by Julie S.
Kalamazoo has a lot of festivals that kick off with the inaugural Greek Fest in early June. However, Michigan is full of other festivals in the spring and early summer. From fairies to asparagus, if you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, check out one of these festivals!
April 23-24, 2016
The Fairy Festival is 2 days of imaginative fun theater and dance performances, arts & crafts, tea at the Crossroads with Miss Jackson Crossroads Scholarship Pageant, stories in the Forest with Jackson District Library, carriage rides, vendors, food and crafts in Fairy Landing. Visit Mermaid Cove, walk through Dark Mountain and vote for your favorite fairy garden. Eat lunch in the Fairy Bistro or have a snack in Cupcake Cafe. See jacksonarts.org for complete details. The event is free. Some activities have a nominal fee $1-5. Saturday, April 23, 11-4 PM and Sunday, April 24, 12-3 PM.
May 7-14, 2016
Tulip Time has been going for over 80 years! Of course the number one attraction is the tulip itself and there are literally millions to see, in our city parks, Downtown planters, Tulip Lanes, Windmill Island Gardens, Nelis’ Dutch Village, and Veldheer’s Tulip Farm. There are 3 parades to enjoy. The Dutch Marktplaats offers Dutch food, merchandise, and demonstrations. Throughout town, you’ll have many chances to experience traditional Klompen (wooden shoe) dancing, as well as the Art & Craft Fair, Quilt Show, carnival rides, concerts, theatrical shows, fireworks, trolley tours, and so much more!
May 7-8, 2016
Step back in time and celebrate the fur trade era, black powder and Civil War days with us at the annual tradition known as Frontier Days, recreating an approximate timeline of 1754-1898. There will once again be living reenactments, black powder shooting, vendors with amazing wares, fantastic food, live entertainment and activities for all ages. Admission is $10, and ages 12 and under are free.
Boyne City, MI
May 12-15, 2016
The festival starts at 4pm Thursday with the Craft Beer Block Party on Water Street in downtown Boyne City. Then there is a free mushroom hunting seminar followed by an optional guided morel hunt on Friday afternoon and a competitive morel hunt on Saturday morning. Buses take you to the hunting grounds for both. The Wine and Dine dinner is Friday night at the Beach House restaurant including five morel-infused hors d’oeuvres paired with five wines. The Taste of Morels gives you your choice of tastes from a dozen great restaurants in the giant festival tent in Veterans Park at noon Saturday. There are dances with great live bands on Friday and Saturday nights in the beer tent. There are also carnival rides and much more throughout the weekend.
May 14-15, 2016
The Buccaneer Bash returns as the annual tradition continues at The Olde World Village again this season during the second full weekend in May. This pirate themed festival is similar to a Renaissance faire and admission is only $10, and ages 12 and under are free.
Enjoy fantastic live entertainment, visit a wide variety of amazing vendors for your shopping needs, and of course great food.
May 20-21, 2016
Celebrate spring’s arrival with one of the first seasonal vegetables at the annual Empire Asparagus Festival. The Village of Empire puts on a festival devoted to all things asparagus. Sample local fare along with Traverse City area wines and partake in the 5K run/walk, parade and more.
Grand Haven, MI
May 21-22, 2016
This festival is located in Grand Haven’s State Park and is full of events for kite lovers. Kite ballet, giant kites as big as school buses, kiteboarding demonstrations and the world’s largest outdoor kite store are just some of the many events. Bring your own kite and take it to the open field to help decorate the sky.
May 28, 2016
Celebrate Michigan’s state stone with a day full of fun activities at Barnes Park near Eastport.
Mackinac Island, MI
June 3-12, 2016
The 10-day celebration is the first and largest summer event on the Island, attracting thousands of visitors. A celebration that blends the Island’s historic varieties of lilacs, distinctive equestrian culture; fine food, drink and accommodations plus a range of other activities, the festival is one of the Island’s biggest attractions. Festivities include the coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen and Court, Lilac Festival 10K, Grand Hotel History Lecture, horse drawn carriage tours, numerous concerts, sailing tours of the harbor, boat cruises under the Mackinac Bridge, wine tastings, A Taste of Mackinac Culinary Event, Mackinac Island Dog and Pony Show and the festival’s signature event, the Lilac Festival Grand Parade. View a complete schedule at www.MackinacIsland.org
Traverse City, MI
June 12, 2016
Celebrate Colantha Walker the most famous cow from the Historical Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Join the fun at this free family festival. Kids’ activities, food and a grilled cheese grill-off are all part of the festivities.
June 9-12, 2016
Visitors to the Bavarian Festival are invited celebrate German heritage through Bavarian music played by authentically dressed German bands, watch two parades, enjoy an expanded midway with rides and games, music, face painting, and a hands-on craft area. Venues sell many varieties of German foods and desserts, along with imported and domestic beer.
Ann Arbor, MI
June 16-18, 2016
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 year a diverse group of community leaders committed to literature, language, and the arts in Michigan plans the Festival. The Street Fair is the main draw for families with vendors and readings from authors, including several children’s book authors.