Boating, beaching, baseball, and of course fairs and fests galore are in full force this month. Here are just a dozen examples to explore around the state.
July 5-7 Bay City Fireworks Festival – Bay City
Many communities offer up some firework displays this time of year, but few do it like the folks in Bay City. Each night guests are treated to a magnificent fireworks extravaganza over the water, with the largest taking place on the grand finale night. During the day, happenings include a pageant, carnival, car and bike show, vendor marketplace, and live music www.baycityfireworksfestival.com
July 5-8 Common Ground Music Festival – Lansing
Common Ground in our Capitol City is all about the music. One of the coolest aspects is the wide variety of genres that will be represented in Adado Riverfront Park. You’ll find old school choices like Tone-Loc and DJ Jazzy Jeff, as well as popular young artists like Hunter Hayes and Halsey. These national headlining artists are mixed in the lineup with a variety of regional and local favorites including Michigan natives, rapper NF and Børns. If you love music, don’t miss Common Ground.www.commongroundfest.com
July 13-14 Saline Celtic Festival – Saline
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the only time of year that we celebrate the Irish in our state. Head to Saline for its annual Celtic Festival. Known for its rich blend of Celtic music and dance, along with jousting, Irish Football, ancient athletics, and sheepherding, this event celebrates all things ancient and beloved on the Emerald Isle. Kids will love the chance to paint royal crests on shields, coordinate swords with Royal House colors, and carry their swords through a braid-your-own-belt project. www.salineceltic.org
July 14 Bayview to Mackinac Yacht Race – Port Huron
This Port Huron to Mackinac race is the premier sailboat competition in the state of Michigan, and one of only two long distance fresh water sailboat races in the world. Watching the boats depart is a party all its own. Bring your lawn or beach chair, grab some refreshments, and settle in to watch yachts glide across the water. All kinds of crafts will begin parading out of the harbor and into Lake Huron as early as 8AM to line-up for the race, and you may even spot a freighter or two passing by. www.bycmack.com
July 15 Detroit Kite Festival – Detroit
It’s kite-flying season and the breezes along the Detroit River should make this fest a colorful sight to behold. The Detroit Institute of Arts will be on hand to kite-making at this free event on Belle Isle. Local Food Vendors will include Tonic & Juice, Sisters on A Roll, Tacos Don Gatos, Detroit Pop Shop, Hot Dog-in It, Crepes Day-Twah, and The Rolling Stoves, and there will be a performance by the Michigan Philharmonic at 2PM.
July 18-21 National Baby Food Festival – Fremont
There’s actually a summer festival to celebrate baby food? You bet, when you live in Fremont, the birthplace of world famous Gerber. With an emphasis on kiddies this event includes some wacky elements like frog-jumping, turtle-racing, hula-hooping, bed races, a baby crawl, and of course baby food-eating. There’s also a dedicated Kid’s Zone, community picnic, live entertainment, arts & crafts show, farmers market, Corporate Olympics, a car show, and the Grand Parade on Saturday. www.babyfoodfestival.com
July 19-22 Ann Arbor Art Fair – Ann Arbor
This is arguably the granddaddy of them all. Whether you’re an art aficionado or just enjoy watching people, Ann Arbor is the place to be in mid-July. More than a half million visitors are expected to enjoy this iconic event which is comprised of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, South University Art Fair, and the State Street Area Art Fair. The resulting giant attraction consistently ranks as one of the top art fests in the nation.
July 20-22 Hot Air Jubilee – Jackson
One of the best sights of the summer is watching giant, vibrant balloons waft above the landscape. Such is the opportunity with the Hot Air Jubilee. Weather permitting, the balloons will launch from Ella Sharp Park on Friday morning and evening, Saturday morning and evening and again on Sunday morning. While balloon rides are not available to the public, this year helicopter rides will be available on Friday, July 20th from 4 p.m. until the evening launch, on a first come first served basis. The cost is $40 per person for up to three riders at a time. The jubilee itself is free to attend. There is a $5 parking fee to be inside the park, proceeds of which help support the event. www.hotairjubilee.com
July 21 Summerfest Music & Brews – St Joseph
Hot music and cold brews go together like peanut butter and jelly, especially when you can enjoy them in an ideal location like lakeside St. Joseph. Many of Michigan’s top craft brewers will be on site including Bell’s, Founders, Perrin, Right Brain, and Short’s. The musical lineup, in the Pavilion at Silver Beach, features The Swift Brothers at 5PM followed by Fool House at 7:30PM. Gates open at 4PM. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. www.smso.org/Music_Microbrews/MMB17_Home.html
July 26-29 Potato Festival – Munger
Do you know what they hunger for in Munger? It’s the first fresh potatoes of the season, of course. Spuds are studs at this summer fest, which also features a 5k run, concerts, carnival rides, games, a competition for Potato King and Queen, and even a demolition derby. Parking and admission are free, as are tons of potatoes. Proceeds go toward Recreation and Parks projects in Bay County. www.mungerpotatofest.com
July 27-28 Michigan Summer Beer Festival – Ypsilanti
This beer extravaganza is always one of the hottest tickets of the summer. Approximately 150 Michigan breweries will be sampling over 1,000 different craft beers along the banks of the Huron River at Riverside Park in historic Depot Town. Make some time to peruse the cool shops and restaurants in the area while you’re there too. Tickets are $40 each day in advance or $45 each day at the door. 15 sampling tokens are included in the price of a ticket, and additional tokens are for sale at the event for just 50 cents. Food will be also available for purchase inside the festival, and guests can enjoy live music from a variety of Michigan bands. www.mibeer.com/summer-festival
July 28-29 Art on the Rocks – Marquette
This Yooper tradition has been going on for sixty years! Join 10,000 art aficionados in Mattsen Lower Harbor Park in late July for serenity and culture. Considered now to be one of the finest art shows in the country, this event is a feast for the senses. It is nestled in a picturesque setting between Marquette’s historic downtown and the Cinder Pond Marina on beautiful Lake Superior. It simply wouldn’t be summer in Marquette without Art on the Rocks. www.marquetteartontherocks.com
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