If you’re looking for fun things to do this summer in Michigan, attending a festival (or several) has to be at the top of your to-do list. Summer festivals in Michigan offer something for everyone and honor the state’s cultural and agricultural heritage with mouthwatering food, art, music, and much more.
Early summer events highlight breathtaking displays of nature, fun-filled summer bashes celebrate everything from cheeseburgers to fruit to movies to the paranormal, and end-of-summer extravaganzas — like the Michigan State Fair. You’ll have a good time wherever you go.
If you don’t know where to go and when to see some of the best summer festivals in Michigan, here’s a list to get you started.
Michigan Summer Festivals in May
Tulip Time Festival | Holland
This festival happens in mid-May during springtime, but it’s the perfect way to start the festival season in Michigan with one of the most dazzling displays of color you’ll ever see.
Head to downtown Holland to see charming Dutch architecture, sample local food, celebrate Dutch heritage, and, of course, go on a tulip tour where you’ll see expansive fields of thousands of tulips.
Note: There are many other outdoor things to do in Holland Michigan too.
Petoskey Stone Festival | Torch Lake Township
The Petoskey stone is the official stone of the Mitten State, so it makes sense to celebrate it, right? Every year in Northern Michigan, this festival celebrates Petoskey stones, which can be found on the shores of Lake Michigan.
There’s live music, a kid’s trout fishing pond, gem and mineral vendors, and so much more. Plus, it’s a great way to soak in the beauty of Northern Michigan as the weather warms up.
Note: Celebrating Petoskey stones is only one of the best activities in Petoskey Michigan.
Michigan Brat and Beer Festival | Thompsonville
Nothing says summer like the sizzling of brats on the grill and the welcome icy chill of a cold beer on a warm day. Held at Crystal Mountain, this festival has been going strong for more than a dozen years and celebrates Michigan-made beverages and food.
You can enjoy live entertainment while getting your fill of gourmet brats and a wide selection of microbrews, meads, wine, and liquor.
Balloons Over Bavarian Inn | Frankenmuth
There are lots of hot air balloon festivals in Michigan throughout the year, and one of the most well known is in Frankenmuth. Here, you can see more than 25 colorful hot air balloons as they depart on morning and evening flights and participate in nightly balloon glows.
It’s a great spot to see some of these wonders up close and even talk to some of the balloon pilots.
Dog Bowl | Frankenmuth
While the Balloons over Bavarian Inn event is going on, there’s also the Dog Bowl at River Place Shops — the largest Olympic-style festival for dogs. Attendees are guaranteed to have a doggone good time at this high-energy festival that showcases four-legged friends.
Dogs are showcased in running, jumping, diving, and retrieving events among the 25 activities that are offered. It’s fun for the whole family and your pooch as well!
Note: Check out other unique activities in Frankenmuth during your visit.
June Festivals in Michigan
The Original Michigan Lavender Festival | Imlay City
There’s nothing like the sweet smell of lavender to liven your spirits and enrich your senses. The festival offers much to do for lovers of this purple flower.
There are workshops, demonstrations, and even a chance to pick lavender. Also, more than 100 Michigan artists display their wares, including lavender-infused cupcakes and lavender body butter.
National Asparagus Festival | Empire
If you’re looking for unique Michigan summer festivals, this one in Oceana County has to be near the top of the list. Since 1974, no one has celebrated the asparagus industry quite like Empire.
There’s an asparagus queen, arts and crafts vendors, a display of the season’s largest asparagus, food and drink, and even an asparagus poetry contest. In short, this festival has something for everyone.
Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival | New Baltimore
Some festivals celebrate food. Others celebrate art or nature. This festival is all about giving back to the community.
This event is run by volunteers and awards a scholarship to a lucky high school senior. There’s plenty of entertainment too, with kids’ games, carnival games, and a Miss Bay-Rama pageant, among other activities.
National Cereal Festival | Battle Creek
Located in Southern Michigan, Battle Creek is the home of Kellogg’s and is known as the birthplace of breakfast cereal in general. Over the years, it hasn’t been uncommon for the sweet smell of cereal to waft through the air from Kellogg’s & Post factories.
The annual Battle Creek cereal festival has been going strong for more than 50 years and includes local entertainment, a cereal parade, inflatables, and of course, plenty of free breakfast cereal.
Note: Don’t miss the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival later in the month!
Lilac Festival | Mackinac Island
On its own, Mackinac Island is always a great summer destination. But, it’s even more popular during this annual festival, which is the largest and most historic festival on the island.
You can learn about the history and uniqueness of lilacs on Mackinac Island, go on lilac walking tours, take part in planting seminars, enjoy live music, watch a grand parade, and more.
Note: Experience more things to do on Mackinac Island.
