Pure Michigan May 2014 Events Roundup

As they say ‘April showers bring May flowers’ and the wet weather means the tulips and daffodils are coming! While you’re probably up to your neck in spring cleaning projects and to-do lists, take some time to enjoy the beauty of Pure Michigan all around you and maybe go for an outing, too.

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

Week of April 28 – May 4

Art After Dark – Fine Wine Tasting
May 2, 2014, Farmington Hills
Art After Dark continues to be one of our most popular events that draws people from all over town! Stroll through a collection of artwork, enjoy a sampling of appetizers and listen to the soft sounds of live jazz at the Costick Center from 7 to 9:30 pm. Taste an array of specialty selected fine wines from Bella Vino Fine Wines & Spirits. Tickets $30 and you must be 21 and up.

Jackson Storyfest
April 30, 2014 – May 3, 2014, Jackson
Held the first weekend of May each year, storytellers from all over the United States bring their special stories to Jackson, Michigan; where audiences of all ages share in the laughter, the tears, and the memories. Join us April 30, May 1, 2, and 3, 2014, for Jackson Storyfest, celebrating 27 years of “Stories to Tickle, Tug and Touch You”.  We look forward to seeing you April 30, May 1, 2, and 3, at sites in downtown Jackson, Michigan!

Michigan International Women’s Show
May 1 – 4, 2014, Novi
Food, fashion and fun for mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends at the 19th annual Michigan International Women’s Show with shopping, cooking, fashion shows, makeovers and entertainment.

Victorian Days in Grand Ledge
May 2-3, 2014, Grand Ledge
The 2014 Victorian Days weekend gets off to a royal start with a visit from Queen Victoria at our second annual Grand Victorian Ball on Friday evening beginning at 7pm in the Grand Hall at the Grand Ledge Opera House. Saturday morning activities kick off with a Civil War firing squad demonstration at Bridge Street Plaza at 10am. Demonstrations of period skills and crafts along with a General Store may be seen throughout the day in the Plaza. A quilt show may be found at Imagine This in downtown. A Civil War encampment and demonstrations; our annual moustache contest; and a Chautauqua Assembly program will be presented on Island Park. An 1860s Vintage Baseball game will be played at Fitzgerald Park. Our high tea and the third annual Gilbert & Sullivan sing-along will be held for your enjoyment as well. Games designed especially to please the youngsters will take place throughout the day too. Riverboat rides and carriage rides are available for your enjoyment.

Dog Walk & K-9 Festival
May 3, 2014, Vicksburg
Our Dog Walk & K-9 Festival features top-notch entertainment and competitions, fun activities, great exhibitor booths, tempting treats and a kid’s-only fun zone. So gather your family members and friends (including dogs) on May 3rd and enjoy a day in the park with us. Can we get a “Woof – Woof” to that? In honor of our event’s 30th anniversary, we’ve pulled out all the stops! We’ve expanded the hours (the event now runs until 4pm) and added new activities and food vendors to the lineup. This year a new all-in-one admission fee will give you access to all of the fun Dog Walk & K-9 Festival activities.

Lexington in Bloom
May 3-4, 2014, Lexington
The Lakeshore Garden Club along with the Lexington Business Association presents: “Lexington in Bloom”. To celebrate spring there will be a spring open house weekend, gardening workshops, tips for entertaining, an ice cream social, and Mother’s Day ideas.

Spring into the Past Tour of West Michigan Small Museums
May 3-4, 2014, Grand Rapids
Twenty five museums of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network invite you to visit during their annual “Spring Into the Past” Tour May 3rd and 4th when all will be open from 11am to 5pm. Located in Barry, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties, each uniquely displays the heritage of its local community in a historic church, school, depot, meeting hall or house.

