With summer comes a slew of festivals in West Michigan, each entirely unique and memorable. We’re talking about festivals centered around food, beer, art, culture, and more throughout the next few months. With events taking place nearly every week throughout the summer, there’s always something right around the corner for you to experience with these West Michigan festivals.
May Festivals in West Michigan
Presented biennially over three weeks in April and May, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, based in Kalamazoo, is internationally recognized as America’s most prestigious piano music festival. The 2018 Gilmore Keyboard Festival continues through May 12th, with multiple events in West Michigan every day.
Spring has sprung! Visit the Lansing area to experience all that their Spring Fling Festival has to offer. Events include a 5K run, craft show on Saturday, pie sale, duck race, and much more. The event takes place at the Ingham County Courthouse on Saturday, May 5th. Come back on Saturday, May 19th for the East Lansing Arts Festival, a two-day outdoor celebration of culture and the arts. This event kicks off mid-Michigan’s summer art show season.
Celebrating the festival’s 89th year in 2018, Tulip Time in Holland has grown over the years to be so much more than a flower festival. Back in 1929, the City of Holland planted its first crop of 100,000 tulips and the overwhelming number of visitors over the years as the festival took shape resulted in Tulip Time. This year’s festival is from May 5th to 13th, and surely won’t disappoint! During your trip to Tulip Time, visit Nelis’ Dutch Village. They offer an eye-popping tulip display with 10 acres of canals, windmills, Dutch-style buildings, rides, and a large petting zoo with friendly farm animals. Great family memories begin in Holland, so come and get yours.
Spend time out in the great outdoors and hunt for the great morel mushrooms in the Cadillac area at the Mesick Mushroom Festival from May 11th to 13th. There are activities for the whole family, including hunting for mushrooms, the Blessing of the Jeeps, food of all kinds, concerts, and additional things for the kids to do.
Enjoy the spring season and celebrate a mom in your life at Post Family Farm’s Spring Festival on Saturday, May 12th. If you are looking for a beautiful, old-fashioned, farm setting to celebrate the spring season, look no further than Post Family Farm in Hudsonville!
Celebrate summer fun in Coldwater Country with a variety of festivals and events. Events include the Coldwater Car Show on May 12th and 13th and Civil War Days from May 25th to 28th. More events in the area include the Strawberry Festival, Polish Festival, Magic Fest, County Fair, AppleFest, and more. Block out your calendar, so that you and your family can attend one or all of these fun events.
Visit the Petoskey area for the 58th Annual National Morel Mushroom Festival from May 17th to 20th. Even through morels play the lead role in this festival, guests are also treated to carnival rides, an open-mic contest, the chance to participate in a 5K run, a craft show, and a beer tent with live music.
Celebrate spring and get ready for summer at the 6th Annual BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass festival in St. Joseph on Saturday, May 19th! Enjoy live music, craft beer, regional wines, and, of course, local BBQ! This event will be located in Whirlpool Centennial Park, just below the bluff from downtown St. Joseph.
Visit Grand Haven for the Great Lakes Kite Festival on May 19th and 20th. Enjoy a day at the beach as the sky is filled with colorful kites of all types and sizes. World-famous stunt kite fliers perform to music on the center flying field while kites larger than a school bus hover just to the south. MACkite, the world’s largest kite store, will be selling a selection of kites, wind toys, and spinners at their tent on the beach all weekend long.
Kick off the summer festival fun with the 7th Annual Shanty-to-Shorts festival run on Saturday, May 12th at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. Take part in the 5K, starting on the front steps of Shanty Creek Resorts’ Lakeview Hotel to the front door of Shorts Brewing Company in Bellaire. With so many fun festivities throughout the summer season, remember that Shanty Creek Resorts is located smack in the middle of northern Michigan. Whether enjoying the Antrim County Petoskey Stone Festival, or the Mancelona Bass Festival, Shanty Creek is the perfect destination to stay.
The Alma Highland Festival in Alma returns for its 50th year on May 26th and 27th. The event features Scottish activities, live entertainment, vendors, a grand parade, and much more. Check out their full schedule online and be a part of this year’s celebration!
The Memorial Weekend Art & Wine Festival at Lemon Creek Winery in Berrien Springs is a two-day celebration of regional art, music, food, and wine. Come kick off the summer meandering exhibits of different mediums, such as hand-crafted stained glass, jewelry, pottery, photography, and paintings, with a glass of bubbly or Pinot Grigio in hand.
