Featured in Pure Michigan 2013 Spring/Summer Issue, beginning on page 86.
Butterflies are Blooming
Grand Rapids, March 1–April 30--Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is all aflutter when more than 40 butterfly species arrive at the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory for the nation’s largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition. Fragrant flowers, twittering song birds and cascading waterfalls are a beautiful backdrop for an indoor stroll with free-flying butterflies. On your way in, you may witness the metamorphosis of the iconic Monarch, a Michigan native, displayed from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly in the Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display greenhouse (888/957-1580; www.meijergardens.org).
Suds ‘n Snow
Bellaire, March 2--This celebration of craft beers and snow celebrates winter’s end at Timber Ridge Resort. Snowshoe, cross country ski, hike or winter bike to the trail station, about a quarter mile out, or enjoy the festivity area just inside the park. Live music, great food and local microbreweries warm up the last days of winter (231/947-2770); www.timberridgeresort.net; www.traversecity.com).
Bellaire, March 2--Located at Schuss Mountain, Slush Cup is one of northern Michigan’s most popular winter events. In a 40-plus year tradition, enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders attempt to cross an icy 40 foot pond. Contestants are encouraged to don their silliest costumes as they compete for the last-one standing and wackiest costume awards. The fun-filled carnival includes a frozen fish toss, shovel racing, seal slide and silly slalom (800/678-4111); www.shantycreek.com; www.traversecity.com).
Great Bear Chase
Calumet, March 9--More than 400 cross-country skiers take to the woods for these end-of-season races. In 2013, six competitions include classic and freestyle races at 15K, 26K and 50K distances, categorized by age. Don’t miss the after-race pasties and awards presentation. Arrive Friday for the spaghetti feed and, for pint-size cross-country skiers, a Junior Bear Chase held under the lights (906/369-2460); www.greatbearchase.com).
Clare, March 14–17--Watch for kilted runners in the 5K and 10K road races. Leprechauns and bag pipers, the Scottville Clown Band and the White Pine Pipe and Drum Corp highlight the afternoon parade. Bed races and Irish recipe contests, green beer and corned beef, Celtic bands and jazz music—plus a raffle for a trip for two to Ireland – promise a lucky day, even if you’re not Irish (989/386-2442); www.claremichigan.com).
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Muskegon, March 16--Don your favorite greens, gather friends and family and come celebrate Irish Culture in West Michigan. Muskegon’s second annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at 11 a.m., marching on Clay Street in downtown Muskegon. Everyone is welcome and the event is free; you’re invited to bring a non-perishable food item to help local food pantries (800/250-9283); www.muskegonjaycees.org/parade.html).
Port Huron, March 16--St. Clair County greens up early on March 16, as the Leprechaun Loop fills with 5K and 10K runners and 2K walkers. At noon, downtown streets flood with floats, music and evidence of the Irish—from green hair and leprechaun hats to pipe bands and Irish flags. As the Grand Marshall leads the family-fun parade from Pine Grove Park through downtown Port Huron, there are grown-up giggles too—thanks to the Pub Crawl, where revelers can ride St. Patty busses from pub to pub (810/385-5721); www.theirishamericanclub.org).
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Ann Arbor, March 19–24--Now in its 51st year, the six-day festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films representing 20 countries and all genres. With a history of ground-breaking films from the likes of Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas, the Ann Arbor Film Festival continues to earn international acclaim as the premiere forum for independent and experimental films (734/995-5356; www.aafilmfest.org).
Easter Egg Hunt
Frankfort, March 30--The Easter Bunny hops into Mineral Springs Park to pose with happy kids, who race to find the colored eggs filled with candy and special surprises. It’s a don’t-miss event in downtown Frankfort; have your cameras ready—the hunt begins promptly at 10 a.m. (231/352-7251; www.frankfort-elberta.com).
Ann Arbor, April 5--Join this band of dancing merrymakers as they thread their way to the heart of Ann Arbor carrying hand-made illuminated sculptures—it’s a moonlit sight not soon forgotten. On Washington Street between Main and Ashley, at route’s end, shimmering shadow puppet performances, candlelit treats and craft-brewed spirits entertain the merry revelers from dusk ‘til midnight (734/763-7550; www.festifools.org).
Oscoda, April 6–7--On Saturday, canoes carrying more than 50 pairs and 20 singles slide into the frigid water, paddlers urged on by hundreds of spectators at Van Ettan Creek viewing points. This first race of the season opens the door to spring for the Michigan Canoe Racing Association. The next day, runners and walkers compete in 5K and 10K races (989/820-5196; www.miracing.com).
Ann Arbor, April 7--Starring hilarious, humongous papier mâché puppets, this welcome to spring begins long before the event. University of Michigan students and community volunteers create the life- and larger-than-life-size paper people in the weeks before the parade. From 4 to 5 p.m., you can join those FestiFools (with their human horsepower) and their Foolish friends dancing down Main Street between Liberty and William in downtown Ann Arbor—or just watch and enjoy this free public arts spectacular (734/763-7550; www.festifools.org).
National Trout Festival
Kalkaska, April 24–28--The nation’s trout capitol opens the season with fishing contests and 5K and 10K runs, live music tents and the Kalkaska Idol contest, and trout-themed creative cuisine at the cooking contest. Friday’s Youth Parade and Saturday’s Grand Royale Parade entertain more than 12,000 guests. Sunday, don’t miss the classic car show, demolition derby and remote control airplane/helicopter demonstrations (231/384-1509; www.nationaltroutfestival.com).
Maple Syrup Festival
Shepherd, April 25–28--Friday’s Firetruck Parade and Sunday’s Maple Syrup Parade are highlights of the festival, but the maple syrup is the real star. While this year’s sap simmers, find a favorite maple candy and drench real maple syrup on breakfast at the Pancake and Sausage Meals. Participate in the 5K races (racer or spectator), and tap into the classic-car and antique-tractor shows, chain-saw carving and carnival rides (989/828-5422; www.shepherdmaplesyrupfest.org).
Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, April 28–May 4--Stepping off at 1 p.m. Saturday, Blossomtime’s Grand Floral Parade, led by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Drill Team, entertains 250,000 guests with flowerful floats, marching bands, equestrian groups and precision drill teams. The state’s oldest and largest multicommunity festival begins with Sunday’s Blessing of the Blossoms. Time-honored traditions during festival week include vintage baseball, modern fashion, pasta social and a 5K run/walk (269/982-8016; www.blossomtimefestival.org).
Holland, May 4–11--More than 6 million tulips, including Tulip Lanes, 6 miles of tulip-lined streets, celebrate springtime in Holland. Marktplaats brings back 19th-century Netherlands with Dutch foods, crafts, dancing and shopping. Artisans demonstrate traditional wooden-shoe carving and weaving. Wooden-shoed scrubbers prepare the streets for royalty at Wednesday’s Volksparade, Thursday’s Kinderparade celebrates youth and Saturday’s Muziekparade features a Holland High’s Marching Dutchmen in wooden shoes. Throughout the event, catch the beat of 1,300 authentically costumed dancers klomping to Dutch tunes and visit Windmill Island Gardens (800/822-2770; www.tuliptime.com).
Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Hill Auditorium
Ann Arbor, May 14--On the evening of its 100th anniversary Hill Auditorium, opens its doors for a grand evening of joyful music making as community members come together to perform Verdi's Requiem. Conductor Jerry Blackstone leads the chorus, three pianos and an organ in this monumental work in tribute to the thousands of incredible performances that Hill Auditorium has hosted (734/764-2538; www.ums.org).
National Morel Mushroom Festival
Boyne City, May 16–19--In springtime, morel mushrooms steal the show from even beautiful Lake Charlevoix. Three mushroom hunts offer competition, a guided quest and quiet jaunt through private morel mushroom territory. Or savor the flavorful fungi without traipsing through the woods at the morel breakfast and feature event, Taste of Morels. Enjoy the view, festivities, a crafts fair and concerts at Veteran’s Park (231/582-6222; www.morelfest.com).
Tawas Point Birding Festival
Tawas Point State Park, May 16–19--Celebrate spring with sweet tweets: More than 170 bird species are spotted during festival weekend. For birders from beginner to experienced, this is a rare opportunity to enjoy guided and self-guided birding tours, birding topic presentations, workshops and guest speakers (517/641-4277).
Empire Asparagus Festival
Empire, May 17–18--Join the fun as the village comes together to celebrate the healthy spear with games and competitions, an Asparagus Dinner and a poetry contest for the most inventive “Ode to Asparagus.” Friday’s pig roast stars asparagus beer, while Saturday’s Asparagus Eats under the Big Tent features fresh asparagus dishes created by the area’s finest restaurants ($3 to $5) and wines from local vines (231/326-6081; www.empirechamber.com).
The 50th Annual East Lansing Arts Festival
East Lansing, May 18–19--This vibrant exhibition and marketplace for more than 200 juried fine art and fine craft artisans from all across North America lines the streets of downtown East Lansing. An outdoor stage hosts many genres of live music all weekend, including Celtic, blues and folk. A diverse food court offers eclectic flavors with an emphasis on local restaurants and entrepreneurs. An Emerging Artist program features up-and-coming artists. Storytelling, children’s theater performances, instrument workshops and hands-on arts activities engage youngsters (517/319-6804; www.elartfest.com).
Billetproof’s Motor City Mania
Ypsilanti, May 18--View traditional hot rods, customs, motorcycles and do-it-yourself traditional rods at Riverside Park. Restaurants and car museums within walking distance(734/483-4444; http://www.ypsilanti.org/).
Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Car Show
Ypsilanti, May 19--Celebrating all variations of the rear-engine VW, historic Ypsilanti welcomes aficionados and their VWs to Riverside Park, where they will be properly appreciated (734/483-4444; http://www.ypsilanti.org/).