Week of May 5 – May 11

Carnival in May
May 1-11, 2014, Pontiac
The Pontiac Regional Chamber is pleased to host one of the first big outdoor carnivals of the 2014 with rides, food, games, exhibits and more! The Carnival will run May 1 – 11. There will be live entertainment, a sock hop and car cruise to add to the fun! There is no charge to attend the carnival. Unlimited ride wristbands are just $20. Individual rides and food tickets also available.

yellowtulipsTulip Festival 2014
May 3-11, 2014, Holland
Celebrating over 80 years of culture, heritage and beauty. The Tulip Time Festival is a celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, a multi-generational event that has a little bit of something for everyone including; three amazing parades, multiple Dutch dance performances, concerts, theatre, Dutch attractions, Dutch food, children’s events, trolley tours and so much more!

 

ArtWalk in Downtown Cadillac
May 1-16, 2014, Cadillac
Showcasing local and regional artists in downtown Cadillac stores starting May 1 thru the 16th. Special showcases: Mitchell Street Yarn Bomb will be on showcase starting May 1 – June 30; and Meet the Artist will be Friday, May 11, from 3-8pm.

Farm History Day
May 9, 2014, South Haven
Farm History Day offers students, teachers and chaperones a chance to learn about life on a rural farm in the early 1900s. Take a self-guided outdoor tour around the museum and participate in hands-on displays like candle making, pressing fruit and using a two-man saw. Held from 9am to 2pm rain or shine. No admission charge. If you are planning on bringing a large group, please phone (269) 639-2010.

Lake Orion Flower Fair & Home and Garden Marketplace
May 9-10, 2014, Lake Orion
Historic downtown Lake Orion presents the 14th annual Flower Fair on Friday, May 9th from 11-8 and Saturday, May 10th from 9-6. Outside fair with vendors offering everything from flats of flowers and herbs, home improvement, yard art, landscaping, juried arts & crafts, outdoor furniture and more! Plus, children’s activities, entertainment and food. Flint and Broadway streets.

Morel Mushroom Festival & Craft Show
May 10, 2014, Lewiston
The Lewiston Chamber of Commerce puts on our Annual Mushroom Festival, craft fair at the Lewiston Elementary school, a mushroom tasting with a variety of dishes from area residents and restaurants, guided mushroom hunts with a professional mushroom guide, and local businesses participate with sales, specials and more, come see us!

Week of May 12 – May 18

Tecumseh’s Classic Car & Bike Show
May 15, 2014, Tecumseh
Get your motor running and head to Tecumseh to see over 200 cars and motorcycles on display in the United Bank & Trust Hickman Financial Center parking and the adjacent downtown parking lot from 6–8pm for all to enjoy. For more information, call (517) 424-6544.

National Morel Mushroom Festival
May 15-16, 2014, Boyne City
Always held the weekend after Mother’s Day, the festival features a competitive hunt, guided hunt, live music, a beer tent, a gourmet Taste of Morels, carnival rides, and much more, including the Wine and Dine gourmet dinner and wine tasting.

Keweenaw Migratory Bird Festival
May 1-31, 2014, Copper Harbor
This event, held throughout the month of May in Copper Harbor, offers superb daytime birding opportunities and plenty of fun activities for the whole family. There will be programs, speakers, bird walks, guided tours, and much more during the weekends in May.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.39.12 PMWorld Expo of Beer 2014
May 16-17, 2014, Frankenmuth
A beer tasting event. Music, souvenirs and 50 breweries from 5 continents. Brought to you by Jaycees Frankenmuth Chapter. May 16 from 5-10pm and May 17 from 3-10pm. For more detailed information, and to purchase online tickets, visit the link or call (888) 805-1504. We only admit guests that are 21 or older.

Northern Michigan’s Outdoor Sports Exposition
May 16-18, 2014, Cheboygan
Featuring shooting exhibitions, fishing demonstrations, hunting dog exhibitions, turkey hunting contest, boasts, kayaks, ATVs, High Tech gear and much more. In partnership with Woods-N-Water News. Friday 4pm – 8pm; Saturday 11am – 8pm; and Sunday 11am – 4pm.

