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West Michigan’s Summer Festivals to Look Forward to Attending

If there’s one thing we can’t resist in the West Michigan summertime, it’s summer festivals! From music festivals to beer festivals to art festivals and everything in between, there’s fun to be had and memories to be made. 

Due to COVID-19, many summer festival plans throughout Michigan are being updated and changed on a daily basis. While this article was accurate to the best of our knowledge upon publication, we strongly suggest confirming with festival organizers before making plans to attend the below festivals.

 

Summer Festivals in Southern West Michigan

Includes Coldwater, South Haven, Berrien Springs, Allegan, Lansing

Come out for Coldwater‘s Downtown ArtWalk, Saturday, July 11th from 2-10pm. Monroe Street will be blocked from traffic, and instead the street will feature a variety of fine artists, food trucks, live music, and more!

From the beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan to the eclectic eateries, award-winning wineries, quaint boutiques and the natural scenic surroundings – there’s just something special about South Haven. This summer, join in and celebrate South Haven’s 29th Annual Harbor Fest, June 19th & 20th for a weekend full of fun for the entire family with live music, dragon races, crafters, beer/wine tent and more! You also won’t want to miss the 62nd Annual South Haven Art Fair, a two-day juried festival held one block from the Lake Michigan shore on July 4th and 5th. The fair features the unique artwork of over 100 artists! Are you a blueberry lover? Then be sure to attend the 57th Annual National Blueberry Festival August 6th through 9th. Celebrate everything blueberry with family-friendly attractions such as live music, basketball tournaments, 5K run/walk, fish boils, blueberry pancake breakfasts, blueberry produce market, and more! 

Known as the midwest’s largest youth fair, the Berrien County Youth Fair, taking place August 17th through 22nd, is a week long exhibition showing off the county youths’ talents and projects. Along with almost 15,000 youth projects shown by close to 2,500 exhibitors, the fair offers many other attractions such as commercial exhibits, exposition buildings, a wonders of birth barn, a historical building, many food vendors, free family entertainment, a huge carnival rides area, and grandstand entertainment.

Located at the Allegan County Fairgrounds August 12th through 16th, Michigan Fiber Festival is the largest fiber festival in the state. The festival showcases animal exhibitors, animals, fine arts and fiber arts competitions, a sense of community with camping throughout the grounds, education in the form of pre-registered workshops, and shorter workshops for those not sure what where they would like to begin.

On July 10th and 11th, you’ll want to head to Lansing for the Common Ground Music Festival – the Midwest’s hottest music event with three stages of entertainment. The annual event will continue to bring nationally known artists — from rock to classics to country to rap — in order to blast the Midwest with top-notch music.

 

Summer Festivals in Central West Michigan

Includes Hudsonville, Grand Haven, Ionia, Muskegon, Mt. Pleasant, Grand Rapids

What better way to kick off summer than attending weekly free concerts throughout June? In Hudsonville you can do just that! Families can expect to hear fun, family friendly music every Thursday night in June from 7-8pm at Veterans Park with June Concerts on the Green Series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and grab dinner at one of the food trucks. Continue the weekly concert fun in Hudsonville with Happenings on Harvey every Thursday in July, starting July 9th, from 6- 8 pm in the heart of Downtown Hudsonville on Harvey Street. These free, Thursday night events include children’s activities, great local businesses, music, food specials, and many more fun things to do! 

The Polish Heritage Festival will be held on August 21st in downtown Grand Rapids. There will be cooking demonstrations, a Polish dance group, non-stop music, children’s activities, famously delicious Polish food, and a beer tent featuring Polish beer. The festival is free to attend and open to the public.

If you want an unforgettable weekend of dancing and singing along to your favorite artists, then Breakaway Music Festival is the perfect place to be. Taking place on August 28th and 29th in Grand Rapids, Breakaway Music Festival is a well-curated musical lineup of national and local artists, local vendors and food trucks, and more.

Get ready for dancing in the streets in Mt. Pleasant!  Max & Emily’s Summer Concert Series transforms the streets of downtown Mt. Pleasant into a dance floor, hosting big-name artists like The Verve Pipe and Jeff Daniels. Concerts will take place July and August. You also won’t want to miss Mt. Pleasant transform into a living work of art during Art Walk Central. This month-long art competition invites hundreds of artists to put their works on display throughout the community for their chance to win prizes. This annual art competition takes place every August, with large art installations placed at Town Center in Downtown Mt. Pleasant.

Don’t miss one of the largest Christian music festivals in the United States, Unity Christian Music Festival, in Muskegon August 5th through 8th. The festival takes place on the shores of Muskegon Lake at the beautiful Heritage Landing Park, with free extreme games, free kids activities, speaker tent, very affordable food prices, and spectacular views of sunsets over the lake as you see your favorite Christian music artists. 

Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach will ignite on August 29th for the 6th 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.

Calling all surfers, kiteboarders, kayakers, windsurfers, artists, and yogis. The 3rd Annual Great Lakes Surf Festival will be held on Saturday, August 15th at Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon. You don’t want to miss this day filled with watersports events! Not very familiar with these sports? No problem! At Great Lakes Surf Festival you can attend workshops, product demos, and free lessons to make you an expert in no time.

