With Michigan summer is in full swing, and the temperatures on the rise, the Mitten State is bustling with festivals, fairs, and plenty of fireworks. Whether you’re looking to celebrate Independence Day, or you’d like to just get the whole family out in the sun while it lasts, these are the top July events to attend in Michigan this month.
Stars and Stripes: Sterling Heights, July 1-3
Start July off right with the perfect Independence Day celebration. The 10th Annual Stars & Stripes Festival is a four-day family-friendly extravaganza of music, art vendors, carnival rides, food, and a fantastic fireworks show on the last day for an Independence Day celebration! The lineup includes the likes of Uncle Kracker, the Styx, Seether, and other local and national bands Join the community for time with plenty of family-friendly activities such as a petting zoo, the biggest carnival layout to date, and a BMX stunt show. Parking has a fee, but the festival is free, so check out their website for more information.
2016 Brewery Walking Tour Series: Kalamazoo, July 2
West Michigan Beer Tours and Discover Kalamazoo have partnered to host the 2016 Kalamazoo Craft Beer Walking Tour Series. The tour will run all summer, but every Saturday and the last Sunday of this month, take the chance to learn about the beer culture in downtown Kalamazoo. Attendees will be able to sample beers and learn the history of this amazing city while stoping at least three featured breweries. On the itinerary could be Bell’s Brewery, Arcadia Brewing Co., Tibbs Brewing Co., Olde Peninsula Brewpub, or others. Get your tickets here!
International Food Festival: Marquette, July 2-4
Join the city of Marquette and foodies of the Upper Peninsula for the 31st Annual International Food Fest. Each day will feature food from all over the globe: Germany, Asia, Italy, Mexico and several more! While you enjoy the food, there will also be a large lineup of live music each day of the festival, as well as a fireworks show on July 4th. Bring your friends and family to celebrate the represented nations and many others. Check out the website for more info here.
National Cherry Festival: Traverse City, July 2-9
Held every year in the “Cherry Capital of the World,” the National Cherry Festival is the perfect time to celebrate Michigan agricultural and local businesses as well as the refreshing fruit. The festival is full of mostly free events that are perfect for every member of the family. The week will feature farmers’ markets, auto shows, pet shows, beer tents, contests and tournaments, games for the kids, and live entertainment! Check out the website for the schedule. Plus, if you’re a local, get some survival tips from The Awesome Mitten’s own Jennifer Hamilton with her Survival of the Fittest: Cherry Festival Edition.
Lunchtime Yoga at Mangiamo: Grand Rapids, July 5
Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse is teaming up with Mangiamo! Italian Restaurant for lunch time yoga to change up the lunch hour. Every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the summer, Funky Buddha will host a yoga session on the lawn, and afterward, attendees will be able to purchase a speedy boxed lunch so they can head back to work. These classes are free to members of Funky Buddha and $20 for non-members. Get more info at their website here.
Common Ground Music Festival: Lansing, July 5-10
After celebrating Independence Day, head to Lansing for one of the hottest music festivals in the Midwest. Held at Adado Riverfront Park, Common Ground Music Festival will bring together music and big names from all genres like Tim McGraw, Jason Derulo, AWOLNATION, Milky Chance, Daya, and numerous more. Tickets are still available so get ’em while you can! Check out the website for more info here.
Art in the Park: Plymouth, July 8-10
Head to Plymouth for Michigan’s second largest art fair where you can spend three days among the work of over 400 artists from all over the country. Paintings, sculptures, jewelry, ceramic, woodwork and much more will be available for purchase. To accompany the art show, there will be live music and plenty of food for attendees to enjoy. Want to bring the whole family? No problem! There’s plenty of fun stuff for the kids like face-painting, balloons, sand art, and a collaborative mural. Get more info here.
52nd Annual Alpenfest: Gaylord, July 12-16
The annual Alpenfest is a major attraction for Gaylord that brings together the community along with vacationers from all over. The four-day festival will feature over 60 artists selling their products as well as a kid-friendly carnival, a parade, plenty of contests, and live entertainment. On the last day, July 16, there is also an Alpenfest Run: register here and check out the website for more info.
