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 July 2015 Events Roundup

July is just around the corner! With busy summer schedules in full swing, it’s never too early to start planning your visit to one of Michigan’s many summertime events. From art festivals and outdoor concerts to beach-side events and more, there’s something for everyone to do and see next month in Pure Michigan.

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

July 1 – 4

Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival 2015
July 1 – 5
Get ready for five action-packed days at the Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival. Daily hot-air balloon launches, night balloon illumes, a dazzling fireworks display, twilight and night pyro air show featuring a jet-powered school bus. Top civilian air show performers will have you amazed! A carnival, crafters, souvenir booths and special displays and an array of food vendors will only enhance spectator’s experience. All events held at W.K. Kellogg Airport.

BBQ Dinner Sail
July 3
Join us on this family friendly sail, aboard the Appledore IV, for a fun and relaxing evening of cruising along the Saginaw River and setting sail in Saginaw Bay. While aboard, guests will enjoy a delicious, casual barbecue meal. The sail departs from Wenonah Park at 6 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Lakeshore Art Festival

Lakeshore Art Festival
July 3 – 4
For decades, art has been a driving force in downtown Muskegon. July 3-4, the Lakeshore Art Festival continues that tradition with a unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the scenic shoreline of downtown Muskegon. The Lakeshore Art Festival features hundreds of artists and crafters, a Children’s Lane, street performers, and a food area including an Artisan Food Market and festival food favorites.

Cadillac Freedom Festival
July 3 – 5
Get ready for a full weekend of fun and sun along the shoreline of Lake Cadillac! The event will feature live music in the City Pavilion, Pork in the Park BBQ, Fire on Water military tribute, a parade, Thunder on the Lakeshore Motorcycle Show, live bands on stage, and fireworks over Lake Cadillac. All weekend we have kids’ activities including bounce houses and a carnival. This event is held in Cadillac City Park, downtown.

July 5 -11

National Cherry Festival
July 4 -11
Traverse City takes their cherries seriously. This festival has an array of events! From colorful parades, marching bands, music shows, sporting events, amusement to carnival games on the midway and food items, pie eating contests and loads of luscious cherries prepared every way you can think of, this festival has something for every cherry lover.

Photo courtesy of National Cherry Festival

Lake Hudson Recreation Area – Astronomy Night
July 6
Join us for an evening of star-gazing, planet-identifying, and constellation-finding at Michigan’s First Dark Sky Preserve. This informal gathering of astronomers will be setting up their telescopes and instructing on how to locate the various celestial beings of the night sky. They have all sorts of sizes and types of scopes, and it is fascinating to learn the difference among them. Make sure to bring any questions you may have about being an astronomy buff. Meet at the first shelter area just past the booth upon entering the park approximately a half hour before dark.

Common Ground Music Festival
July 7 – 12
Enjoy a weeklong music celebration at the Adado Riverfront Park. National Headlining artists mix with regional and local favorites to create the summer’s hottest six nights. Enjoy rock, country, blues and more along the scenic Grand River in Lansing.

Teal Lake Hike
July 9
Join Jim Paquette as he visits the camp sites of Negaunee’s very first miners, the ancient people who once quarried the Ajibik quartzite deposits on the northeast end of the lake thousands of years ago. We will talk about the geology, the archaeology, and the history of the lake and the surrounding area. We will follow the footpaths along the north lakeshore, and make our way to the top of the nearby bluffs for an amazing view.

Rolling Sculpture Car Show
July 10
The Main Street Area Association presents the 21st Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show from 2 – 10 p.m. Taking place in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, the Rolling Sculpture Car Show is one of kind experience for the car enthusiast. All cars are welcome to exhibit at the Show. Spectators enjoy the energy of more than 300 exotic, antique, classic, and one of a kind cars on Main, Liberty, and Washington streets in downtown Ann Arbor.

Idlewild Music Fest
July 10-12
This 3-day event celebrating the past, present, and future of Idlewild features live concerts, empowerment sessions, community giving, and much more! Live entertainment from local, regional, and international musicians performing jazz, blues, soul, and gospel music will be there to captivate the crowds. There will be various guest speakers, fitness experts, and so much more!

July 12 – 18

All Things Detroit
July 12
Come out and enjoy an afternoon of browsing the best local products Detroit has to offer, all under one roof! Check out Detroit apparel, handmade jewelry, artisan food products, custom artwork and more. 75+ local vendors, purchase Detroit/Michigan made products, convenient, FREE parking, free door prizes to the first 300 guests, and more.

Ann Arbor Art Fair
July 15 – 18
Artists display their latest work and engage the imaginations of more than 500,000 annual fairgoers. The varied parts of the fair fit together to form an amazing impression of sound, color, mystery and drama.

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Fair

Rock Hard Film Fest
July 16
Join us as we celebrate the magic that happens when music and film unite at the second annual Rock Hard Film Fast! We will be showcasing Detroit’s remarkable music and film communities and entries from across the country, as we screen music videos, short mini-docs, mini-mocks, and of course, the Rock Hard Film Fast competition music videos!