Fruitport Old Fashioned Days
Muskegon, May 22–27--Come celebrate like they did in the olden days! Where else will you stumble upon an ox roast? Or, for that matter, an old-fashioned community picnic! Just like the good ol’ days, the Band Shell will be alive with entertainment, carnival rides take over a street and fireworks light the night skies (800/250-9283; www.visitmuskegon.org).
Traverse City, May 25--This annual spring run up the Old Mission Peninsula is one of the world’s most beautiful marathon settings, with the crystal blue waters of Lake Michigan on one side of the course, and Traverse City’s famous cherry trees on the other. The marathon, half-marathon and 10K attract more than 7,000 runners. Register online early; participation is capped on this certified course and there is no registration on race day (800/872-8377; www.traversecity.com; www.bayshoremarathon.org).
Alma Highland Festival
Alma, May 25–26--Scotch authenticity fuels this Highland festival, from caber toss to Border collie exhibitions. With more than 50 clans on the guest list, traditional Scottish music fills the air for the Pipe Band Championship and Highland dance competitions. Saturday’s 5K walk/run and kid’s fun run, arts and crafts fair and Scottish heavyweight athletic events precede a parade punctuated by hundreds of pipers and drummers. The entertainment tent features traditional music and Celtic rock (989/463-8979; www.almahighlandfestival.com).
Dog Bowl and Hot Air Balloon championships
Frankenmuth, May 25–26--Start summer at Frankenmuth River Place! Events start Saturday morning, with the Tour de Frankenmuth bicycle road race. Saturday and Sunday’s Dog Bowl is the nation’s largest Olympic-style event for dogs, with agility, herding and K-9 demonstrations, fun runs—and for the uniquely gifted, silly pet tricks and talking/howling rivalries. Look up for hot-air balloon flights during the day and glowing liftoffs in the evening (800/386-8696;
Fort Michilimackinac Reenactment Pageant
Mackinaw City, May 25–27--Rendezvous with a cast of Native Americans, French voyageurs and British redcoats as they re-enact a 1763 Native American attack on Colonial Michilimackinac--a reconstructed French fur-trading post. This free festival also stages the state’s largest Memorial Day weekend parade featuring the pageant cast, marching bands, the Scottville Clown Band, military units and floats (231/436-5574; www.fmpcfestival.org).
Shoreline Arts & Crafts Show
Tawas, May 25–26--Tawas City Park is the site of this annual event, now in its 21st year. Ogle beautiful art and intriguing crafts from more than 115 artisans. Shop your heart out, then rest your eyes on beautiful Tawas Bay (800/558-2927; www.tawas.com).
Jackson County Rose Parade & Party in the Park
Jackson County, May 25–June 2--This year-long celebration kicks off on the Saturday before Memorial Day with fireworks at Cascade Falls. By June’s first Sunday, June 2 in 2013, roses are in full bloom and so is the celebration of Jackson’s official flower, with the Rose Parade at 1 p.m. After the parade, the Party in the Park begins at Ella Sharp Park, with live entertainment, a chicken barbeque, and kids’ activities (517/787-5376; www.jacksonrosefestival.org).
Leelanau Peninsula Birding Festival
Lake Leelanau, May 29–June 2--Get up close and personal with nesting and migrating birds. In 2012, more than 100 species were identified on the 75,000 acres of birding habitat open to the public in Leelanau County. Select from almost a dozen different field trips, including one on a tall ship to see nesting Caspian terns, a bus trip to see Kirtland’s Warbler, and the bird-rich Otter Creek area, where 75 species were identified on a rainy Saturday morning. The new Beginning Birding field trip will be a favorite for those eager to learn how to locate and identify various species (231/271-3738; http://www.mibirdfest.com/).
Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
Detroit, May 31–June 2--It’s a Dual in Detroit as the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix host two IZOD IndyCar Series races on the newly repaved and reconfigured Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit. Other series in action that weekend include the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series. Enjoy family fun, live music and more at Belle Isle Park; (313/748-1800; www.detroitgp.com).
Cruising the Lakeshore
Muskegon, May 31–June 2--Celebrate automotive history with the Antique and Classic Car Show. Throughout downtown Muskegon, you’ll find live music, fine food, Michigan microbrews, arts and crafts and historic sites (231/557-3979).
Taste of White Lake
White Lake, June 6--In celebration and support of the arts and culture brought to Muskegon County by historic Howmet Playhouse, this evening of fun features cuisine from local restaurants, a silent auction, Michigan beer and wine and live music (231/894-4048; www.tasteofwhitelake.com).
Jackson, June 6–8--The grassy lawn at Jackson County Airport welcomes the blues! Celebrating 12 years in 2013, this three-day event brings the best of the blues to the heart of southern Michigan. While you’re in town, soak up the rich history and natural beauty of Jackson County (517/962-5939; www.jacksonbluesfest.com).
Cinetopia International Film Festival
Ann Arbor, June 6–9--Cinema comes alive! From silent to 3D, this four-day festival explores and celebrates the art of cinematography with feature length films culled from the world’s best film festivals; classic and contemporary films demonstrating the rich heritage of screenwriting, and a diverse selection of celebrated contemporary comedies, documentaries and dramas (734/668-8397; www.michtheater.org).
Frankenmuth, June 6–9--It’s Polka time! Little Bavaria hosts its 55th annual German gala, the state’s oldest and largest. Authentically clad bands, traditional foods and beers and dancing assure a genuinely German experience. Sunday’s parade leads to a fun-packed day at Heritage Park, where festival events and entertainment are held—free admission for this Sunday’s events (800/386-3378; www.frankenmuthfestivals.com).
Kalamazoo, June 6–9--Celebrate summers’ start creatively! The Do-Dah Parade of parodies and absurdities generates chuckles; Art on the Mall and Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Art Fair offer artistic appeal, The Greek Fest and Ladies Library Association Ice Cream Social add icing on the proverbial cake of a long weekend (269/488-9000; www.discoverkalamazoo.com).
Baraga County Lake Trout Festival
L’Anse, June 7–8--The Lake Trout Capital of the Great Lakes celebrates the lakes’ bounty with a free festival on the same weekend as free fishing in Michigan (no fishing license is necessary). The festival includes the Keweenaw Classic Fishing Tournament with family oriented events, a fish dinner and cribbage tournament, all at beautiful Waterfront Park (800/743-4908; www.laketroutfestival.com).
Cereal City Festival
Battle Creek, June 7–8 --Here in the birthplace of the cereal industry, Kellogg’s, Post, Ralston Foods and Prairie Farms serve free breakfast at the world’s longest breakfast table. But first, those crazy characters that coax kids to eat breakfast join Friday evening’s parade down Michigan Avenue, marching alongside bikes, strollers, floats and kids. Top off the weekend with healthy living activities, a classic car show, musical entertainment and conversations with living-history characters (269/420-4031; www.bcfestivals.com).
Vicksburg Old Car Festival
Vicksburg, June 7–8--For 33 years now, more than 3,000 old cars, steam engines and vintage trailer displays have combined with a juried craft Show and auto parts/swap for a weekend of fun and fine food. It’s free family fun, rain or shine (www.vicksburgoldcarfestival.com).
National Asparagus Festival
Hart, June 7–9--Oceana County celebrates the healthy spear for the 40th year! Farm tours, food shows and the community picnic feature the scrumptious stalk. Saturday’s parade and 5K run/walk, Sunday’s fly-in breakfast with static aircraft on display, live music and an arts and crafts fair add up to a weekend of healthful fun (231/861-8110; www.nationalasparagusfestival.org).
NorEast’r Music and Art Festival
Mio, June 7–9--Three days of art and music. The juried art fair features Michigan artisans; three music stages star national and regional performers and the Dance Hall takes you from toe-tapping to dancing. When you’re not watching and listening, enjoy the festival fun. And even if you’re staying in a nearby hotel, check out the sideshows in the campground— pickin’ & grinning, dancin’ and drumming, clogging and juggling (www.noreastr.net).
Mackinac Island, June 7–16--Legendary music, awesome architecture and some of nature’s most magnificent views provide the palette for this 10-day celebration of the island’s 100 historic varieties of the aromatic lilac. Afternoon tea at the renowned Grand Hotel, Legends & Lore treks, the Cannonball BBQ Hayride and A Taste of Mackinac are fragrant fun. Horsepower is literally defined by the festival’s crowning event: It is one of the country’s largest horse-hitch parades (800/454-5227; www.mackinacislandlilacfestival.org).
Leland Wine and Food Festival
Leland, June 8--Savor the view of Lake Michigan as you sample the area’s favorite foods and finest wines. This annual wine and food festival features award-winning regional wines, fresh food prepared specifically for this event by chefs at local restaurants, and live music. The scrumptious spread is under big white tents in the park along the Lake Michigan shore (877/535-2631; www.lelandmi.com).
Traverse Colantha Walker Dairy Festival
Traverse City, June 9--A free, family-friendly festival in celebration of Traverse Colantha Walker--the most famous cow in town. (In 1926, Colantha produced 22,918 pounds of milk. The state average at the time was 3,918 pounds a year.) Pancake breakfast, live music, farmers market, arts and crafts market, kids’ activities, fine food, delectable drinks and the Great Grilled Cheese Grill-off (800/872-8377; www.traversecity.com).
Ann Arbor, June 9–14--This is a week to celebrate cuisine—it’s prix fare dining at almost 50 of Ann Arbor’s best restaurants. Local chefs go all out preparing astounding lunch menus ($15) and three-course dinners ($28)—and many offer two for one pricing. Make reservations early; check the website for participating restaurants and menus (734/668-7112; www.annarborrestaurantweek.com).
