Pure Michigan June 2013 Events Roundup

June means the official start of summer in Pure Michigan! And with school out for the year and warm weather here to stay, it’s the perfect time to experience some of the great things going on around the state.

Below is a roundup of a few of the many events going on around Michigan in June. Please visit michigan.org for a complete listing of things to do across the state.

 

Week of June 2

Art & Orchard Festival
June 6-June 8, 2013, Washington
Washington’s Art & Orchard Festival will be the second weekend in June, June 6-9, 2013. The event will feature a carnival on Friday, live music, an arts & crafts show, fireworks Saturday night, petting zoo, beer tent and food station.

Cereal City Festival
June 7-8, 2013, Battle Creek
The Cereal City Festival is an event celebrating the Battle Creek community and its rich and varied past. A parade kicks off the festival on Friday, June 8th and the fun continues with the Cereal City Classic 5k/10k run and the World’s Longest Breakfast Table on Saturday morning. Throughout the day enjoy exciting events, bands and activities! Click here for more information.

National Asparagus Festival – Hart
June 7-8, 2013, Hart
Salute the shoots with a parade, 5K run, rodeo and crafts fair in downtown Hart. The National Asparagus Festival is held every year during the second weekend of June. For more information, visit the National Asparagus Festival website or call (800) 874-3982 or (231) 861-8110.

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival
June 7-16, 2013, 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 this ten day festival includes a 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. Visit the website for more information.

Leland Wine & Food Festival
June 8, 2013, Leland
Michigan’s oldest wine festival takes place at the Leland Harbor. Everyone has a chance to go see 17 wineries of the Leelanau & Old Mission Peninsulas on Saturday, enjoy great food and music and kick off the summer festival season in style! No need to purchase advance tickets – just show up rain or shine at the big tent in Leland’s picturesque Fishtown district. Admission is $15 and includes an etched wine glass and two tickets for wine tasting. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at (877) LELAND1 or (231) 256-0079.

Orion Music + More
June 8-9, 2013, Detroit
Make your way to Detroit June 8-9, 2013, for the Orion Music + More concert event. The lineup includes Metallica, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Rise Against, The Dillinger Escape Plan. The event includes thirty-plus acts over five stages, a custom car and automotive show, Metallica Museum, and more. Two day passes are $150. For tickets, complete lineup details, and more, visit the website link.

Week of June 9

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week
June 9-14, 2013, Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Restaurant Week offers one price dining, one week, several options. Extraordinary three course dinner menus and fixed price fare lunch menus from Ann Arbor’s best restaurants. Experience cuisine that delights your palate and defines the art of dining in Ann Arbor. Now is your chance to discover new restaurants and enjoy favorites at a discounted price. Make reservations early at participating restaurants as tables fill fast during this gastronomically great event. For more information, visit the website link or call (734) 668-7112 ext 22.

Hamburg Family Fun Fest
June 12-15, 2013, Hamburg
The Hamburg Family Fun Fest brings family fun to the park like never before, attracting more than 50,000 attendees. Feature attractions include amusement rides, circus, petting zoo, talent competition, classic car show and arts & crafts just to name a few. A variety of concerts will also be held throughout the weekend on two stages. Click here for more information.

Heritage Coast Grand Prix
June 13-26, 2013, Tawas
Head to the Heritage Coast Grand Prix in Tawas for beautiful beaches, family fun and revved up racing. The event includes four fun-filled and family-oriented days of activities. Check out the boats, meet the drivers and experience the thrill of the races. Visit the website for more information.

Jazzin on Jefferson
June 14-15, 2013, Detroit
Jazzin’ on Jefferson is a free street music festival organized by the Jefferson East Business Association. For a schedule of main stage performances, visit the website link.

Pinconning CheeseTown Festival
June 14-15, 2013, Pinconning
Highlights of the festival include a mac & cheese dinner contest, the ultimate wine & cheese party, the cheesy CheeseTown parade, a teen concert, arts & crafts, fireworks, a beer tent with lots of live music, and in honor of Father’s Day weekend, a CheeseTown dad contest. The event is held at Doc Letchfield Park on M-13 in Pinconning. The event is in conjunction with the 30th Annual CheeseTown Challenge Race (5 mile race, 2 mile fun run/walk, and Little Meeces Race). For more information on this event, call (989) 879-2816.

Week of June 16

Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
June 16, 2013, Brooklyn
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the Irish Hills on Father’s Day with the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400. NASCAR stars, such as former MIS winners Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Jimmy Johnson return to MIS for another action-packed day of side-by-side racing. Forty-three drivers, 200 laps. Call (800) 354-1010 or visit the website for ticket and camping information.

East Jordan Freedom Festival
June 19-23, 2013, East Jordan
The East Jordan Freedom Festival is a family friendly festival with something for everyone including live music, parades, kids games, carnival, block party and fireworks over the south arm of Lake Charlevoix. For more information, call (231) 536-7351 or visit the website link here.

