Ten Must-See Festivals in Ann Arbor this Summer

Each June and July, Ann Arbor Summer Festival transforms Ann Arbor into a lively arts destination with 140+ events to explore Tuesday through Sunday nights. Guest Blogger Amy Nesbitt, the Executive and Artistic Director of the non-profit Ann Arbor Summer Festival put together a list of festivals you won’t want to miss.

In addition to an exciting line-up of bands, attendees can discover kids hands-on activities, movies under the stars, wellness classes, local food vendors, craft beer, and much more. With ninety percent of events admission-free, and many performances highlighting some of Michigan’s best talent, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival is the perfect summertime destination.

With the festival opening on June 12 and running through July 5, we asked A2SF’s Director, Amy Nesbitt, “What are your top ten picks for must-see events at the 2015 festival?” Below she shares her top ten and also encourages visitors to learn more at A2SF.org and download the free festival app to plan a personalized festival experience.

Photo Credit to Myra Klarman

Photo Credit to Myra Klarman

Sunday, June 14, 7 p.m., KidsRock: The Trummytones

Sundays emphasize family programming. This is a ska/reggae kids band from Brooklyn led by trombonist Vinny Nobile of the iconic 90’s ska band Bim Skala Bim.

Tuesday, June 16, 6 p.m., Cirque Mechanics: The Gantry Bike

We’re known for large, outdoor spectacles. Dangling from the 22-ft.-high, pedal-powered Gantry Bike will be 6 acrobats, contortionists, trapeze artists, and tightrope walkers.

Photo Courtesy of Ann Arbor CVB

Photo Courtesy of Armand Thomas Photography and Cirque Mechanics

Thursday, June 18, 5 PM, Retreat: Ninja Training

All ages can practice their ninja skills when Quest Martial Arts leads a free introductory class on Ninjutsu.

Friday, June 19, 5 p.m., KidZone: Learn to Master the Chinese Yoyo

A weekend of Asian cultural events includes kids learning the basics of Chinese Yoyo from The U-M Revolution Chinese Yoyo Team.

Saturday, June 20, 8 p.m., The Golden Dragon Acrobats

You’ll see stunning feats and beautiful costuming and staging from this premiere troupe for Chinese acrobatics. We are offering 50%-off kids tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket for both shows, while supplies last.

Saturday, June 20, 5 p.m., MarchFourth!

Join an unforgettable parade led by 24 costumed drummers, horn players, high stepping stilt acrobats, and dazzling dancers from Portland, OR. MarchFourth! headlines festivals around the world and often wins the audience award for best act — don’t miss them!

Photo Courtesy of Ann Arbor CVB

Photo Courtesy of Ann Arbor CVB

Tuesday, June 23 – 10 p.m., Ghostbusters

Outdoor Cinema screens classics alongside recent releases, and it’s always fun to be in a crowd among young people who’ve never seen a movie like Ghostbusters. Grab some popcorn and spread out a blanket for this classic!

Wednesday, June 24, 5 p.m., The Magmanus Show

The Swedish circus duo Magmanus will be doing a hilarious and highly skilled, free street performance. The soundtrack is even delightfully silly: Stevie Wonder, Prince, The BeeGees…

Tuesday, June 23, 8:00 p.m., Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience

Simien is a not-to-miss Grammy-winning legend of Zydeco. It’s going to be a huge dance party!

Sunday, July 5, 5 p.m., The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus

A grandiose band and choral concert will cap off an amazing patriotic weekend and four weeks of fun festival activities. It’s the best part of summer in Ann Arbor!

9ZQbnrWGR7sd87ndoKYa0VJKB4lehnmixz00jv6nGdoAmy Nesbitt is the Executive and Artistic Director of the non-profit Ann Arbor Summer Festival. Now in its 32nd season, the festival attracts a diverse audience of 80,000 people and continues to grow as an internationally recognized arts celebration. Click here to learn more.

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