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12 Things to Do in Michigan in March

by Lisa Diggs

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Here’s hoping the lamb portion of the month comes very soon. In the meantime, these fun events are worth checking out.

March 1-April 30 Butterflies Are Blooming – Grand Rapids

One sure sign that spring may in fact finally be upon us is the emergence of butterflies. The annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition at Meijer Gardens is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. For 20 years, it has delighted children of all ages. Thousands of butterflies, more than 40 different species in fact, find a home in the Tropical Conservatory. Chrysalises will be arriving each week and emerging as adult butterflies in the Butterfly Bungalow for guests to view before being released.

March 5-15 LaughFest – Grand Rapids

Entering its fifth year, Gilda’s LaughFest is said to be the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter. Not only is the event an outstanding opportunity to see some of the nation’s funniest people perform live (Wanda Sykes, Cristela Alonzo, etc.), but it also helps accentuate the role that laughter plays as a healer through the LaughteRx series. This series, which raises awareness of the importance of emotional health, also includes laughter yoga, inspirational and humorous performances, and speakers that highlight the health benefits of laughter. The 10-day event is held in honor of one of the finest comedic talents Michigan ever produced, Gilda Radner, who battled cancer with bravery and humor.  Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief, and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. There are both free and ticketed shows.

March 6-7 Great Bear Chase – Calumet

The Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon has something for everyone and enough snow to go around, even in March! It features distances for all different levels of skiers, from the signature 50k races, to 25k, or 10k events. Despite the name, the Great Bear Chase is a truly laid-back, skier-oriented weekend provides a quality way to round out the ski season.

March 7-9 Suds & Snow – Traverse City

The 9th Annual Suds & Snow is back for an afternoon filled with beer, wine, and cider. This is a favorite Michigan festival by many brewers. Local producers serve beer, wine, and cider alongside local food vendors. This event takes place on the trails of Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. You can ski, snowshoe, bike, or hike out to the famous trail station where you will find, in the middle of the woods, live music, ice bars, hot food, bonfires and more surprises. There is also a beer garden located just behind the main lodge for those that may not want to venture out in the woods but still have the feel of being in touch with nature. The Suds & Snow Olympics provides plenty of laughs, whether you opt to join in or just heckle at the competitors. Tickets are $25.

March 13 #313Dlove Celebration – Detroit

Once upon a time, the entire Detroit region shared just one area code, hence the nickname “the 313.” That makes March 13th a special day in the city. Revelers and optimists will gather at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to share their stories and celebrate the city’s past and future. The event begins with a march, and includes an opportunity to explore the museum, and hear from a phenomenal list of speakers with stories that will inspire you. If you can’t make it to the event, then at least set yourself an alarm to join in the social media frenzy. At 3:13pm on 3/13. Post tweet, and/or Instagram, why you love Detroit using #313dlove. In the past the hashtag has trended worldwide, sending an awesome positive message about the city.

March 13-15 Michigan Horse Expo – East Lansing

If you own horses, aspire to own one, or just plain love them, the Michigan Horse Council International Exhibition and Trade Show is the place to be. Going into its 32nd year, this event has grown into one of the leading three-day horse expos in the country. It’s held at the Michigan State University Livestock Pavilion, where there will be dozens of clinics, seminars and educational events conducted by top horse professionals locally and from around the country. One of the definite highlights is the Michigan High School Rodeo Association’s Friday Night Rodeo.

March 15 St. Patrick’s Parade  – Detroit

During the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s, many Irish people immigrated to Detroit. The majority came from the county of Cork, and settled in the west side of the city. The result was Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood. While the neighborhood is much more diverse these days, it’s still home to a seriously fun party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. There’s so much revelry to be had that the party starts on the Sunday before with a race and the famous parade. If you’ve already been, then you know what makes it special, and if you haven’t been, then it’s time to go.

March 20-21 Abbott Magic Close-up Convention – Colon

With spring on the horizon, March is truly a magical time, but not just any magic…it’s the close-up variety. The Abbott Magic Close-up Convention provides aspiring magicians the chance to expand their repertoires with the greatest close-up talent in the world performing. If you don’t aim for a future in the magical arts yourself, then just come out and be entertained. This year’s weekend extravaganza features special guests Garrett Thomas and Caleb Wiles.

March 20 – 22 Carnival Weekend – Boyne Falls

Each season Carnival Weekend seems to grow even bigger and better than the year before. Skiers, and those who just enjoy a winter party in the lodge, head to the slopes for Michigan’s most colorful winter excursion. Depending on the weather, costumes and even shorts may abound as skiers take to the hills. The weekend features a Carnival Kick-off Party, On-Hill Party, King and Queen of the Mountain Adult Costume Contest, Village Party in the afternoon, music, and a Slush Cup event.

March 24-29 Ann Arbor Film Festival – Ann Arbor

When you want to celebrate independent filmmakers and artists, there is arguably no better place in the state in which to do it than Ann Arbor. For fifty three years this festival has engaged audiences with remarkable cinematic experiences. It now includes 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works. Film buffs will adore the wide variety and a rare chance to see some lesser known projects.

March 28 Maple Syrup Day – Grayling

March means that the maple will soon be flowing. Families can learn about the history of maple sugar making in North America at this cool event at the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum. You can even help tap a maple tree and observe the boil-down process which converts maple sap into maple syrup. Of course, the day would not be complete without sampling this tasty Michigan product. Children can participate in a variety of fun and educational hands-on activities too, including making a paper version of a mokuk, a birchbark container used by native peoples to transport maple sugar.,,7-282--62001--evt,00.html

March 27-29 Schuss Mountain Snow Challenge – Bellaire

This event has only been around for a few years, and already it has grown into one of the largest off-roading events in Michigan, if not the Midwest. It features side-by-side uphill truck racing on the ski slopes of Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek. For extra fun this year, the Madman Motorsports monster truck will be on hand all weekend providing rides for just $5.


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