Summer at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville starts with the Michigan Beer and Brat Festival on Saturday, May 26th. This Memorial Day weekend tradition brings beerlovers together to sample Michigan’s finest microbrews, hard cider, mead, and gourmet brats, all while enjoying the sights and sounds of northwestern Michigan.
June Festivals in West Michigan
The Festival of the Arts is a three-day community celebration in downtown Grand Rapids offering art, food, entertainment, and fun activities for all ages. This year’s event is June 1st to 3rd, and will continue the tradition of bringing together the Grand Rapids art community for a summer kick-off. Ongoing for over 40 years, the Festival of the Arts is one of the longest-running festivals in the state.
The Mecosta area is home to festivals throughout the summer. The Lilac Festival is a chance for families to come out and do something fun, as a hometown, family-friendly event from June 1st to 3rd. Return for a summer of festivals, including the Morley Celebration on the Pond, Remus Heritage Days, and Mecosta County Agricultural Fair.
The Charlevoix Craft Beer Festival is a celebration of Michigan craft beer, local food, and entertainment on Saturday, June 2nd. The aim of the festival is to provide patrons the opportunity to enjoy a varied selection of high-quality Michigan craft beer while mingling with friends at the beautiful waterside venue. Attendees are encouraged to venture out and explore downtown Charlevoix’s culinary and retail offerings prior to and after the event.
The band Moxie Strings is set to appear at Cogdal Vineyards in South Haven on Sunday, June 3rd for the Cogdal Vineyards Wine Lovers’ Festival. Attendees can expect a fun experience of high-energy, original, and traditional tunes performed on five-string fiddle and electric cello while enjoying a glass of delicious wine.
Plan a summer fun Girls’ Night Out with the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula Divas Uncorked event on Friday, June 8th. This evening is devoted entirely to women, wine, food, and fun. Enjoy wine and food pairings, giveaways, shopping, and pampering. Bring your entourage, relax, and be fabulous!
Whether you’re looking for a fun and easy family getaway or a big night out on the town with friends, Mt. Pleasant offers a little bit of everything. They have a wide variety of events this summer, kicking off with the Back to the Bricks car show on Friday, June 8th. The following day, craft beer enthusiasts gather for the Mt. Pleasant Craft Beer Festival, showcasing some of Michigan’s greatest brews. There won’t be a dull moment during your trip to Mt. Pleasant.
Feast of the Strawberry Moon is June 9th and 10th in Grand Haven. The event includes reenactments, a kids day, live entertainment, and more as they explore the middleground world that evolved between Europeans and the Native Americans in the Great Lakes Region during the pre-1800 fur trade era.
Grand Haven hosts some of West Michigan’s fan-favorite festivals every summer. The Spring Lake Heritage Festival is June 11th to 16th, and has family fun like no other. The following week is the Grand Haven Art Festival on June 23th and 24th. The event seeks to provide the community and visitors with a unique opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind art, directly from the artists.
Music, boating, arts, and culture are all happening in River Country. Some of the area’s most popular annual events include the Three Rivers Water Fest from June 14th to 16th and Sturgis Fest from June 23rd to 30th. More events include Covered Bridge Days and the Magic Get-Together later in the summer. They have a full event calendar on their website, so check that out if you need to fill your time in southwest Michigan!
The Michigan Maritime Museum presents the 37th Antique & Classic Boat Show on Saturday, June 16th, during Harborfest weekend in South Haven. This event celebrates all kinds of antique and classic small craft from power boats to paddle boats. Woodworkers and collectors alike will show their boats, demonstrations on boat building techniques will be featured, and toy boat building will be available for kids. The aim is to help perpetuate the building, restoration, and use of classic boats and small craft to give participants and the public an entertaining and informative learning experience.
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids is pleased to present to you Founders Fest 2018: A Celebration of Beer and Music on Saturday, June 16th. In its 11th year, Founders Fest continues to marry the finest beer with the tastiest artists from around the country and the world.
Located at the scenic Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival brings together the members of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail for a spectacular day in the sand on Saturday, June 16th. The festival will feature fantastic regional live music, food trucks, and local restaurants to pair with the world-class wines produced right in southwest Michigan.
Whitehall is home to the 40th Annual White Lake Area Arts & Crafts. The festival is expected to draw thousands of people this Father’s Day weekend on June 16th and 17th. Creative artists will participate in this very popular juried art show, and attendees can purchase a variety of hand-made art and crafts such as jewelry, wood furniture, birdhouses, ceramics, and more. A great lineup of musicians will entertain the crowds throughout the weekend.