Kirtland’s Warbler Festival | Roscommon
In the hearts and minds of many Michiganders, the Kirtland’s warbler is the state bird. Once on the brink of extinction, it has made a recovery and can be seen all over the northern Lower Peninsula.
While the festival is a celebration of this amazing bird and its habitat, there are also beer and wine tastings, nature hikes, and seminars from the American Bird Conservancy.
Frontier Days | Carson City
Fifty years ago, a group of Carson City residents created a Western-themed celebration to commemorate the town’s namesake, Carson City Nevada.
Things have changed over the years, but at its heart, it’s a Western celebration with rodeos, tractor pulls, rides, magic shows, hot air balloons, pageants, and so much more.
Mancelona Bass Festival | Mancelona
One of the best summertime activities in the Great Lakes State is going fishing, and this festival has been celebrating Michigan’s love of fishing for more than 60 years.
There’s a little bit of everything here — a festival king and queen, cornhole tournaments, live music, a pet parade, live entertainment, a grand parade, and a classic car show.
Marquette Trails Fest | Marquette
Slip into your running shoes and soak in the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at this annual June event. This celebration embraces the woodlands and promises plenty of activities with trail running races, mountain biking races, and socials.
All the proceeds from the festival go to maintaining the trails around Marquette.
Note: Don’t miss out on all the best summer things to do in Marquette.
Festival of Flags | Davison
This festival promotes five days of family fun with all the trappings of a traditional festival — hot dogs and cotton candy, rides, fireworks, a parade, corn hole, and even a youth warrior beach battle. So, bring the family and be prepared to have a good time!
Michigan Summer Festivals in July
Lake Bluff Artisan Fair | St. Joseph
This celebration of art is spread over one weekend each month from July through September. It’s a great chance to take in scenic views of Lake Bluff Park, but it’s also a chance to see a diverse range of offerings from the local market. It’s great fun for the whole family, and there are lots of arts and crafts.
Michigan Rib Fest | Lake Orion
Some of the best summer festivals in the Mitten State involve food, and this one is undoubtedly one of the most mouthwatering. You can spice up July with delicious barbecue favorites and ice-cold beer.
Once you’ve had your fill of delicious food, take in the live music, games, and monster truck rides. If you really want to see something unique, check out the festival’s Weiner dog and pig races.
National Cherry Festival | Traverse City
One of the sweetest festivals of the summer can be found in Northwest Michigan in Traverse City. You can not only snack on sweet cherries and listen to music from award-winning artists, but also enjoy plenty of cherry-themed events that make this festival one of Michigan’s most fun.
These events include a festival of races, including a half marathon and a 5K. You don’t want to miss Cherries Got Talent — a fun talent show.
Bologna Festival | Yale
The town of Yale has just 2,000 people, but each summer, this three-day event brings in more than 20,000 visitors from Michigan and surrounding states.
There’s plenty of bologna for hungry festivalgoers, but there’s much more than tasty meat. You can watch the bologna king and queen get crowned, fireworks, a parade down Main Street, and outhouse races.
This is the only PRCA-sanctioned rodeo in Michigan and has been going strong for more than 50 years.
This event brings in some of the top cowboys from the region, and you’ll delight in watching them compete in events like classic bull riding. The Wild West Parade offers a chance to see the cowboys up close.
Art on the Rocks | Marquette
This event has been going strong for more than 60 years and is one of the highlights of the summer. Set against the scenic backdrop of Lake Superior, this market has an eclectic variety of offerings. Those who love art can check out vendors selling hand-painted pictures, drawings, sculptures, and more.
Michigan Elvis Festival | Ypsilanti
Dust off your blue suede shoes and get ready to dance! This annual celebration of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll brings together Elvis fans and the best Elvis impersonators you’ll ever see. You can rock to plenty of Elvis classics while enjoying tasty local food and beer.
Note: Michigan hosts some other obscure festivals that you don’t want to miss.
Old Town Scrapfest | Lansing
If you love art festivals, this annual event in Lansing is truly a sight to behold. Each year, festival participants go to a local scrap facility and collect as much as 500 pounds of scrap.
From there, they craft astounding works of art over a two-week period. When it’s time for the festival, you can bid on these works of art as you enjoy live music, food, beer, and plenty of family activities.
Brown Trout Festival | Alpena
The Great Lakes’ longest-running fishing tournament has been going strong for nearly 50 years. Over the course of 10 days, there are several fishing tournaments, including a children’s tournament and a Ladies’ Day tournament.
This festival also features a beer tent, live music, card tournaments, late-night dance parties, and a popular art show.
Note: You can explore many more things to do in Alpena as well.
National Baby Food Festival | Fremont
Believe it or not, Fremont is the Baby Food Capital of the World and the headquarters of Gerber. As such, this Michigan summer festival is one of a kind and features a baby food-eating contest, a baby crawl, a car show, a farmer’s market, and so much more.