A Taste of Brighton: Brighton, July 15-16
Taking place in downtown Brighton, A Taste of Brighton showcases everything the city has to offer with something for everyone. Popular restaurants like Yum Yum Tree, Stout Irish Pub, Two Brothers Coffee, and several others will offer sample sizes of signature dishes with a showcase along the street. As well, shops along the main street will set up stands toting their wares. There will even be a kids area with water slides and games, rock climbing, and four stages with live local music! Check out the website for a full list of restaurants, shops, and a schedule of the weekend.
Michigander Bicycle Tour: Fruitport, July 15-23
For the 25th year in a row, the Michigander Bicycle Tour is back to take participants on beautiful trails, Great Lakes’ beaches, lighthouses, through virgin white pines, and stop at a few brewpubs along the way. There are three tour options available: 2-Day Tour, 6-Day Tour, or an 8-day Tour – each with varying routes. Get more info about schedules and accommodations from their website here. Register now and experience Michigan on two wheels!
If you’re not absolutely convinced, check out our review of the 2014 Michigander Bicycle Tour.
Wine on the Water: Leelanau Peninsula, July 16
Held at Marina Park in Suttons Bay, the 2016 Wine on the Water FestivalF will feature samples from local wineries, Northern Latitudes Distillery, and Hop Lot Brewing Co., as well as delicious food for attendees to try paired with live music from Bugs Beddow & the Good STuFF. You can purchase tickets beforehand or at the gate. Each ticket comes with a commemorative wine glass and 3 tasting tickets! Get your tickets here.
Venetian Festival: Charlevoix, July 16-23
What was once a boat parade is now a week long extravaganza of fun, family, and fireworks. The Venetian Festival will take place mostly within Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake Harbor, and other waterfront parks. Featured throughout the week, there will be a boat parade, a carnival, kids activities like a petting zoo and talent show, live music, and, of course, fireworks! Get more info about the schedule at their website here.
National Baby Food Festival: Fremont, July 20-23
Fremont is the “Baby Food Capital of the World,” and a great way to celebrate in the home of Gerber is the National Baby Food Festival. The festival will start with the perfect day for young tots with a day of crafts, food, a parade, and a bike race. The rest of the four-day festival will have a continuous kid zone, community picnic, a craft show, car show, a baby food eating contest, and the Grand Parade on Saturday. Check out the website for a full schedule.
Mo Pop Music Festival: Detroit, July 23-24
Big music festivals seem to be on everyone’s summer bucket list nowadays, and Mo Pop Music Festival is here to help you check that off your list. Hosted in downtown Detroit at the West Riverfront Park, this thriving and young music festival is set to feature big names on their lineup like HAIM, Glass Animals, Twin Peaks, G-Eazy, and countless others. Don’t worry about food or drink while you’re jamming out because Mo Pop has you covered with vendors serving Detroit favorites in both food and drinks. Tickets are still on sale so get them now and check out the website for more info. Also, check out this Q&A we did with the festival’s organizer, Mike Childs, about the festival.
Sterlingfest: Sterling Heights, July 28-30
Dubbed “Michigan’s best summer festival” by Detroit News, Sterlingfest is a three-day festival made for ending July right! Hosted in the city center of Sterling Heights, the streets will be filled with a huge craft show, plenty of live entertainment, food stands from local vendors, and plenty of carnival rides. There’s also a fully stocked beer tent for the 21+ out there! Check out their website for more info here.
How Bazaar: Jackson, July 30-31
Another great festival to finish July off right, “Experience Jackson” through How Bazaar, a weekend street festival that combines a juried art fair, the “Taste of Jackson,” beer and wine tasting from local Michigan breweries and wineries, activities for the kids, and live music. The festival will also feature Michigan’s largest squirt gun fight! Visit their website for more info here.
- Where’s Waldo?: Petoskey, July 1-30
- Music Lakeside Summer Concert Series: Belleville Lake, throughout the month
- 22nd Annual Riverwalk Festival: Lowell, July 7-9
- American Polish Festival: Sterling Heights, July 8-10
- Michigan Shakespeare Festival: Jackson, July 9-24
- Grand Rapids Symphony’s “Classical Fireworks”: Grand Rapids, July 14-15
- Hot Air Jubilee: Jackson, July 15
- Festa Italiana: Sterling Heights, July 15-17
- 38th Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival: Marquette, July 22-24
- Fowlerville Family Fair: Fowlerville, July 25-30
- Leilapalooza: Battle Creek, July 30
- Kensington Marathon: Kensington Metropark, July 31
Do you have an event you would like us to consider for a future roundup post? Submit it here!