Three Rivers Water Festival
Three Rivers, June 13–15--This free community festival includes three days of events as varied as the ox roast and Strawberry Fest, Idol contest and pie sale. A classic car, truck and motorcycle show, street parade, KidsZone, live entertainment and fireworks make this the “fastest” long weekend you’ll enjoy all summer (269/278-8193; www.trchamber.com).
Waterfront Film Festival
South Haven, June 13–16--Join some 16,000 film aficionados flocking to town for the film festival. Park and walk or take a free ride for big-screen views of 70 independent films from across the country. Actors, directors and producers, host panel discussions and answer questions after each showing. On opening night, downtown’s street party rolls with live music, an outdoor movie and food vendors (269/857-8351; www.waterfrontfilm.org).
Taste of Muskegon
Muskegon, June 14–15--Downtown’s Hackley Park hosts this celebration of the area’s bounty. The region’s best restaurants serve their finest foods for this special event. Come to savor the flavors; enjoy the music and entertaining activities (231/724-3180; http://www.tasteofmuskegon.com/).
Michigan International Speedway Weekend
Brooklyn, June 14–16--The weekend at one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks, Michigan International Speedway (MIS), takes off with the ARCA Racing Series on June 14 and continues with the NASCAR Nationwide Series on June 15. On June 16, MIS hosts the NASCAR Spring Cup Series. Come for the race and relish the camaraderie as more than 9,000 reserved campsites fill with race enthusiasts (800/354-1010; www.MIspeedway.com).
Greek Festival of Saginaw
Saginaw, June 14–16--Nothing says “Happy Father’s Day” like a gyro—particularly when it is served with pastry-perfect baklava. Enjoy traditional Greek favorites like dolmades, kalamari, kabobs and honey-drizzled baklava. Served by parishioners on the grounds of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, the festival includes folk dancers and musicians; guests are welcome to tour the church (989/793-8822; www.stdemetrios.mi.goarch.org).
Flag Day Celebration
Three Oaks, June 14–16--Savor a slice of Americana at nation’s oldest and largest celebration of the United State flag. The three-day event includes Art in the Park, a hog roast, children’s activities and pet parade, and culminates in Sunday’s Flag Day Parade, the largest Flag Day parade in the world. The parade steps off downtown, promptly at 3 p.m. More than 100 units honor the American flag, veterans and service men and women (269/612-0441; www.threeoaksflagday.com).
Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Ann Arbor, June 14–July 7--It’s the 30th annual celebration of the performing arts. Main Stage performances include well-known and internationally recognized artists from jazz, pop, dance, circus and comedy such as this year’s “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. Top of the Park features free outdoor concerts and movies (734/994-5999; www.annarborsummerfestival.org).
White Lake Area Arts & Crafts Festival
Whitehall, June 15–16--Celebrating its 35th year, this juried Art Festival is on the shores of White Lake. More than 75 booths present intriguing arts and crafts while musicians provide continuous entertainment (231/893-4585; www.whitelake.org).
Pine Mountain Music Festival
Iron Mountain, Houghton and Marquette areas, Mid-June to Mid-July--From the Bergonzi String Quartet concerts and workshops for the children, to the evening opera performances, this festival brings opera and musical classics to life. In five weeks, more than 40 performances, workshops and master classes open eyes and ears to some of the world’s most moving music; three opening galas, dinners and receptions open the door to conversation with performers and directors (888/309-7861; www.pmmf.org).
Michigan 400 NASCAR Spring Cup Series
Brooklyn, June 16--The ground-shaking roar of mega-powered NASCAR race cars is the culmination of a week’s activities. A small community grows as the 9,000 sites at Michigan International Speedway’s Northwood Campgrounds fill to capacity. Qualification races, garage tours and the fan plaza just outside the gates keep campers busy. And by Sunday’s race, some 100,000 spectators will circle the two-mile track, hoping to see someone break the average speed of 139.114 mph that was last year’s winning speed (800/354-1010; www.mispeedway.com).
St. Marys River Cruise
DeTour Village, June 16--Cruise around the DeTour Reef Lighthouse for Father’s Day. At the mouth of St. Marys River, this Classic-Revival style light soars 83 feet above the water—not from an island, but a man-made crib plunked about a mile offshore. The day cruise on a 65-foot double-decker, from Lake Huron to the Lake Superior side of the Soo Locks, provides exceptional looks at the light. Food is provided, and the historical narration about the river brings life to the view (906/297-6051; www.drlps.com/events/RiverCruise.aspx).
Hancock, June 19–23--The Copper Country celebrates its Finnish heritage and Finnish culture with this five-day festival of events all across the region. Tori market, concerts and performances, sports, a parade and midsummer bonfire are icing on the cake of gallery shows, local tours, street theatre and more. In 2013, The Sauna: Fantastical to Practical, a public art project designed by artist Mary Wright, features the Nordic icon in traditional, innovative and in some cases fantastical forms. Don’t miss this spectacle of finished saunas on parade and in sauna villages throughout The Copper Country (906/487-7205; www. http://www.finnfestusa2013.org/finnfest-usa-2013).
Beaver Island Bike Festival
Beaver Island, June 20–22--Don’t miss this beautiful pedal around a nature lover’s paradise. The “big beaver” ride is a challenging 40 miles; the “little beaver,” 20 miles. Both are on well-marked dirt roads, trails and beach, taking you through untouched nature and unspoiled beauty, with historical sites for edifying breaks. Lunch and the dinner Bar-B-Q Buffet Party with live music are included in the registration fee. Check beaverisland.org for information about reserving your ferry ride to the island and securing accommodations for the festival (231/448-2505; www.beaverislandbikefestival.com).
Bay Harbor Vintage Car & Boat Festival
Bay Harbor, June 20–23 --See some of Detroit’s most astounding innovations, with cars dating back to 1909 and wooden boats nearly as old: They’re all there for the ogling. Classic wooden boats line the docks; while the streets are filled with finely tuned, perfectly polished collector’s cars. Live music and great food make it a one-stop weekend (231/439-2700; www.bayharborfoundation.org).
Alpena, June 21–22--From electric to acoustic, traditional to progressive, Delta to Chicago, this festival celebrates the blues. Now in its tenth year, the festival culminates in a Saturday jam session that mingles musicians and their styles, with impromptu interaction between performers and listeners (989/464-1260; www.alpenablues.com).
Mayfly Music Festival
Dundee, June 21–22--Wolverine Park, on the banks of Historic River Raisin, is the setting for this diverse mix of music, food and entertainment. Local musicians mingle with big-name country and western entertainers while kids play games and romp the inflatables. Wander through the Historic Old Mill Museum and stroll the shops in Downtown Dundee (734/529-3398; www.mayflymusicfestival.com).
Covered Bridge Days
Centreville, June 21–23--Step back into time in celebration of the Langley Covered Bridge, the longest covered bridge in Michigan. St. Joseph’s county seat hosts activities on the courthouse lawn. Saturday’s Classic Car Show and Antique Tractor Show and special activities for the youngsters are topped off with the afternoon parade (800/447-2821; http://rivercountry.com/).
Detroit River Days
Detroit, June 21–23--Celebrate Detroit’s maritime, ecological and culinary cultures at River Days. From the Renaissance Center to Milliken State Park and Harbor, Detroit’s RiverWalk overflows with more than 100,000 guests. The event features tours of a tall ship, sand sculptures and live concerts from more than 50 national and local acts, jet-ski demos and the popular Detroit River ArtScape competition. Fitness walks through Milliken State Park and Pooch-a-Palooza offer equal-opportunity exercise options for visitors and their canine companions (313/566-8200; www.detroitriverdays.com).
Run Charlevoix Marathon
Charlevoix, June 22--It’s only fair that a course this beautiful should also be so runnable, with a combination of flat runs and gentle slopes, mostly shaded. (This Marathon is a Boston qualifying race, certified and insured by USATF.) Both the marathon and half-marathon begin and end in historic downtown Charlevoix. The courses wind tree-lined neighborhoods and then off into the woods, on the bike trail, with breathtaking views of the Lake Michigan shoreline (231/547-2101).
Target Fireworks and Official VIP Rooftop Party
Detroit, June 24--For 30 minutes, Detroit’s skyline lights up with the largest international fireworks show of its kind, with more than 1 million spectators lining both sides of the Detroit River. The best seats in the city—and the most family fun before the fireworks flare—are at the VIP Rooftop Party, on top of downtown’s Miller Parking Garage, with music, games prizes and food (313/923-7400; www.theparade.org).
St. Ignace Car Show
St. Ignace, June 27–29--On Thursday’s Cruise Night, a thousand antique and classic cars, hot rods, custom vehicles and pickups rumble into town. At Friday evening’s Down Memory Lane Parade, the crowd favorite for more than half a century is the St. Ignace Fire Department clowning around in their 1929 Model A Ford. Saturday, vintage vehicles, hot rods and custom cars line State Street (906/643-8087; www.nostalgia-prod.com).
Bessemer, June 27–July 4--Celebrate the Spirit of America at a hometown 4th of July festival. For a full week, Bessemer shares the charm of a small-town fun, packing each day with vintage fun such as the mud run, tot trot, outdoor card tournaments, karaoke, street bowling, relay races, polka, geo caching, pig roast, craft fair and more. An F16 flyover draws all eyes to the sky just moments before the parade steps off at 7 pm. At 10 p.m., eyes rise again for the jaw-dropping Thunder on the Mountain fireworks display (906-663-4415; www.bessemer4th.com).
