Stretch Your Summer Celebrations Well Into Fall With These 7 Festivals

 

As summer begins to wind down, you might think that it’s time to hang up your dancing shoes. Think again! Festivals in the Great Lakes Bay Region are ample into autumn, too! Lace up your shoes, gather your friends, and go have some fun.  After all, that’s what festivals are for, and opportunities to enjoy yourself can be found all season long.

Blues, Brews & BBQ – (Birch Run) 
August 21-22, 2015

Blues Brews BBQ 1

Bring your appetite (and book your hotel now), because the 4th Annual Blues, Brews & Barbecue is a 2-day, finger-lickin’ Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition for the best chicken, ribs, pork and brisket flavors in the nation! Toss in carnival rides, local Michigan beer tasting tents, and live blues artists – and you’ve got some big plans come August 21 and 22, from noon til midnight!

  • Even though the fun doesn’t officially start ’til noon, the public is welcome ahead of time to watch the grillmasters in full swing.  Get there early for the first taste; BBQ teams hand out samples a’plenty. (Oh, and don’t miss the Saturday morning tradition – a shot of Jim Beam at 9:22 a.m.!)
  • Be sure to search down Bavarian Smoke and iBQ’n (the 2013 and 2014 competition winners, respectively) and check out the full list of competitors here.

Frankenmuth Auto Fest – (Frankenmuth)
 September 11-13, 2015

Auto Fest 1

 

Over 2,000 classic cars, street rods and muscle cars roll into Frankenmuth September 11 to 13, marking the start of the 32nd Annual Frankenmuth Auto Fest.  And we promise you won’t want to miss the kickoff —  locals and visitors rave about the Friday Night Big Block Party year after year.

  • Fuel up for long days of drooling over hot rods with daily 8 a.m. pancake breakfasts at Heritage Park Lions Haus (it’s a good chance to chat with fellow car enthusiasts, too!)
  • Catch the free shuttle buses (Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.)!
  • Snag a 3-day pass; For just $10, it’ll get you access to all the action for all 3 days of festivities

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest – (Frankenmuth)
 September 17-20, 2015

Oktoberfest 1 - Copy

Prepare for all-things-authentically German at the 26th Annual Frankenmuth Oktoberfest, September 17 – 20: Mugs and steins of authentic German Hofbräu beer; brats with kraut; live music by the Schuhplatters and many more; even traditional dancing on the wooden floor in the Harvey Kern Pavilion! Admission is $10 Thursday – Saturday, free on Sunday.

Michigan Antique & Collectibles Festival – (Midland)
 September 19-20, 2015

Does 80 acres and 1,000 antique dealers sound too good to be true? Then prepare to pinch yourself September 19-20 in Midland at the Michigan Antique & Collectibles Festival, named one of the Top 5 Favorite Summer Flea Markets by Kovels.com! Festival hours are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 per person. Parking is free!

  • Beat the crowds from 11am-5pm on Saturday (Early Bird Day).  Admission is $15, but the pass will last you all weekend.
  • Be sure to fuel up at the Taste of Michigan so you can sample some of the best local flavors, then swing by the Shabby Experience & Industrial Way to find even more on-trend, timeless treasures

Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Fest – (Bay City)
 September 24-27, 2015

This September 24-27, you’ll not only get a sneak-peek at first-time showings of independent films alongside live, original music performances, but you’ll also get to connect with the filmmakers and musicians themselves! It all comes together during the low-key, 4-day grassroots indie celebration known as Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival. Sample artisan foods, visit historic theatres and other venues dripping with architectural eye candy, and enjoy a casual dip into the Bay City arts scene.

  • With four days and dozens of venues, showings, and performances throughout Bay City, you’re probably wondering where to go and when.  Research who’s playing and what’s showing, and base your routes around your favorite must-see musicians and films.
  • Another option is to base your Hell’s Half Mile experience around the hosted receptions — they’re a great way to get in extra time with the filmmakers and artists.

Northwood International Auto Show – (Midland)
 October 2-4, 2015

Northwood IAS 1

View more than 500 vehicles on display from over 65 manufacturers at the Northwood University International Auto Show in Midland, October 2 – 4! The student-run event is the largest outdoor new car show on the entire continent, so it’s no wonder that over 60,000 enthusiasts attend each year!  Show hours: Friday, 12 – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • 2014 Best in Division teams were Cadillac, Audi, Honda, AEV, RV. You might want to find out what they’re up to for 2015!
  • Be sure to stick around ’til 3:30 on Sunday (when the People’s Choice winner will be announced!)

Michigan’s Big Country Fest – (Frankenmuth) 
October 17-18, 2015

Line-dance it up amidst flannels, boots, and cowboy hats as Brian Gallagher of Bullhonky Deluxe and Mandi Layne & The Lost Highway belt out tunes at Michigan’s Big Country Fest in Frankenmuth, October 17 – 18 (6 p.m. – midnight both nights, admission $5)!

