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12 Things To Do During June in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

Summertime and the living is easy…except for narrowing down which events to attend across our glorious state. We’ve highlighted a collection of options.

June 4-6 Jackson Blues Fest – Jackson

Imagine gathering together with a bunch of your friends at an airport, and the blues you experience are purely musical instead of from flight delays! That’s the Jackson Blues Festival. It’s three days of amazing musical performances set at the Jackson County Airport on Wildwood Ave. On Friday, June 5th, the first 100 kids receive a free harmonica, t-shirt and sunglasses, as well as the opportunity to perform with the musicians. Food vendors, crafters, and exhibitors complement the music. Bring your lawn chair and soak up some blues.

June 6 Kirtland's Warbler Festival – Roscommon

The Kirtland’s Warbler is an endangered species that is making a comeback in Michigan, which is a delight to see. Join in on a celebration of Northeast Michigan’s rich outdoor life to welcome the Kirtland’s Warbler songbird back to its northern Michigan jack pine nesting region. Family-friendly activities will be centered in downtown Roscommon with a pancake breakfast, Kirtland’s Warbler tours, community and guest speakers, fire-fighting and timber equipment programs, live birds of prey and much.


June 5-7 Festival of the Arts – Grand Rapids

Long before there was ArtPrize, Grand Rapids was celebrating its collective artistic talent with this June festival. It’s now celebrating its 46th year showcasing the arts in all forms–visual, performance, and culinary. Six indoor and outdoor stages feature a wide range of music, dance, theater, poetry, and storytelling. Plus throughout the festival grounds you’ll find dozens of food booths. It is a community-wide salute to the incredible talent of West Michigan.


June 12-13 Cereal Festival – Battle Creek

This already infamous Michigan event was even featured on an episode of CBS’ new television series, Battle Creek, starring Josh Duhamel. That’s because back in the first decade of the twentieth century Battle Creek was home to more than 80 cereal companies in some stage of existence. They manufactured products made from corn, wheat, rice or oats and flavored with everything from apples to celery, hence the town’s nickname of “Cereal City.” This fest kicks off with a parade and culminates with the World's Longest Breakfast Table.

June 12-14 Gizzard Fest – Potterville

Seriously, with a name like that, this event has to be fun, or at least a spectacle. The weekend’s festivities include a classic car show, 3-on-3 basketball, arts and crafts, a carnival, and lots more. Of course, not surprisingly, there’s also a gizzard eating contest, if you can stomach that!


June 12-14 Michigan Lighthouse Festival – St. Ignace

This is the first in what will be an annual traveling Michigan Lighthouse Festival. The inaugural event is in St. Ignace, and will spotlight the Wawatam Lighthouse. Vendors, live music, speakers, and lighthouse cruises, are just part of the fun. Friday evening features a Shepler's Ferry Westbound Lighthouse Cruise hosted by Terry Pepper from the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.  They will entertain you with all things lighthouse and, of course clear weather permitting, the stunning stars in the sky.


June 19 Summer Solstice Art & Wine Walk – Suttons Bay

The Village of Suttons Bay will host its Annual Summer Solstice Art Walk. The event features galleries and shops in the village partnering with Leelanau wineries for a perfect summer evening. From 5-9pm each gallery and shop will host an artist and their work, along with wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres. Pick up a walking guide that includes the names of participating merchants along with the artist each is showcasing. Get your guide stamped after visiting each store and at the end of the evening you can be entered to win a $250 village shopping spree.


June 19-20 CheeseTown Festival & Races – Pinconning

Commonly referred to as the “Cheese Capital of Michigan,” it’s fitting to have a cheese-centric event in Pinconning. The CheeseTown Festival includes popular races on Friday and Saturday. With the proximity to Father’s Day, there will also be the crowning of the CheeseTown Dad, along with a Queen and Princess on Friday. Families will also enjoy ball games, inflatable rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a parade on Saturday. There will be many vendors and crafts on hand at the Doc Letchfield Park.

June 19-21 National Strawberry Festival – Belleville

Summertime means strawberry time! With six venues - Downtown area, Belleville Area Chamber of Commerce, Belleville Central Business Community, Belleville Presbyterian Church, St. Anthony Catholic Church and Trinity Episcopal Church, the entire area will be a buzz with berries. You’ll find strawberry shortcake, ice cream sundaes topped with fresh strawberries, cheesecake, and strawberry pie. Oh, and don’t forget strawberry smoothies for refreshment on a hot June day!  Aside from the berries, you’ll find a carnival, food vendors, crafters, commercial vendors, a beer tent, and live entertainment.


June 26 Soo Locks Engineers Day – Sault Ste Marie

If you’ve never made it to to the Soo, or have been there, but really wondered how it all works, this is the day to go. The Michigan landmark will open its doors to the public for its annual open house. The day celebrates the engineers who built the Soo Locks along with the men and women of the past and present who maintain the Locks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites people of all ages to come explore the Soo Locks and avail themselves of the rare opportunity to walk across the Lock walls. These walls make it possible for freighters to traverse the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. To gain a real understanding of how this engineering marvel works, you just have to see it for yourself.

June 27 PastyFest – Calumet

What is more central to Michigan’s food scene, especially in the “Yoop,” than the pasty? Celebrate Keweenaw's history with this staple of northern nourishment, via a parade, children's games, a pasty sale, live music and dancing. Of course there’s also the Pasty Bake-Off to determine who will go home with the coveted Copper Pasty Award. The festivities are held at Agassiz Park. 


June 26-28 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest – Howell

The charming town of Howell bursts alive with color and excitement during this state championship of hot-air ballooning. It’s a weekend full of high-flying fun for the whole family. You can enjoy thrilling skydiving jumps, music, a carnival, fireworks, and all kinds of family entertainment, and the incredibly popular Windjammers Stunt Kite Team. There are five scheduled balloon launches, and the fabulous balloon glow on Saturday evening.


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