Don’t miss these Michigan summer festivals

Make sure to put these upcoming events in Metro Detroit and beyond on your calendar

click to enlarge Detroit Jazz Fest will be held with a live audience in Hart Plaza for the first time since 2019. - STEVIE ANSARA, DETROIT STOCK CITY
Stevie Ansara, Detroit Stock City
Detroit Jazz Fest will be held with a live audience in Hart Plaza for the first time since 2019.

If you're like us, you probably miss seeing people and doing things. This year, many big summer events are returning for the first time since 2019. We'll see you at... all of them.

Food & Drink

Michigan Taco Fest, June 24-26

Head up to Lake Orion for the 3rd annual Michigan Taco Fest for tequila, margarita madness, and, of course, tacos. There's fun for the whole family including lucha libre wrestling, a hot pepper-eating contest, a cutest chihuahua contest, and mariachi performances.

Noon-10 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday at Canterbury Village & Wildwood Amphitheater; 2325 Joslyn Rd., Lake Orion; michigantacofest.com. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Children under 3, veterans, and active-duty military members get in free.

Royal Oak Taco Fest, July 1-4

More tacos? Yes, always more tacos. Royal Oak Taco Fest has got all the tacos, tequila, and lucha libre wrestling you could ask for, just closer to metro Detroit.

From 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Monday; 301 W. Fourth St., Suite #440, Royal Oak; royaloaktacofest.com. Tickets are $7.

Michigan Rib Fest, July 1-4

Bring on the meat sweats, 'cause it's time for the Michigan Rib Fest. Think all the BBQ you could ever want, monster truck rides, drinks, and performances by Mark Reitenga, Ricky Rat Pack, Melvin Davis, and more.

From 4-9 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday at Canterbury Village & Wildwood Amphitheater; 2325 Joslyn Rd., Lake Orion; michiganribfest.com.Tickets are $7.

Metro Times United We Brunch, July 16

This may be a shameless plug, but if you don't like brunch there's something wrong with you. This boozy, brunchy extravaganza includes unlimited tastings from more than 15 restaurants and bottomless bloody marys, mimosas, coffee, bowling at the Garden Bowl, and much more.

From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre and Garden Bowl; 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; mtbrunch.com. Tickets are $50.

Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival, July 22-23

The 23rd annual Summer Beer Festival sees Michigan's finest breweries offering samples of hundreds of local beers in Ypsilanti's Riverside Park. Enjoy live music from local bands and food, which is available for purchase separate from the ticket price.

From 5-9 p.m. on Friday; 1-6 p.m. on Saturday at Riverside Park; 2 E Cross St., Ypsilanti; mibeer.com/Events/summer-beer-festival. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door for Friday, and $55 in advance or $65 at the door on Saturday.

Detroit Whisky Festival, July 29

This relatively new strolling tasting event in the Eastern Market will celebrate its fifth annual installment in 2022. Sample whiskeys, bourbons, and ryes from around the world in mixed cocktails (or straight if you're nasty). General admission tickets get you 10 drink samples while VIP tickets come with 15. Food will be available for additional purchase.

From 6-10 p.m. at Eastern Market Shed 3; 2934 Russell St., Detroit; bit.ly/3miDymp. Tickets are $65 or $85 for VIP.

Ribs and R&B Music Festival, Aug.12-14

Catch "the best BBQ this side of the Mississippi," along with musical performances from Stokley from Mint Condition, Klymaxx feat. Bernadette Cooper, Melvin Riley from Ready for the World, Jon B, and more.

11:30 a.m.-midnight Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit; ribsrnbmusicfestival.com. Admission is free all three days until 5 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; $10 after.

Smokin' Jazz & Barbecue Blues Festival, Sept. 9-10

Vendors will be smokin' up Main Street in downtown Brighton with pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket, and all the other BBQ staples from Grand River to First Street. Stuff your face with delicious meat and jam out to some live music.

From 5-11 p.m. on Friday; noon-11 p.m. on Saturday on Main Street in downtown Brighton; brightoncoc.org/festivals-farmers-market.

Music

Corktown Summer Days, June 10-11

Local favorites like Ladyship Warship, the Kozmic Kicks, and The Strains will take over Corktown during this two-day festival. Shows are spread across Nancy Whiskey, PJs Lager House, The Gaelic League, and McShane's Irish Pub & Whiskey Bar. A $20 wristband gives you access to all four venues on both nights.

Set times vary, but shows generally start at 7 p.m. each night. All-access tickets are $20 and support the 4 Paws 1 Heart Foundation. More information is at facebook.com/corktownmusicfestival.

