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12 Things to Do in a Michigan June

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 2-4 Jackson Blues Fest – Jackson

Celebrating its 15th year, the blues you experience at the Jackson County Airport this weekend will be purely of a musical variety. The event is three days filled with amazing musical performances. On June 2nd, the first 100 kids to register will receive a free harmonica, t-shirt and sunglasses, as well as the opportunity to perform with some musicians. Food vendors, crafters, and exhibitors complement the music. Bring your lawn chair and soak up some blues. www.jacksonbluesfest.com

June 3-5 Belle Isle Grand Prix – Detroit

There’s nothing quite like the sound of engines roaring, and hardly a more unique setting for a race than Belle Isle, which is nestled between Detroit and Windsor, Canada. Practice and qualifying rounds for the Verizon IndyCar Series take place on Friday, June 3, and admission is free, courtesy of Comerica Bank. Individual and multi-day tickets are available for purchase to see the official races, some of which are broadcast live nationwide. www.detroitgp.com  

June 9-12 Bavarian Festival – Frankenmuth

Michigan's largest celebration of Bavarian heritage is the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival. Visitors to the event are invited to revel with Bavarian music played by authentically-dressed German bands, take in two parades, experience rides and games on an expanded midway, and enjoy dance music, face painting, and a hands-on craft area. www.bavarianfestival.org

June 10-11 Classic Disney Animation Screenings – Detroit

The Redford Theatre will host a weekend of classic Disney animation. This is a rare opportunity. Disney routinely locks their classic animated films in their “vault”, and only re-releases them every 8-10 years for home viewing. Even more rare is that the films being shown will be in original 35mm Technicolor prints. They are the 1940s masterpiece, Fantasia, which hasn’t been shown on a big screen in 25 years, the romantic classic, Lady and the Tramp, and a variety of shorts. These special screenings are part of the Cinetopia Film Festival, which takes place at various venues in Detroit and Ann Arbor. www.cinetopiafestival.org

June 10-11 Cereal City Festival – Battle Creek

They don’t call it “Cereal City” for nothing. It’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. Now what could be more fun than honoring that storied tradition by having breakfast with hundreds of your closest friends? This fest kicks off with a parade and culminates with the World's Longest Breakfast Table. www.bcfestivals.com/index.taf?s=2

June 11 Food and Wine Festival – Leland

Home to pristine beaches, boutiques, and of course, Fishtown, Leland is a must visit for any Michigander, and there’s no better time than the 31st Annual Food & Wine Festival. Sixteen Leelanau wineries, one brewery, and eleven food vendors will be on hand serving up delights with a musical soundtrack provided by artists like Sierra Cassidy and The Ben Daniels Band. Tickets are $15 and include a commemorative tasting glass and two wine tasting tokens. www.lelandmi.com

June 16-18 Book Festival – Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor Book Festival's mission is to promote reading, heighten awareness of literacy challenges, and showcase the rich culture of the written word in Michigan and beyond. Each night of the festival, local restaurants, bars, bookstores, and shops host book crawls where you can hear Michigan authors and poets read from their latest works. The street fair includes authors, libraries and literacy groups, publishers, artisans and writers’ groups. There are also writer’s workshops. www.aabookfestival.org

June 16-18 CheeseTown Festival & Races – Pinconning

Pinconning isn’t just a cheese, it’s a town…not surprisingly, the town where the popular cheese was invented over one hundred years ago. Hence the name of this summer fest which includes popular races, ball games, inflatable rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, and even fireworks. Due to the proximity to Father’s Day, they’ll be crowning a best dad as well. www.pinconninglinwood.com

June 17-19 National Strawberry Festival – Belleville

Strawberry season is upon us, and over 1,500 pounds of the luscious, red berries are served up during these three days. With six venues, the entire area will be a buzz with berries. You’ll find strawberry shortcake, ice cream sundaes topped with fresh strawberries, cheesecake, strawberry pie, and refreshing strawberry smoothies. Aside from the berries, you’ll find a carnival, food vendors, crafters, a beer tent, and live entertainment. www.nationalstrawberryfest.com

June 24-25 Soo Locks Engineers Weekend – Sault Ste Marie

The Soo Locks are an engineering marvel, and this weekend gives you a true behind the scenes look. 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. You can also tour the Hydroelectric Plant, stroll through the park, explore the U.S. Coast Guard Station, take in the Arts, Crafts, and Family fun Fair, and join in on the International Bridge Walk. www.saultstemarie.com

June 24-26 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest – Howell

This is a weekend full of high-flying fun for the whole family. You can enjoy music, a carnival, an art fair, and all kinds of family entertainment, as well as the incredibly popular Windjammers Stunt Kite Team. The real stars of the fest, though, are the gorgeous hot air balloons. There are five scheduled launches, and the fabulous balloon glow on Saturday evening. www.michiganchallenge.com

June 25 PastyFest – Calumet

Pasty Fest is an annual celebration of the Cornish food staple, the pasty, which sustained Copper Country miners 100 years ago and satisfies hungry Yoopers today. The day starts with a parade at 11am and proceeds to a street fair on 5th Street, in downtown Calumet, until 4pm. Attendees are invited to taste pasties from local restaurants, enjoy live music and participate in a chalk art competition. www.mainstreetcalumet.com  


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