During the summer, West Michigan comes alive with festivals and events celebrating everything from art and music to food and nature. Here are some great summer festivities in West Michigan:
South West Michigan Summer Festivals & Music
Bay Pointe’s Lakefront Pavilion in West Michigan hosts Gun Lake Live, a summer concert series and beach party held every Wednesday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The event features talented music performers in various genres, and guests can enjoy dancing, mingling, and boat hopping with Bay Pointe’s food and beverage offerings. Attendees must be 21 or older and pay a $5 cover charge to join the fun-filled summer party.
Kick back and let loose in the heart of Southwest Michigan’s wine country Jammin’ in the Vineyard, at Round Barn Brewery & Public House. Soak up the sounds and flavors of this premier music experience from May through October.
Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant in Buchanan invites visitors to enjoy Live Music Sundays in the Vineyard Lounge, where local and regional musical acts perform from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm every Sunday, featuring classic rock, mellow jazz, and homegrown Americana, beginning on May 28th (Memorial Day weekend), and all for free. Take advantage of this opportunity to pair your summer bottle with live music and good company.
River Saint Joe in Buchanan has a plethora of fun and exciting outdoor music opportunities. Greenhouse Pick’n, on the first Sunday of every month, is an open invitation to enjoy local musicians, providing a fun-filled atmosphere. Music Monday showcasing local Midwest bands and musicians from different genres, such as Celtic, Country, Classic, and Soulful. The event takes place from 5:30-7:30pm, where you can savor the outdoors in the beer garden or indoors.
Join the History Center of Courthouse Square in Berrien Springs for The Croonin’ at the Courthouse Concert series returns in 2023 with a great summer lineup! Admission is free for the concert series, but donations to support programs like these are welcome! Kick off the series with “The Elvis Experience” on May 26 at 6:30 p.m. Check out their website for further dates.
Check out The Olive Burger Festival in the Greater Lansing area if you are a burger fan! This festival will be held on June 24, 2023, to commemorate the iconic Lansing food item – the Olive Burger – which has been a local favorite for over a century. This inaugural event allows people to come together and celebrate this unique burger with its secret olive sauce.
The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo will collaborate with several cities and villages around Kalamazoo County to hold the Summertime Live Concert Series, featuring over 100 free concerts by artists of all genres. The concerts will take place at 12 different outdoor venues every Wednesday through Sunday from May through September, making Kalamazoo the perfect place to enjoy live music throughout the summer. In addition to the concert series, Kalamazoo will also host several festivals this summer, including Kalamazoo Pride, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair, and Black Arts Festival.
Participate in the Chettah Chase 5K at the Binder Park Zoo! The course includes the scenic view of Michigan woodlands and a variety of zoo animals, including giraffes, zebras, and antelopes on the African savannah. The one of a kind race is one that you will not want to miss!
Allegan Event offers Sunday Family Funday this summer, including a weekly BBQ on the patio and live music from 1-3 and 4-6 every week. It’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy quality time with family and friends while relishing delicious food and live music. Also, when in the area, check out all five Allegan Antiques Shows featuring hundreds of quality dealers in every field of antiques and collectibles.
Coldwater Country has a variety of events and festivals to celebrate throughout the summer, including the Coldwater Strawberry Fest and the Magic City Grill Fest on June 17th, the Bronson Polish Festival from July 20th to 23rd, the Magic Get Together from August 2nd to 5th, the County Fair from August 6th to 12th, and the Coldwater AppleFest on September 16th. These are just a few exciting festivities that await visitors to the region, offering everything from food festivals to car shows. Be sure to join in on the fun!
On July 3rd, South Haven’s annual Light Up the Lake Independence Day Celebration will feature a fireworks display set off the North Pier that can be enjoyed from the beach, while COSY 103.7 fm will provide a 3-hour soundtrack pre-show followed by music synced to the fireworks, making it a spectacular event not to be missed!
There is no shortage of opportunities to treat your ears to live outdoor musical performances while visiting Saugatuck/ Douglas during the summer season. Check out the annual Venetian Festival, a weekend-long family-friendly fun festival. On Saturday, July 29th, there will be an art fair, Dinghy Poker Run, and Lighted Boat Parade. You will not want to miss the Saugatuck Center for the Arts free Jump Into Summer event on Friday, June 9th, featuring indie rock artist Michigander. The concert features Hands-on activities, food trucks, craft beverages, and more will be featured at this annual celebration. Every Wednesday starting on June 21th, is the Music in the Park series, where popular bands play at Wicks Park Gazebo from 7–9 pm. That is just the beginning. Be sure to check out their website for all of the musical fun to be had in Saugatuck!