FinnFest USA 2013
June 19-23, 2013, Hancock
Hear the music, feel the summer breezes, smell the birch wood of the kokko and be where every Finn needs to be in June of 2013. For five days the Copper Country will host FinnFest USA 2013 – a festival spread across the region, with a variety of programming sure to interest everyone! Tori market, concerts, performances, dances, exhibits and gallery shows, local tours, sports and games, a parade, midsummer bonfires, street theatre, special guests and VIPs and much, much more! For more information, visit the website or call (906) 487-7205.

Kalamazoo Island Fest
June 20-22, 2013, Kalamazoo
Get ready for some good times with three days and nights of reggae music rocking downtown Kalamazoo. A great variety of quality Jamaican and Caribbean-inspired cuisine will be served. Food, drinks, beer and wine will be available. The live reggae music line-up runs all day and ranges from the top local talent to well-known regional and national headliners presented outdoors throughout the day. For more information visit the website or contact (269) 385-6200.

Summer Solstice Jazz Festival
June 21-22, 2013, East Lansing
This free two day jazz festival in the heart of downtown East Lansing features high-caliber local, regional, and national talent presented by the City of East Lansing, Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, and the Michigan State University College of Music. For additional event information, visit the web link or call (517) 319-6927.

Detroit River Days
June 21-23, 2013, Detroit
The 2013 festival will continue to celebrate Detroit’s maritime, ecological and culinary culture while again featuring many proven crowd-favorite, family-friendly activities and programming elements from previous festivals. Interactive exhibits, large-scale sand sculptures, strolling entertainers, eco-friendly kids’ zones, carnival rides, and live concerts with performances featuring more than 50 local, national and international music acts will be back this year. More information is available online.

Week of June 23

Ford Fireworks
June 24, 2013, Detroit
The Parade Company is excited to pump up the City of Detroit, on June 24th as we produce the 55th 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 and one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays. Visit the website here.

St. Ignace Car Show Weekend
June 26-27, 2013, St. Ignace
This annual event is one of the largest all-make, all-model shows in the country. Hundreds of antique, custom, and celebrity automobiles are on display all day Saturday. Car enthusiasts can examine vehicles up close and see them in action during Kewadin Casino Cruise Night on Thursday evening, and the Down Memory Lane Parade on Friday evening. Contests, exhibits, vendor booths and more make this a fun, family event. For more information call (906) 643-8087 or visit the website.

Michigan Challenge Balloonfest 2013
June 28-30, 2013, Howell
Join us for the state championship of hot-air ballooning, June 28-30 in Howell. It’s a weekend full of high-flying fun for the whole family. Enjoy thrilling skydiving jumps, music, carnival, family entertainment, downtown activities and more. Don’t miss the fun including Play 1st Mobile Gaming, SmashZone and five scheduled balloon launches, Annabelle Road and the fabulous balloon glow on Saturday evening and the MediLodge Fireworks on Friday night. For more information on this event, visit the website link or call us at (517) 546-3920.

Grand Haven Art Festival & Fun Day
June 29-30, 2013, Grand Haven
The work of 150 of the finest artists in the country will be on display and for sale during the 51st Annual Grand Haven Art Festival & Family Fun Day, June 29 – 30, 2013. The festival will take place along Washington Avenue in downtown Grand Haven, transforming the area into an outdoor art gallery. Admission and parking are free and open to the public. Presented by The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg. (616) 842-4910.

National Cherry Festival 2013
June 29–July 6, 2013, Traverse City
Get your planner out and write down the dates for a great week or family fun when you attend the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City on June 29–July 6. There will be colorful parades, marching bands, music shows, sporting events, amusement rides along with carnival games on the midway and food items, pie eating contests and loads of luscious cherries prepared every way you can think of. For more information, visit the website link or call the Cherry Festival office at (800) 968-3380.

Week of June 30

Log Cabin Days & Antique Car Show
June 30, 2013, Michigamme
Tour the museum and the Dompierre House and walk around to see all the antique cars on display from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information contact (906) 323-9016.

Coast West Music Fest
July 1-6, 2013, Muskegon
This event is a multi-day music festival with three stages, fireworks on July 4, food and refreshments. Acts announced so far: O.A.R., Josh Turner, Leann Rimes, Cheap Trick, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Allen Stone, Chicago and Foghat! For more information visit the website link.

Light up the Lake Fireworks & Parade
July 3-4, 2013, South Haven
At the south pier over Lake Michigan, watch a spectacular fireworks display July 3 and listen to the Light Up The Lake soundtrack LIVE on SuperHits 103.7 COSY-FM! The fireworks shoot off synchronized to the music! Parade will be held July 4 at 11am through downtown featuring local marching bands, pageant winners, patriotic floats, fire trucks, & lots of candy! Questions, call (269) 637-5252 or (800) SO-HAVEN.

