We’re still flirting with snowfalls so it’s nice to know that May truly means summer cannot be far behind. Flowers are blooming, boats are reappearing in our lakes, and a month of delightful experiences awaits. Here are a dozen opportunities from around the state.
May 4-5 Great Lakes Woodworking Festival – Adrian
In some places woodworking is a lost art, but not here in Michigan. The Great Lakes Woodworking Festival brings together the best woodworkers from the Great Lakes region, who work in several different disciplines. Over 35 woodworking artists will be on hand to sell their handmade goods. The event will also features demonstrations, free classes, and prizes.
May 4-12 Tulip Time – Holland
In the 1840s, thousands of Dutch people immigrated to West Michigan. They brought with them many customs which are on display each year during Holland’s annual salute to the tulip. Guests will find dance performances, concerts, demonstrations, parades, attractions, and of course, an abundance of blooming tulips. Be sure to visit the Windmill Island Gardens while in town, for the largest collection, though you’ll find the floral delights all around town.
May 10-19 Cinetopia Film Festival – Ann Arbor
Film festivals are designed to spark conversations about the medium and Cinetopia relishes that opportunity by bringing celebrated films from around the world to Ann Arbor. The fest features more than 50 of the best feature-length dramas, comedies, and documentaries from the world’s best film festivals. These movies may or may not qualify for distribution later, so in some cases, this may be your only chance to see them in a theater. There are also opening night parties, conversational happy hours, and presentations by community partners to enhance the cinematic experience.
May 11 Say Yes! to Michigan Day Centennial Event – Lansing
We love opportunities that help kids learn more about our glorious state, and this special day at the Michigan History Museum is one of the best. Children and adults alike are invited to discover poignant tales from Michigan's past through live music, costumed interpreters, hands-on activities and Michigan trivia challenges. Michigan’s state park system is celebrating 100 years so this year’s event features scavenger hunts in honor of the centennial. Parking and admission are free at the Michigan History Museum, and the event runs from 10AM-4PM.
May 12-18 Cider Week – Grand Rapids
Join Beer City USA as it takes a pause from brews and focuses its attention on the increasingly popular world of apple nectars. This fruit-centric celebration of the local cider scene includes seven days of events and activities ranging from brunches to tastings to new release parties. The festivities culminate with a cider festival in downtown Grand Rapids.
May 13-17 Howell Art Project – Howell
Enjoy what unfolds, or join in to help enhance the aesthetics of the town. The Howell Art Project is designed to bring the community together to transform spaces and further beautify this charming hamlet. It features Michigan artists of all ages creating interactive works every day of the week. Artwork will include murals, chalk-art, 2D art, and sculptures.
May 16-19 National Morel Mushroom Festival – Boyne City
It’s not unusual at this time of year to find people foraging all around the state. Most are looking for the season’s most coveted funghi, the scrumptious morel mushroom. There is nowhere more focused on that quest than Boyne City. Restaurants feature unique dishes built around morels, musicians sing about them, and foodies share recipes to make the most of them. Whether you just want to dine on them, or you can’t wait to go on a hunt yourself, this is one food event that won’t disappoint.
May 17-18 World Expo of Beer – Frankenmuth
Michigan loves its beer! Perhaps the only things better than just enjoying a well-crafted brew, is the opportunity to raise money for good causes while you do. Enter the World Expo of Beer in Michigan’s Little Bavaria. Don’t let the name fool ya. While there are plenty of beers from other places, more than half the breweries are home-grown. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $18 each and include admission, 6 beer sample tickets (more may be purchased), and access to a fast pass admissions line. Proceeds benefit the work of the Frankenmuth Jaycees.
May 19 Flower Day at Eastern Market – Detroit
What happens when one of the oldest farmers markets in the nation officially welcomes spring? The answer is a floral party that is a feast for the senses. Flower Day at Detroit’s historic Eastern Market is a spectacular shopping experience for garden-lovers and just plain fun. Murals are all over the market so plan to spend some time taking those in as well. Stop and smell the flowers inside and outside the sheds. Food trucks are on hand to delight your taste buds, or you can enjoy one of the many delectable eateries. Pro tip: bring a wagon to haul your plant stash back to your vehicle.
May 25 Michigan Beer and Brat Festival – Thompsonville
Kick off the summer with this holiday weekend tradition at Crystal Mountain. Enjoy live entertainment while sampling an enormous selection of Michigan's finest microbrews, local hard cider and mead, and gourmet brats from northwest Michigan markets. Special lodging packages are available that also include admission to the event, a souvenir glass, tokens, and breakfast daily.
May 25-26 Feast of the Ste. Claire – Port Huron
Take a step back in time. This annual event recreates four periods of early Michigan, identified by the people of power in each time: the Native Americans, the French, the British, and lastly the Americans. Historic hobbyists from all over the Great Lakes area will recreate, through living history displays, the time periods of the French and Indian War, the American Revolutionary War and the days of the early American fur trade. The enactors will live in historic camps to show the public the daily life of these time periods. Demonstrations of the 18th Century living, cooking, and crafts will highlight the event, along with fife and drum corps, colonial singers and balladeers, and many other presentations.
May 25-27 Movement Music Festival – Detroit
Each year on Memorial Day weekend, thousands of people from across the globe gather in the birthplace of Techno to celebrate the heritage of Detroit and its musical influence over countless generations, new and old. This is one of the longest-running dance music events in the world, committed to showcasing authentic electronic music and providing an experience unlike any other. The festival takes place in Hart Plaza, the city's legendary riverfront destination. Absorb the sounds, bring your dancing shoes, and enjoy the people watching at this uniquely Detroit experience.
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