Finally, May is here! It is a sign that summer is just around the corner. College kids are coming home and the boats are going in the water for the start of fishing season. With the rising temperatures, now is the perfect time to go outside and enjoy the blooming flowers. With Mother’s Day and the long weekend for Memorial Day both happening in May, go ahead and get the family packed up to experience these awesome May Michigan events!
Mushroom Festival: Mesick, May 6-8
For the 57th year, the “morel mushroom capitol” of Michigan will be having their mushroom celebration to start May off right. For those unfamiliar with this particular fungi, a morel mushroom is an edible mushroom that is highly sought after for its delicious taste. They are especially popular in Michigan as many Michiganders can find them in their backyard but only during the beginning of May. Mesick’s Mushroom Festival is a family-friendly weekend perfect for all ages! Event highlights include a grand parade, a 5k, carnival, flea market, car show and—of course—the largest mushroom contest. For a complete schedule check out their website here.
Tulip Time: Holland, May 7-14
Celebrating their 87th anniversary, the annual Tulip Time festival in Holland is a beautiful way to welcome spring with thousands of tulips all over the city! This week-long festival will be full of things for everyone in your family to enjoy including a carnival, parades, tulip gardens, craft shows, city tours and live entertainment. If you’re looking to get a taste of the dutch history that Tulip Time is celebrating then don’t worry because there is plenty of opportunities! Every day there will be almost 1,000 locals dressed in traditional dutch costumes performing dutch dances. You can also partake in the Taste of Holland Lunch and Shop at the dutch marketplace. If you’re having a hard time choosing between the endless possibilities, last year Awesome Mitten writer Aaron Cruz visited the festival and wrote a guide to some of the best spots. Get maps and more Tulip Time info here.
Michigan Youth Arts Festival: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 12-14
I believe that the arts are absolutely essential in school. The Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) feels exactly the same. Having begun in 1963 as a small festival to showcase all the hard work and talent of Michigan’s art students, MYAF today features the art of almost 1,000 high school and community studio students to over 6,500 attendees. This free event is the perfect way to support the arts in the educational system as it showcases art in all forms from creative writing and spoken work to canvas paintings and dance. Check out their website here for more info about this weekend event on Western Michigan University campus.
National Morel Mushroom Festival: Boyne City, May 12-15
May is the season for mushrooms and their lovers. This is a particularly exciting time for the people of Boyne City. For the last 55 years, Boyne City has hosted their National Morel Mushroom Festival to honor and enjoy the local morel mushroom. This weekend event offers plenty of chances to go on scavenger hunts and attend fun seminars to learn more about this tasty fungi. If you aren’t much of a mushroom expert and still want in on the festivities there will be a craft beer block party, a wine pairing dinner, carnival rides, a craft show and more throughout the weekend. Get more info and festival tickets here.
Asparagus Festival: Empire, May 20-22
Keeping up with food themed festivals, the 13th annual Asparagus Festival will be celebrating all things asparagus. According to Michigan Asparagus, Michigan ranks second in the nation for asparagus production with approximately 120 Michigan farmers producing this fun crop. Situated amidst Sleeping Bear Dunes, Empire is a town just west of Traverse City. In celebration of their asparagus harvest, Empire will be hosting a 5K run, an asparagus recipe contest, live music, a parade, beer and wine tasting and—the most exciting and interesting of all—an annual spoken poetry contest for the best “Ode to Asparagus”. Get more festival info here.
BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass – A Taste of Michigan: Saint Joseph, May 21
The 4th annual BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass festival is a day full of good music and good eats. Held in Whirlpool Centennial Park, this all day festival is perfect for a day with friends or family—or both! Attendees will have the chance to enjoy craft beer, regional wines, fantastic local BBQ and plenty of live music. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door for adults. Kids eight and under are free. You can purchase your tickets here.
Heritage Hill Weekend Tour of Homes: Grand Rapids, May 21-22
Do you pass old historic buildings and just want to go in them and look around? Heritage Hill understands and will, for the 47th year, be opening the doors of eight private houses and three historic buildings in Grand Rapids. The Heritage Hill neighborhood dates all the way back to 1843 and represents Michigan’s “finest collection of 19th and 20th century American architecture” according to the Heritage Hill Association. Tours run from 11:00am until 5:00pm on Saturday and noon to 6:00pm on Sunday. Last year, Awesome Mitten writer Lindsay Syswerda took the tour. Check out what she wrote about the event so you can get the low-down before you go! Tickets can be purchased here.
Dog Bowl and Balloons Over Bavarian Inn: Frankenmuth, May 27-30
Not sure what to do for Memorial Day weekend? Frankenmuth has you covered with these free family-friendly events! There is plenty to fill the weekend including an olympic-style Dog Bowl (May 28th-29th) and Balloons Over Bavarian Inn (May 27th-30th) competitions. The Dog Bowl will feature a costume contest, frisbee catching, fun runs and much more while the annual hot-air balloon competition gives attendees a chance to experience the beauty and amazement that comes with seeing these giant balloons float to the the sky. Get more event info here.
Movement Electronic Music Festival: Detroit, May 28-30
If you’re a fan of electronic music and are near Detroit city then Movement is the place to be this Memorial Day weekend. Movement Electronic Music Festival seeks to celebrate the history and culture of electronic and techno music in Detroit. For their tenth anniversary, the long weekended will feature over 100 performances with must-see artists including Anja Schneider, Delano Smith and Ectomorph! The festival begins at noon on Saturday, May 28th at the Hart Plaza. To prepare for the festival, here’s a survival guide from Detroiter and Awesome Mitten writer Chaz Parks. Get your Movement tickets here.
Blessing of the Boats: Muskegon, May 29
Even if your boat isn’t docked in Muskegon, this is definitely a spectacular must-see event. With boats splashing into Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan all Memorial Day weekend, the Port City Princess will be sailing through the Muskegon Channel to bless the boats. You can have brunch and catch a ride on the small charter boat for her journey through Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan before heading to the channel. If sailing isn’t your thing, you can watch the event the event from the Muskegon channel or from Muskegon Lake beach. For more info check out their event page.
Do you have an event you would like us to consider for a future roundup post? Submit it here!