Always aiming to keep Arts, Beats & Eats fresh, the 19th annual Labor Day weekend festival in Royal Oak will add a parking meter beautification program and scavenger hunt.

Organizers of the 2016 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort on Wednesday announced the new programs and unveiled a commemorative poster for the Sept. 2-5 festival.

Meters Made Beautiful presented by Ford, a new collaboration between the festival and theRoyal Oak Commission for the Arts, will invite artists to submit a custom design to paint parking meters in the city. Professional and amateur artists ages 18 and older can submit their applications through July 21 at

“With the pool of creative talent in our region, we’re confident this program will be enthusiastically embraced and showcase some really cool, phenomenal art like nothing we’ve seen,” Bradley Bellamy, Detroit Region Business Development specialist at Ford Motor Co., said in a statement.

Artists will have the chance to win $4,000 in cash awards, selected by a jury and vote from festival attendees.

“We really believe we’ve built a great synergy between Ford Arts, Beats & Eats and the Commission for the Arts that will engage festivalgoers and bring art to the forefront of the event,” Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison said in the statement.

Another addition is a social media scavenger hunt called #ABEHunt16. Participants must take a photo of, with or in the location of each item or place on the scavenger hunt list, then post the photo on the #ABEHunt16 app on Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort’s Facebook page. Entrants can receive an additional entry if they use the Soaring Eagle Snapchat geofilter.

Each day, four winners will be selected to receive an overnight stay at the resort and other prizes.

“People have always loved Ford Arts, Beats and Eats as a backdrop for selfies and Facebook photos, and now they are able to win prizes for doing just what they normally would do while at the festival,” said Raul Venegas, director of marketing and entertainment at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort.

Royal Oak-based FWD, a design and marketing firm, created this year’s commemorative poster. The design is composed of individual shapes and colors that coalesce forming the poster’s type and imagery, representing the festival’s ability to bring so many people together.

“We are inspired by the talent, creativity and craftsmanship of our local artists, musicians and chefs and designed the poster to celebrate them,” said Melanie Derro, designer and partner at FWD.”

The schedule of musical acts for the festival will be released sometime in early August, organizers said. The event is being produced again this year by Royal Oak-based Jonathan Witz and Associates.

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