Jazzin' at the Vanity, June 18-19

This free outdoor jazz and blues festival takes over the streets of Detroit's Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood for two days. This year's headliners are Ghost-Note and Detroit's own James Carter.

From noon-9 p.m. Saturday and 1-7 p.m. Sunday on Jefferson Avenue between Newport and Lakewood Streets in Detroit. jazzinatthevanity.com.

Electric Forest, June 23-26

Are camping, psychedelic vibes, and electronic music and jam bands your thing? Then we'll be seeing you in the Electric Forest in Rothbury. Roll in with your tent, or RV, or grab a cabin to enjoy this four-day campout with performances by Griz, the Disco Biscuits, Toro y Moi, Porter Robinson, and way too many more to name.

Double JJ Resort; 5900 S Water Rd., Rothbury; electricforestfestival.com. Wristbands for Electric Forest are sold out, but you can cop one through the festival's official wristband exchange.

Detroit Music Weekend, July 2

"The Best Blues Fest in the Midwest" will honor Detroit bluesman John Lee Hooker this year. The late guitar player is considered the master of the electric guitar-style adaptation of the Delta blues. Ana Popovic, Bettye LaVette, Thornetta Davis, Eliza Neals, and Tosha Owens will also perform.

From noon-10 p.m., at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts; 350 Madison St., Detroit; detroitmusicweekend.org. Free.

Faster Horses, July 22-23

Country music and camping come together for this festival in Brooklyn, Michigan. Tim McGraw, Eric Church, and Ashley McBryde are just a few of the live performers this year.

The festival is located next to the Michigan International Speedway; 12626 U.S. Highway 12, Brooklyn; fasterhorsesfestival.com. Three-day festival passes start at $225 and camping passes are sold separately.

MoPop, July 30-31

See Big Sean, Glass Animals, Khruangbin, Jhene Aiko, and more perform at this festival, which will be held in Detroit's Hart Plaza for the first time. MoPop is more than a music fest— there will be an array of food trucks, a craft bazaar, a flea market, and an old school arcade game tent, plus Detroit's most stylish dance party, Haute to Death.

Festival gates open at 1 p.m. at Hart Plaza; 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit; mopopfestival.com. Tickets start at $149 for a single day or $199 for the weekend.

Hamtramck Music Festival, Aug. 11-14

This festival turns the city of Hamtramck into an all-day, all-night party, which is what Hamtramck usually is anyway, it's just on a larger scale. The lineup for this year hasn't been announced but last year's fest featured more than 150 rock and jam bands across more than 15 indoor and outdoor venues. We expect more of the same.

A $15 wristband gives you access to all venues, all days. For more information, see hamtramckmusicfest.com.

Charivari Festival, Aug. 11-14

The four-day techno, house, and electronic music fest features DJs strictly from Detroit. This four-day gathering takes place on the green space at Historic Fort Wayne with a killer panoramic view of the Detroit River and Canada as the backdrop. Headliners include Moodymann, Juan Atkins, DJ Minx, and more.

From 6 p.m.-midnight on Thursday and Friday and noon-midnight Saturday and Sunday at Historic Fort Wayne; 6325 W. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; charivaridetroit.com; Tickets start at $75.

click to enlarge Light Up Livernois returns to celebrate Detroit’s historic “Avenue of Fashion.” - CODY ROSS, DETROIT STOCK CITY
Cody Ross, Detroit Stock City
Light Up Livernois returns to celebrate Detroit’s historic “Avenue of Fashion.”

Art

Art on the River Port Huron, June 10-12

Party on the bank of the St. Clair River in Port Huron with local artists, merchants, and bands. This family-friendly event will have art workshops, food, and dancing, plus performances by Derek St. Holmes and Gary Hoey.

From 3-9 p.m . on Friday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday at Kiefer Park; 500 Merchant St., Port Huron; artontheriverph.com.

Art in the Park Plymouth, July 8-10

Over 400 artists from the U.S. and Canada show their work at this outdoor festival. There's also music, food, and tons of activities for the kids like face painting, and henna tattoos.

From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday around Kellogg Park; W Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth; artinthepark.com.

Wyandotte Street Art Fair, July 13-16

More than 200 fine artists and 25 vendors will descend on Wyandotte for its 61st annual Art Fair, which draws over 200,000 visitors.

From 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; entertainment area noon-11 p.m. Festivities take place in downtown Wyandotte on Biddle Avenue between Eureka and Oak Streets; wyandotte.net.