Fourth of July Celebration
July 4-6, 2013, Cedarville
Enjoy the spectacular view of fireworks over Cedarville Bay from the Cedarville’s downtown waterfront park or the lawn of the Great Lakes Boat Building School on July 4. Earlier that day, our parade, kids games, hot dogs and burgers, Up in Smoke BBQ, races and contests, and more wind down into early evening with music on the bay by Dance Commander DJ and a Jersey Mud eating contest. For more information, call (906) 484-3935

Cedar Polka Fest
July 4-7 2013, Cedar
The Cedar Polka Fest is held yearly in Cedar, Michigan, under the big tent on the tennis courts. Highlights include a parade on Saturday at noon, softball tournament, a polka mass and polka under the big, big tent with the big names of polka. For more information on this event call (231) 228-3378 or visit the website.

These are just a few of the many events happening next month in Pure Michigan. Please visit michigan.org for a complete listing.

Merry-Not-Scary Family Fun at ZooBoo

Looking for something fun to do with your family to get into the Halloween spirit? There’s still plenty of time to check out The Great ZooBoo at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek! Today, Kari Parker, Binder Park Zoo’s marketing manager, fills us in on this family-friendly event and other happenings at the zoo this year.

Q: What is ZooBoo and who should attend ZooBoo?

A: The Great ZooBoo is a merry not scary Halloween event that has been ongoing and beloved by families and Zoo visitors for 26 years.  This ever popular trick-or-treating experience is a wonderful way for families to be immersed in a festive fall atmosphere, while creating memories with their children.  What better way to celebrate fall than meandering through the Zoos many trails of lighten jack-o-lanterns with crunchy leaves underfoot while sipping hot apple cider!  Weather depending, visitors will even get to see some of our more cold weather-hardy animals like the American black bear cubs that we rescued from Alaska this past summer or the graceful and endearing snow leopards among others.

Q: What’s the history of ZooBoo at Binder Park Zoo and how has it grown over the years?

A: Binder Park Zoo first opened in 1977 as a small children’s petting zoo. With great dreams and aspirations a team of dedicated volunteers and staff set out to mold and shape Binder Park Zoo into the leading cultural attraction it is known for today.  With the growth of the Zoo came new exhibits and events like The Great ZooBoo.  In 1987 the very first ZooBoo took place and remains much the same today, a merry-not-scary family Halloween event.  ZooBoo has been added to the must do list for families for years and continues to be a fall tradition that many look forward too.  Binder Park Zoo is a non profit so we rely on gate admissions and fundraising events like The Great ZooBoo to help feed and care for our animals.  The funds raised during ZooBoo allow us to feed and care for our animals all winter long.  There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and even though we close for the winter we still have a group of dedicated fulltime zookeepers working around the clock to look after all of our animals.  When families come to The Great ZooBoo, not only are they spending time together and making memories, they are helping to instill a love for nature in their children and helping us to continue our many conservation efforts.

Q: What are some new attractions or activities at this year’s ZooBoo?

A: Halloween wouldn’t be complete without trick-or-treating, and The Great ZooBoo offers that and lots more!  The Miller Children’s Zoo is transformed from a petting zoo into the exciting BooVille Carnival where youngsters can enjoy the carnival atmosphere and play a variety of games to win fun prizes. The Binda Conservation Discovery Center will also be open, offering a place where children can view several small animal exhibits, participate in interactive activities, and take in the nightly entertainment venues. As always, there will be hayrides, train rides, and a festive fall atmosphere like none other!

Q: Are there other fun events or activities happening at Binder Park Zoo this fall?

A: During our winter months the Zoo is anything but still!  We offer a variety of educational opportunities for children like the popular Knee-High Naturalists, a program perfect for your pint-sized conservationist.  All of our education programs are designed with kids in mind and provide an outlet for little ones to express creativity, explore nature and wildlife, as well as to broaden their world of experiences.  As a leader in conservation education, approximately 75,000 children and adults received the benefits of the Zoo’s formal and informal education programs.  Our strongest educational efforts take place here at the Zoo through the roughly one third of a million people who visit each year.

In addition to off season education programs each year, the Zoo offers an event called Holiday Nights in December. This is a wonderful way to experience wintry evenings at Binder Park Zoo. Guests stroll along lighted paths and can view some of our weather-hardy animals on exhibit enjoying the winter season. These special evenings include carousel rides, special holiday activities, dinner with Santa and his animal friends, and story time with Mrs. Claus. Holiday Nights run each evening December 14-16 & December 20-23.

Q: What types of conservation programs is the Zoo currently involved it?

