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12 Things to Do in a Michigan May

by Lisa Diggs

May is full of tunes, blooms, and the sense of spring throughout the state.

May 4-7 Storyfest – Jackson

Strytelling is becoming a lost art, but thankfully not in Jackson. The community's Storyfest has been celebrating the art of storytelling for 29 years in an effort to promote literacy and listening skills. Performances geared towards schoolchildren are provided throughout the week. A special Thursday morning performance is specifically designed for senior citizens, while Friday evening performances are aimed towards teens and adults. All events are free.

May 6-8 Mushroom Festival – Mesick

Why not venture into the great outdoors hunting for morels with mom on Mother’s Day weekend? Located in what some call the mushroom capital of in the United States, the tiny hamlet of Mesick is eager to welcome you for this fun-filled weekend. The festival includes the Blessing of the Jeeps, delicious food, concerts, children's activities, baseball, and volleyball. There is even a grand parade and wacky fun that will fly at the Mud Bogg. Treasures abound in this quaint small town with a weekend filled with hunts, games, markets, seeing old friends, or making new ones. 

May 7-14 Tulip Festival – Holland

Celebrating over 80 years of culture, heritage and beauty, the Tulip Time Festival is one of Michigan’s grandest traditions. It’s a celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, that has a little bit of something for everyone including: three amazing parades, multiple Dutch dance performances, concerts, theatre, Dutch attractions, tantalizing food, children’s events, and trolley tours. Of course the number one attraction is the tulip itself and there are literally millions to see--in the city parks, downtown planters, Tulip Lanes, Windmill Island Gardens, Nelis' Dutch Village, and Veldheer's Tulip Farm.

May 11-15 National Morel Mushroom Festival – Boyne City

Mushroom mania continues in Boyne City, a spectacular place for the popular Michigan sport of morel hunting. For a few short days, everything is all about mushrooms. Restaurants prepare exotic, morel-laden entrees, local songsters sing of the morel, recipes are shared, and nearly everyone ventures out on one of the mushroom hunts. A good year can yield hundreds of the mouth-watering treats.

May 13 Ghost Walk – Petoskey

Believe it or not, for the past century, Petoskey has had its fair share of spooky hauntings, Edgar Allan Poe-inspired deaths, and mobster dealings. Many of these hauntings have happened repeatedly over the years, so local historian, Chris Struble, has gathered the facts and lore that have inspired these stories. Join him on Friday the 13th for a stroll that will reveal the history of Petoskey from an otherworldly perspective. The ghost walk lasts about an hour and tickets are $15.  

May 14 Blossom Day – Old Mission Peninsula

The wineries of Old Mission Peninusla are ready to bring on spring! They'll be sampling their newest vintages amidst the beautiful blooms of May. Seasonal food and wine pairings, winemaker chats, and special barrel or tank sampling at certain locations, adds to the fun along one of the state's most popular wine trails.

May 15 Eastern Market Flower Day – Detroit

Grab your wagon and your wallet and stock up on all your floral needs on Flower Day at Eastern Market. All sheds and open areas are covered with every possible annual, perennial, herb, shrub and tree, at prices well below what nurseries typically charge. The sights and smells alone are worth the trip. You’ll also find food vendors, entertainment, and a host of restaurants eager to welcome you.

May 20-22 Asparagus Festival – Empire

The lakeshore village of Empire greets the arrival of asparagus season with good food and good fun. Friday night features a dance and pig roast. Other events include a 5k walk/run, asparagus recipe and poetry contests, magic and a parade for kids, and beer and wine tasting for adults.

May 22-23 BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass: A Taste of Michigan – St. Joseph

Head to Whirlpool Centennial Park along the Lake Michigan shore to celebrate spring and anticipate summer. Best of all, enjoy a tantalizing selection of craft beer and regional wines, along with delicious BBQ. Bands scheduled to perform include: Trout Steak Revival, Joe Louis Walker, High Valley, Sam Bush, and Johnny Lang.

May 27-29 Balloons over Bavarian Inn & Dog Bowl – Frankenmuth

Michigan’s little Bavaria is full of family fun, but especially during this particular weekend. Kids will be in awe as hot air balloons ascend above the inn to fill the sky with color. Then, what is said to be the world's largest Olympic-style event for dogs descends upon this tiny town. It’s a high energy showcase that features dogs running, jumping, diving, and retrieving. There are lots of great competitions and activities, and all breeds are welcome to compete.  

May 29 Blessing of the Boats – Muskegon

We Michiganders really love our water crafts. The Blessing of the Boats is a spectacular show of vessels on Muskegon Lake, celebrating the opening of the boating season. The Port City Princess departs for a brunch on board while sailing in Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. She will then float in the Muskegon Channel where boats can float alongside and be blessed by a priest. Watch from the channel or from Muskegon Lake beach.

May 27-30 Movement Electronic Music Festival – Detroit

The youth of the world descend upon Detroit for this unique musical celebration in the heart of the city that first gave the world Techno. Whether you want to dance, or just people watch, this energized event will not disappoint. This year’s lineup of artists includes: Adam Beyer, Anja Schneider, Art Department, Big Freeda, Danny Tanaglia, Chuck Daniels, and many, many more.


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