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Gettin’ Weird in the Mitten: Obscure Michigan Festivals

Michiganders love to celebrate. We like it so much that we are willing to celebrate just about anything. Below we give you a brief sampling of some of the more obscure festivals found throughout the Mitten. Be sure to check some of them out and let us know what you enjoyed about them.

What: Bologna Festival

Where: Yale, Michigan

When: July 26, 27, and 28, 2013

Why: Bologna had a first name… Who doesn’t want to be the next King and Queen of Bologna? Since 1989, each year the festival literally transforms the small town of Yale into a party with events like the famed outhouses race, a street dance, fireworks, and a parade down Main Street.

Michigan Elvisfest
Photo courtesy of the Michigan Elvisfest.

What: Michigan Elvis Fest

Where: Ypsilanti, Michigan

When: July 12-13, 2013

Why: Everyone loves the King, and if they don’t, then Ypsi’s Historic Depot Town has the ticket to get you on the rock and roll bandwagon. The Elvis Fest is not an impersonator competition, instead it is a weekend of award-winning professional Elvis Tribute Artists, as well as other talented Legend Tribute Artists.

What: Baconfest Michigan

Where: Royal Oak, Michigan

When: Usually in early June, TBA for 2014

Why: Everyone loves bacon. Well, at least everyone that eats meat that is. This is a festival that literally is all about the deliciousness of bacon. All in one location there are assorted restaurants, celebrity chefs, and vendors that create anything and everything imaginable (even desserts!) concerning, you guessed it, bacon. Get your grub on with one of the greatest foods, ever.

National Baby Food Festival
Photo courtesy of the National Baby Food Festival.

What: National Baby Food Festival

Where: Fremont, Michigan (Baby Food Capital of the World)

When: July 17-20, 2013

Why: Fremont is the Baby Food Capital of the World and the home of the Gerber Products Company, so what better place to celebrate the indispensable ingredient to child-rearing. Since the festival is all about baby food, there are tons of baby-related events including a Baby Crawl. Sounds nothing short of delightful!

What: Festival of the Forks

Where: Albion, Michigan

When: September 20-21, 2013

Why: Sadly, this festival is not actually a celebration of the utensil, but you can use a fork to partake in the many delicious treats available! This is a weekend of food, fun, shopping, and music all showcasing the community spirit of the city of Albion.

What: Annual Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival

Where: New Baltimore, Michigan

When: June 19-23, 2013

Why: Yeeks! Fishflies? A long weekend full of plenty of water-celebrating events including a Cardboard Boat Regatta, pageant, Princess and Pirates Pizza Party for the kids, fireworks, and lots of family fun. Hopefully not too many fishflies though!

What: Annual Fish Sandwich Festival

Where: Bay Port, Michigan

When: August 2-4, 2013

Why: Fish sandwiches are a big deal in Bay Port and apparently really delicious! They have a famed following and are so big you’ll need two hands. The weekend is packed with entertainment, fireworks, a 5K to work off all those sandwiches, and much more.

What: Hatchet Festival

Where: Bad Axe, Michigan

When: Usually in early June, TBA for 2014

Why: It makes sense that the festival named after one sort of chopping tool happens in a town named after another chopping tool. Actually, Bad Axe was named as such because where its first settlers made camp, they found a really damaged axe thus naming it Bad Axe Camp. As they say, the rest is history. The festival itself has plenty of chopping and sawing activities along with a car show and other festivities.

What: Gizzard Fest

Where: Potterville, Michigan

When: Usually in early June, TBA for 2014

Why: So gizzards huh? Well, this is a true celebration of everything life has to offer. Not only are there gizzards (which I’ve heard are actually delicious), but you can also participate in a wiffle ball tournament. Of all the events at all of the festivals in Michigan, this festival gets truly creative with their community. So enter the Gizzard City Raceway Lawn Mower Race and see what Potterville has to offer! Want to see more about the Gizzard Fest? Here’s a Gizzard Eating Contest!

I guarantee there are more fascinating events and festivals in Michigan, and the Awesome Mitten wants to hear about them! If you’ve been to the ones listed above, tell us all about the other fun activities that we missed!

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