A: Binder Park Zoo is home to 38 endangered or threatened species and participates in 18 different Species Survival Plans (SSP) and 20 Population Management Plans (PMP).  Global conservation efforts take place at Binder Park Zoo in cooperation with organizations like the International Snow Leopard Trust and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, in Kenya Africa.  The Zoo also participates in local conservation restoration efforts as well like the Michigan Piping Plover Recovery Program, Karner Blue Butterfly conservation, Adopt and Beach and Highway programs and helped contribute to the success of the bald eagle’s comeback.

Q: Where can people go for more information?

A: For more information about Binder Park Zoo, visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call the Zoo office at (269) 979-1351. To stay on top of all the latest Zoo news, find Binder Park Zoo on Facebook.

Kari Parker has been the Marketing Manager for Binder Park Zoo for a total of 8 years. She received her education at Western Michigan University where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree specializing in marketing.

Are you planning to attend ZooBoo at Binder Park Zoo? If you’re looking for something closer to home, here’s a list of several other Michigan zoos taking part in similar events:

For other ZooBoo and Halloween-themed events happening across the state, visit michigan.org.

Brick Loads of LEGO Fun Come to Michigan [Plus a Giveaway!]

LEGO KidsFest, a giant traveling LEGO expo, is coming to Michigan for the first time this weekend, October 12 – 14. Today, Aaron Wartner, part of the LEGO KidsFest national tour’s production team, fills us in on this fun event.

Read about it below and be sure to see how you can win tickets to LEGO KidsFest in Novi at the bottom of the post.

Ready your building skills!  The LEGO® KidsFest national tour is stopping for the very first time in Michigan, October 12 – 14, 2012, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.  This event brings all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in this three acre activity- and entertainment-packed family event for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.

The LEGO KidsFest is a highly interactive experience covering over 150,000 square feet of space.  The event includes LEGO product-based activities as well as activities that can only be had at the LEGO KidsFest.  Here are some highlights:

  • LEGO Model Gallery: dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks
  • LEGO Master Builders: live demonstrations and activities from the crew who get paid to play
  • Creation Nation: build your own creation to add to a custom map of the U.S.
  • Race Ramps: build your own custom car, then race it down the ramp against friends and family
  • LEGO Games Arena: roll the dice to play LEGO board games
  • Construction Zones: creative free build, play and display areas
  • LEGO DUPLO®: younger visitors can explore imagination through building
  • Brick Pile: a gigantic pile full of LEGO bricks for creative play and enjoyment
  • Monochromatic Builds: bricks of a single color to foster group creativity
  • Brickscapes: fantastic displays that combine lots of LEGO and DUPLO sets

Any family who likes to be inspired, get hands-on and have fun together won’t want to miss LEGO KidsFest.  We’re bringing so many activities for Michigan families to test and showcase their creativity and building skills in what is sure to be a family event to remember.

The event began in 2009 in Connecticut, the North American headquarters for LEGO Systems.  The initial idea was to offer a unique LEGO experience for those who live nearby.  We expected 5,000 attendees; 25,000 showed up.  The enthusiasm for the event brought us to the idea of a national tour.  There are a limited number of tour stops each year, and it is rare for us to repeat a market in a consecutive year; Michigan will be our 14th show since we got started four years ago.

Each LEGO KidsFest tour stop is a massive undertaking:  all the bricks and models need to be shipped in and set up; partnerships with various local organizations are established; about twenty representatives of LEGO Systems and the LEGO KidsFest come in to town; and local staff is hired to ensure an excellent visitor experience.

In Michigan, the LEGO KidsFest is pleased to be working with several local organizations, including The Robot Garage, Michigan Science Center, Visit Detroit, Pure Michigan, The Henry Ford, City of Novi, and the LEGO Store at Somerset Collection.

More information on the event is available at www.LEGOkidsfest.com.

Fun LEGO facts:

    • LEGO is the contraction of two Danish words, “leg godt” which means “play well”
    • There are 915 million ways to combine six eight-stud LEGO bricks
    • More than 400 billion LEGO® bricks have been produced since 1949
    • The LEGO minifigure represents the world’s largest population of people!
    • With a production of about 306 million tires produced a year, the LEGO group is the largest producer of tires in the world

Discover more at LEGO KidsFest this weekend! Tickets are selling out fast, so we’re excited to give you the chance to win two family four packs of tickets to LEGO KidsFest to two lucky fans who tell us in the comments below why their family wants to go to this event. Submit your comments (along with your email address) by tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9th at 11:59 p.m. EST. At that time, we’ll randomly select two winners and send each their prize. We’ll contact you using the email address you provide (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody). Only one submission per person, please. Also, please note that these tickets will be good for the Friday, October 12th session only.

Aaron Wartner is with the LEGO KidsFest national tour. He has been building with LEGO bricks for over 30 years.