You don’t have to travel far when you live in Michigan to find a whole lot of fun. We encourage you to support the festivals, events, cities and businesses that are making all the cool things happen around the state. So get out this summer and have some fun and create some great memories in the process. Carpe diem!!
As usual we by no means have listed all the events happening around Michigan. Add ones we missed (with links) in the comments below!
“Many public-school children seem to know only two dates: 1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don’t know what happened on either occasion. – Mark Twain
“Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” – Mark Twain
“Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.” Henry David Thoreau
“You know, when you get your first asparagus, or your first acorn squash, or your first really good tomato of the season, those are the moments that define the cook’s year. I get more excited by that than anything else.” – Mario Batali
“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” – Lewis Grizzard
Fast Facts – via Wikipedia’s July entry
- The second half of the year commences in July
- The birthstone for July is a red ruby
- July was renamed for Julius Caesar… Previously, it was called Quintilis…
July 2 – 9
National Cherry Festival Traverse City
The National Cherry Festival features over 150 events including free air shows over the Bay, colorful parades & marching bands, music shows, sporting events, rides & carnival games on the midway, pie-eating contests, clean blue skies, warm sunshine, crowds of smiling faces, and loads of luscious cherries prepared every way you can imagine!
Common Ground Lansing
Common Ground is situated in downtown Lansing along the banks of the Grand River in Adado Riverfront Park. Common Ground is an event for all your senses. This annual celebration features an outstanding line-up of musical acts, focusing on top-level, national, contemporary music performers, scores of food vendors, and a dynamic display of outdoor interactive activities for kids. With an attractive, intimate venue, state-of-art production and a comprehensive array of patron amenities, the festival is the premier special event of the summer in the greater Lansing region. Absolute Michigan gave away a pair of tickets!
July 8 – 9
Michigan Elvisfest Ypsilanti
The world-renowned Michigan Elvisfest began in 2000 in Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Historic Depot Town. Beautiful Riverside Park is the place where Elvis fans flock by the thousands every July to pay homage to the King of Rock & Roll and to hear the most award-winning professional Elvis Tribute Artists in North America, as well as other talented Legend Tribute Artists.
July 8 – 10
Blissfest Cross Village
The 30th Blissfest Music Festival will be a celebration of music, culture, art and community featuring a world of diverse and innovative folk and roots music and dance at the Festival Farm in picturesque rural northern Michigan. It is truly a blissful musical weekend to be shared with families, friends and music-lovers of all ages. The annual event is a showcase of the many musical styles that define American roots and world music. Bluegrass, Blues, Cajun, Celtic, Folk, Jazz, Latin, Ethnic, World music and dance all share the stage.
July 9 – Aug 7
Silver Leaf Renaissance Faire Battle Creek
Neither heat, rain nor scary beast will shut their gates that hold jousting and performances and all manner of medieval fun. The Faire is also West Michigan’s premier Artisan Marketplace with over 100 vendors selling their wares and crafts, you will find everything from turkey legs to wood-carving, leather to silks, and blacksmiths to fairy wings.
July 14 – Aug 7
The Michigan Shakespeare Festival Jackson
The Michigan Shakespeare Festival has been presenting the timeless themes and glorious language of William Shakespeare since 1995, growing each year into a premier regional event that draws respected actors from across the nation, and satisfied audiences from throughout the Midwest.
July 14 – 17
Venetian Festival St. Joseph
The name implies gracious glides on a glowing river and the gentle sounds of water rippling as gondoliers pole their slender boats and sing soft love songs to couples snuggled in the bows. Such were the hot days and long nights in Venice, Italy, where Venetian Festivals started so many years ago. In St. Joseph, they still celebrate hot July days and long summer nights with boat rides and love songs and couples holding hands. The Venetian Festival on the St. Joseph River is all of that plus music, fine food and fun for all ages!
July 14 – 17
Concert of Colors Detroit
The Concert of Colors is metro Detroit’s free annual diversity music festival. It is presented by ACCESS/Arab American National Museum, New Detroit Inc. and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) with the goal of bringing together metro Detroit’s diverse communities and ethnic groups by presenting musical acts from around the world. Over its 17-year history, the festival has become a beloved highlight of metro Detroit’s summer festival season.
July 15 – 16
Michigan Storytellers Festival Flint
It’s free fun for all INSIDE the Flint Public Library. Don’t miss our master storytellers who bring the oral tradition to life. As always there will be several workshops and storytelling concerts during the day on Saturday with storytellers in concert beginning at 7PM on Friday and Saturday.
Sip of Michigan Birthday Bash Detroit
Drink Michigan and the Rattlesnake Club in Detroit are joining forces for the 2nd annual Sip of Michigan party. In addition to being Drink Michigan’s 1st birthday, the event is a benefit for Homefront Hugs, a Michigan-based organization dedicated to helping our troops, their families and our veterans. Enjoy Michigan wine, beer and spirits, food pairing stations, and live entertainment on the Detroit riverfront from 8-midnight at the Rattlesnake Club. The event is $35 and includes 35 tasting tickets and all appetizers and entertainment – Absolute Michigan has a pair of tickets for our winner!