Michigan Challenge Balloonfest
Howell, June 28–30--Keep your eyes to the sky as skydivers land and hot-air balloons lift off. Nearly 50 hot-air balloons compete in the state championship and mass launches. During the day, stunt kites dance to popular music while the arts festival provides a colorful palette of original art. Saturday evening’s Balloon Glow makes for a luminous evening sky. After dark, skydivers tumble earthward, a trail of pyrotechnics sparks marking their paths (517/546-3920; www.michiganchallenge.com).
Munising Bay Arts & Music Festival
Munising, June 29--Now in its eighth year, this annual event features fine arts, great live music and fabulous food. Come rain or shine; it’s free (906/387-2138).
Art on the Beach
Oscoda, June 29–30--At the shady Oscoda Beach Park, Lake Huron’s shore provides a phenomenal venue for arts of all sorts. From toys (think hand-crafted extreme squirt guns) to fine art, crafts and photographs, more than 150 juried artisans display and sell the best of their works. Live music and food vendors make it an all-day affair (800/235-4625; www.oscodachamber.com).
National Cherry Festival
Traverse City, June 29–July 6--Cherry Farm Market, Cherries Grand Buffet, cherry-farm tours—pick from more than 150 events in the Cherry Capital of the World. Compete at the pit-spit, sculpt sand with family and friends, and watch the Cherry Royale Parade sweep through downtown streets. Savor the flavor of this super fruit enjoying the 15K Festival of Races, air shows, live music and fireworks on Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay (800/968-3380; www.cherryfestival.org).
Muskegon, Early July--Muskegon’s new Summer Festival is held at Heritage Landing in Downtown Muskegon, overlooking Muskegon Lake. The event offers live music from national and international artists, local food and beverage vendors, fireworks on July 4, and a carnival area. Affordable prices for fun family entertainment (800/250-9283; http://visitmuskegon.org/)
Manitou Music Festival
Glen Arbor, July and August--From blues to jazz, Celtic to folk, the Manitou Music Festival presents a series of concerts in idyllic outdoor locations. A picturesque highlight is the free concert at the base of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore; a beloved tradition is the patriotic concert celebrating Independence Day (231/334-6112; www.glenarborart.org).
Ludington, July 3–4--Every year since 1874, patriots have celebrated their freedom at this Ludington festival. On the eve of Independence Day, the Children and Pet Parade demonstrates creative individuality, with kids and pets, bikes and wagons decked out in red, white and blue. Independence Day’s patriotic parade salutes veterans as thousands line Ludington Avenue to cheer the bands, floats, dignitaries and Scottville Clown Band marching by. Fireworks bursting over Lake Michigan make a grand finale (231/843-4663; www.ludingtonareajaycees.org).
International Food Festival
Marquette, July 3–5 --Savor flavors from all over the globe as you enjoy international foods prepared by chefs from regional restaurants. Mattson Lower Harbor Park, on the shore of Lake Superior, hosts the three-day holiday, with live music every evening and spectacular fireworks on the Fourth (800/544-4321; www.mqtcty.org).
4th of July Celebration
Naubinway, July 3–5--From free ice cream and fireworks over the bay, to the famous fish dinner and water games at the Marina, Naubinway host a family-fun celebration of our nation’s independence (906/477-6221; www.topofthelake.org).
Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival
Battle Creek, July 3–7 --Hot-air balloon competitions provide picture-perfect moments in the morning and evening, weather permitting. Pack a cooler and stay for the day. See pilots perform precision flights above W.K. Kellogg Airport and enjoy carnival rides, center-stage performances and fireworks (269/962-0592; www.bcballoons.com).
Manistee National Forest Festival
Manistee, July 3–7--With guided tours, sunset hikes, sandcastle contests and fireworks over Lake Michigan, this festival pays tribute to the 480,000-acre Manistee National Forest. The Grand Parade, juried arts-and-crafts sale, carnival rides, Customs-n-Classics Car Club Cruise, beach dances and live music entertain tens of thousands (231/723-2575; www.manisteechamber.com).
Fourth of July Celebration
Munising, July 4--From the fun run and flag raising, to the watermelon eating and greased pole contests, Munising celebrates freedom with old-fashioned fun family events downtown and at Bayshore Park. A mid-day parade displays the bounty of Alger County; later, pets strut their stuff. After chicken and fish dinners, end the day with a double-dose fireworks display, watching the spectacular show in the sky and reflected in beautiful Munising Bay. Call to ask about tickets on a fireworks cruise; seating is limited (906/387-2138; http://www.munisingjuly4th.com/)
Independence Day Celebration
Cadillac, July 4–7--Lake Cadillac is site of two highlights: Fire on Water Military Tribute, with Waterfire bonfires floating just off the shore, and Fireworks over Lake Cadillac. Throughout the event, all of Cadillac shares the excitement with the Grand Parade and a Wheels of Independence Kids parade, water events and pancake breakfast, plus the Thunder on the Lake Shore motorcycle show and American Big Time Wrestling Extravaganza (231/775-0657; www.cadillacmichigan.com).
Lakeshore Art Festival
Muskegon, July 5–6--A unique blend of arts and crafts line the shore in historic Downtown Muskegon, as 200 plus artists and crafters showcase their finest works. Crafts line the avenue in an all-day street party; head to historic Hackley Park for the fine arts. Music fills the air, as do the delicious aromas of favorite foods (231/724-3180; www.lakeshoreartfestival.org.
Ypsilanti, July 5–7--Calling all Camaro lovers: This event is one that you don’t want to miss. A gathering of hundreds of Camaro owners showing off their prized rides, Camaro Superfest is the longest running, friendliest and largest All-Camaro event in the United States (734/483-4444; www.visitypsinow.com).
Horse Shows by the Bay
Traverse City, July 5–7, 12–14, 19–21, 26–28--Just 10 miles east of Traverse City, Flintfields Horse Park hosts thousands of the nation’s best horses and riders. Competitions include International Olympic disciplines of show jumping and dressage. Also featured on these weekends are the exciting Grand Prix races, jumping and hunter derbies, equine exhibitions and family activities (800/872-8377; www.horseshowsbythebay.com).
Escanaba, July 5–13--Escanaba’s Sesquicentennial Celebration starts with the arts: Displays at the Bonifas Art Center open Friday at 1 p.m., followed by the evening’s parade and ‘50s concert in Ludington Park. Saturday and Sunday feature the Steam and Gas Engine Show and Model Railroad Display and special children’s activities. Old-time fun such as beard and mustache judging, Historical Homes and Talking Tombstones walking tours, plus live music, waterski shows and boat parades fill the week. Don’t miss the burying of the time capsule, 150 IDOL contest and Fireworks Finale on Saturday, July 13 (906/789-7862; www.esky150.org).
Mecosta County Fair
Big Rapids, July 7–14 --Nothing says “Summer” like the Mecosta County Fair. Exhibits focus on local agriculture; family activities, midway rides, live entertainment and special events every night, including traditional favorites like the truck and tractor pulls, harness racing, a demolition derby and live music (231/796-5378; www.mecostafreefair.com).
Common Ground Music Festival
Lansing, July 8–14--On the banks of the Grand River, Adado Riverfront Park hosts an outstanding lineup of national and regional performers, delicious foods and interesting activities. Come hear contemporary and classic rock, alternative, country, hip hop, R&B and more at this premier outdoor music event (517/267-1502; www.commongroundfest.com) .
Tall Ship Celebration
Bay City, July 11–14 --This award-winning festival returns to Bay City for the fifth time, this year highlighting the anniversary of the War of 1812. The parade of tall ships sailing into Bay City is an astounding sight. See the tall masts up-close as you step aboard for a visit on one or more of the ships. Back on dry land, family-oriented entertainment is affordable and accessible to all (855/825-7447; www.tallshipcelebration.com).
Saline Celtic Festival
Saline, July 12–13--Millpond Park is the site for pipe bands, Highland dancing, Scottish athletics, wool spinning and lace making and a Mr. Pretty Legs contest for men in kilts. Don’t miss the limerick contest, the icing on the cake of this celebration of all things Celtic (734/944-2810).
Ypsilanti, July 12–13--On the banks of The Huron River, shady Riverside Park hosts the king of rock as interpreted by the best professional Elvis Tribute Artists in North America. Not a contest, this is pure performance in Historic Depot Town, with activities for the little ones. Pull out the poodle skirts, slick back your hair, haul out your folding chairs and picnic baskets and come shake, rock and roll (734/483-4444; www.mielvisfest.org).
Chesaning Showboat Music Festival
Chesaning, July 12–13, 19–20--Combining hometown hospitality with world-famous talent, Chesaning’s scenic Showboat Park and its 6,000-seat outdoor amphitheater is the perfect venue for this music extravaganza. With music from chart-topping hard rockers to classic country, the festival entertains with river races, a car show and parade, a volleyball tournament and on-site camping (989/845-3056; www.chesaningshowboat.org).
Cedarville, July 13--For a froggin’ good Saturday, hop over to Les Cheneaux Islands. Visit the croakers in their natural habitat on field trips to nature preserves; explore live reptile and amphibian exhibits; run the 5K and enjoy Tadpole Olympics. Fly fishing lessons, native plant presentations and the Les Cheneaux Lions Club traditional whitefish lunch (or hot dogs, if you prefer) top off frog festivities (906/484-3935; www.lescheneaux.org).
Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff
Saint Joseph, July 13–14--The lush, tree-lined Lake Bluff Park explodes with color, form and texture in the finest works of more than 200 juried artists from all over the United States. With special recognition for emerging artists and performing arts, plus an engaging Kids’ Zone and special Children’s Art Purchasing Program, the 70,000 guests include art enthusiasts of all ages (269/983-0271 or 269/925-6301; www.krasl.org).