The Lakeshore Art Festival on July 3rd and July 4th features a unique blend of fine art, handcrafted goods, music, food, and fun in beautiful downtown Muskegon. Experience over 350 juried fine art and specialty craft exhibitors, a Children’s Lane, artisan food market, street performers, multiple interactive art stations, Chalk The Walk, and so much more!

The Ionia Free Fair isn’t just one of Michigan’s greatest and longest running outdoor events, it is a tradition. This year, the week-long fair takes place July 16-25. Festival attendees can enjoy great music, a queen contest, monster truck throwdown, parade, classic car show, carnival attractions, fair rides, and much more! 

The Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is the nation’s largest festival honoring the men & women of the US Coast Guard, and this year it will take place July 24th through August 2nd. Highlights of this festival include kids parade, grand parade, musical entertainment, carnival, Coast Guard Community Picnic, National Memorial Service, children’s activities, scholarship competition, car show, street dance, sponsor booths, arts & crafts, ship tours, senior day, and the World’s Largest Musical Fountain with spectacular fireworks.

 

Summer Festivals in Northern West Michigan

Includes Boyne City, Ludington, Walloon Lake, Bellaire, Thompsonville, Benzie, Petoskey, Traverse City

Traverse City brings good things in life together to make a place where you feel truly comfortable and where vacations feel perfect. During summertime, Traverse City is bustling with festivals that you and your family will love! Traverse City is hosting Traverse City Film Festival from July 28th to August 2nd, Friday Night Live in TC from August 7th through 28th, and Northwestern Michigan Fair from August 9th to 15th – just to name a few! 

This is “knot yer average festival” – Boyne City Pirate Fest is taking place “Arrrgust 6th through 9th” (that’s pirate-speak for August 6th to 9th). Enjoy movie night under a tent, a parade down Lake Street, a kids fair, highlander games, live entertainment, haunted pirate river ride, costume contest, and much more pirate-themed fun. 

Mission Point Lighthouse in Traverse City is hosting the 2020 traveling Michigan Lighthouse Festival this year. The dates are August 7th and 8th starting with a kick-off dinner and show Friday night at Turtle Creek hotel, then vendors and festivities at Mission Point Lighthouse Park on Saturday the 8th. This is a unique experience for lighthouse fans. They are celebrating 150 years since the light was first lit at Mission Point Lighthouse. In addition to seeing the lighthouse, enjoy the park, bring a picnic, and walk the trails and beach.

If you love bicycling, you’ll want to head to Benzie County on June 6th for Bike Benzie’s 12th annual Up North Road and Gravel Event!  It’s a fun event organized by the Benzie Sunrise Rotary Club and hosted by Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa in Thompsonville, Michigan. This event is a day to celebrate bikes, raise money for the community, and promote healthy lifestyles in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

On August 22nd, you’ll want to head to the mountain! Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville is having their annual Michigan Beer and Brat Festival! Enjoy live entertainment while sampling an enormous selection of Michigan’s finest microbrews, local hard cider and mead, and gourmet brats from northwest Michigan markets.

The Bellaire Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the 33rd Annual Rubber Ducky Festival in Downtown Bellaire on August 10th through 16th, 2020. This festival features a week of events including Bay Area Big Band, Community Paddle Event, Commission on Aging Picnic and Car Show, Duck and Glow 5k Run/Walk and 1 Mile Kiddie Dash, Grass River’s “Riverfest & Auction,” “Dominic Fortuna,” Corn Hole Tournament, Kids Activities, Rubber Ducky Parade and Race, and “Woodstock 2” Live Music. Finish the week with the return of the Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge XC on Sunday.

Hotel Walloon is having their Third Annual Big Show over the Little Village on July 4th. They will have a live four-piece band, the Pistol Whips, specials at Barrel Back, games for the kids, and the best firework show in Northern Michigan. Skip the crowds and busy parks and head on over Walloon Lake at the Village Green Park. Hotel Walloon offers an unforgettable stay with memorable gifts every evening and exclusives offered to hotel guests.

No matter what you’re seeking fun for the whole family, a beach or outdoor adventure, a peaceful getaway, or just a community of friendly faces, you can find it in Ludington, and summer is no exception! The Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival on July 4th will be highlighted by the 2:00pm Grand Parade on Ludington Avenue and Fireworks Spectacular at dusk over Lake Michigan. Suds on the Shore will return to the lakeshore on August 15th, showcasing 60 crafters’ beer, wine, cider and meads. Live music and food round out the attractions, and all proceeds from the event benefit United Way of Mason County. Friday Night Live will turn Downtown Ludington into a street carnival three times this summer, July 24th, July 31st, and August 7th. This annual street party series will feature dozens of activity booths, food vendors, live music, and activities such as inflatables, pony rides, virtual reality arcade, balloon animals, demonstrations, and so much more!

Summer means fun and usually festivals, but this year it’s hard to tell which of our favorite events will be happening. Follow the Petoskey Area Events Page to stay in the know – and plan on an awesome summer in the great outdoors with or without the big events.

 

Summer Festivals in the Upper Peninsula

Explore the Keweenaw Peninsula – where they say adventure falls from the sky, grows from the ground, and springs from Lake Superior. Keweenaw is full of summer festivals! Depending on when this summer you visit, you can attend the Chassel Strawberry Festival, Keweenaw Mineral Days, Eagle Harbor Art Fair, Pasty Fest, and more. Check out the full list of 2020 events planned for the Keweenaw Peninsula here.

 

Looking Ahead to September Festivals

Upcoming September Events: