Festivals & Events in Northern Michigan
Join in the fun with the stream festivals and events that occurs throughout the season. One-time events like the National Cherry Festival draw thousands while recurring events such as farmer’s markets and concerts on the lawn in downtown Traverse City are put on each week.
Acme Fall Festival
Farmers’ market, bake sale, craft show, silent auctions, kids activities, Michigan Childrens’ Authors, Car, Truck, and Tractor show, food tent, and more.
Alden Classic Sports Car Show
100+ sports cars from around the world. Local merchants provide door prizes to lucky entrants. Sponsored by the Twin Bay British Car Club.
Boats on the Boardwalk
See 50+ boats circa 1900 through current wooden classics. Live entertainment and lunch are available. Free admission.
Cedar Polka Fest
Food, drink, and continuous polka music and dancing.
Cherry Bomb Lacrosse Tournament
Features top players from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, and Canada.
Concerts on the Lawn
Bring a chair or a picnic blanket and enjoy the sights and sounds. Food, drink, and ice cream are available on site. Thursdays 7pm-9pm June-August.
Dining in the Vines
5-course meal prepared beside you in an outdoor kitchen by a white-coated master chef. The evening begins with a sparkling wine reception with meat and cheese boards. Then, each course is paired with a complimentary wine to bring all of the flavors together.
Dining in the Vines: Lobster Edition
Family-style event held in the award-winning Langley Vineyard at Bowers Harbor Vineyards.
Downtown Traverse City Art Walk
Public is invited to enjoy an evening of art, refreshments, food, and music. Showcases art exhibits throughout the downtown area.
Downtown Street Sale
Traverse City becomes a shopping center in the streets on the first Friday of August.
Elk Rapids Harbor Days
Big city festival with a small town feel. A true celebration of community.
Empire Anchor Day
Celebrate the founding of this Lake Michigan port with a day of games, a parade, and chicken barbecue.
Empire Asparagus Festival
Celebrated in May, this festival incudes a massive asparagus cook-off, live musical performances, and some of the area’s best beverages.
Empire Hops Festival
Features local foods, brews, and music.
Friday Night Live
Jazz, art, food, and fun in the heart of downtown Traverse City. Block party with plenty of family activities along the 100 and 200 blocks of E Front St.
Friendly Garden Club Walk
Experience 8 beautiful gardens in the historic Slab Town District of TC.
Fustini’s School of Cooking
Popular events include Chef Ali’s Awesome Brunch Demo, Chef Andy’s Interactive Center of the Plate series, and Regional Nights featuring cuisines from around the world.
Great Lake Fish Boil
Fresh Lake Michigan fish, local vegetables, coleslaw, tasty desserts, and non-alcoholic beverages. Adults receive complimentary glass of house wine or craft cocktail. Held at Heart and Vine Café at Black Star Farms. Fridays June-October.
Race through Leelanau’s vineyards followed by a self-guided wine tour along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail, featuring wine and food to celebrate the year’s harvest.
Heroes of the Storm
Ranger-led reenactment of shipwreck rescue designed for young children. Held at the Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum, 3pm daily between July and August.
Jazz Sunset at Chateau Chantal
Panoramic views of the Grand Traverse Bay sunset complimented by the live musical performance of the Jeff Haas Trio.
Leelanau Peninsula Wine on the Water Festival
Features tastes from local wineries, distilleries, and breweries, delicious food from the area’s best restaurants, local artwork, and live music.
Leland Wine & Food Festival
Try wines and beers from local wineries and breweries along with nonstop live music and local food specials from restaurants and vendors.
National Cherry Festival
Oldest, biggest, and most well known festival the area has to offer. 500,000 people from around the country come to engage in the 150+ activities (most of them are free). Start off July on the right foot with a weeklong party.
Night of 100 Rieslings
Popup wine bar showcasing 100 different Rieslings from around thw world to help you explore the range of tastes offered by Rieslings.
Northwest Michigan Fair
One week of family fun at the beginning of August. Exhibits, barn dance, live stock shows, carnival, Grand Stand shows, tough truck competition, and great food.
Northport Wine Festival
Immediately follows the dog parade, both kid and dog friendly. Great food, beautiful view of Northport Harbor, and of course wines, beers, and ciders produced in Leelanau County.
Paddle Away Tour: Bowers Harbor Sunset Paddle
Embark on a kayak expedition on the West Arm of the Grand Traverse Bay. Paddle home by moonlight and watch as the stars come out to play.
Paddle for Pints Brewery Pub Crawl
Embark on a 6-hour journey to various local breweries.
Peshawbestown Traditional Pow Wow
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Natives holds its annual pow wow featuring Native singers, dancers, and artists.
Port Oneida Fair
6 of the historic farmsteads put on various activities and displays for the visitors to experience what life was like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Safari Sunday Supper: A Progressive Exploration of Food & Wine
Enjoy wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres at Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery and Bowers Harbor Vineyards. Finish the tour with a full three course pairing dinner at Mission Table. Sundays June-October.
Sleeping Bear Marathon
Scenic marathon and half marathon in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Runs past the Dune Climb, Little Glen Lake, and through Glen Arbor. Held when the trees are at their most colorful, giving you views you won’t soon forget.
A crowd favorite event, and for good reason. Participating wineries provide a glass of wine and a delicious tapas dish in their tasting rooms. Many of them work with chefs to prepare and serve the pairing. Each event is designed to be upscale and cater to culinary aficionados.
Suttons Bay Art Festival
One of Michigan’s most competitive art shows.
Traverse City Film Festival
Outstanding selection of independent, foreign, and documentary films, as well as premieres, parties, and panel discussions at this annual event. Many free festival opportunities including family movies shown each night at the outdoor screen at the Open Space Park on the shore of the West Grand Traverse Bay.
Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival
Summer festival that consistently brings the area’s best brews. New Orleans-inspired live musical acts and a pit barbecue competition.
Traverse City Wine & Art Festival
More than 100 local wines and live music and entertainment.
Wine Pairing Dinners at Chateau Chantal
Wines paired with a 7-course meal.
Empire Farmers’ Market
Saturdays, next to post office in downtown Empire.
Glen Arbor Farmers’ Market
Tuesdays, behind Glen Arbor Township Hall.
Lake Leelanau Farmers’ Market
Sundays, in the Pedaling Beans parking lot.
Leland Farmers’ Market
Thursdays, parking lot across from the Bluebird Restaurant.
Northport Farmers’ Market
Fridays, depot adjacent to the village marina.
Outdoor Farmers’ Market on the Piazza
Mondays, on the Piazza in downtown Traverse City.
Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays and Saturdays, lot B across from Clinch Park.
Suttons Bay Farmers’ Market
Saturdays, Bayside Park east of the M-22/M-204 intersection.