Curley Memorial Canoe Race
Oscoda, July 13–14--A prelude to the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, this is an opportunity for racers to explore the lower end of the AuSable River. Saturday’s three-hour C-2 race starts at Cooke Dam. Sunday’s 1-hour C-1 race is a looped course starting at Children’s Park in Oscoda, with great places to cheer on your favorite paddler (989/820-5196; www.ausablecanoemarathon.org).
Gaylord, July 16–20--A yodeling contest, the natural harmonic tones of 8-foot Alpenhorns and the block-long “World’s Largest Coffee Break” give this Swiss fest singular appeal. Authentic dirndls, Alpine vests and felt hats star on Main Street’s Alpenstrasse. Enjoy a top-notch talent line-up, parades and food events daily with a $3 Alpenfest pin (800/345-8621; www.gaylordalpenfest.com).
Ann Arbor Art Fair
Ann Arbor, July 17–20--It’s a four-in-one affair when Ann Arbor celebrates art! More than 1,000 artists in four juried fairs adorn the streets of downtown and the University of Michigan central campus. The original Ann Arbor Street Fair, State Street Area Art Fair, Summer Art Fair and South University Art Fair engage more than 500,000 visitors. Live entertainment, fresh food and artistic activities energize art enthusiasts (800/888-9487; www.visitannarbor.org).
National Baby Food Festival
Fremont, July 17–20--Baby food cook off or Baby Photo Contest? Bed race, bike race or baby crawl? Here in the birthplace of Gerber Baby Foods, you can even compete in a baby-food eating contest, both youth and adult. Crafts, parades, kids’ zone and intriguing entertainment pacify the crowd at this fun food festival, hosted in the Baby Food Capital of the World (231/924-0770; www.babyfoodfest.com).
Muskegon Bike Time
Muskegon, July 18–21--With live music, great food and 60,000 plus bikes, this is America’s fastest growing motorcycle event. Downtown’s Western Avenue becomes a 10-block-long “Steel Horse Alley.” From choppers and fatboys to classics and sportsters, you’ll see them all (231/724-3100 or 800/250-9283; www.muskegonbiketime.com).
Beaver Island Music Festival
Beaver Island, July 18–20--Embracing diversity with music and the arts, this music festival includes more than a dozen acts on two stages. Electric and acoustic, bluegrass and folk: melodies to please a myriad of music lovers. Nestled in the hardwoods of Beaver Island’s side, the festival is a rich mix of music, art and nature (231/838-2883; www.bimf.net).
Ludington Offshore Classic Fishing Tournament
Ludington, July 18–21--The Ludington port is known for some of the best trout and salmon fishing on the Great Lakes, making this stand-out event one of the premier sport fishing tournaments on the Great Lakes. Find generous payouts for the winners in professional and amateur tournaments for men, women and youth; (231/845-0324 or 877/606-8600; www.ludingtontournament.com).
Michigan Brown Trout Festival
Alpena, July 18–28--The 39th annual event is held at the Small Boat Harbor. More than $75,000 in cash and prizes for registered entrants; if you catch a tagged walleye, there’s a bonus. Special family fun events, kid’s fishing tournament, Art in the Bay, live music and dancing make it an all-generation, whole-family affair (989/590-2480; www.alpena-mibrowntrout.com).
Michigan Shakespeare Festival
Jackson, July 18–August 11--Designated Michigan’s Official Shakespeare Festival in 2003, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival is nationally recognized for 19 years of outstanding professional productions. The 2013 MSF Season will feature Twelfth Night, King John and Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer at the Potter Center in Jackson. With plays from the classic repertoire and dynamic local attractions, Jackson is the ideal summer getaway (517/998-3673; www.michiganshakespearefestival.com).
Paw Paw Days
Paw Paw, July 19–20--More than 300 classic cars line up for the ooglin’ and set for the cruise. Get an eyeful and then wander the arts and crafts display. Sidewalk Days will stretch your imagination with unique finds, and your taste buds will tingle at the array of foods (269/657-5395; www.uncorkpawpaw.com).
3rd Annual Luna Pier Bootleggers & Blues Festival
Monroe, July 19–21--It’s all about the blues, good food and dancing when the Bootleggers and Blues Festival hits the Lake Erie waterfront at Monroe’s Luna Pier. The music starts at 1 p.m. and plays through the evening at this don’t-miss event (734/457-1030 or 800/252-3011; www.monroeinfo.com).
U.P. Championship Rodeo and Rodeo Daze Weekend
Iron River, July 19–21
The 46th annual U.P. Championship Rodeo weekend kicks off with a toe-tappin’ Rodeo Concert. Hit the fairgrounds for professional rodeo competitions, where you’re sure to rub elbows with real cowboys and catch the excitement as they tame broncos, wrestle steers and ride bulls. Rodeo Market Days, the Wild West Parade and crowning of the Rodeo Queen round up a thrilling weekend (888/879-4766; www.upprorodeo.com).
Hot Air Jubilee
Jackson, July 19–21--At 6:30 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m., a bevy of patchwork hot-air balloons lift off from Ella Sharp Park. When you’re not balloon gazing, this free jubilee is the place to be, with arts and crafts, classic cars, antique tractors and live entertainment. Inflatable games and the Kids’ Kingdom captivate the youngsters. Be sure to stay for Night Glow, just after sundown (517/782-1515; www.hotairjubilee.com).
Quake on the Lake
Pontiac, July 19–21--The American Power Boat Association races the fastest automotive-powered watercraft in the world, on Lake Pontiac’s one-mile oval, the fastest course in the country. Yes, the lake quakes … as do many spectators catching windspray from the 95 to 170 mph hydroplane hot laps, qualifying heats and finals. With high-performance autos, classic cars and hot rods on display, family fun zone and concerts, camping at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area and comfy lodgings nearby, it’s a don’t miss event (www.quakeonthelake.org).
Sunrise Side Wine and Food Festival
Harrisville, July 20--When the Big Top tent goes up in the Harrisville Harbor, the three-ring summertime spread is about to begin. On Lake Huron’s Sunrise Side, Michigan vintners serve their finest wines, while breweries tap summer kegs. Chefs from regional restaurants present startlingly creative cuisine. Live music rings through, and talented local artists display their work at Northeast Michigan’s largest wine and food festival (989/724-5107; www.alconacountychamberofcommerce.com/events/winefoodfest.htm).
Marshall Blues Festival
Marshall, July 20--The historic downtown beat turns to the blues for this festival, with finger-pickin’ good live music and soul-good food starting mid-afternoon. The Marshall Beer tent anchors the event (269/209-7979; http://marshallbluesfestival.com/)
Celebrate White Lake
Whitehall, July 20--This family festival features an antique boat show and other lakeside events, with historical displays and tours. Sponsored by the White Lake Historical Society, the fun begins in scenic Goodrich Park at 10 a.m. (231/893-4585; www.whitelake.org).
Wood Shaving Days
Grayling, July 20–21--Step back in time at Hartwick Pines State Park Logging Museum. The Old Growth Pines set the stage for a weekend of old-fashioned fun. Wood workers create figures, walking sticks and more, as the wood shaving pile grows. Blacksmiths forge creations with hammer, anvil and hot coals. The steam-powered sawmill turns logs into lumber. Take part in crafts and games from days gone by while a band plays folk and old-time tunes (989/348-2537; http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-54463-91703--,00.html).
Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race
Port Huron and Mackinac Island, July 20–24--More than 250 sailboats fly their colors in Port Huron, the starting point of one of the world’s largest freshwater races. Before they set sail, concerts, a carnival and lighted boat parade build excitement. Sailing one of two separate courses, the hardy mariners navigate 204 or 254 nautical miles to Mackinac Island, where crowds greet the fleet Sunday night through Tuesday (810/984-9790; www.downtownporthuron.org).
Charlevoix Venetian Festival
Charlevoix, July 20–July 27--Celebrate summer on Lake Charlevoix. Venetian Games include bike, board and blade races, tennis, volleyball, horseshoes and disc golf. Dance to the beat of local bands; enjoy sailing and street parades. Come sunset, the parade of lighted boats is an eye-popper. Close seconds in awe-power: the dock, lined with boats lit for the festivities, and fireworks over the lake (231/547-3872; www.venetianfestival.com).
Western Michigan Fair
Ludington, July 23–27--Since 1936, families have flocked to the Mason County Fairgrounds for the Western Michigan Fair, a tradition interrupted only by WWII. The midway, demolition derby and grandstand shows are second only to 4-H exhibits and animals, equestrian events and homemaking achievements—true Blue Ribbon Events in this cozy, friendly town (231/843-8563; www.masoncountyfairgrounds.com).
Marquette, July 26--Celebrate the fabulous fruit as downtown bursts with blueberry treats, plus sidewalk sales, pony rides, arts and crafts market, a children’s talent show, musical entertainment and dancing (906/228-9475; www.downtownmarquette.org).
Cruz’in Classic Car Show
Montague, July 26--The parade rolls off at 7 p.m., with hundreds of classic cars, hot rods and muscle cars dating from the dawn of the automotive industry through 1975—nothing newer. Look for faithfully restored classics, rarities such as the Hupmobile (circa 1935), vintage ‘vettes and flaming exhaust pipes. Later, Montague streets are lined with the parade cars and their owners, all excited for show and tell at this family-friendly, alcohol-free event (231/893-1155; www.whitelake.org).
Michigan Summer Beer Festival
Ypsilanti, July 26–27--Take your pick from more than 450 beers. Craft brews from 60-plus Michigan breweries-- all in one spot--plus great food and live music. Plan to stay two nights, so as to fully savor the samples and enjoy the company (734/483-4444; www.michiganbrewersguild.org).
