The arrival of spring brings with it many things — birds chirping, flowers blooming, and warmer temperatures. Michigan springtime also means festival season. If you’ve been itching to get outside and shake off the winter blues, there’s a wide range of Michigan spring festivals & events to check out.
You don’t have to go very far to find a festival and, with it, good food, fun activities, and a festive atmosphere. In fact, our guess is that you can find a “spring festival near me” on this list!
Upper Peninsula Spring Festivals & Events
Lilac Festival | Mackinac Island
Every June, thousands of flower enthusiasts flock to the island to celebrate the lilac season, which is beautiful but brief.
For 10 days, the island is transformed into an all-out lilac celebration with a 5K and fun run, the crowning of a Lilac Queen and her court, walking lilac tours, carriage tours, and the grand parade, which closes out the annual festival with horse-drawn parade floats.
Festival of the Angry Bear | Marquette
Every April, after the streets of Marquette thaw along Lake Superior, this festival takes over downtown Marquette on spring street, helping Yoopers shed the winter blues. The festival is modeled after European beer festivals and showcases live music, delicious food, and barrel-aged beer.
Krusin Klassics | Escanaba
When the skies are blue and the sun is shining, there’s nothing better than driving down the open road with the top down, feeling the wind in your hair. This early June festival, formed in 1985, celebrates all things automotive and a $5 bill will earn you admission for the whole weekend.
The event includes a fun run, a car show, and a swap meet, and the proceeds are donated to local businesses and charities. Car enthusiasts will get a chance to see plenty of classic cars, and prizes are given to show vehicles in several categories.
Native American Festival | St. Ignace
This May festival on the Lake Huron shoreline is a real thrill for the senses and celebrates a rich, diverse, and creative heritage. Festival-goers will see expressive Native American dances, hear the sound of drums, and be able to taste hundreds of years of tradition.
The festivities are free to everyone, and you’re bound to learn something new after seeing porcupine quills and other art materials, feeling birch bark, and smelling sacred medicines. It’s a day to celebrate culture and heritage, and it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement and energy around you.
Spring Festivals & Events in Northern Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
National Morel Mushroom Festival | Boyne City
Michiganders know another sign of spring is the arrival of morel mushrooms. Each May, hundreds of mushroom seekers from around the country seek the elusive delicacy.
During the festival, Boyne City goes all out. Restaurants prepare morel-laden dishes, singers sing songs about morels, and there’s even a mushroom hunt!
Spring Beer Festival | Traverse City
Beer lovers will rejoice at this popular May festival, which brings together some of the best Michigan breweries and beers in the state. It takes place at Turtle Creek Stadium outside Traverse City, so visitors are advised to check the weather beforehand and dress accordingly.
National Trout Festival | Kalkaska
In Kalkaska, the last full weekend in April is dedicated to all things trout. The festival, which has been going strong for more than 80 years, features a little bit of everything.
The event opens with the crowning of a king and queen. Also, there’s live music and entertainment, a classic car show, a pizza-eating contest, and a grand parade. Kids can try catching fish in a kids’ fishing contest too.
Barley, BBQ, and Beats | Cadillac
No matter the time of year, three ingredients seem to make for the perfect festival — good beer, good food, and good music. Barley, BBQ, and Beats has all three at several locations in the state during the spring, and Cadillac’s takes place in May.
Visitors can get their fair share of handcrafted cocktails, food from award-winning pitmasters, and great music. Plus, the proceeds go to a good cause — benefiting Hospice of Michigan.
Morel Mushroom Festival and Art in the Park | Lewiston
Morels are prized possessions in springtime, and this festival near Gaylord celebrates all things morel in May. One of the best things about the festival is the morel mushroom hunts.
There are guided hunts for mushroom novices and pro hunts for experts looking to get their hands on the elusive mushrooms. These hunts are great for people of all ages and a great way to educate hunters on what to look for and how to pick mushrooms.
The arts and crafts show also features an annual mushroom tasting where local businesses and restaurants provide tasty samples.
Tawas Point Birding Festival | Tawas
One of the surest signs of spring is the migration of birds in May, and Tawas on Michigan’s Sunrise Side is the perfect spot to see it. More than a decade ago, the Michigan Audubon Society and another local chapter collaborated to put Tawas on the map for bird watching.
What came out of it is a birding hot spot that draws visitors from all over the state. Bird enthusiasts have reported seeing the Kirtland’s Warbler, the white-crowned sparrow, and numerous shorebirds, among many other species.
Breeze by the Bay Kite Festival | Tawas
There’s something so carefree about flying a kite on a beautiful spring day. In June, Tawas hosts the Breeze on the Bay Kite Festival, founded by a man known as Kiteman Jack.
Participation in the event is free, and there’s a whole day of kite-related fun that includes giveaways, kite-making with kids, and candy drops. For those who love colorful festivals, the stunt kites, small kites, big kites, and all the kites in between are colorful and a site to behold.
West Michigan Spring Events & Festivals
Tulip Time Festival | Holland
The Tulip Time Festival in May celebrates Holland’s Dutch heritage and the thousands of tulips that bloom all over the city. Festival-goers can enjoy concerts, parades, locals dressing up in traditional Dutch clothing, and traditional Dutch dancing.
Aside from all the events, you can spend time at local parks marveling at the many kinds of tulips on display and take fantastic photos.
Lakes of Fire | Rothbury
Held in June, this can almost be thought of as a Great Lakes Burning Man. It’s an annual celebration of community and art that’s steeped in fire, friendship, and wonder. The festival hosts themed camps and open camping, offering a carnival-like atmosphere with fiery fun, art, and music.
Whiskey Festival | Grand Rapids
For those who enjoy whiskey, this is a great festival to create memories with friends and enjoy some top-notch spirits during March.
No matter if you like Scotch whisky, American whiskey, Rye whiskey, Kentucky bourbon, or some other variety, this festival allows visitors to explore all those options and connect with representatives from some of the world’s top whiskey brands.
LaughFest | Grand Rapids
If you love to laugh, this is the festival for you. This five-day March event features dozens of funny events all over Grand Rapids, including stand-up sets from several popular comedians.
Parents looking for a wholesome family activity can bring the kids along too. Features like the Clean Comedy Showcase and Kids Joke let even young attendees join in the fun.
Cupcake Festival | White Cloud
Lovers of sweet treats can get their fill of cupcakes at this festival in May, but there are plenty of activities for the whole family.
The festival features a beer tent, a pancake breakfast at the White Cloud Fire Department, a classic car show, and both amateur and professional cupcake decorating contests. Kids can even burn off some energy at the kids’ carnival, which has fun, carnival-style games.
Mid-Michigan Spring Festivals & Events
Walleye Festival | Freeland
Fishermen in the Great Lakes Bay region know the walleye is a prized catch, so this festival celebrates everything about these golden beauties.
Each April, festival-goers can join in a weekend of fun that includes cornhole, duck races, beer pong, bingo, poker, garage sales, and live music, among other events.
Maple Syrup Festival | Shepherd
The last weekend in April is dedicated to maple syrup in the Central Michigan village of Shepherd. It’s a great way to spend time with family and partake in pancake meals, tractor and horse pulls, parades, and, of course, maple syrup demonstrations.
Visitors at this Michigan maple syrup festival can see just how maple syrup is made, from tapping trees for sap to boiling sap to making syrup to creating delectable syrup-infused treats.
Sugar, Shearing & Science Festival | Jackson
The Ella Sharp Museum welcomes hundreds of visitors each year for this festival on the last Saturday in March for a weekend of family fun.
This festival features traditional springtime activities like a petting zoo, sap collecting, and syrup making demonstrations, as well as sheep shearing. Once you’ve had your fill of festivities, visit the museum’s exhibits and historic buildings for free.
Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival | Jackson
Though it’s known as a winter festival, this beer event takes place in March around the same time as several other Michigan beer festivals.
At the Jackson County Fairgrounds, more than 150 of the best imported, craft, and specialty beers are available on tap for beer enthusiasts who flock from all over to enjoy the variety of brews. Visitors are advised to dress warmly and enjoy bonfires, ice carving, games, and other activities.
Fairy Festival | Jackson
Each April, the Jackson School of Arts hosts the Fairy Festival, which is, in a word, magical. Not only is it magical, but it’s free and features arts and crafts, a Fairy Garden Contest, carriage rides, afternoon tea, dancing fairies, and much more.
Young visitors are encouraged to dress up as fairies and have their pictures taken in this magical wonderland.
Beerfest at the Ballpark | Lansing
As you’ve read, Michigan loves to celebrate local beer any way that it can, and every corner of the state seems to have its own spring beer festival. Beerfest at the Ballpark is held in late April at Jackson Field.
Festival-goers get eight tasting tickets with admission and an opportunity to choose from more than 300 craft beers from 50 Michigan breweries, as well as spirits, meads, ciders, and more.
Spring Festivals & Events in East Michigan
Art and Garden Festival | Saginaw
This all-day gardening and art event in June consistently draws visitors from all over the state. More than three dozen art and garden vendors sell garden accessories, plants, and original art.
Once visitors have gotten their fill of art and gardening, they can participate in a garden raffle and silent auction, as well as enjoy a pop-up concert by the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra.
Funtown Chowdown Food Truck Festival | Frankenmuth
One of the best parts of any festival is the food. Each year, this festival at Frankenmuth’s River Place Shops gathers nearly two dozen food trucks from around Michigan to offer visitors a variety of tasty cuisine and desserts.
