was 1,111,” Wyatt says. He’s expecting at least 2,000 this year.
Wyatt has worked as a network and systems administrator for almost 20 years, but he has always had a creative side. He has studied graphic and commercial arts, martial arts, dance and music. A few years ago, he took an interest in “Capoeria Angola,” an Afro-Brazilian folkloric dance form. He also learned how to play the “berimbau,” a one-stringed musical instrument played with a stick. The string, called “amare,” can be a piano wire, but the one he plucked for WDET came from a tire.
“Needless to say, we live in Detroit, so we have lots of tires,” Wyatt says.
Besides the festival, Wyatt and his wife run a nonprofit called the Creative Movement Brazil. He says it has helped keep women from returning to domestic violence situations, found mentors for young men, and offered programs to help senior citizens move around and be active.
This year’s festival features Brazilian food and a the first samba competition. The party runs from noon to 7 p.m. at the Salvation Army on Conner near Mack. It’s free and everyone is welcome.
Click on the audio player to hear the conversation with WDET’s Pat Batcheller.