Family Fishing Fair
May 17, 2014, Portage
Bring the entire family to celebrate the onset of summer on this exciting day at the shoreline! Families of all ages and abilities can experience the joys and benefits associated with fishing, boating and aquatic conservation. Enjoy engaging activities and instruction from local fishing guides and professional organizations who will share their expertise to help your family start a lifetime of fishing memories. Fishing equipment will be on hand for those hoping to reel in their first (or next) catch of the day!

Flower Day
May 18, 2014, Detroit
Attended by more than 200,000 people annually, Flower Day at the Eastern Market is one of the largest flower shows in the country. Over 15-acres of the highest quality annuals, perennials, foliage, shrubbery, trees, exotics, tropical plants, flats, hanging baskets and more will be available for purchase. For details contact (313) 833-9300.

Week of May 19 – May 25

Apps & Ales
May 21, 2014, Bay City
This event highlights all of Downtown Bay City’s delicious eateries and pubs. Attendees will enjoy a night full of good appetizers, good beer and good company. Must be 21 years old. Ticketed event. Tickets include a souvenir pilsner-style glass.

untitledSenior PGA Championship
May 22-25, 2014, Benton Harbor
Walk with History as the eyes of the golfing world will be focused on Benton Harbor, Michigan, from May 22-25, 2014, as the world’s top senior golfers come to Harbor Shores to compete for the coveted Alfred S. Bourne Trophy. Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Kenny Perry, Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, and 2012 Champion, Roger Chapman are just a few of the players from the 156 man field that are eligible to compete. Ticketed event. Must register to purchase tickets – see website link for details.

Petoskey Stone Festival
May 24, 2014, Eastport
The Petoskey Stone Festival celebrates one of Michigan’s finest natural resources – the unique Petoskey Stone, Michigan’s official state stone. The festival starts off at 9:30am with the Commissioner’s Stone Skipping. Enjoy music, games and great food.

Native American Festival
May 24-25, 2014, Saint Ignace
Experience History! Come and honor the first Native Americans and the Anishinaabe culture in a historic celebration of traditional drumming, dancing, food, music and cultural demonstrations on the Museum of Ojibwa Culture grounds.

St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade
May 25, 2014, St. Clair Shores
The 62nd annual St Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade will take place on Sunday, May 25, 2014. This year’s theme is ” Honor. Freedom. Family.” The parade will be marching north on Harper Avenue from Little Mack to Eleven Mile Road in St Clair Shores, Michigan, beginning at 1pm

Week of May 26 – May 31

Mayfaire Renaissance Festival
May 24-31, 2014, Marshall
The 11th Annual Mayfaire Renaissance Festival runs May 24, 25, 26, 31 and June 1, 2014. 10am-6pm rain or shine, at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds. Admission is $12 for adults, children 6-12 are $6, and the wee nipperkins are free every day. There are six stages with over 40 shows every day. Comedy, dancing, music, swordfightiing, pirates, royalty, peasantry, Vikings, food, merchants and artisans are just some of the things you’ll enjoy in a day full of fun. For more details and a discount coupon, go to the website link. Event held the last two weekends in May.

Mancelona Bass Festival
May 29, 2014 – June 1, 2014, Mancelona
The annual festival is the place to be for parades, a carnival, flea market, craft show and so much more. The entire family will enjoy the barbecue, fishing tournament, kids games, fireworks and free on stage entertainment.

????????????????????????????????????????Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
May 30, 2014 – June 1, 2014, Detroit
Come and experience the fastest weekend of the summer at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, May 30-June 1, 2014. The event features world-class auto racing, family fun, live music, interactive games and displays and much more. Premiere racing action will be featured on the newly-reconfigured Raceway at Belle Isle Park 2.3-mile street course featuring the IndyCar Series doubleheader race weekend – The IndyDual in Detroit. The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Pirelli World Challenge Series also returns to the island. New this year the SST series, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Truck Series. Even if you’re not a race fan, there’s plenty to experience and enjoy at the Grand Prix. Friday, May 30, is “Free Prix Day” on Belle Isle as fans will have free admission to the track as well as the race paddock. Great weekend or single-day ticket packages are available and tickets start as low as $35.

