10 Great Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Michigan

Time to break out your green shamrock attire, cook up some corned beef and cabbage and embrace your inner Irish spirit! St. Patrick’s Day is Monday, March 17th and we’ve gathered up some great ways a Michigander can celebrate this year. While we can’t promise you will find a pot o’gold, these events are sure to be a good time. These are just a few of the many St. Patrick’s Day events happening around the state. For a full listing of events, visit michigan.org.

clareirishfestivalClare Irish Festival
Wednesday, March 12 through Sunday, March 16, Downtown Clare
The Clare Irish Festival offers a variety of family-oriented activities. Children will be delighted by the Children’s Kickoff Carnival on Friday at the Clare Primary School from 5 to 7 p.m. Be sure to catch the Irish Festival Parade featuring the Scottville Clown Band at noon on Saturday. Other activities include an Irish recipe contest, a fish fry, a karaoke contest, craft show, musical performances and much more.

Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Pub Walk
Friday, March 14 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Downtown Lexington, various pubs
If you’re looking to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with a few drinks and 21 or up aged friends, then the Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Pub Walk may be perfect for you. There will be plenty of Irish food, drinks and entertainment along the way. For more information on where the pub walk begins, call Marty O’Brien at 810-359-7201.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Friday, March 14 through Saturday, March 15, Historic downtown Grand Ledge
Bring out the whole family for two days of Irish-themed fun in downtown Grand Ledge. Starting Friday, there will be great Irish entertainment including traditional Irish dancing, The Glen Erin Bagpipe Band, and live Irish music by The Pub Runners. You can’t miss the Irish Stew Cook off on Saturday and then the parade begins at 2 p.m. After the parade, fill yourself up with an Irish food dinner. For those over 21, a pub crawl will begin after 9 p.m. to celebrate with some adult beverages.

Irish-on-Ionia-in-Grand-Rapids

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten and Katy Batdorff Photography

Irish on Ionia
Saturday, March 15 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Grand Rapids
Touted as Michigan’s largest St. Patrick’s Day street party, McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon is once again hosting Irish on Ionia. While this event isn’t intended for children, the 21 and up crowd has plenty of entertainment and drinks beyond green beer to choose from. The event kicks off at 7 a.m. with a breakfast buffet and other tasty food options to fill your stomach. Admission ranges from $15 to $55 depending on which ticket you choose and several live entertainment performances will take place throughout the day.

Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 15 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Main St. in Downtown Lexington
As part of Lexington’s Irish Festival, the 35th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place at 1 p.m. downtown on Main St. Parade goers can expect Irish music and dancers, Irish foods and drinks and plenty of family fun. All festival activities besides the parade will take place rain or shine at Cheapside Park and the Fifth/Third Pavilion until 7 p.m.

Shivering Shamrocks 3K Run/Walk/Obstacle Challenge
Saturday, March 15 at 9 a.m., Meid Rd. & Houghton Ave., West Branch
If you want to take a more healthful approach to this St. Patrick’s Day, then Shivering Shamrocks is how you should be spending your day. This 3K race has two kick-off times of 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. for those who want the extra hour to sleep in. This a family-friendly event that is meant for people to get moving and interact in their community. It is also a great chance to bring your friends out for the social event of the month.

Holland St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 15 at 12 p.m., Downtown Holland
St. Patrick’s Day would not be complete without community parades. Holland is inviting you and your family to join them in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Irish dancers and plenty of kilt-wearers. If you are feeling especially festive, deck yourself out in some green attire and join the parade for no charge! This is the kind of event everyone from babies to grandparents can participate in.

Port Huron Pub Crawl
Saturday, March 15 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Port Huron area pubs
For a grown-up night out on the town, head to Port Huron for the annual pub crawl. Festive party busses will transport you and your party from pub to pub on a continuous loop all afternoon and evening. You can either buy wristbands ahead of time for $10 or on the day of the event for $15 at participating pubs.

imagesDetroit’s 56th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade
Sunday, March 16, Michigan Ave. from 6th St. to 14th St., Detroit
Perhaps one of Michigan’s most renowned St. Patrick’s Day events is Detroit’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This family-friendly event is sure to entertain all who attend with the various floats. The parade route is on Michigan Avenue through historic Corktown. If you’re planning to go, it may be a good idea to arrive a bit early for the best vantage point.

Bay City St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Sunday, March 16, Center Ave. from Park Ave. to Water St., Bay City
If you’re in the tri-cities area and are looking for some fun on Sunday, head to Bay City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. There will be plenty of Irish music, captivating floats and plenty of shamrocks to be seen. This event is friendly to those of all ages and is a great way to join in community events. The parade follows Center Avenue from Park Avenue and disbands at Water Street. It is suggested that you arrive early to find the best place to view the parade.

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Pure Michigan? What events are happening near you?

Silver Screen “Must-Sees” at the 2014 Ann Arbor Film Festival

Today, Maricat Eggenberger from Visit Ann Arbor shares some highlights from the upcoming Ann Arbor Film Festival happening March 25, 2014 – March 30, 2014. 