The 9th Annual Traverse City Wine & Cider Festival is Saturday, June 24th. Come celebrate local wine, food, and culture. The festival brings together a true taste of the region with great wines, art, food trucks, and live musical entertainment all in one location!
Visit Lansing for the 19th Annual Common Ground Music Festival from June 28th to July 1st! See some of the best rock, pop, country, and hip-hop stars in the world take the stage in downtown Lansing along the Grand River in a setting unlike any other.
June in Battle Creek means it’s time for the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival from June 28th to July 4th. Balloon launches or fly-ins take place every night (weather dependent) and air shows take place at noon.
The Soo Locks Engineers Weekend begins on Friday, June 29th in Sault Ste. Marie. This fun weekend offers exclusive access to some of the area’s historic and interesting attractions such as the Locks and the Cloverland Electric Hydroelectric Power Plant.
The 60th annual South Haven Art Fair hosted by the South Haven Center for the Arts is a two-day juried festival held one block from the Lake Michigan shore in picturesque Stanley Johnson Park on June 30th and July 1st. This year’s unique blend of talent includes works in acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastel, drawing, sculpture, photography, glass, wood, clay, and wearable art. Admission is free for this two-day event.
The National Cherry Festival brings people from all over the world to Traverse City for a weeklong celebration surrounding the cherry. Not only that, it attracts people from all over Michigan, the five-county area, and even just across the street to participate in activities. Come celebrate the Cherry Capital of the World from June 30th to July 7th for another year of food, drink, entertainment, and tradition!
July Festivals in West Michigan
The Lakeshore Art Festival features a unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food, and fun in beautiful downtown Muskegon on July 6th and 7th. Experience nearly 300 juried fine art and specialty craft exhibitors, children’s activities, specialty food items, street performers, interactive art stations including Chalk-The-Walk, Color Muskegon, and so much more!
The Lowell Riverwalk Festival brings free family-fun activities to the Lowell area from July 12th to 14th. The festival has a packed three-day schedule with something for everybody in the family, and it’s all finished off with a fireworks display on Saturday night.
With nine days of family-fun entertainment, the Ionia Free Fair returns to the Ionia Fairgrounds from July 12th to 21st. Enjoy the rodeo, rides, monster trucks, camping, and more at this fun annual event.
Idlewild Festival, held in Idlewild on July 14th and 15th, commemorates and celebrates the history of well known African-American entertainers and professionals who owned property and performed at the Historic Resort prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Known as the “Black Eden,” this location was one of the few resorts in the United States where African Americans could vacation and purchase property.
Attend the 57th Annual Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff, sponsored by the Krasl Art Center, on July 14th and 15th! With an estimated 50,000 attendees, the Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff is one of the most prestigious and well-attended events in St. Joseph. A source of pride for the community, as well as local volunteers and artists from around the country, the Krasl Art Fair provides guests with tremendous exposure to high-quality art.
From July 20th to 29th, Sault Ste. Marie will be celebrating its semiseptcentennial (350th year) anniversary with a week-long festival filled with history, games, kids activities, music, entertainment, and food.
The Sandy Corley Memorial Run has raised over $2 million for cancer care. The 30th annual event is July 26th to 28th at Double JJ Resort in New Era, where they’ll continue their mission to aid in the treatment of cancer victims.
This year, the Bay Harbor Arts Festival is on the waterfront again when it takes over the lawns in front of the Bay Harbor Lake Marina in Petoskey on July 27th and 28th. The festival encourages the creation of high-quality art that demonstrates creativity, innovation, and appreciation of the visual arts.
The Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is a unique, premier, 10-day national military festival to honor the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. From July 27th to August 5th, there are opportunities for all to attend and participate. From parades, waterfront entertainment, and fireworks to the National Memorial Service, Street Dance, and Kids Day, the festival allows for reflection, celebration, and solidifying the historical relationship between the Coast Guard and Grand Haven.
August Festivals in West Michigan
The 45th Annual Island Art Fair in Grand Ledge is Saturday, August 4th, and is designed to promote Ledge Craft Lane. Vendors at the Island Art Fair come from all over the state for one of the best one-day shows in Michigan. As it was for the first Island Art Fair and continues to be, all artists’ and artisans’ work is approved by a jury. Those interested in participating need to complete an application and provide pictures of their art or craft as well as a picture showing them create their work.