Little Traverse Yacht Club Annual Regatta
Harbor Springs and Petoskey, July 26–28--It looks so gentle, the wind wafting through a sail to float a boat along. But when 80 sailboats race the Little Traverse Yacht Club’s annual Ugotta Regatta, the strength of the wind and expertise of the sailors is obvious. During regatta weekend, spectators line the waterfront from Harbor Springs to Bay Harbor to watch the racing across Little Traverse Bay. Harbor Springs’ waterfront, Bluff Drive, Zoll and Ford parks, the Petoskey State Park, and Petoskey’s downtown waterfront are prime viewing areas. Catch all the live action between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day and dockside afterward at the City Marina (231/526-7919; http://ltyc.org/)
Coast Guard Festival
Grand Haven, July 26–August 4--It’s a family, the Coast Guard is, and many of that family’s roots are in Grand Haven. This 89-year tradition of honoring the men and women of the Coast Guard engages guests of all ages, with special activities for Coast Guard personnel, retirees and dignitaries throughout the week, a National Memorial Service and a Grand Parade. Plus a week of fun-filled choices for the general public, from Kids Day and the Street Dance, to the Cruise-In Car Show, ship tours, carnival rides and the grand finale Fireworks Extravaganza (616/846-5940; www.coastguardfest.org).
Flannel Jack Fest
Munising, July 27--In an area rich with logging history, festivities focus on chain-saw carving and logging demonstrations, history lessons and story-telling. Music and food fuel all-day fun at Bayshore Park (906/387-2138; www.algercounty.org).
Grand Island Marathon
Grand Island, July 27--Experience the spectacular views of Grand Island and Lake Superior running the popular marathon or half-marathon race on beautiful Grand Island’s challenging course (906/387-2138; www.algercounty.org).
Annual Outdoor Art Fair
Traverse City, July 27--Artists from all over the country gather for this annual juried show held under the tall pines of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City (231/941-9488;www.artcentertraversecity.com).
Leilapalooza Music Festival
Battle Creek, July 27--For one day, more than 40 music acts perform from four stages at Kingman Museum and the Leila Arboretum. The musical selection is as diverse as the plant life, including rock and roll, bluegrass, the blues and concert bands. The European-style gardens are home-for-the-day to a beer tent and, yes, a don’t-miss-it Beard Tent (269/969-0270; www.lasgarden.org).
Maker Faire Detroit
Dearborn, July 27–28--What better place to meet the genius behind 400 plus exhibits of robotics, animatronics, fashionable finds and more, than The Henry Ford. This two-day interactive and family-friendly event celebrates and elevates the artistry and engineering, unconventional ingenuity and unbridled creativity of today’s cutting edge Do-It-Yourselfers. Meet today’s makers of tomorrow’s wonders, as you revel in the accomplishments of yesteryear (313/982-6001 or 800/835-5237; www.makerfairedetroit.com).
Au Sable River International Canoe Marathon
Grayling to Oscoda, July 27–28--At 120 miles, the longest nonstop professional canoe race and granddaddy of canoe competitions starts at 9 p.m. Paddlers shoulder canoes, race to the river and splash in. Spectators run from bridge to bridge following the epic endurance competition, which concludes around noon Sunday. Also that weekend, the AuSable River Festival in Grayling (Grayling Visitors Bureau: 800/937-8837; www.grayling-mi.com; Oscoda-Ausable Chamber of Commerce: 800/235-4625,;www.oscodachamber.com; 989/348-4425; www.ausablecanoemarathon.org).
Art on the Rocks
Marquette, July 27–28--Mattson Lower Harbor Park celebrates 55 years of art when more than 180 regional and national artists join this juried art show on the shores of Lake Superior. Sponsored by the Lake Superior Art Association, the show attracts more than 15,000 art enthusiasts (800/544-4321; www.artontherocks.org).
Monroe County Fair
Monroe, July 28–August 3--It’s a week of vintage fair fun: midway rides, family entertainment, 4-H exhibits and the fair food you’re hungry for all year. Visit the merchant buildings to see cutting edge exhibits and interesting booths; be sure to check out the Grandstand concert schedule (734/241-5775; www.monroecountyfair.com).
Nautical City Festival
Rogers City, July 30 –August 4--Peruse the displays of 100 exhibitors at the juried arts-and-crafts show on the courthouse lawn. Sail in for music under the main tent and at Lakeside Park Band Shell and the antique car show. German and Polish dinners combine with street vendors for a healthy variety of food (800/622-4148 or 989/734-4656; www.nauticalfestival.org).
Colon, July 31–August 3--Now in its 10th year, this festival of magic covers the gamut—prestidigitation, illusion, levitation and family friendly comedy magic that will have you in stitches. Enjoy acts from Las Vegas and abroad, with a special-feature illusionist for every night, a busking competition and, on Wednesday evening, a special salute to the men and women who serve the United States military (269/432-4017; www.colonmichiganmagic.com).
Art Walk Central
Mt. Pleasant, August--It’s juried and a People’s Choice Award. Throughout August, the entire community becomes an art gallery. Business and public spaces, both inside and out, display the works of young (ages 12-17) and adult (18 and older) artists (989/773-3689; www.artwalkcentral.com).
Fish Sandwich Day Festival
Bay Port, August 2–3--Come for the two-fister fish sandwiches, stay for the fun. Arts and crafts, classic cars, raffles and kids games. BC McLeish Memorial Park hosts the event, with free entertainment and a Saturday morning parade (989/551-9929; www.bayportchamber.com).
Historic Village Days
Houghton Lake, August 2–4--Visualize life as it once was in the 1920s era Playhouse and the baker’s dozen in historic buildings, lovingly restored or built to reflect a Northern Michigan logging village in the late 1800s. Carriage rides, lessons in the one-room schoolhouse, candle making, barbershop singers and old-fashioned games such as sack racing engage the entire family (989/366-8474 or 800/676-5330; www.houghtonlakehistory.com).
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Powwow
Mount Pleasant, August 2–4 --Experience Native American culture at one of the Nation’s largest Indian events. More than 350 dancers dance to authentic chants and drumbeats; drum groups compete with pounding rhythms at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Campgrounds. At Michigan’s largest powwow, authentic dress, cuisine and crafts demonstrate and honor the culture of North America’s first natural-born citizens (800/225-8172; www.sagchip.org).
Waterfront Arts Festival
Escanaba, August 3--Ludington Park along Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc is the site for the Waterfront Arts Festival. A juried festival with artists selling paintings, glassworks, pottery, jewelry and other fine arts and crafts, with artist demonstrations while the Escanaba City Band and others make music at the band shell. A young artists’ market, food vendors and an art raffle make this a must-do event for art lovers throughout the Midwest (906/786-3833; www.bonifasarts.org).
Harrietta Blue Berry Festival
Harrietta, August 3--Start off day with an old-fashioned blueberry pancake breakfast before learning at farm demonstrations. Browse quilts, enjoy the ice cream social and dive into the pie-eating contest. Walk the Cake Walk, then settle in to enjoy the parade and live music (231/775-0657; www.cadillacmichigan.com).
Thunder Over Michigan Air Show
Ypsilanti, August 3–4--The Blue Angels return for Thunder over Michigan, one of America’s leading air shows, often thought of as the best “warbird” show in America. Held every summer at Willow Run Airport, the show features world-class entertainment, unique static displays and fun for the whole family (734/483-4444; www.visitypsinow.com).
Jackson County Fair
Jackson, August 4–10--Last year, more than 150,000 visitors enjoyed the live performances, carnival rides, raffles, food and agricultural exhibits at this quintessential county fair. From animal showmanship and judging, to the grandstand shows, monster trucks, demo derbies and the Enduro Car Race, it’s a classic county fair (517/788-4405; www.jacksoncountyfair.net).
41st Annual Sault Summer Arts Fest
Sault St. Marie, August 6 --With cash awards in a variety of categories, this festival is a magnet for astounding artisans and guests with delightful and discerning tastes. Live music rings through the grounds of the Sault City Hall, with views of the river and the Sault’s Historic Walkway (906/437-5463 or 906/635-1312; www.saultareaartscouncil.org).
Newaygo, August 6–12--The 2013 U.S.C.A. National Canoe and Kayak championships lure some 500 paddlers to Croton Pond and the Muskegon River. Perched on the edge of Manistee National Forest, this event caters to paddlers ages 5 to over 90, and their families. Competitions include youth and adult sprint races, and a 16-plus mile marathon that begins with the 6-mile circumnavigation of Croton Pond, then a running portage and launch into the Muskegon River below, and a 12-mile downstream paddle to Henning Park at Newaygo (231/652-9298 or 877/500-2570; www.newaygonationals.org).
Abbott’s Magic Get-Together
Colon, August 7–10
Spellbinding performances, both street and stage, by some of the world’s most renowned magicians amaze and astound in the Magic Capital of the World. Rub elbows with dealers, get a sneak peak at what’s new at one of the world’s largest manufacturers of magic tricks; see the best buskers in the business performing on the streets of Colon. Don’t miss the crafts fair and fireworks—or the cemetery tour of famous magician’s graves—and be sure to pick up on a little prestidigitation yourself (269/432-3235; www.magicgettogether.com).
Festival of the Horse
Mackinac Island, August 7–11
From tours of historic Victorian era barns on the prestigious West Bluff, to magnificent Friesians prancing to the tune, meet the horses of Mackinac Island. Take a pony ride and a carriage tour, then sit back and enjoy the Mackinac Island Carriage and Saddle Horse Parade (989/866-8200; www.mackinacislandfestivalofthehorse.org).
The Award Winning 12th Annual River Raisin Jazz Festival
Monroe, August 8–11
A free festival on the banks of Historic River Raisin. World-class jazz musicians gather in St. Marys Park to entertain more than 50,000 guests. Music wafts from the second stage to the Downtown Fine Art Fair, where 60-plus artists sell their works and food options include barbecued chicken and giant turkey legs (800/252-3011; www.riverraisinjazzfestival.com).