Ann Arbor Art Fair, July 21-23

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is one of the largest juried art fairs in the country, drawing nearly half a million visitors annually. It's actually a combination of three independently juried events that run consecutively: Ann Arbor Street Art Fair; Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair; and Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair. Nearly 1,000 artists will be featured in this massive gathering that spans 30 blocks in downtown Ann Arbor.

10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday in downtown Ann Arbor; theannarborartfair.com.

Brighton Art Music Festival, Aug. 5-6

The former Brighton Wine, Art, Music Festival returns with everything minus the wine. Now dubbed the Brighton Art & Music Festival, the August event will offer shopping, art, and music.

From 1-9 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday in downtown Brighton along Main Street; brightoncoc.org.

Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats & Eats, Sept. 2-5

You're gonna get some art, food, and music (obviously) at this end-of-summer festival. They have pretty much every kind of art imaginable including ceramics, glass, jewelry, fiber work, and beyond.

From 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Monday in downtown Royal Oak. Admission is $5 before 3 p.m. and $10 after 3 p.m; artsbeatseats.com.

Dally in the Alley, Sept. 10

Cass Corridor's long-running block party, is plotting a comeback. The beer-soaked festival was canceled for the first time in its 40-plus year history in 2020 due to the pandemic, and organizers canceled the festival again in 2021. The annual celebration includes local music, art, food, and is 100% volunteer-run, with no corporate sponsors. The fest is funded by beer sales and merch — including posters, which are usually designed by local notable artists and feature the festival's mascot, an alley cat.

From 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; between Forest Avenue and Hancock Street and Second Avenue and Third Avenue; dallyinthe-alley.com.

click to enlarge The Cass Corridor’s annual block party Dally in the Alley is set to return for the first time since 2019. - SHUTTERSTOCK
Shutterstock
The Cass Corridor’s annual block party Dally in the Alley is set to return for the first time since 2019.

Weed

Cannabash, July 9

Get high af while watching Bone Thugs 'N Harmony, Trick Trick, and Luniz perform live in Muskegon. This weed and music festival has seven cannabis vendors, food trucks, consumption tents, and live music. Obviously, it's a 21 and up event.

From 3-11 p.m. at Softball World, 878 S Mill Iron Rd., Muskegon; cannabashfest.com Tickets are $25 for general admission or $125 for the VIP experience with catered food, refreshments, and a high-end dab bar experience.

Cannacon, July 22-23

This weed expo features seminars for those involved or wanted to get involved in the cannabis industry, plus a marketplace where you can purchase products directly from brand distributors and wholesalers. You can get a ticket for both the seminars and marketplace or just the marketplace if you're looking to stock up.

From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days at Huntington Place; 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit; cannacon.org. Tickets range from $50 to $160.

Everything else

Rock n' Rides Royal Oak, June 16-19

Who doesn't enjoy a good carnival? This huge Royal Oak event has carnival rides, ax-throwing, games, live music, arts and crafts, food trucks and beyond. Stick around for the Royal Oak block party come nightfall to keep the good vibes going.

From 4-11 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday in the Royal Oak City parking lots between 5th and 7th Street. On Thursday and Friday admission is free before 5 p.m., and $5 for Royal Oak residents and $10 for non-residents aftery. On Saturday and Sunday admission is $5 before 5 p.m. and $10 after for non-residents, or free before 5 p.m. and $5 after for Royal Oak residents.

Livonia Spree, June 21-26

Say happy birthday to Livonia with this week-long party celebrating the city's founding. This week-long party has food, music ranging from jazz to country, carnival rides, and fireworks on the final night.

The festival goes until 11 p.m. during the week. All-day ride wristbands cost $25 until June 19, and $35 after. More information is available at livoniaspree.com

Shimmer on the River, June 23

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy's annual fundraiser will take place at Valade Park with beach-themed activities, games, a strolling dinner, a Riverfront Boardwalk, and live music from Alise King.

From 6-9 p.m. at Robert C. Valade Park; 670 Atwater St, Detroit; detroitriverfront.org/shimmerontheriver2022. General admission tickets are$150 and VIP tickets are $250.

Taylor Summer Festival, June 23-25

This rockin fest features carnival rides and concerts with Ratt vocalist Stephen Pearcy, Dylan Scott, Slaughter, and more. Don't miss the free fireworks display on Saturday night at 10 p.m.

From 3-10 p.m. on Thursday; 3- 11 p.m. on Friday; noon-11 p.m. on Saturday; noon-7 p.m. on Sunday at Heritage Park; 12111 Pardee Rd., Taylor; cityoftaylor.com/437/Taylor-Summer-Festival. Carnival wristbands range from $20 to $30 depending on the day and concert tickets range from $10 to $25.