July 16 – 17
Quake on the Lake Waterford
Over the past 10 years, the “Quake” has become on of Oakland County’s must-attend events and is the North American Inboard Hydroplane Championship. The event is the proud holder of 17 American Power Boat Association (APBA) world speed records being set in 5 different racing classes making Pontiac Lake one of the fastest one-mile race courses in the country! There’s also music from Rare Earth, the Verve Pipe and others.
July 16 – 17
Ragtime Street Fair Dearborn
Savor an American original -Ragtime music. You’ll hear Scott Joplin rags like “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer” along with much, much more as scores of other musicians travel from all over the country to perform on nearly a dozen stages throughout Greenfield Village. It’s syncopated, jazzy, hot and live. Fresh summer food, too, and dancing in the streets!
July 20 – 23
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair Ann Arbor
Established in 1960, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the Original of the now four award-winning Ann Arbor Art Fairs: The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original, The State Street Area Art Fair, The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and the Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair. Together, the fairs attract over a half a million attendees from across the nation. The Original Fair was named the Number One Art Fair in the country by AmericanStyle magazine readers survey (October 2004) and has made the Top Ten Fairs and Festivals list every year since.
Taste of Kalamazoo Festival Kalamazoo
Every year, on the fourth weekend of July, thousands of hungry festival-goers flock to downtown Kalamazoo to enjoy the endless variety of foods prepared by Kalamazoo’s most popular eateries. More than 30 local restaurants and chefs will offer mouth-watering combinations of ethnic items, family favorites, exotic dishes, and local specialties along with music and all kinds of family fun – Our Festival Summer giveaway includes $10 in tasting tickets!
Hiawatha Music Festival Marquette
The Hiawatha Festival is the only event of its size and scope in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Without Hiawatha, local performers and fans would have to travel between four and six hours to the nearest festivals of its size and type. Each year’s event features traditional-music styles that include bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, Celtic, acoustic blues and folk – including singer/songwriters – and dance. Mainstage acts include nationally known performers as well as regional and local favorites. Absolute Michigan will be giving away a pair of tickets through Festival Summer so stay tuned!
July 22 – 23
Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival Ypsilanti
The Summer Beer Festival is the Michigan Brewers Guild’s oldest and largest of our four annual festivals. The festival takes place outside in a lovely riverside setting and will feature more than 300 different beers from more than 50 different Michigan breweries. A variety of tasty food items are available for purchase from independent food vendors inside the festival and there will be a diverse selection live music from a variety of local bands.
Thunder Over Michigan Air Show Ypsilanti
The Yankee Air Museum’s annual at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti welcomes back the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels in 2011. The show also features the USAF F-16 Viper East Demo Team, realistic re-enactments, Vietnam era aerial dog fight aircraft display and tours including the revolutionary MV-22 Osprey and over two dozen F/A-18 Hornets from across the country. A pair of general admission tickets could be yours!
July 26 – 31
Traverse City Film Festival Traverse City
The Traverse City Film Festival has grown to become one of the largest film festivals in the Midwest, and one of the most respected in the country. Last year, there were over 80,000 admissions to nearly 100 screenings, a number of them U.S. or world premieres. A special emphasis is given to foreign films, American independents, documentaries, and films which have been overlooked but deserve the attention of a public starved to see a good movie.
July 29 – 31
Yale Bologna Festival Yale
Every July Yale plays host to the Yale Bologna Festival, a 3 day weekend event that closes the streets and transforms this small community of just under 2,000 to a gathering of over 20,000 Bologna starved party-goers! A tradition in Yale since 1989, this festival has grown considerably since its humble beginnings. The festival draws people from all around Michigan as well as other states, eager to see who will be the next King and Queen of Bologna. The Bologna Festival includes such events as the famed outhouses races, a street dance, fireworks and a parade down Main Street that continues to grow each year.
July 29 – Aug 7
Coast Guard Festival Grand Haven
The United States Coast Guard has a long and prestigious history in Grand Haven and around the world. Celebrate the Coasties with activities, events, and attractions for all ages. Many are free, and you will find plenty of fun and choices from Kid’s Day to the Street Dance and Cruise-In Car Show, to carnival rides, picnics, parades, fireworks and ship tours.
Maker Faire Detroit Dearborn
Motor City becomes Maker City with over 300 exhibiting makers, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, music & vendors. From robotics, electronics, and rockets to food and fashion finds – if it’s made, there’s a good chance it’ll be at Maker Faire! The 2 day event at the The Henry Ford in Detroit is an interactive and family-friendly showcase of creativity and cool technology that takes the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset to the next level. We have a pair of passes to give away through Festival Summer, so stay tuned!
July 30 – 31
Art On The Rocks Marquette
Located in a beautiful wooded area on the shore of Lake Superior in north Marquette, the annual Art On The Rocks at Presque Isle Park features a huge variety of artwork in all media for show & sale.