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12 Things To Do in August in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

August means it’s almost time to start thinking “back –to-school,” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of summer fun still to be had. Here are our highlights for August.


August 2-6 Rendezvous in Mackinaw-18TH Century Trade Fair – Mackinaw City

Learn what trade was like in Michigan in the 1700s and 1800s through this fun and interactive experience sponsored by the Fort Michilimackinac Re-Enactment Committee. Activities will include history-related programs at the amphitheater, authenticity competitions, and the battling and looting of the Mackinaw merchants.

August 3-5 Ribfest – Kalamazoo

If you love good barbecue then there’s no better place for you be than Arcadia Creek Festival Place in Kzoo for Ribfest. Now in its 30th year, the event attracts over 10,000 people each summer. Proceeds benefit the Arc Community Advocates who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to empower them to live a life that is fully included in the community, and advocate on their behalf. National and local vendors will be selling ribs and chicken in outstanding barbeque sauces. Plus you’ll find plenty of sweet treats and great entertainment, including a performance by Grand Funk Railroad.

August 4-5 JazzFest – Lansing

The 23rd annual Lansing JazzFest will take place in the streets of Old Town, amidst art galleries and unique retail stores. Enjoy the music and take a stroll through this Capitol city gem of a neighborhood. On stage you’ll find outstanding talent, from local favorites to regional and national acts, some of whom will be appearing for the first time in Lansing.

August 4-6 Buy Michigan Now Festival – Northville

Admittedly we might be biased, but there is no better place to celebrate Buy Michigan Week than at this festival. Chock full of Michigan-made foods like marinades, condiments, salsas, spice mixes, candy, fudge, shortbread, and pies, it’s a delight to the palate. You’ll also find plenty of other local products, a Michigan Beverage Garden, talented musicians, and a Kids Zone to entertain the whole crew. 

August 11-20 Cheeseburger in Caseville – Caseville

The Annual Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival, is one of the state’s most unique summer events. The 10-day fest on the shores of Lake Huron, is filled with Jimmy Buffet-style tribute bands and original musicians. The wackiness includes flamingos, grass skirts and unbelievable designs in the Parade of Tropical Fools on Wednesday, August 16th. You can also watch or participate in the Row, Row Your Cardboard Boat Race, Sand Sculpture Contest, Beach Volleyball Tournament, Classic Car Show, Kid’s Parade, Golf Scrambles, Craft Show, Caribbean Street Dance, Hat Making Workshops, Sailing Parade, or Pet Fashion Show.  

August 11-13 Mint Festival – St Johns

Celebrate over 100 years of mint farming in Clinton County with arts & crafts, a flea market, photo contest, quilt show, pony and train rides, mini golf, multiple sports competitions, and a vehicle show. Live entertainment can be found at the performance shelf and the main pavilion. The star of the show remains the mint, and you’ll find it available in a variety of forms including hard candy, chocolate, ice cream, oil, lip balms, and soaps.

August 16-18 Riverfest – Mendon

Chances are you may have never visited the tiny village of Mendon, nestled along the St. Joseph River, but this is a good time to change that. Reed Riverside Park features a strolling boardwalk, a large gazebo overlooking the river, a large pavilion, and a small gazebo overlooking the park that is your source for festival and town information. The event includes a fishing tournament as well as toy boat, canoe, and duck races. Bring your swimsuit to partake in the “Canoe Swamp.” or stay dry and enjoy a leisurely pontoon ride.

August 18-20 African World Festival – Detroit

The 35th annual African World Festival is expected to bring over 150,000 attendees to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. This culturally-rich celebration features performances, poetry, arts and crafts, African drumming and dance, hundreds of vendors, ethnic foods, and events for all ages. The museum itself is worth the trip.

August 19 Woodward Dream Cruise – Southeastern Michigan

It’s hard to believe that the Dream Cruise started as a simple fundraiser for a soccer field in Ferndale. That was back in 1995. The event has become a significant economic force in Southeast Michigan, drawing about a million and a half people from around the state and the nation to celebrate the region’s automotive glory. More than 50,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles are expected to participate. They park and cruise from 9am to 9pm through eight communities of Berkley, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac and Royal Oak. Technically it’s a one-day event, but fans will tell you the cars can be seen cruising all week long.

August 18-20 Melon Festival – Howell

Summer in Michigan is full of delicious produce, and little of it is sweeter than melons, so they deserve their own fest too, and Howell delivers. This 3-day spectacle includes a library book sale, melon roll, tot trot, mascot dash, 5k/10k run, melon patch fun & games, mobile gaming unit, classic car show, historic steam train rides, music, theatrical performances, a Great Lakes Timber Show, and a carnival.

August 24 Market at the Capitol – Lansing

The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) will host the second of three Farmers Markets at the Capitol from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The market will be held on the East Lawn of the Michigan State Capitol Building in Downtown Lansing. More than 70 vendors from across the state will be on hand selling Michigan-grown and produced products ranging from fresh produce to flowers, meat, cheese, baked goods, and prepared foods. In addition, guests can join Michigan State University Corporate Chef, Kurt Kwiatkowski, as he conducts cooking demonstrations using fresh, seasonal produce.    

August 25-26 Wizard of Oz Screenings – Detroit

In this day and age of videos on smartphones, it’s almost impossible to find an opportunity to see a classic movie on a big screen, as it was intended to be seen. That’s where the Redford Theatre comes in. This Detroit gem harkens back to the movie palaces of yesteryear and is the perfect venue to enjoy a family classic like the Wizard of Oz, in all its glory. Screenings are at 8 p.m. on Friday and again at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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