Be A Tourist In Your Own Town – Lansing
May 31, 2014, Lansing
Explore a world of possibilities in Greater Lansing from 10am-5pm. Purchase a ‘passport’ for $1 to get free admission to over 50 attractions. Enjoy interactive activities and giveaways for the kids! Special CATA Be a Tourist bus routes provide transportation to most of the attractions for just 50 cents. Collect 10 stamps in the ‘passport’ to be eligible to win great prizes.

Port Austin Carfest
May 31, 2014, Port Austin
This year’s Carfest will feature live entertainment, a beer tent and, of course, lots of hot wheels to check out in downtown Port Austin. There will be fun for the whole family at this town-wide event.

Which events do you plan to attend this May? 

How A Cocktail Napkin Crafted Michigan’s Largest International Beer Sampling Event

The World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth is May 16 – 17, 2014. Today, guest blogger Blair Giesken and Go Great Lakes Bay tell us how a simple cocktail napkin helped set Michigan’s largest international beer sampling event into motion. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.39.12 PMThey say some of the best ideas start on cocktail napkins.  J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter book series started on one. So did the idea for the flight route that later became the basis of Southwest Airlines. And the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth is no different.

This 2-day beer-centric festival of international proportion all began back in 1996 with one small sketch on a Bavarian Inn Roof Garten cocktail napkin and one big idea – to celebrate the beauty of spring in Frankenmuth.“In Germany, new seasonal beers are brewed and celebrated during their annual Maifests (Spring celebrations),” said Annie Rummel, who originated the World Expo of Beer and now serves as CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB.  “We thought, why not honor the German Spring tradition with our own beer tasting event?”

And honor it they did. With the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado already highlighting domestic beer products and the strong relationship Frankenmuth already had with its sister city of Guzenhausen, Germany, the idea for this new beer-tasting event naturally evolved beyond local and domestic brews to embrace beers from around the globe.

As if coordinating an international beer festival for the first time wasn’t a tall enough order, Rummel and her talented team (along with countless community supporters) took the World Expo of Beer from a concept on a cocktail napkin to a full-blown festival in less than 5 weeks!

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.45.52 PMHoping to see a turnout near 5,000 people, the crew behind the first-ever World Expo of Beer could do nothing but smile and pull the tap that year as over 15,000 thirsty beer lovers streamed into the tents at Frankenmuth’s Heritage Park, commemorative tasting mugs in hand.

Each year, the Frankenmuth Jaycees and the entire community continue to welcome thousands to shout and sing “Ein Prosit” (German for “A toast to you”) and raise a stein in celebration of beers from around the world.  The festival has even expanded to tap into the hearts and minds of true beer connoisseurs everywhere, with great additions like the Fine Food & Craft Brew Pairing Event and Beer 101 “Basics of Beer” Course.

This year, the World Expo of Beer will tap countless kegs for the annual celebration – May 16th and 17th – bringing nearly 300 brews from the furthest corners of the earth (and right from our own backyards!) – to the tasting mugs of thousands.  Feeling thirsty already?  You can pre-purchase an admission package to this year’s festival with beer tickets included so you can skip the long lines!

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.47.11 PMLearn more about the World Expo of Beer, check out other things to do while you’re in the Great Lakes Bay Region, follow the World Expo of Beer and Go Great Lakes Bay on Facebook for updates on the free World Expo of Beer shuttle buses, and be sure to book your overnight stay nearby to cap off a day of tasting with a great night’s rest.  You’re going to need it!

Location: Frankenmuth Heritage Park – 601 Weiss Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734 (just 500 feet from the Bavarian Inn Lodge)

Dates & Times: Friday, May 16th from 5-10 pm and Saturday, May 17th from 3-10 pm

Admission: $10 (includes a free commemorative beer sampling mug); Proceeds will be donated to charitable causes; 21+ only; Admission packages available here.