Photo courtesy of Mark Gjukich

Photo courtesy of Mark Gjukich

Ann Arbor hosts the Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) annually every March, and it’s an event you won’t want to miss!  This year marks the festival’s 52nd year. Known as the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America, the AAFF shows more than 180 films from over 20 counties in just six days!

Here are just a few stats…

- The AAFF receives more than 2,500 submissions annually from more than 65 countries.
- AAFF awards more than $20,000 in cash and film stock/services to filmmakers.
- Housed at the Historic Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor.

We spoke with the new AAFF Director, Leslie Raymond to get the scoop on what you don’t want to miss.  She and her team gave us three ways to get the most out of the AAFF.

1. Get a pass!  The AAFF offers passes to attendees, which gets you into each and every day of the festival!

2. Take advantage of the AAFF free events! You can experience some of the films and juror presentations for free. Below are just a few of the amazing free events available.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

52nd AAFF Juror Presentation: Steve Anker
Wednesday, March 26, 12:30 pm
Michigan Theater Screening Room

Steve Anker is dean of the School of Film/Video at the California Institute of Arts, and formerly served as director of the San Francisco Cinematheque and as artistic director of the Foundation for Art in Cinema.

52nd AAFF Juror Presentation: Hope Tucker
Thursday, March 27, 12:30 pm
Michigan Theater Screening Room

Hope Tucker, originally from Memphis, TN, is an artist working primarily in film and video. Since 2000, Tucker’s work has been exhibited internationally at museums, galleries and festivals, including four editions of the AAFF.

 

52nd AAFF Juror Presentation: Jeremy Rigsby
Friday, March 28, 12:30 pm
Michigan Theater Screening Room

Jeremy Rigsby is the Program Director of the Media City Film Festival (Windsor, Canada). Media City will have its twentieth edition in July, 2014.

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf
Friday, March 28, 3pm
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Helmut Stern Auditorium

The Forgotten Space
Sunday, March 30, 2pm
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Helmut Stern Auditorium

3. Make plans to see these headlining films.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.46.01 PM

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Decline of Western Civilization I
Friday March 28, 5:00pm

Los Angeles Plays Itself
Saturday March 29, 12:30pm

From Deep
Saturday March 29, 5:00pm

Purgatorio
Sunday March 30, 3:15pm

*Joining us for the full festival? Book a room at one of our local accommodations! Click here to learn more about which accommodations are offering hotel specials!

Have you been to the Ann Arbor Film Festival? Tell us about your experience.

Maricat Eggenberger PhotoMaricat Eggenberger is the Communications Manager for the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She’s a proud Michigander that loves traveling, anything eco-friendly and the little adventures in life. 

Celebrate Fat Tuesday with a Paczki in Pure Michigan

To celebrate Paczki Day (Fat Tuesday) in Pure Michigan, Joanna Dueweke of The Awesome Mitten gives us some history behind the holiday along with a roundup of sweet ways to indulge next Tuesday! 

Paczki-in-HamtramckIt’s that time of year again! March 4th is Fat Tuesday, or as it is lovingly called in many areas in Michigan, Paczki Day. Pronounced POONCH-KEE, paczki are deep-fried pieces of dough stuffed with sweet fillers of numerous variations. Fat Tuesday is the day before the Christian holiday of Lent where folks traditionally refrain from indulgent treats, but Michiganders (and much of the US) have adopted the Polish tradition of indulging in these treats and adding festivities to the mix. In Hamtramck, a city near Detroit which has been heralded as Michigan’s ‘Poletown’ since Polish immigrants started flooded the area in 1914, celebrations start at 7am and consumers line up around the block from their favorite bakeries to get their hands on paczki.

Photo courtesy of Carrie Acosta

Photo courtesy of Carrie Acosta

Traditionally, paczki were made to use up the remaining lard, sugar, eggs and fruit that were in households before Lent began; Catholic customs forbid those indulgences during the Lenten holiday. Polish immigrants brought those traditions with them to the United States, so places with strong Polish roots hold on to those important celebrations. No one is really complaining; Fat Tuesday is a day full of fun and delicious treats!

We know that not everyone can travel to Hamtramck or devote a day to revelry. With that in mind, we’ve discovered several spots throughout Michigan that are rumored to have especially delicious paczki. It is often advised to get to these spots early or order in advance because they’re a hot commodity!

Suggestions in no particular order:

Photo courtesy of Tour de Troit

Photo courtesy of Tour de Troit

Feel guilty about indulging in such decadence? No worries, Hamtramck has you covered there as well. Join them for the Paczki Run on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. You will run through some great urban terrain and end with a much deserve paczki and a beer!

Will you be having a paczki on Fat Tuesday? Let us know where you get one from!

Joanna DuewekeJoanna Dueweke writes for the Awesome Mitten and is the Interactive Marketing Coordinator for the Detroit Regional Chamber. Born and raised in Traverse City, she is enjoying new adventures in the Detroit area, but also values her roots in Northern Michigan. Exploring the outdoors, sailing, travel, and enjoying the Mitten’s beer industry consume her time when she is not pursuing her Master’s in Library and Information Science at Wayne State University.