Humungus Fungus Fest
Crystal Falls, August 8–11
It is true: The largest mushroom (fungus and for the record, it’s 38 acres) in the world grows near Crystal Falls. Come celebrate this giant fungus phenomenon at the Mushroom Cook-off and the Humungus Pizza. With pasty sales, sidewalk and citywide rummage sales, senior cribbage and battle of the bands, it’s a busy time. Don’t miss the traditional Buckboard and Horseshoe Tournament. The Fungus Fest Parade rounds out the phenomenal weekend (906/367-2800; www.humungusfungusfest.com).
International Offshore Powerboat Race
Port Huron, August 8–11
The St. Clair River roars to life as the powerboats plane over the water. Arrive Thursday to ogle the racers as they arrive and dry dock on Desmond Landing near the Great Lakes Maritime Center. Time trials start Saturday, with the race at noon on Sunday. Live music, great food and beverage tents entertain boat enthusiasts, nautical devotees and cheering fans (810/987-8687 or 800/852-4242; www.bluewater.org).
Gogebic County Fair
Ironwood, August 8–11
Truly a family event—the admittance fee buys all the carnival rides, grandstand shows and concerts you can enjoy. Buy only what you eat, take home or spend to win a stuffed toy. Enjoy harness racing, grandstand concerts and shows, horse shows all day long—just flash your wristband and you’re in (906/932-4850 or 800/522-5657; www.gogebiccountyfair.com).
National Blueberry Festival
South Haven, August 8–11
Celebrating its 50th year, the South Haven National Blueberry Festival welcomes more than 40,000 visitors to enjoy the laid-back beach town atmosphere and blueberry harvest. Pick ‘em yourself; eat them in pie, pancakes popcorn, brats—and simply fresh—at Blueberry Central. Kids’ Day features storytelling, carnival games and a pint-size pie eating contest; free riverfront concerts and a parade top off this tasty time (800/764-2836; www.blueberryfestival.com).
Plein Air Paint Out and Art in August
Tecumseh, August 9
It starts with the Plein Air Paint Out, with artists working all day in local parks and around town to create paintings. At 4 p.m., the paintings are moved to the Back Door Gallery for display through the end of September. From 6 to 9 p.m., mingle with the artists at Downtown Tecumseh’s Art in August, where street performers and artist demonstrations amaze and enlighten (517/424-6003; www.downtecumseh.com).
Port Oneida Fair
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, August 9–10
Step back in town for this fair, held at five historic farmsteads and a traditional schoolhouse in the Port Oneida historic district at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The event features traditional rural crafts and skills, with a special focus on cultural traditions and history. Help bale hay or watch a broom-maker at work; learn about spinning, basket weaving, soap and butter making. Enjoy old-time music as teams of oxen and horses cut, load and haul hay, and artists and craftsmen demonstrate their skills (231/326-5134; www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/pofair.htm).
Antique Tractor and Steam Engine Show
Alpena, August 9–11
Mingle among the antiques between the two tractor parades (2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday) and live music in the evening. See threshing, baling and rock crushing, plus live demonstrations of the sawmill and shingle mill. The 30th annual show will be held at the Antique Tractor Showgrounds on French Road in Alpena (989/358-0380;www.alpenaantiquetractor.com).
Grand Marais Music Festival
Grand Marais, August 9–11
For three glorious days, live music wafts through this Eastern Gateway to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. From bluegrass and folk to rock and reggae, with fabulous foods and artistic crafts, it’s a weekend for all ages. Plan to camp, so as not to miss a note (906/494-2447; www.grandmaraismichigan.com).
Ship & Shore Festival
New Buffalo, August 9–11
This summertime tradition boasts a new location. On the corner of Thompson and Mechanic streets in downtown New Buffalo, find arts, crafts, games and live music. During the day, savor mouthwatering dishes prepared by local chefs, sip micro-brews and wines produced locally. Enjoy ice cream- and watermelon-eating contests and browse the beautiful works of local artisans and crafters. At dusk, head to the shore for the Lighted Boat Parade, where pleasure boats, cruisers and yachts are transformed into beautiful floats, paraded across the water for your viewing pleasure. Then sit back for the fireworks over Lake Michigan. It’s a free event; a “Thank you” donation of $5 each is appreciated (888/660-6222; www.newbuffalo.org).
US 12 Heritage Garage Sales
Communities of US 12: City of Wayne, Ypsilanti, Saline, Village of Clinton, Brooklyn, Irish Hills, Jonesville, Quincy, Coldwater, White Pigeon, Sturgis, Edwardsburg, Niles, Three Oaks, Galien and New Buffalo, August 9–11--Yes. There’s a special map for this series of sales, which trace an historic route across the state, from Lake Erie to Lake Michigan. Amid the astounding scenery, at homes, farms, parking lots and fields, find gems. The surprises are in the trail as well as the treasures you’ll find along the way (269/925-1137 or 800/346-0173; www.usheritagetrail.org/garagesale.asp).
Cheeseburger in Caseville
Caseville, August 9–18
Punctuated by its Parade of Tropical Fools, this "Key North” family-friendly festival is a 10-day celebration of Margaritaville, inspired by Jimmy Buffett and his tropical music … and cheeseburgers. There is, of course, a Best Cheeseburger in Caseville contest, and tribute band music. Fun, food, games and some very interesting activities for the younger members of the family (989/856-3818 or 800/606-1347; www.casevillechamber.com).
SummerFest and the Black Arts Festival
Battle Creek, August 10
International food flavors mingle with ethnic entertainment to broaden the experience and awareness of culture and history in the Battle Creek community. Food, live music, children’s activities, vendors and art exhibits open the door to international insights; special guest performances and open-air concerts celebrate some of the most fascinating chapters of American history with songs, stories and audience involvement (269/420-4031; www.bcfestivals.com).
Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair
Charlevoix, August 10
One hundred of the nation’s finest artists and craftsmen show their best at the prestigious Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair. More than 25,000 collectors, critics and art lovers come for the quality of work and stay for the unparalleled location. Proceeds from Michigan’s second oldest juried art show benefit youth art education (231/547-2675; www.charlevoixwaterfrontartfair.org).
Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show & Festival of Arts
Hessel, August 10--Hailing from California, Florida and all parts between, vintage vessels drop anchor in Hessel’s beautiful harbor for a glorious day of display and appreciation. Stroll the dock to admire perfectly polished dinghies, canoes, sailboats and cruisers while live music plays. Walk the shore to find the perfect memory treasure at the Festival of Arts, with juried works by 70 artisans, on display and for sale (906/484-2821; www.lescheneaux.org).
Gold Coast Artisan Fair
Ludington, August 10–11--Celebrating its 30th year this summer, the Gold Coast Artisan Fair draws more than 200 displays of arts and crafts to Ludington’s City Park. Browse handmade items, jewelry, photographs, paintings and simply unique creations (231/845-0324; www.ludington.org).
Antiques on the Bay
Tawas, August 10–11
Head for the tent in Tawas City Park to see and buy antiques and vintage items. The city park overlooks Tawas Bay, a magnificent venue for treasured antiquities (810/730-1449; www.tawas.com).
Victorian Art Fair
West Branch, August 10–11
Commemorating the Victorian Era (1830 to 1900), a time of great invention, color, fine décor and pride in family and community, this extravaganza showcases the work of more than 250 juried arts and crafts exhibitors offering handmade crafted items. Kids stay cool on the river with sailboat races. Free entertainment on the outdoor stage, watermelon-seed spitting contests and old-fashioned entertainment bring back the charm of the Victorian Age (989/345-3856; www.victorianartfair.com).
Upper Peninsula State Fair
Escanaba, August 12–18
A summertime classic since 1928, the Upper Peninsula State Fair is a chain-saw carving, butter-sculpting event. Favorites abound—national music acts at the grandstand, young agricultural entrepreneurs in the stock buildings, treasured relics in the antique gas and steam village. Michigan’s only state fair features the Miracle of Life exhibit and a fine selection of fair foods including hot beef sundaes, pulled taffy, Croatian chicken and UP-dairy-made ice cream (906/786-4011; www.upstatefair.org).
Back to the Bricks Cruise Week
Flint, August 13–17
It really is all about the cars … from Tuesday evening’s free movie at the US-23 Drive-In Theater with a car show and DJ from 5 p.m., to the Wednesday and Thursday evenings’ rolling cruises on Saginaw Street from Fifth in Flint, through Burton, Grand Blanc Township and Grand Blanc to Cook Road—there is even Automotive Art. Enjoy the Music in the Parks Concert on Friday evening with the Flint Symphony Orchestra and Car Show, plus great food and interesting merchandise vendors. Saturday’s 4th Annual Corvette-Reunion Car Show satisfies one niche; and the 9th Annual All Day Car Show, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., satisfies others (810/654-9029; www.backtothebricks.org).
City of Grant, August 16–17--More than 100 entries parade through Grant for this hometown festival. Before and after that grand parade, antique car and tractor shows, a talent show for all ages, a Texas Hold-Em Tournament, 5k run, and arts and crafts show engage guests of all ages and interests. Don’t miss the Chili Cook-Off for some fabulous flavors (231/834-7904; www.grantareachamber.com)
NASCAR at Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, August 16–18--Michigan International Speedway hosts the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on August 17 and the NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series on August 18. Nestled on more than 1,400 acres in the Irish Hills area, the historic two-mile oval is the fastest racetrack in NASCAR. Come early to experience the camaraderie of camping at one of the speedway’s 10 premier campgrounds (517/592-6666 or 800/354-1010; www.MISpeedway.com).