August Festivals in Michigan
Blue Water Sandfest | Port Huron
If you love a good beach festival, this is one you don’t want to miss. It’s the perfect festival for sandcastle builders of all ages and remains Michigan’s first and only sand-sculpting festival.
Marvel at creations you never thought you would see, enjoy plenty of yummy festival food, take part in free sand-sculpting lessons, enjoy live music, and so much more.
Note: You’ll find many other summer activities in the Thumbcoast too!
Upper Peninsula State Fair | Escanaba
A state fair is all about fun and you’ll find plenty of it here in the Upper Peninsula. While celebrating Michigan’s heritage and culture, you can find fun for the whole family in the form of carnival rides, games, live music, and fair food.
Harbor Days | Elk Rapids
Located on Grand Traverse Bay, this is a great place to spend some time in the summer. There’s a classic car show, a diaper derby, an arts and crafts show, a boat lighting contest and display, and sock hop music. The festivities are capped off by a marvelous fireworks display.
Rubber Ducky Festival | Bellaire
This festival has been going strong for more than 30 years and features plenty of family fun. There are rubber duck races, a glow 5K run/walk, a “ducky dash” race, and much more.
National Blueberry Festival | South Haven
Like the National Cherry Festival, this is one of Michigan’s sweetest summer festivals. Travel to West Michigan, where you’ll find a blueberry-eating competition and plenty of delicious blueberry dishes.
The festival also features live music on the beach, parades, races, and more. In summer, there’s nothing quite like a festival on the beaches of West Michigan.
Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival | Caseville
What started as a love for Jimmy Buffett morphed into quite a festival in this small beach town in Michigan’s Thumb. Caseville transforms into a mini Margaritaville for nearly 10 days, and there are more events than you can shake a stick at.
Of course, there are many tasty cheeseburger offerings. And while businesses hold decorating contests, there’s live music, games, and much more.
Hops on the Harbor | Manistique
For an adult festival, this one in the Upper Peninsula is perfect. If you love craft beer and hard ciders, that’s even better! There’s something for all adult attendees here.
Not only is there beautiful scenery, but you can buy tickets to taste all of the delicious brews and meet many of the local brewers. There’s live music and great food too!
Michigan Summer Festivals in September
Michigan State Fair | Novi
Held on Labor Day weekend, this is the perfect event to bring your fun-filled summer to a close. The state’s biggest festival is fun for the whole family and offers all the things you love about summer — rides, games, incredible food, live music, and even animals.
No matter where you are in Michigan, or if you’re from out of state, this is one festival worth attending and is the perfect ending to summer.
Romeo Peach Festival | Romeo
This annual Labor Day weekend tradition is one sweet way to end summer. An orchard market offers customers fresh goodies, including fudge, wine, cider, cobblers, and peach pies.
A local orchard offers a chance for U-pick sunflowers and apples, and there’s a three-on-three basketball tournament and several large craft shows.
Detroit Jazz Festival | Detroit
For almost 40 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival has been a celebration of the city’s history of jazz music. Educational programming and concerts are provided year-round, but this festival over Labor Day weekend is free and brings world-class talent to the Motor City.
Attendees can watch jazz veterans, rising stars, and homecoming artists. Each year’s lineup features more than 60 performances, plenty of late-night jams, and improvisation.
Copper Harbor Trails Fest | Copper Harbor
For nearly 30 years, this Labor Day weekend event has brought together races, beer, music, and more for plenty of good times.
This is an event for all ages and all running enthusiasts, including downhillers, enduro experts, and cross-country runners. Take off on gorgeous trails, and wrap up the festivities with music, food, and beer from local breweries.
Michigan Chicken Wing Festival | Lansing
If you’re looking for a tasty way to end your summer, this Lansing festival is it. Make no mistake, there are plenty of wings and various flavors, but there’s also live music from all genres, giveaways, a chicken wing-eating contest, a festival king and queen, and a kids’ zone with inflatables.
There’s something for everyone, so come hungry and prepared to have fun.
Dozens of Summer Festivals in Michigan Await
As you can see, there’s no shortage of summer festivals in Michigan. All of them offer plenty of fun and chances to make memories, whether you’re by yourself or out with your family. No matter if you live in the Upper Peninsula, in Metro Detroit, or anywhere in between, you’re never far from a summer festival.
You can see some amazing handmade art, get your groove on at a Michigan summer music festival, sample yummy fair food, and get back to nature. There’s a good chance Michigan has a summer festival dedicated to just the thing you’re looking for.
So, hit the road this summer in Michigan, and make your way to the nearest festival. Or, travel all around the state to soak in the festival atmosphere. No matter where you are in the Mitten State, you’re guaranteed to have a great time!