FunFest
July 16 – 19
Come and enjoy traditional music at its finest. The 43rd FunFest features a family friendly music festival with something for everyone. This yearly festival is held at the Osceola County 4-H-FFA Fairgrounds in Evart, Michigan. Admission is $7 for the entire festival.

Wine on the Water Festival
July 18
The festival will feature tastes from local wineries, distilleries, and breweries, as well as delicious food from Leelanau Peninsulas restaurants, art by talented area vendors, and live music from some of Michigan’s top entertainment.

Super Summer Flea & Antique Market
July 18
Come check out the market for some great deals and merchandise! Choose from new and used items, handcrafted items, antiques & collectibles, and much more! Saturday 8 a.m. -3 p.m. Free admission and parking!

July 19 – 25

Antique Fire Muster 2015  
July 25
Antique fire truck displays and pumping events, including a parade through downtown Frankenmuth. This is a must-see event on Saturday morning! Located in Heritage park, 601 Weiss Street.

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival
July 24 – August 2
Parades, memorials, picnics, carnival rides, fireworks, car show, craft fair and the list goes on. The Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is an annual celebration of all things Coast Guard. The downtown stretch of Washington Street is home to the carnival while the waterfront is dotted with lots of tasty food treats – if you have an annual carny food splurge this is the place to do it!

AuSable River Festival
July 21 – 25
Fun filled events will include a car show, parade, arts and crafts, children’s day, canoe races, food, a 10k run and 120 mile bike tour. This event centers on the AuSable River Canoe Marathon.

Photo courtesy of St. Clair Riverfest

St. Clair Riverfest
July 23 – 26
The St. Clair Riverfest is an action packed weekend of offshore boat racing, food/street vendors, and incredible musical entertainment. The St. Clair River Classic Offshore Boat Races have been a marquee event in St. Clair County for over a decade, drawing thousands of fans to the beautiful riverfront of Palmer Park.

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal National Pow Wow
July 24 – 26
Experience Native American dancing, singing, food and crafts.

Tawas Day Sails
July 24 -25
For one weekend in July and one weekend in August only, public day sails will be offered aboard Appledore IV from the East Tawas State Dock. Reserve your ticket today before they’re gone! All sails occur rain or shine.

Day on the Town
July 25
Event includes bike parade at 8:30 a.m., kids craft area, outdoor games, bounce house, live entertainment, Corvette Generations Car Show and more. Downtown Birmingham streets will be closed to traffic, and stores will come outside with bargains during 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Maker Faire Detroit
July 25 – 26
Over 400 makers will bring their wares, ideas, inventions and solutions to this two-day festival offering everything from robots, flame shooters and animatronics to solar-powered mechanical sculptures and fashionable finds. Go to The Henry Ford, roll up your sleeves, and make something.

U.S. Title Series Hydroplane Boat Races
July 25 – 26
Bring your lawn chairs for an exciting afternoon of high speed racing! The races are located on the St. Joseph River at the Constantine American Legion Post #223 on US-131, Constantine. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the American Legion.

July 26 – 31

Night of 100 Rieslings
July 26
Join us at the Night of 100 Rieslings where you will enjoy tasting from the Bar of 100 Rieslings, a popup wine bar featuring 100 different wines representing major and minor regions from all across the globe and shared by a crew of winemakers and sommeliers who will help you explore the range of the “Best White Wine on Earth.”

Huron Community Fair
July 26 – August 1
Good old fashioned fun for the whole family! Events include a rodeo, horse show, sheep show, motor cross, pick-up pull and much more.

TCFF1

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Film Festival

Traverse City Film Festival
July 28 – August 2
Founded in 2005 this festival presents an outstanding selection of independent films as well as premieres, parties, panel discussions and lectures about the world of film. Most events are held in or near downtown and there are free family movies each night at Open Space Park on Grand Traverse Bay.

Glow in the Art 5K
July 31
Come light up Downtown Mt. Pleasant at this glow in the dark 5K. Event includes painting of Downtown intersection, as part of Art Walk Central.

Mackinaw Historic Festival
July 31 – August 1
Mackinaw’s Historic Festival is a family fun-filled event held annually the first weekend in August. Always free with programs and events for the whole family, join us on Friday evening July 31, 2015 at 6pm for an old fashioned hot dog roast, square dancing, and a Dark Sky talk from Mary Stewart Adams. Saturday, August 1, 2015, starts with a fun run to kick off the day of wagon rides, old fashioned baseball, spinners, weavers, quilt making, wood carvers, lumberjack show, soap making, vintage clothing show, strolling minstrels, kids games, and more. Come and spend the day and join us for lunch and enjoy all Northern Michigan has to offer!

Magic Tonight
July 3 – August 29
West Michigan Magic presents its second season of Magic Tonight in Saugatuck, Mich. every Friday and Saturday, through July and August. Michael Hermann has been a practitioner of the art of astonishment for over 40 years. This fun-filled performance features feats of classic parlor magic spanning the past 150 years. Creative and artistic, Michael Hermann’s magical “adventures” are presented with wit, witticisms, history, histrionics, and absolute skill. This is a perfect show for the whole family.

Which July events do you plan to attend?

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.