They said it couldn’t happen. But after Arts, Beats and Eats invaded downtown Royal Oak over Labor Day weekend, it did more than make a success of an annual festival. ABE also raised a record amount of money for charity. The four-day festival of art, music and food announced it had raised a record $351,213 for charity — to be distributed among more than 90 different nonprofits.
More than 425,000 people visited ABE this summer, a massive increase over 2009’s numbers (245,000). The festival brought $39 million dollars to the region.