Save the Date for Jackson’s Best Festivals of 2015

Save the Date for Jackson’s Best Festivals of 2015

To state the obvious, it’s cold outside in Michigan. To fight the mad case of cabin fever I have, I’ve decided to start dreaming of the summer and for me summer means festivals. I plan my summer around the festivals. They are my favorite part of the summer: deep fried candy bars, live music, and being outside in the heat. I love it!

While you are circling the dates for Art Prize, National Cherry Festival, and Tulip Time Festival, don’t forget to add these Jackson festivals to your calendar:

March 14 | Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival

Southern Michigan Winter Beer Fest
Southern Michigan Winter Beer Fest – Photo Courtesy of Experience Jackson

Ok, so I kick off my Jackson festival season late winter with the Annual Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. At least they have campfires! The festival features more than 150 craft, specialty and import beers, food vendors, live music, and a corn hole competition.  This is an in and outdoor event so dress warmly. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door and are available at JacksonCountyFair.net/BeerFest.

April 30-May 2 | Jackson Storyfest

Storytelling is a lost art form that I find completely fascinating. With only words, tone of voice, and body language these storytellers can engage and entertain as well as a blockbuster movie. Jackson Storyfest has been celebrating the art of storytelling for 28 years. A special Thursday performance is geared toward seniors, Friday evening is for adults, and Saturday keeps the whole family entertained. The best part about this festival? It’s free to attend!

May 9 | Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson

The Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson is centered-around Michigan Wine, Beer, and Food at Michigan International Speedway. Attendees can taste their new favorite wine or beer then bring it home from the on-site store. Don’t miss the food pairings, vendor displays, and hot lap rides around the fastest track in NASCAR!

June 5, 6 & 7 | Jackson Blues Festival

Three days of live blues music at the Jackson County Airport, including some of the best blues musicians from Detroit to Chicago and beyond. Crowds gather in the thousands, toting lawn chairs and the whole family as even children can get involved with a harmonica lesson on Friday.

June 6 | Ella Sharp’s Art, Beer & Wine Festival

Ella's Art, Beer and Wine Festival
Ella’s Art, Beer and Wine Festival – Photo Courtesy of Experience Jackson

The 11th Annual Art, Beer and Wine Festival will be bigger and better than ever with Michigan wineries, breweries, and cider mills, artists from every media, and live musicians nestled on the grounds of the Ella Sharp Museum and historic Farm Lane.

June 7 | Jackson County Rose Festival

The 57th Annual Jackson County Rose Parade is one of the largest parades in Michigan featuring the lovely Rose Queen Court and over 100 entries. After the parade, the Picnic in the Park begins at Ella Sharp Park with a Fire Truck Pull Competition, Chicken BBQ dinners, and other family friendly activities.

July 9 – July 19 | Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Janet Haley, A Midsummer Night's Dream 2006
Janet Haley, A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Photo Courtesy of Michigan Shakespeare Festival

The official Michigan Shakespeare Festival brings high quality award winning theatrical productions to the Potter Center at Jackson College. This premier event has celebrated the Great Bard for over 20 years. This year the company will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s: The Rivals.

July 18, 19 & 20 | Hot Air Jubilee

One of the most beloved festivals of Jackson, the Hot Air Jubilee will amaze and inspire guests with hot air balloons that fill the sky. The festival continues to entertain on the ground with activities like Kid’s Kingdom, arts and crafts booths, food and merchandise vendors, and live entertainment. Being located at Ella Sharp Park allows visitors to take advantage of visiting Ella Sharp Museum, Hurst Planetarium and Ella Sharp Putt-Putt Golf too.

July 18, 19 & 20 | Faster Horses Festival

This big country music festival returns to Michigan International Speedway with Florida-Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley headlining. Accommodations available at both on-site camping or nearby hotels. Tickets go on sale Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. at FasterHorsesFestival.com.

August 2 & 3 | How Bazaar Jackson

How Bazaar Jackson Taste of Jackson
How Bazaar Jackson & Taste of Jackson – Photo Courtesy of Experience Jackson

The two-day street festival returns for year two combining the Taste of Jackson with a juried art fair, live entertainment, wine and beer tasting, and kid’s activities. This event will draw thousands of people to shop, play, and enjoy Downtown Jackson.

August 9-15 | Jackson County Fair

Jackson County puts on a truly quintessential fair. Throughout fair week, the fair hosts a variety of concerts which attract attendees from far and wide as well as 4-H animals, arts & crafts displays, midway rides, games, and food vendors.

August 23 & 24 | Cascades Civil War Muster

Cascades Civil War Muster Military Ball
Cascades Civil War Muster Military Ball – Photo Courtesy of Experience Jackson

Celebrating over 30 years in Jackson, the Midwest’s largest and longest running civil war muster reenacts two historic battles at 2 p.m. each day.  For 2015, the battles are The Battle of Bentonville and The Battle of Appomattox with Lee’s Surrender. Other activities include the military ball, cavalry demonstrations, medical scenarios, Sutler’s Row, arts and crafts, Historic Jacksonburg, and live music.