Come to Heritage Landing in Muskegon from August 8th to 11th for the biggest Christian music festival in Michigan: Unity Christian Music Festival! There’ll be three stages featuring more than 45 acts, Unity Christian Music Festival has quickly become one of the country’s premier events for live Christian music.
The 28th Annual Del Shannon Car Show in Coopersville is one of the largest linear car shows in West Michigan when it comes to town on August 10th and 11th. It draws up to 400 cars for the cruise and draws thousands of people from all over to participate and enjoy.
The Rubber Ducky Festival in Bellaire kicks off on Sunday, August 12th and runs through Sunday, August 19th. This year’s festival is part of Bellaire’s 12 Days of Summer Celebration, kicking off with the three-day Antrim County Fair, which features a carnival, restaurant cook-off, family movie night, and horse shows.
See some of the area’s best animals compete at the Berrien County Youth Fair on August 13th to 16th. There’s plenty of additional concerts, carnival rides, food, and family fun that’s sure to be worth your free time.
The Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan is August 15th to 19th. The mission of the festival is to promote the interests of individuals and businesses related to natural fiber, to advance and continue high quality standards of business practice in the natural fiber area, and to further the development and knowledge within the fiber community. With the festival, enjoy workshops, activities, and a market, with something for everybody!
The 54th Annual Danish Festival is August 17th to 20th in Greenville. The event features live entertainment, parades, hot air balloons, and other summer staples while celebrating the Danish heritage.
The inaugural Great Lakes Surf Festival is Saturday, August 18th in Muskegon. The goal of the festival is to bring people together in an all-ages and family-friendly atmosphere. Enjoy a late summer day on an amazing beach, doing what you love and surrounded by people from all over the Great Lakes region.
GRandJazzFest in Grand Rapids is West Michigan’s only free, weekend-long jazz festival! This year’s festival is August 18th and 19th, at Rosa Parks Circle, a central location in the heart of downtown. The festival brings to the stage notable jazz performers as well as up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences.
Originally started in Columbus, Ohio, Breakaway Music Festival expanded Grand Rapids last year for a new music experience. Featuring a well-curated musical lineup of national and local artists, local vendors and food trucks, and more, Breakaway is your release from the everyday life.
The 39th Annual Polish Festival, held by the Polish Heritage Society, returns to Grand Rapids from August 24th to 26th. The festival is designed to encourage education and scholarship among people of Polish heritage.
Summerfest, Hastings’ end of summer celebration, commemorates the end of summer with activities and events from August 24th to 26th. Enjoy a weekend of music, food, family activities, a car show, and more. Saying goodbye to summer has never been so much fun!
Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach will ignite on Saturday, August 28th, for the 4th Annual Burning Foot Beer Festival. Serving as Michigan’s only barefoot beer festival on the sand, festival goers can enjoy some of the finest craft beer found in the Great Lakes region, revel in local art and food, groove to local and national music acts, and take in the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan.
September Festivals in West Michigan
The Paw Paw Wine & Harvest Festival offers something for everyone, including tastings and tours for wine enthusiasts when it comes to Paw Paw from September 7th to 9th. In addition to the wine, the festival hosts a grape stomping competition, kayak race, and other contests for the active members of your family. There’s also four stages of live entertainment, carnival rides, fireworks, and a parade. This is one weekend you won’t want to miss!
Held from September 13th to 16th in Muskegon, the Michigan Irish Festival features live Irish entertainment daily under five large covered stages, from traditional Irish and folk music and contemporary Celtic rock to storytelling and Irish dance. The Pub will be serving traditional Irish beverages and food, adding to the cultural experience.
The Allegan County Fair returns for another year from September 7th to 15th. Over the years, the fair has continue to grow with additional live entertainment, vendors, events, and more. Looking over the fair’s history, it is obvious that the founders of the fair strived for growth, which still holds true today. This is why the Allegan County Fair is one of the largest fairs in the State of Michigan, and why USA Today named the Allegan County Fair the most popular county fair in Michigan.
PRIME Music Festival returns to Lansing on September 14th and 15th. The multi-genre festival brings local and national performers together for a fantastic weekend of live music. Keep an eye out for their much-anticipated lineup coming soon!
LowellArts invites you to the 50th Annual Fallasburg Arts Festival held in picturesque Fallasburg Park in Lowell on September 15th and 16th. The event features 100 unique fine art and fine craft booths, food booths, children’s craft area, craft demonstrations, and music performed on an outdoor stage.
Rounding out the summer and welcoming the fall is ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.