What unique brew are you most looking forward to sampling at this year’s event? 

Blair Giesken was born and raised in the Great Lakes Bay Region and now resides in Grand Rapids.

Great Views and Great Brews: Waterfall Week in the Upper Peninsula

“Views and Brews” is happening April 21st – 27th in Marquette, MI.  If you love Michigan waterfalls, craft beer, and scavenger hunts, then this a celebration you won’t want to miss!

Today, featured blogger Jesse Land of Things to Do in the U.P. tell us what to expect from Waterfall Week 2014. 

Photo by Habibi Photography

Morgan Falls – Photo by Habibi Photography

Waterfall Week, otherwise known as “Views and Brews” is a newer Marquette area event that’s rapidly growing in popularity. Last year’s inaugural event successfully brought hundreds of locals and visitors out of their homes, into the woods, and subsequently into the Marquette area breweries to score a free pint glass.

This year’s event runs from April 21st to April 27th.

How Waterfall Week Works

Just about anyone 21 and over can participate in this fun event. All you need to do is visit a Marquette County waterfall, take a photo of yourself in front of the waterfall and then visit one of the four Marquette area breweries. You then show the bartender the photo, order a beer and you get to keep the special edition “Views and Brews” pint glass.

This year’s event will run much the same as last year’s, but with a couple notable differences – New beers, new prizes and a geocaching scavenger hunt.

Limited Edition Craft Beers

Each of the four Marquette County breweries has whipped up a special craft beer for waterfall week. If you’re a craft beer lover, take heed, this could very well be your only chance to sample one of these custom brews. It breaks down like this:

Ore Dock Brewing Co. – Dead River Drops Saison

Jasper Ridge Brewery and Restaurant – Warner Creek Wheat

Blackrocks Brewery - Yellow Dog Ginger Cream Ale

Vierling Restaurant and Marquette Harbor Brewery – Black River Falls Cascadian Dark IIPA

All Ages Scavenger Hunt

This year a family friendly component has been added to waterfall week in the form of a geocaching scavenger hunt. Entry forms for the scavenger hunt can be picked up at the Marquette County Convention & Visitors Bureau located downtown at 337 West Washington St. Marquette, MI as well as participating breweries. The grand prize for the scavenger hunt is an overnight stay at any Marquette County hotel!

The Waterfalls

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.32.39 AM

Alder Falls – Photo by Habibi Photography

The Marquette area is well known for its waterfalls. In fact, Marquette county has more waterfalls than any other county in Michigan! They local visitor’s bureau even has a very useful waterfall map that I’d highly recommend you get. And the best part is it’s totally free.

Just call the Marquette Visitor’s Bureau at (906) 228-7749 and ask them to mail you their “waterfall map.” They call it the waterfall map but it’s also got a great list of beaches and scenic vistas, all of which have directions listed.

But in case you’re the handheld GPS type, here’s a list of some of the area’s more popular waterfalls. These are also the waterfalls included in the scavenger hunt.

1. Carp River – Morgan Creek Falls (46.505N 87.438W)

2. Carp River – Upper Falls (6.50293N 87.44811W)

3. The Dead River Falls – Forestville (46.56841N 87.44811W)

4. Black River Falls (46.23N 87.46W)

5. Little Garlic River Falls (46.4018N 87.34448W)

6. Warner Creek Falls (46.433N 87.599W)

7. Yellow Dog River 510 Falls (46.7311N 87.70W)

Photo by Habibi Photography

Photo by Habibi Photography

One final note: Bring snowshoes, or at least be prepared to hike through some snow to get to your target waterfall(s). You never know what the weather will be like in the Upper Peninsula and the way this winter has been there’s definitely a chance that a good amount of snow will remain at the end of April.

I know I’m looking forward to seeing the water flowing again. And sampling those new craft beers, too!

Have you visited a Marquette area waterfall? Tell us about your visit. 

JesseLand2111Written by Jesse Land of Things to do in the U.P. on behalf of Travel Marquette Michigan.