The 61st Art Fair on the Bluff is set to take place on July 8th and 9th, and the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph is excited to host this ticketed event. 172 artists from different parts of the United States will showcase their talent. At the same time, attendees can enjoy the picturesque views and cool breezes of Lake Michigan and the warm hospitality of St. Joseph. The fair, which predates KAC, has become one of the top fairs in the US, drawing professional artists to Southwest Michigan.
Come and enjoy another year of the National Cereal Festival in Battle Creek! On June 10th, this signature festival highlights the heritage of the birthplace of the cereal industry and is a tradition that has drawn people far and wide for over 50 years. This family-friendly festival includes a variety of entertainment; live music, children’s activities, inflatables, and of course free cereal for all!
Look up in the sky! Battle Creek’s Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival is returning this year. There will be airplane performances, balloon launches, concerts, carnival food, fireworks, and more. Mark your calendar for June 29th-July 4th.
Central West Michigan Summer Festivals & Music
Visit Holland and experience Tulip Time, the former Dutch settlement’s renowned springtime festival. The town also features many festivals, including Celtic, Latin American, and Pride festivals. Theater fans will want to visit between June 8th – August 18th for a Hope Repertory Theatre award-winning experience. There are also many musical features, such as featuring classics by Bob Marley, 80’s rock bands, and Billy Holiday. All performances are within walking distance of Holland’s historic downtown, so an excellent evening of dining and theater is easily arranged. Beginning mid-June, each Tuesday and Friday evening Holland hosts free lakeside concerts!
John Ball Zoo is hosting various events throughout June and July, including HippoPalooza, World Ocean Day, Roaring Nights, and more. Roaring Nights is a 21 and up concert series where guests can enjoy live music, specialty food, craft beer, and wine while strolling through the zoo to see animals. The Zoo also has a Grand Rapids Lantern Festival. The Festival features 55 hand-crafted lantern displays that will illuminate the Zoo and tell the story of wildlife and Asian culture. This one-of-a-kind experience is the first and only place you can see these incredible works of art in Michigan! The event runs through June 11th, Wednesday-Sunday from 7-11 p.m., and is perfect for all ages. You will not want to miss experiencing the beauty and wonder of the John Ball Zoo Lantern Festival.
Celebrate Ludington’s 150th anniversary with an exciting weekend of events from June 9th-11th. The festivities include a Downtown Ludington Street Party, Lakestride Half Marathon, SS Badger 70th Anniversary Birthday Bash, and more. In addition, the Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival on July 4th features a Grand Parade and Fireworks Spectacular, while the West Shore Art Fair on July 1st-2nd showcases over 100 fine artists in Rotary Park, and Suds on the Shore on August 19 offers craft beer, wine, and cider with live music and food.
Mecosta County, located in the heart of West Michigan, offers a variety of festivals and events throughout the summer months. The Barryton Lilac Festival occurs the first weekend in June and includes pony rides, petting zoo, a 5K and more! Another fun festival is the Big Rapids Air Fest in June where there will be kiddie plane trains, aircraft from throughout the state, food trucks, and plenty of family fun. Check out all of the great festivals in Mecosta County here.
The Big Rapids Region offers various free outdoor music events. The Pocket Park Concert Series takes place every Friday from May-September, which features Ferris State’s Community Band Concert Series on Wednesdays from June-July. The Big Rapids Bandshell Concert Series every Wednesday from July-August, Canadian Lakes’ Summer Concert Series on Saturdays from June-August, and Mecosta’s Music on the River Free Concert Series on Friday nights from June-August. All these concerts are free and open to the public, and more information can be found on the Mecosta County Visitors Bureau’s Summer Annual Events Page.
Stop by Archival Brewing for free live music in their biergarten (you can even bring your dog) every Friday night! Enjoy fire pits, corn hole, and bocce ball!
Alma’s claim to fame includes the annual Highland Festival, which brings members of Scottish clans and interested onlookers together for a weekend of Highland dancing, bagpipes, kilts, and camaraderie. The festival is located on the Alma College campus in Alma, Michigan on May 24th – 26th. Each year the festival brings thousands of visitors to the area and lets them experience the very best of Scottish tradition. The festival combines great competition with Scottish hospitality.
Travel to Muskegon for The Lakeshore Art Festival on June 24th – 25th. The Festival features a unique blend of fine art, handcrafted goods, music, food, and fun in beautiful Downtown Muskegon. Experience over 300 juried fine art and specialty craft exhibitors, a Children’s Lane, artisan food market, street performers, interactive art stations, and so much more!
