It may officially happen later in the month, but June undoubtedly means that summer has finally arrived in Michigan. Aside from cutting the grass, the toughest job may well be narrowing down which fun events to attend across our glorious state. We’ve highlighted a collection of options.
Lots of people have experienced the blues at an airport lately, but in Jackson, they are of the musical variety. Celebrating its 16th year, the 3-day event is filled with amazing musical performances from the likes of Mike Epsy Group, Brandon Santini, Anthony Gomes, Joanna Connor, Altered Five Blues Band, and more. 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
Engines revving up in the Motor City is a natural sound, especially when the Grand Prix returns to Belle Isle. Where else can you see such a renowned sporting event, nestled on an island between two nations? Practice and qualifying rounds for the Verizon IndyCar Series take place on Friday, June 2, 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 3-4 9th Annual Kite Festival – Lyon Township
There’s something so cool about a sky filled with kites, especially when the fliers really know what they’re doing. This fest features professional kite flying demonstrations and competitions. Games, food, live entertainment and children’s activities make for a fun-filled weekend. While supplies last, kids even receive a free kite to decorate and can learn to fly it with the help of professionals. The event is located at the James F. Atchison Memorial Park and admission is $5 per vehicle. Activities take place from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-3pm on Sunday. www.lyonevents.org
For 71 years, the community of Davison has been honoring our nation's flag with a giant, patriotic celebration. The 5-day event includes a parade, carnival rides, sporting tournaments, and fireworks, as well as a flea market, Michigan Escape Games, and wacky dog house races. You can even purchase 3D glasses to watch the fireworks display like never before. www.davisonchamberofcommerce.com/the-festival-of-flags
June 9-10 National Cereal Fest – Battle Creek
Grab a spoon and celebrate what many consider to be the most important meal of the day with the king of breakfast foods--cereal. This specialty festival highlights Battle Creek’s heritage as the birthplace of the cereal industry. The fun begins with the Grand Cereal Parade on Friday evening. Then Saturday morning, sit down at the World’s Longest Breakfast Table and enjoy a nutritious, delicious and FREE cereal breakfast. You’ll also find live entertainment, exciting children’s activities, inflatables, vendors, demos and more. www.bcfestivals.com/cerealfest
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
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. Most of the fun takes place at Doc Letchfield Park, 200 N. Mable. www.pinconninglinwood.com
It’s time for those luscious, sweet red treats to be plucked from the vine and turned into pies, poured over shortcake, and popped in one’s mouth. Strawberry season is upon us, and over 1,500 pounds of the juicy, red berries are served up during these three days. With six venues, the entire area will be a buzz with berries. You’ll find them on shortcake, ice cream sundaes, cheesecake, and in intoxicating pies and delicious smoothies. Aside from the berries, you’ll also find two Midways, a beer tent, music and concerts, bingo, crafters, magnificent food, a children’s area, a parade and of course, the Strawberry Queen. www.nationalstrawberryfest.com
Lace up your sneakers and get ready to walk a Michigan landmark. The annual International Bridge Walk takes an easy pace and provides spectacular views of the twin Saults, the St. Marys River rapids, and the Soo Locks. Bicyclists are invited to join the round-trip Bike Parade, which leaves Lake Superior State University at 8:30am, while the walk steps off at 9:30am. Admission is free, and bus transportation is available for just $4 to bring walkers from Mill Market or return them to Norris Center. www.saultstemarie.com
There are few foods more associated with Michigan than the pasty, a Cornish food staple, that sustained Copper Country miners 100 years ago and still satisfies many a hungry “Yooper” today. This celebration starts with a parade at 11am and proceeds to a street fair on 5th Street, in downtown Calumet, until 4pm. Attendees may take in the parade, beer garden, street fair, live music and performances as well as children's activities. This year, pasty-lovers are invited to judge the new Bake-Off Event where you have the chance to sample pasties from each pasty vendor in attendance. www.mainstreetcalumet.com
This is a weekend full of high-flying fun for the whole family. The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest event is one of the premier summertime activities in Michigan, offering entertainment for the entire family--from skydiving and stunt kite shows to carnival rides, kid attractions, fireworks, and the always-popular balloon launches, fly-ins, and evening glow. This summer party will make you soar. www.michiganchallenge.com
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