9 Fun Ypsilanti Events for Your Summer Bucket List

Ypsilanti (pronounced ip-sill-an-tee) is a Pure Michigan city located between Ann Arbor and Detroit. The thriving arts community, local restaurants, and endless flow of craft beer make the city authentic and unique. Summer is event season for this town, so check out this list, and tell us which Ypsilanti event you plan to attend this summer!

1)   The Color Run | June 25 

The Color Run races into Ypsilanti for its fifth year, drawing thousands of runners to this historic city. A piece of paradise can be found at this year’s Color Run with tropical color zones, palm trees, and bubbles! Get ready for The Happiest 5K on the Planet.

Runners celebrating at the Ypsilanti Color Run

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

2)   Camaro Superfest | June 30 – July 2

The Chevrolet Camaro’s original production was in 1966 and has been a coveted cruiser ever since. Celebrate this muscle car with hundreds of historic and modern Camaros. Be sure to visit the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum while you’re in town and see famous cars built in Ypsilanti, including a Tucker automobile featured in a Hollywood movie.

Iconic Cameros seen at Camero Syperfest in Ypsilanti

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

3)   Michigan ElvisFest | July 8 – 9

For the past 17 years, Elvis Tribute Artists have been swinging their hips and making audiences swoon at the Michigan ElvisFest. You can also hear the tunes of Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and more at this celebration of oldies music. Experience the joy of hearing this music live in Riverside Park. Thank you, thank you very much.

4)   Michigan Brewer’s Guild Summer Beer Festival | July 22 – 23

Over 80 Michigan Brewers gather in Riverside Park for one of the state’s largest celebrations of craft beer. Local breweries from Ypsilanti such as Arbor Brewing Company, Unity Vibration, and Ypsi Alehouse will be joining the mix.

Countless Michigan craft beers are available at the MBG Summer Beer Festival

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

5)   Ton-Up Motorcycle and Music Festival | August 13

Old, new, and custom motorcycles line the streets of Depot Town every year for this exciting festival. Live music takes place throughout the event, so everyone is sure to be entertained.

6)   Firetruck Muster | August 20

Modern and vintage firetrucks roll into Riverside Park for this free, family friendly extravaganza every year. Don’t be shy at this event – ask the demonstrators to sound off a siren or blast a firehouse into the Huron River! This event is hosted by The Michigan Firehouse Museum. Open year-round, this expansive museum is housed in an 1898 firehouse.

Visitors get soaked at the Firetruck Muster in Ypsilanti

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

Fun at the Ypsi Heritage Festival

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

7)   DIYpsi Indie Art Fair | August 27 – 28

Artists from Ypsilanti and all over the region rally together twice a year for the DIYpsi (dip-see) Indie Art Fair. Makers and artists offer affordable, whimsical, and high quality goods at this two-day event. Support local artists and find unique gifts for yourself and others

8)   Ypsilanti Heritage Festival | August 26 – 28

Live music, delicious food, and dozens of community organizations can be found at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. To commence the festival, hundreds of rubber ducks are spilled (and caught) in the Huron River for the annual Rubber Duck Race. Purchase a duck for $5 to enter the race to win amazing prizes!

9)   Thunder Over Michigan | August 20 – 21

Ypsilanti is known for its contribution to aviation history at the Willow Run Bomber Plant – home to Rosie the Riveter. Hosted by the Yankee Air Museum, Thunder Over Michigan draws thousands of spectators every year to marvel one of the greatest “warbird” shows in America. Witness antique bomber jets, and state-of-the-art contemporary aircrafts fly and sometimes flip in the sky!

A crowd enjoying the air show at Thunder over Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Ypsi Real

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6 Ways to Explore the Real Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti has become a vibrant arts hotspot around an ever-growing foodie scene. Their rich history is waiting to be discovered in every historic building and park setting. Interested in learning more? The Ypsilanti Convention and Visitors Bureau shares six new things to discover in Ypsilanti. 

1. Eat the eats Ypsilanti takes pride in fostering the visions and dreams of local restaurant owners. From fine dining to the more casual,  the city has a passion for bringing folks together over a juicy burger, a fresh salad or a special dessert. Our chefs are unassuming, fully committing themselves to the power of a delicious meal.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 2. See the parks After indulging at the local restaurants, visit one of the many parks in Ypsilanti to walk off those calories. Riverside Park is a favorite amongst locals as it lies along the banks of the Huron River. Take the three-pointed bridge, called the tridge, from Riverside Park to Frog Island where you’ll find a historic, outdoor amphitheater and a vintage running track. Have a passion for bicycling? The Border-to-Border Trail, which links the entire county from Ford Lake to the city of Dexter.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 3. Drink the drinks Beer and coffee are the name of the game in Ypsilanti. Breweries, tap houses and artisanal coffee shops line the streets of this up-and-coming city. It’s not about the light beers or corporate lattes in Ypsilanti. Every sip is considered. Every drink is a craft.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 4. Learn the history Ypsilanti’s history is rich, vibrant, and relevant when you consider it is home to four museums a dedicated group of local historians and historical architecture.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

5. Pick some apples The fall season is the perfect time for Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard in Ypsilanti Township. Families can go apple picking, select that perfect pumpkin, enjoy  a hayride and get lost in the corn mazes. The open air and endless activities are best if followed by warm cider and sugar donuts.