  • Between the mechanical bull rides, free line-dancing lessons, Bloody Mary bar, That Guy’s BBQ and more, the Harvey Kern Community Pavilion will be country-rockin’ rain or shine (don’t worry – the pavilion is enclosed).
  • Look for the Cowboy & Cowgirl Contests, where the winners are judged on best attire, bull riding, corn-hole toss and pong toss. It’s free to enter, and memorable to witness!

Guest Blogger - Jen Wainwright - CopyJen Wainwright is a freelance writer in Bridgeport, Michigan. She specializes in marketing communications copy, feature articles and compelling content/blog posts. Jen enjoys experiencing multicultural opportunities in the Great Lakes Bay Region with her family, camping and laughing. You can find her at www.jenwainwright.com.

Pure Michigan June 2015 Events Roundup

Summer is in the air and festival season is full swing in Michigan. Communities around the state will host a variety of celebrations, and it is the perfect opportunity to see what Pure Michigan is all about. Native Michiganders and visitors alike, there’s something for everyone happening this month. 

Below is a roundup of some of the many events going on around the state in June. Visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

June 1 – 6

Jackson Blues Festival
June 4 – 6, Jackson
Enjoy three days of blues performers including international, national and regional bands, with a major act headlining each night. Be sure to bring your lawn chair or blankets. Friday, June 5th at 6 p.m., the first 100 kids will receive a free harmonica, t-shirt and sunglasses as well as the opportunity to perform with the musicians!

Sip and Dab
June 5, Traverse City
Paint with local artist, Shelly Morey, as you are guided through your own paint on canvas masterpiece; all experience levels welcome. Create a memory of art with Sip and Dab while sipping the wines of Peninsula Cellars–Old Mission Peninsula. You may and are welcome to bring your own snacks to this event if you wish.

Forest Frenzy Race
June 5 – 6, Midland
Get caught in the wild excitement of the Forest Frenzy as you push yourself to the limit and face intense obstacles head on. You’ll be forced to crawl under, maneuver over, climb atop, and slip-slide your way through Midland’s City Forest. And, for the ultimate race experience for thrill-seeking athletes, attempt the course in the dark!

Festival of Cars
June 6, South Haven
The Festival of Cars has drawn as many as 200-350 antique cars, trucks, and bikes to downtown South Haven! Free admission for spectators, donations accepted. Special musical guest this year is Local Band “Matt and Dylan”! We are pleased to announce Festival of Cars car show this year will have a monster truck.

Spring Bird Walk
June 6, Charlevoix
Join Little Traverse Conservancy and the Petoskey Regional Audubon Society (PRAS) at the Ransom Preserve where delightful mixtures of habitats are available for a wide diversity of bird species. Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings and Great- crested Flycatcher have been regular in the past.

June 7 – 13

18699_lilac-bushMackinac Island Lilac Festival
June 5 – 14, Mackinac Island
The idea of the festival was to bring people to the island to enjoy a great horse drawn parade amidst the lovely lilacs that fragrance the island in June. Now a ten day festival, includes comedy show, afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, music, walking tours, hayrides, arts and crafts, 10K run, Lilac Festival Queen, dancing, wine tasting, bingo, Lilac strolls and much more.

Bavarian Festival 2015
June 11 – 14, Frankenmuth
The Bavarian Festival is located in the Harvey Kern Pavilion in Heritage Park. Sing and dance to Bavarian music played by costumed German bands. Taste the hearty Bavarian foods, plump bratwurst, barbecued chicken and homemade pretzels.

Back To the Bricks Car Tour
June 12, Battle Creek
Come downtown from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. and see the classic cars participating in the Michiana Promo Tour. Over 150 classic cars will line the streets of downtown Battle Creek. See the cars and join in the fun at Wave Park where a live DJ will be playing music and giving out prizes.

National Asparagus Festival
June 12 – 14, Hart
The National Asparagus Festival celebrates West Michigan’s famous crop with a unique festival with activities for all ages. This festival features an Arts & Crafts Fair, a variety of children and family activities, the Spear-It 5K Run, an asparagus farm tour, an asparagus themed food show, the Royale Parade, live entertainment, and the opportunity to meet the one and only Asparagus Queen!

Art in the Park
June 13, Hudsonville
The Hudsonville Area Arts Council will host the 7th Annual Art in the Park outdoor arts and crafts fair on June 13, 2015 in Veterans Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to spaces for over 50 arts and crafts vendors, the event features food vendors, artist demonstrations, children’s play area, and live entertainment. This is a free, family-friendly community event.

June 14 – 20

19117_Pictured Rocks Day 2014 Image aPictured Rocks Days
June 13 – 14, Munising
There will be vendors, bands, food, outdoor activities, demonstrations and other outdoor shows. The festival will take place at Bayshore Park, overlooking the beautiful bay and the city dock in Munising, MI. Mark this weekend on your calendar for a fun-filled weekend for all ages!

