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12 Things to Do in Michigan in April

by Lisa Diggs

Spring’s arrival is a special time in Michigan, full of warmth and memories waiting to be made.

April 3 FestiFools – Ann Arbor

Just after April Fools Day, it’s time for fools of a different ilk to take to the streets of Ann Arbor. Now entering its tenth year, FestiFools brings students and community volunteers together to create humongous papier-mâché puppets and march with them. Magnificent, bizarre, politically incorrect, human-powered papier-mache puppets join thousands of Foolish friends frolicking down Main Street to kick off the city’s outdoor festival season. Staging begins at 3 p.m. on Liberty between Main & Fourth Avenue. 

April 3 All Things Detroit – Detroit

All Things Detroit is returning to Eastern Market Sunday, April 3, 2016 from Noon-6PM. The event is a showcase for small businesses. Guests can sample a variety of different foods from local vendors in Shed 5, while Shed 3 will host retail vendors, local artists and entertainment. In addition to shopping there will be opportunities to win one of a kind pieces presented by the 150+ small businesses that participate as well as complimentary face painting, a photo station, live entertainment, and door prizes to the first 300 guests.  

April 2-12 SmartPrize Innovator Competition – Marquette

Described as “science Fair meets Shark Tank,” this ten-day competition is designed to help good ideas find financial support. Entrepreneurs and innovators will display their business or product idea in venues throughout Marquette’s Downtown District from April 2 through April 11. The contest will award a minimum of $20,000 in prize money to great business ideas. In addition to juried prizes, there is a Crowd Favorite category that allows onlookers to vote for their top choice. The event culminates in a 2-day conference on April 11-12, where innovators and entrepreneurs can meet with investors, learn from experts, and attend the Awards Banquet.

April 9-10 Art along the Trail: Pioneer Wine Trail – Jackson

If you’ve got the adventurous spirit of a pioneer, but like a little culture with your exploration then this is the perfect event for you. Choose which of the eight participating wineries you want to visit and in what order. During the 2-day event each winery will have a "new release" wine that will be paired with a dish, along with a musician, a poet, an artist, a book writer doing a signing, a comedian, or another type of artist. The guests will receive a Pioneer Wine Trail glass at their first stop. The ticket cost is $35.00 per person, and sales end at midnight on Wednesday April 6.

April 6-10 Capitol City film Festival – Lansing

Movie-lovers will relish this opportunity to see smaller, independent films in unique and vibrant environments. The Capital City Film Festival is a multimedia showcase of such films along with live touring bands and engaging audiences. The fun begins at a Red Carpet Premiere Part at Lansing Brewing Company. The list of participating venues is diverse, ranging from Spartan favorite, Mac’s Bar to Lansing Center. You can purchase tickets to individual screenings and concerts, or an all access pass for $50.

April 16 Founders 15th Annual Black Party – Grand Rapids

Black Party is an annual celebration of the experimental black beers that Founders has become known for. It’s an opportunity to taster their latest dark creations ranging from porters and black IPAs to stouts and more. You may be among the first to discover one of the company’s next big hits. After all, Black Party is where some of their most sought-after beers, including Project PAM, first made their debut. No tickets are sold in advance. Entry is first come, first served, and doors open at 11AM. Your $10 admission gets a complimentary commemorative pint glass and your first pint of any Class 1 beer, accompanied by live entertainment beginning at 5PM.

April 17 Traverse City Chocolate Festival – Traverse City

You probably just filed your taxes so now it’s time to reward yourself with some sweet indulgences, and there’s no better place than at the largest chocolate event in Michigan. Chocolate exhibitors from the region and beyond will provide free samples and one-to-one conversations about their products. Learn about the magic and art infused into good chocolate at the special presentations by the experts. Tickets are $15 or $8 for children under 12.

April 21-24 Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival – Shepherd

Another sweet aspect to spring is when the maple starts flowing, and nowhere is that more apparent than the village of Shepherd. This family-oriented weekend is chalk full of fun with amusement rides, a parade, a classic car display, tractor and horse pulls, petting zoo, clowns, and of course, scrumptious pancake meals all weekend long featuring delicious maple syrup.

April 23 Experience Earth Day – Midland

Chippewa Nature Center invites you to get your “green” on. Celebrate the 46th Earth Day by participating in stewardship activities that benefit our planet. This free event is both educational and interactive. Plant a young tree or shrub. Learn about invasive exotic plants that are taking over some of our local habitats and what you can do to control them. Help pull invasive plants. Plant wildflower seeds to take home. Build a bird house and learn how to monitor nest boxes. Drop off your recyclable items including electronics at the Midland Recyclers truck. Discover information about native plants, recycling programs and ways your family can live a greener lifestyle.

April 25 Earth Day Bat Program and Bat House Building – Ontonagon

While bats may not be everyone’s favorite friend to find in their belfry, they are a very important member of Michigan’s eco-system and their population is dwindling. To aid this important specials which is very much in peril, Friends of the Porkies and park staff will be hosting an earth day event focusing on area bats. The first part of the day will be an educational presentation on the status of local bats, White Nose Syndrome, and what people can do to help. After the bat program, participants can build their own bat houses for a fee of just $29.00 to cover material costs. A recreation passport is required to attend the bat program. If building a bat house, participants should bring safety glasses, a hammer, ear protection and a lunch.

April 29-May 1 White Fish Point Spring Fling – Paradise

The warmth of spring also brings back many of our feathered friends, and the Spring Fling is a delightful way for ornithologists to welcome them home. Birders can expect excellent watching opportunities along with a chance to learn more about avian migration and conservation in the Great Lakes. Attendees will learn from fellow birders, field trip leaders, and guest speakers including Cameron Cox, a well-known birder, author, and professional bird tour guide. Cox's topic will be Beyond Hawk Watching: The Identification of Waterbirds in Flight.  

April 30-May 1 Local Artist’s Show – Wyandotte

The Artistic Creator’s Guild will hold their annual art show at the Ford-MacNichol Home. This 1896 Victorian residence offers a unique backdrop to showcase the work of current artists throughout the area. Works will be available for purchase, and many of the creators will be on hand to discuss their work and share insights.


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