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

Photo courtesy of the Ypsilanti CVB

 6. Discover Eastern Michigan University Whether you’re exploring student and faculty galleries, enjoying a production at the campus theatre or taking a stroll through the walkable campus – Eastern Michigan University is home to many exciting activities. Football, basketball and volleyball games are full of team spirit and held in beautiful facilities. Buildings throughout campus create a beautiful juxtaposition of historic and modern architecture.

Make daily discoveries about Ypsilanti by following Ypsi Real on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.You’ll find photos, videos, and blogs about this historic, yet ever-evolving city in Southeast Michigan!

What do you plan to check out in Ypsilanti this autumn?

Eight Reasons to Love Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti – generally referred to as “Ypsi” by the locals – is a progressive city just four miles east of Ann Arbor. The city is rich in history and thrives with a creative community. Surely, there are more than 8 reasons to love Ypsilanti, but this list from Visit Ypsi will get you started!

1. The Events

Events are a large part of Ypsilanti’s culture and keep visitors coming back for more – from weekly cruise nights and farmers markets, to art shows and air shows. Ypsilanti is home to major annual events such as, Michigan ElvisFest, Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival, The Color Run Michigan Eastside, and the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show. These events attract thousands of visitors and are just a few of the events that help make Ypsi unique and thriving. Click here for a list of the city’s major events.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

2. The Food

Adventurous diners and comfort-food connoisseurs will have their cravings satisfied in Ypsilanti. Fresh salads, cultural fusions, classic barbecue, and ample amounts of mac and cheese can be found on menus in the charming city. The city has a passion for mastering the burger, crafting local beers, and creating artisanal coffee beverages. But the best part is that every dining hotspot is 100% authentic, local, and served with a smile.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

3. The Parks

Ypsi parks offer the perfect setting for afternoon strolls, concerts, ballgames, and more. Riverside Park hosts the majority of the city’s outdoor events and runs along the historic Huron River. Just across the “tridge” is Frog Island where you can find a gorgeous/unique amphitheater and a spacious soccer field. Ypsi has endless parks tucked away as you wander through the city and contributes to the 400 square miles of parks in Southeast Michigan (also known as The Big 400).

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

4. The People

Many people who choose to live in Ypsi are attracted to its sense of community, but the hometown-feel is not exclusive to locals. “Ypsilantians” care about their city and are passionate about sharing it with others. The affordable housing has drawn in a creative community – which is why you will find art galleries inside third-wave coffee houses, or a rustic beer pub inside a renovated historic warehouse. Visiting Ypsi is as good as making time for your creative side. The spirit of the community, made by the people, will align your mind with inspiration.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

5. The University

Eastern Michigan University’s campus is a beautiful gem in Ypsi. Historic and modern architecture create a unique juxtaposition for students and visitors. An active student body hosts many research symposiums, athletic events, and art happenings. You can find affordable and unique dining experiences close to campus (and for an insider tip: campus is a great place for a breezy walk or bike ride). Go Eagles!

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

6. The Shopping

Bring an extra suitcase when you Visit Ypsilanti! You are sure to be packed with antiques, novelties, and artisan gifts by the time you make your way home. The rare antique shopping is a regional attraction and quirky storefronts are full of must-have knick-knacks.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

7. The History

Many people want to know about the origin of the tongue-twisting name, Ypsilanti, but that’s only one of many fascinating stories that can be told about the individualistic city. (It’s pronounced ip-suh-lan-tee, by the way, and you can learn more about the name by clicking here).

Early settlements of Native American tribes along the Huron River is where the story begins. In later years, Ypsilanti played a major role in WWII at the Willow Run Bomber Plant (home to many real life Rosie-the-Riveters), and also laid claim to the last Hudson Dealership.

Ypsi has four local museums dedicated to preserving and sharing stories throughout the centuries. However, simply walking through the streets will take you back in time – historic architecture lines the city’s sidewalks, and heritage events take place throughout the year.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

8. The Neighbors

Ypsilanti is surrounded by seven outstanding communities – each with their own unique events, shopping, dining, and outdoor activities. Nationally acclaimed theatres, fun-in-the-sun waterparks, and art and music festivals should be added to your Ypsi itinerary. All of these adventures and more can be easily accessed by major highways (with a complimentary scenic drive) just minutes away from Downtown Ypsi!

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Honorable Mention: The Water Tower

A blog like this wouldn’t be complete without mention of Ypsilanti’s historic water tower. Built in 1890, Ypsi’s water tower stands 147 feet tall in the middle of the city.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsi

There is so much more to discover in Ypsilanti. Click here to start your journey, or follow this blog for regular updates about the unique Pure Michigan city!

What do you love about Ypsilanti?