Howell Melon Festival
Howell, August 16–18
Celebrate the locally grown fruit with perusing fine arts and wares downtown. Plus, there’s live entertainment, a festival tent with micro-brew and wine tastings, train rides, and a Kids Fun Zone—all a perfect backdrop for the star of the festival: The Melon (517/545-4240, ext, 3; www.howellmelonfestival.com).
Mendon, August 16–18--Celebrate the river on the banks of the St. Joseph River in downtown Mendon. Enjoy friendly contests, canoe races, parades and fireworks in Reed Riverside Park. Mingle and enjoy the arts and crafts as the little ones enjoy special children’s activities (269/469-4395; www.rivercountry.com).
Wild Blueberry Festival
Paradise, August 16–18
It’s double-harvest time! As the low-bush blueberry harvest draws to a close and high-bush harvest begins, Paradise celebrates both at the Wild Blueberry Festival. From blueberry brunch to wild blueberry pie, taste buds tingle as puppeteers, magicians, storytellers and jugglers entertain at the Arts and Crafts fair. Come dusk, take a horse-drawn wagon ride and then settle in for live music at the Blueberry Jamboree (906/492-3219; www.paradisemichigan.org).
Festival on the Bay
Petoskey, August 16–18--Start with the end in mind: The million-dollar sunset over Little Traverse Bay. Everything else is icing on the cake. It truly is fun for the entire family—from the Children’s Area, near the clock tower, with lots of free activities for kids, to great food in the midway, water events and best of all, the live music that keeps bigger kids dancin’ and groovin’ by the bay from noon to midnight (800/845-2828; www.petoskeyfestival.com).
Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
Ypsilanti, August 16–18--Highlights of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival include arts and crafts, children’s activities, historic architecture, beer and gaming, music, autos and engines, and lots of food. The festival spans Riverside and Frog Island parks, and E. Cross Street in Depot Town (734/483-4444; www.visitypsinow.com)
Woodward Dream Cruise
Detroit, August 17--The Historical Woodward Avenue is the site for this free summer rite. Spectators come with lawn chairs, situation themselves among 1.5 million friends to watch as 40,000 classic cars drive by. It’s free to participate, too—classic cars arrive from all over the globe for that spectacular cruise down Woodward Avenue (www.woodwarddreamcruise.com).
10th Annual Moose Fest
Muskegon, August 17--This annual event celebrates country music from the shore at Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon. Pick up free tickets for the acoustic concerts at local businesses (231/733-2600; www.107mus.com).
TC Waterman Challenge & Expo
Traverse Bay, August 17--The Midwest’s largest Stand Up Paddle Board challenge and Expo event, staged on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. Events include a 3.5 mile recreational challenge course, 10-mile down-winder distance race, Open Age-Group Events, free kid’s races, demonstrations and beginner clinics, live music, and an awards luau banquet (231/360-1806; www.tcwaterman.com).
Michigan Renaissance Festival
Holly, August 17–September 29 (weekends and Labor Day)
The 16th-century kingdom of Hollygrove comes alive with knights in shining armor, ladies in majestic gowns and live theater acts on 16 stages. Wench pressing, grape stomping, bawdy humor and medieval music star at seven themed weekends, where 200 vendors market leather and wooden goods, giant turkey legs and Scottish eggs, glassware and jewelry (800/601-4848; www.michrenfest.com).
Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Spring Cup Series
Brooklyn, August 18
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season concludes in the scenic Irish Hills, a perfect destination for outdoor-loving NASCAR enthusiasts. The exciting finale, on one of the sport’s fastest two-mile tracks, features lead changes and exciting finishes. Great camping and affordable prices with free and discounted admissions for youngsters, plus, you can pack your own cooler. A perfect end to the summer season (800/354-1010; www.mispeedway.com).
Buckley Old Engine Show
Buckley, August 18–21--With more than 700 antique gas and steam tractors, cars and trucks—plus a working 1923 steam locomotive that carries passengers around a mile of track, this old engine show will engage and entertain everyone. See a horse-powered baler in action, watch a cider mill work, peruse the woodworking mills and shop, munch on corn popped in a Hog Kettle … the memories just keep on coming, with old-time music as a backdrop. Come mid-afternoon, you’ll be happy to sit a spell and watch the daily parade (231/269-3669; www.buckleyoldengineshow.org).
Marquette, August 22–24--Live music and great food are a perfect mix at this Mattson Lower Harbor Park. It’s an outdoor dining experience designed to tantalize all your senses of sound, sight, smell and taste. Daytime fun for kids of all ages; plus food tents, and a beer and wine tent; (906/228-7749 or 800/544-4321; www.travelmarquettemichigan.com).
Mackinac Island Fudge Festival
Mackinac Island, August 23–24--Famed for its fudge, the car-free isle celebrates this sweetest souvenir—and much more! Experience the astounding young talent of the Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan; stand awestruck by extreme kite flying at The Great Turtle Kite Ascension. Fuel the fun with fudge, seeking out the secret Golden Ticket Fudge Special boxes at Island Fudge Shops. Savor Fudge on the Rocks, as island bartenders create savory concoctions using Mackinac Island Fudge; stop by the Mackinac Island Fudge Stout Beer Tasting, and finally, dine under the influence of fudge (906/847-3783 or 800/454-5227; www.greatturtlefestivals.org).
5th Annual Summer Microbrew and Music Festival
Traverse City, August 23–24--Held at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, guests sample craft brews from more than 60 producers from Michigan and the Midwest, as well as wine and ciders from the Old Mission Peninsula. A lineup of acclaimed musical guests provide live music (231/947-1120 or 800/872-8377; www.traversecity.com).
12th Annual Blues by the Bay
East Tawas, August 23–25--Dance to the best of the blues, just steps from downtown and Lake Huron, at the East Tawas Harbor Park. A $20 souvenir button is admission to three days filled with music, food and drinks. Bring your lawn chair, but don’t plan to lay back—you’ll be kicking up your heels as soon as the music starts (989/362-5276; www.bluesbythebaytawas.org).
Black Iron Days
Grayling, August 24--Hartwick Pines hosts Michigan’s largest gathering of blacksmiths, as more than 50 of the craftspeople gather to demonstrate their skill at Hartwick Pines State Park Logging Museum, with Old Growth Pines setting the stage for a weekend of old-fashioned fun. Woodworkers and spinners will be at work, too, as will the 1914 Port Huron steam engine powered-sawmill. Live traditional music makes it easy to step back in time (989/348-2537; www.michigan.gov/loggingmuseum).
Fire Truck Muster
Ypsilanti, August 24--Join a gathering of fire trucks—owners and enthusiasts who have fun displaying their fire engines, and sharing their experiences and expertise with others—in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park. The diverse collection of fire rigs range from the 1920s through the late 1970s (734/483-4444; www.visitypsinow.com).
Honor Coho Salmon Festival
Honor, August 24–25--Because Michigan’s first salmon were planted in the Platte River, Honor is considered the birthplace of salmon in the state. And thus, the best place to celebrate the salmon run up Betsie and Platte rivers. Learn more about Coho and King salmon with a visit to the State Fish Hatchery, and join the Fishing Frenzy to catch the biggest. Enjoy the carnival and midway entertainment, the car show, horseshoe and softball tournaments, arts and crafts and flea market. Amid it all, be sure to stop for the parade, live music and fireworks (231/882-5801 or 800/882-5801; www.honorcohosalmonfestival.com).
Cascades Civil War Muster
Jackson, August 24–25--The Cascades Civil War Muster presents the Battle of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Enjoy stepping back in time at this family event, the largest, longest running Civil War event in the Midwest (517/764-4440; www.civilwarmuster.org).
Lakeshore Jazz Festival
Muskegon, August 24–25--If you jive to jazz, then this is the place to be. Hosted on the waterfront at Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon, headline performers make music you’ll long remember (231/724-6416; www.lakeshorejazzfestival.com).
Detroit Jazz Festival
Detroit, August 30–September 2--A singular lineup of today’s greatest jazz performers brings together generations to honor the jazz tradition. Two million square feet of downtown Detroit are dedicated to live-performance stages and the Jazz Talk Tent at this free festival. Competitions call out the best of upcoming artists, arrangers and ensembles (313/447-1248; www.detroitjazzfestival.com).
The Michigan State Fair – A Private Entity, LLC
Novi, August 30–September 2--The Michigan State Fair is returning and, has found its home at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Proudly produced by a private entity, with all of the great traditions of a state fair, The Michigan State Fair celebrates and supports agriculture, tourism, products, and the people of Michigan. The Fair will include breathtaking performances by the Detroit Shrine Circus, which will take place under the world’s largest circus tent. In addition, fairgoers can indulge in tasty carnival treats, and enjoy live entertainment and midway rides (248/348-5600; www.michiganstatefairllc.com).
Marquette, August 30–September 1--Over Labor Day, Lake Superior meets the blues in Marquette. World-class blues musicians plus food, beer and wine, and arts and crafts booths on the shores of Lake Superior. Get in the groove with dance and music workshops. Come for the bands, savor the food. This year’s 10th annual festival starts with Friday’s free “Thank You” concert (906/228-7749 or 800/544-4321; www.marquetteareabluessociety.com).
Cadillac Festival of Races
Cadillac, August 31--In its 41-year tenure, the Cadillac Festival of Races has hosted thousands of runners, among them All-State, All-American and U.S. Olympic athletes. With race courses designed to showcase the area and Lake Cadillac, the event caters to racers of all ages and capabilities. Whether you’re in it for the Kids Fun Run, the 5K Run/Walk, 10K Run or Adventure Triathlon, or you’re here as a cheerleader/spectator/photographer, you’re in for spectacular views and afterward, a great festival to celebrate your finish (231/876-0010, ext. 4; http://cadillacfestivalofraces.com/).