Family Ecology Sail
June 14, Bay City
Are you and your kids interested in learning more about the ecosystems in which we all live, work and play? Do you know which watershed you live in? Have you ever wondered what exactly a watershed is? There’s no better place to answer these question than from the deck of a tall ship! Join us on the Appledore IV for a fun day of learning the science of our land and waterways. The Family Ecology Sail is a hands-on experience for everyone aboard. Snacks and juice/water are included.

Ann Arbor Book Festival
June 17 – 20, Ann Arbor
Each night of the festival, Michigan authors and poets gather for a Book Crawl at local restaurants, bars, bookstores, and shops to read from their latest works. On Saturday, June 20th, the last day of the Festival, a Street Fair will be held in downtown Ann Arbor. This day-long, family-friendly event will gather authors, libraries and literacy groups, publishers, artisans and writers groups and will include dynamic programming.

Gallery Walk
June 18, Petoskey
The galleries of Downtown Petoskey welcome the public to this evening of art and fun. This is your chance to visit local galleries in an open house setting; some locations even have the artists on hand. Don’t miss the afterglow party beginning at 9 p.m. giving you the chance to win some wonderful pieces of art from the participating galleries.

Beach Wellness Day
June 20, Bay City
Join us for this 5K, 10K Walk and Run along the shores of the Saginaw Bay and Kid’s Fun Run. This event also features a volleyball tournament, music concerts, a car show, concessions & more! All proceeds benefit the park.

June 21 – 27

Father’s Day Arts & Crafts Festival
June 20 – 21, Whitehall
More than 75 talented and creative artists will participate in this very popular juried art show from 10am – 5pm on Saturday the 20th and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday the 21st. Those attending can purchase a variety of hand-made art and crafts such as jewelry, wood furniture, birdhouses, ceramics, items for the garden, clothing, paintings and prints, folk art, leather goods, floral designs, stained glass, signs, children’s toys, and bath items.

Dawn Patrol Fly In
June 21, Bay City
Skydivers, aircraft, and many more displays. Barrel Plane rides for children at no charge. Airplane tours of the area will be available at the cost of $25 per seat. Dawn Patrol Fly-in Pancake Breakfast served: $7 for adults, $5 for children 5-10, 5 and under free.

Ford Fireworks
June 22, Detroit
The Parade Company is excited to pump up the City of Detroit, on June 22nd as we produce the 56th Ford Fireworks presented by Target, along the Detroit River. This event attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators for one of the most anticipated summer nights in Detroit, one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays.

Soo Locks Engineers Day
June 26, Sault Ste. Marie
The day celebrates the engineers who built the Soo Locks along with the men and women of the past and present who maintain the Locks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invite people of all ages to come explore the Soo Locks and avail themselves the rare opportunity to walk across the Lock walls. These walls make it possible for freighters to traverse the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.

Pasty Fest
June 27, Calumet
Celebrate the Keweenaw’s “Pasty” history with a parade, children’s games, a pasty sale, live music and dancing with the Pasty Bake-Off for the coveted Copper Pasty Award. Event held at Agassiz Park.

Marquette Trails Festival
June 26-28, Marquette
Featuring mountain bike races, trail runs and family hikes, Marquette’s trails will be open for a fun weekend for all non-motorized trail users. Bring your family out for a good time to bike, run or hike and raise funds for your community trails. All proceeds from this event go to the NTN Singletrack Trailbuilding.

June 28 – 30

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMichigan Challenge Balloonfest
June 26 – 28, Howell
The state championship of hot-air ballooning features balloon launches, entertainment and family attractions.

Grand Haven Art Festival
June 27 – 28, Grand Haven
One hundred juried artists line the streets downtown, displaying their handmade, one-of-a-kind art pieces. Visit the annual Grand Haven Art Festival to find that perfect piece for your home, cottage, and office.

Log Cabin Day at Old Victoria
June 28, Rockland
Celebrate Log Cabin Day at this historic mining village, where history comes alive and the past greets the present. The day will feature delicious cinnamon rolls, baked from scratch in the traditional woodstove. Kids of all ages will love the old-fashioned kid’s games and races on the lawn, and adults will love the show! The historic site will be open to the public, free of charge, and there’s no better way to learn about copper mining history than hands-on!

Ride for Nature Scenic Bicycle Tour
June 28, Spring Lake
Spend a summer’s day on the lakeshore, touring scenic natural areas and picturesque small towns. Each of the four routes on this non-competitive ride will feature parks and nature preserves. Riders are encouraged to stop along the way, enjoy the views, and take a stroll on the nature preserve hiking trails.

These are just some of the many events and festivals happening around Michigan. Which June events do you plan to attend? 

From our Fans: Cars in Pure Michigan

In honor of the Pure Michigan 400 and the Woodward Dream Cruise we asked our fans to share photos of cars on the Pure Michigan Facebook wall. We had so many great photos we wanted to share more than just one. 

Take a look at the slide show below to see some great cars, both old and new, from around the state. Visit michigan.org for more information on car events going in Michigan. 

Do you have a favorite classic car? Share with us in the comments below.