Come for a beautiful celebration of Asian-Pacific culture at the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival on June 9th – 11th. This event will showcase numerous vendors and businesses, and over 19 food vendors with unique, diverse food experiences that will tempt your taste buds. Come and be immersed in a world of flavor, music, and fun!
Festival of the Arts is back in downtown Grand Rapids, June 2nd-4th, 2023, for a celebration of artists, music, theater, dance, poetry, young people’s activities, and multicultural food.
The Unity Christian Music Festival is four days of the best in Christian music and family fun! One of America’s largest Christian music festivals, the festival is celebrating their 22nd year on August 9th- 12th at Heritage Landing in Muskegon. Tickets are on sale now!
Hang-ten at the Great Lakes Surf Festival in Muskegon on Saturday, August 12th.
Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach will ignite August 26th for the 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.
Celebrate and honor the men and women of the Coast Guard at the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival July 28th-August 6th.
The Grand Rapids Polish Heritage Society is planning this year’s Polish Festival in downtown Grand Rapids for the last full weekend of August.
North West Michigan & Upper Peninsula Summer Festivals & Music
How do pirates prefer to communicate? Aye to aye! Don’t miss the Boyne City Pirate Fest, where you can have action-packed fun for the whole family! The event includes invasion, entertainment, reenactment, Highland games, Pirate Queen Padget, parade, and more!
There are music and summer celebrations galore this summer in the Petoskey Area! The Annual Blissfest Folk & Roots Festival is July 7th, 8th & 9th. In addition, check out routine summer events like Fridays for Stroll the Streets in Boyne City, Street Musique on Thursdays in Harbor Springs, Summer Concert Series in Boyne City, and Music in the Park Downtown Petoskey on special days. You can also find music events at their various venues throughout the area, such as the: Lavender Hill Farm, Great Lakes Center for the Arts, Bay View Summer Music Festival, Crooked Tree Arts Center and more!
Reserve coveted summer weekends like the annual Big Show Over the Little Village Fourth of July Weekend. Enjoy a front-row seat to the Classic Car & wooden boat show at Walloon Woodies Weekend. Attend a Weekend Art Show in Village Green Park hosted by Danielle’s Blue Ribbon Events and discover unlimited summer adventure at Hotel Walloon Resort.
Check out Art Week in the City of Marquette June 19th-24th. Art Week includes local artists, organizations, and businesses to come together and collaborate on a series of free arts and cultural programming for the community.
Shady Lane Cellars in Sutton’s Bay will also be hosting live music on Fridays in October while also hosting festivals such as the Blue and Barbeque Festival.
Keweenaw is a place that draws and inspires artists of every kind. The communities here celebrate their local musicians, and there’s no shortage of live music and festivals here in the Keweenaw. So delve into the music scene – whether your location leans more casual or you’re ready for a rollicking music fest, we’ve got you covered!
You’ll want to check out the Petoskey Stone Festival, the Mancelona Bass Festival, and the National Cherry Festival! Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire makes an excellent basecamp for exploring various Northern Michigan festivals and is known for being an iconic up north getaway.
Cadillac has the ultimate guide to the summer music scene in the area! Discover the ultimate guide to the summer music scene on their website!
Enjoy the 16th annual Michigan Beer & Brat Festival at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, where there will be microbrews, meads, ciders, wines, and brats from northwest Michigan markets, accompanied by live entertainment.
Mackinaw City will have a delightful free concert series at Conkling Heritage Park in Mackinaw City. Experience the lovely sounds of live music at Conkling Heritage Park in Mackinaw City during the FREE Summer Concert Series presented by Music in Mackinaw. The series runs from July through September, with concerts every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00 pm, and features diverse musical genres.
Mark your calendar for three Mackinac Island festivals this summer. The 75th annual Lilac Festival is June 9th-18th, the oldest Stone Skipping competition in the US, a day of fun on the 4th of July, and a weekend celebrating world-famous fudge at the end of August. Bonus: enjoy live music in Marquette Park every Thursday in July and August! These special festivals are ones that you will want to attend. The Annual Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island has grown into a 10-day festival held in honor of the flower for which the Island is renowned, where you can experience the lilac’s splendor while they bloom throughout the Island.
Head to Northern Michigan for the Michaywe Arts & Crafts Fair on Friday and Saturday, August 11th & 12th. Michaywe’s clubhouse and its wooded, park-like setting serve as the backdrop for the fair, which comfortably accommodates more than 100 exhibitors.
Find more to add to your West Michigan summer on our events calendar.