This one-day festival takes place once a month from May to September and also features live music, craft beer, and family-friendly activities.
World Expo of Beer | Frankenmuth
Beer enthusiasts will be in heaven at this May festival. It’s the largest beer sampling event in the Mitten State, with more than 350 beers available from around the world at Kern Pavillon in Heritage Park in Frankenmuth.
With live music, souvenirs, and plenty of beer flowing, this is the perfect event for those who love beer or want to try different world suds.
Balloons Over Bavarian Inn | Frankenmuth
One great part of every festival is the color and visuals. This May festival has that in spades, and visitors can watch more than 25 hot air balloons take flight over Frankenmuth during morning and evening flights.
After the evening flights, nightly balloon glows take place, offering another exciting visual for festival attendees and a chance to interact with balloon pilots and crew.
Zehnder’s Ragtime Festival | Frankenmuth
For more than 20 years, Zehnder’s in Frankenmuth has hosted ragtime performers from around North America every April. Fans of ragtime music can enjoy daily concerts, as well as family-style lunches and dinners, which include Zehnder’s famous chicken.
Southeast Michigan Spring Festivals & Events in Metro Detroit
Film Festival | Ann Arbor
Founded in 1963, this is the oldest experimental and avant-garde film festival in North America. It has been recognized as one of the best forums for independent artists and filmmakers.
The Ann Arbor Film Festival offers attendees quite a cinematic experience. Over six days, nearly 200 films are presented in all genres from more than 20 countries. For fans of independent films, this is a must-attend event in March.
National Unicorn Day Festival | Ypsilanti
Ypsilanti’s National Unicorn Day Festival is a pretty magical event. This is the perfect event to get youngsters out of the house for some fun.
Unicorns and unicorn lovers are invited to downtown Ypsilanti for an event that includes attendees getting their own unicorn name and name tag, an appearance by Dessa the Unicorn Princess, sidewalk chalk, a piñata party, magical snacks, gift bags, and a dance party.
Paczki Day | Hamtramck
While not a full-blown festival, hundreds, if not thousands, flock here before Lent every year for paczki, a traditional Polish delight that’s similar to a doughnut. Packed with custard or fruit filling, these treats are delectable and worth the wait.
Hamtramck also holds a 5K run on Paczki Day to help hungry attendees work off some calories and make room for paczki during this annual event.
Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix | Detroit
Detroit is known as the Motor City, so it’s no surprise that some of Michigan’s best festivals have to deal with cars. For one weekend in June, Detroit hosts the Belle Isle Grand Prix and some of the biggest names on the Formula One circuit.
For racing fans, this is a great way to see professional racers up close and experience a unique race on the 982-acre island.
Ramadan Suhoor Festival | Dearborn
This April festival brings together dozens of vendors and serves cultural, religious, and culinary experiences during a celebration of Ramadan. The event brings together Muslims and non-Muslims alike for a celebration of community and religious diversity.
IslandFest | Grosse Ile
This festival is a big island celebration with the motto, “Where the river ends and the fun begins.” What started as an azalea festival has grown into a bigger and well-attended June event that’s well known in the area.
Many of the activities festival-goers find here, like the arts and crafts show and Macomb Street Parade, have been a part of the festival from the very beginning. Additions, like Jazzapalooza and the TAILS auction, have become annual favorites.
Listening to local bands while noshing on delicious food from local vendors is a great way to pass an evening at this festival.
Bark on Biddle | Wyandotte
At Bark on Biddle, dog owners and their furry friends take center stage. This three-day event in June in downtown Wyandotte provides loads of entertainment for dogs and dog owners alike. Pet-related vendors are on hand to offer unique toys and treats, as well as dog food samples and the latest in pet fashion.
If you have an energetic dog, you can sign it up for the Air Dogs dock jumping competition or take it to the Lucky Dogs Lure Coursing area. After you and your pooch have tired yourselves out, you can grab a bite to eat, enjoy a cocktail, and listen to some great live music.
Movement Electronic Festival | Detroit
Michigan spring festivals are dedicated to just about everything, and this May festival makes Detroit’s Hart Plaza the place to be for electronic music.
Electronic music aficionados can experience three days of nonstop tunes with six stages and more than 110 acts playing. There are pre-parties and after-parties too, so the fun doesn’t stop when the music does.
More Spring Fun in Michigan
With so many Michigan spring festivals and events to choose from, you might struggle to decide which one to attend.
Whether you’re looking to sample quality craft beer, enjoy live music, spend some time with family, or just get out of the house for a day or two, there’s a spring festival in Michigan waiting for you!
Did we miss mentioning your favorite spring festival in Michigan? Tell us about it in the comments!