American Polish Festival, June 24-26

This cultural festival features live Polish music, dancing, an outdoor craft show, and food. Join the pierogi eating contest, or just leisurely enjoy them along with polish nachos, sliders, kielbasas, and more. There will also be a Polka Mass on Sunday at noon.

From 4-11 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday at The American Polish Century Club; 33204 Maple Ln., Sterling Heights; americanpolishfestival.com. Tickets are $5 and children 17 and under are free.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival, through July 3

Head to Ann Arbor for nearly a month of programming featuring over 200 concerts, art exhibitions, film screenings, yoga classes, and kids' activities. Some highlights include West African singer/songwriter Natu Camara on June 11, an acro yoga retreat on June 29, and a performance from Detroit's Mollywop on July 2.

The event takes place at Ingalls Mall; 881 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor. Times and ticket prices vary per event. For more information, see a2sf.org.

Uncle Sam Jam, July 7-10

Free live performances by Dokken and George Lynch, Grand Funk Railroad, and Grinder are the highlighgs of this Woodhaven festival. There's also carnival rides, a "freak show," fireworks, monster truck rides, ax-throwing, and more.

From 4-11 p.m. on Thursday; 4 p.m.-midnight on Friday; noon-midnight on Saturday; noon-11 p.m. on Sunday at Woodhaven Civic Center Park; 23101 Hall Rd., Woodhaven; unclesamjamfest.com

Greater Farmington Founders Festival, July 14-16

This downtown Farmington festival includes a 5K color run, founders parade, beer tent with live music, crafters market, kids area, and dog festival.

From 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Different events have their own times, locations, and pricing. See foundersfestival.com for more information.

African World Festival, July 15-17

Finally, Detroit's biggest celebration of the African diaspora is returning to Hart Plaza where it belongs. Now in its 39th year, the annual celebration is all about Afro-centric art, food, fashion, dance, and live music, plus family-friendly activities in the Watoto Village area.

Hart Plaza; 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit; thewright.org. thewright.org. Free for Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History members. Additional pricing is yet to be announced.

Blake's Lavender Market, July 15-17

Blake's lavender fields are here for all your frolicking, and flower-picking needs. Get ready for lavender flavored everything, including ice cream, donuts, cider, lemonade, bath salts, and more. (Bath salts are not for eating).

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily at Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill; 17985 Armada Center Rd, Armada; blakefarms.com. Tickets are $12 (we recommend in advance). Children under 12 are free.

Light Up Livernois

Detroit's historic "Avenue of Fashion" celebrates with a street festival including art installations, open studios, shopping, music, and more.

Noon-10 p.m., Livernois Avenue between Seven Mile and Eight Mile Roads; bit.ly/3thXHwR. Free.

Milford Memories Summer Festival, Aug. 12-14

Milford Memories Summer Festival has everything from a blind canoe race, to a 5K run, and a beer tent with live music. There are loads of family-friendly activities like sand volleyball and rock climbing, plus an art fair all weekend long.

Different events have separate pricing. See milfordmemories.com for the full schedule and more information.

Woodward Dream Cruise, Aug. 20

Catch classic cars cruising all along Woodward Avenue.

See woodwarddreamcruise.com for more information.

Michigan Renaissance Festival, Aug. 20- Oct. 2

Huzzah! The time for giant turkey legs, jousting, and corsets so tight you can barely breathe is upon us. After a two-year delay, the Michigan Renaissance Festival returns to Holly for its 43rd year with all the magicians, fire breathers, and fairies we've come to know and love.

10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (plus Labor Day on Mon, Sept. 5) from Aug. 20 to Oct. 2. at 12600 Dixie Hwy., Holly; michrenfest.com. General admission tickets start at $20 for adults and $11.50 for children 5-12.

Detroit Jazz Festival, Sept. 2-5

Chucho Valdés is the artist in residence for this summer's Detroit Jazz Festival. He will perform his piece "The Creation" with the Yoruban Orchestra, Hilario Duràn and John Beasley, Musical Directors. Other acts include Dianne Reeves, José James, Nubya Garcia, Harriet Tubman, and more.

The festival will take place at Hart Plaza and Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. A live stream option will also be available via live.detroitjazzfest.org. Free.

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About The Author

Randiah Camille Green

After living in Japan and traveling across Asia, Randiah Camille Green realized Detroit will always be home. And when she says Detroit, she's talking about the hood, not the suburbs. She has bylines in Planet Detroit News , Bridge Detroit , BLAC magazine, and Model D . Her favorite pastimes are meditating...
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