June is prime festival season in Michigan! From long-running traditions to emerging celebrations of craft beer or local food, there’s always something exciting happening. I’ve compiled this guide to the can’t-miss June fests across Michigan worth putting on your calendar.
1. Lilac Festival
Make the journey to car-free Mackinac Island for the 10-day Lilac Festival, when the island comes alive in full bloom. Bike or horse-drawn carriage under lilac-draped streets through the quaint village dotted with charming inns and shops.
Make sure to time a visit to the Grand Hotel (open to non-guests for lunch) to see America’s largest lilac hedge that runs along the front lawn – it’s absolutely breathtaking! Other lilac displays are found at the Governor’s Summer Residence and Trinity Church.
When you need a festival break, Mackinac offers over 80 miles of scenic trails to explore. I highly recommend biking out to Arch Rock and stopping to smell the lilacs along the way.
Time it right and you’ll get perfect Instagram shots of lilacs with the mighty Mackinac Bridge in the distance. Don’t forget to indulge in Mackinac Island fudge!
2. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats Festival
Experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of metro-Detroit during the Ford Arts, Beats & Eats Festival. This free event transforms Downtown Royal Oak into an outdoor celebration of music, food, and art.
With 9 distinct stages and over 200 performers, you’ll discover live music ranging from rock to pop, country to reggae. Wander the Michigan Fine Arts Competition to admire over 300 paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more from juried artists.
When you get hungry, sample cuisine at the massive food pavilion with over 50 restaurants and food trucks dishing up everything from classic fest food to lobster rolls and duck tacos.
Beyond great music and eats, you’ll find art making activities, carnival rides, and street performers entertaining guests of all ages at this fantastic metro Detroit tradition since 1993.
3. Detroit Festival of Books
Bookworms unite in Detroit at the outdoor Festival of Books celebrating literacy and the literary arts over two days in mid-June.
This free event hosted at Wayne State University brings together readers, authors, and storytellers through author talks, writing workshops, poetry readings, and performances.
Browse book booths to meet notable authors and pick up signed copies. Bibliophiles will delight in treasure hunting the massive used book sale.
Kids can enjoy storytime, crafts, and character meet & greets in the children’s activity area. And anyone can join the Detroit Bookfest Story Stages to share their own 5-minute story!
Food trucks, local vendors, live music, and other entertainment round out an engaging festival experience highlighting books, reading, and the power of storytelling.
4. Michigan Lavender Festival
Immerse yourself in the relaxing aroma of lavender at the annual Michigan Lavender Festival. Taking place at Cherry Creek Winery, you’ll find over 80 lavender artisan vendors, hands-on workshops, culinary treats, and products all featuring lovely lavender.
Learn how to use lavender for cooking, skincare, and aromatherapy. Watch demonstrations on drying lavender or crafting lavender wands.
Sample lavender-infused foods like honey, lemonade, and ice cream or enjoy a glass of lavender wine. Listen to live music and shop fragrant dried bundles, soaps, oils, and more to take home.
The scenic setting coupled with the calming benefits of lavender make this a delightfully mellow summer festival.
5. Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Spanning nearly a month, Ann Arbor’s Summer Festival brings free outdoor concerts, movies under the stars, comedy acts, family shows and food vendors to the city.
The main event location “Top of the Park” transforms Ingalls Mall at the University of Michigan into an open-air playground, dining area and performance venue. Enjoy dinner from on-site food trucks and a drink from the beer & wine garden, then settle on the lawn for an evening show.
The festival brings an eclectic mix of music, dance, circus acts, speakers and performers from around the world. Events happen rain or shine thanks to the big tent covering the stage and seating areas.
6. Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance
Calling all car enthusiasts and vintage vehicle lovers! The Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance celebrates the art, engineering and history of the automobile.
This premier classic car show takes place on the lush grounds of Meadow Brook Hall, with over 200 rare and immaculately restored vintage vehicles on display.
The highlight is a judged competition including cars built through 1942. See one-of-a-kind concept and bespoke vehicles rarely viewed by the public. Family activities, live music and gourmet food vendors round out the event catering to auto aficionados.
7. Detroit Fireworks
Look to the summer sky on Monday, June 26 for one of Detroit’s most popular traditions – the annual Ford Fireworks display. Drawing hundreds of thousands of spectators, this beloved fireworks show lights up the downtown Detroit skyline with an unbeatable front-row view.
Arrive early along the Detroit Riverfront to claim your spot with the best vista, or join the crowds at Hart Plaza to feel the energy of the packed viewing parties.
Tune into the synchronized musical score broadcast over local radio as the 30-minute fireworks extravaganza above the river begins at dusk. The vibrant bursts of color reflect across the water in a truly spectacular scene you won’t forget. Stick around for the Afterglow with more musical entertainment along the river.
8. Michigan Summer Beer Festival
With over 1,200 craft beers to sample, the Michigan Summer Beer Festival is nirvana for beer lovers. Taking place under the trees along the Huron River in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park, this two-day event delivers unlimited tastings from 140+ Michigan breweries and cideries.
Spend an afternoon discovering new favorite brews and unique craft offerings you won’t find anywhere else. In between beers, enjoy live music, food trucks, cornhole, and brewery swag for sale. Upgrade to the Connoisseur session for extra sampling time, luxury portable bathrooms and access to rare specialty beers.
For those passionate about Michigan craft beer, this tasting extravaganza is the perfect place to expand your horizons. Just be sure to plan for safe transportation after so many samples!
9. Quake On The Lake
Rev up for adrenaline-pumping action at Quake on the Lake, America’s largest Hydroplane boat race. Muskegon’s scenic shoreline serves as the race course for these ultra-fast speedboats exceeding 150 mph.
Watch qualifying heats and cheering your favorite racer during the championship finals. In addition to the high-speed boat races, the lively summer festival offers a car show, zip lining over the race course, helicopter rides, kids’ activities, fireworks, and local food vendors.
Arrive early to get a waterfront spot for the Hydroplane races making a triumphant splash on Muskegon Lake.
10. Detroit River Days Festival
Celebrate life along the Detroit River during this free 3-day party in West Riverfront Park. Family friendly activities include touch tanks, tall ships to tour, kayaking, boat rides, art projects and live music.
Watch creatures of the sea at the Shark Encounter exhibit or enjoy the zip line running across the park. The weekend wraps up with the biggest fireworks show in the state launched from a barge in the river.
Come hungry and sample eats from Detroit food trucks or enjoy a cold beverage in the beer garden. The lively setting along the waterfront makes this an excellent Detroit festival for a summer weekend.
June offers no shortage of festive fun across the state of Michigan. From celebrating local culture, music and food to appreciating rare automobiles or speedy powerboats, there are unique festivals to appeal to diverse interests.
As the weather warms up and communities come to life this June, consider adding a signature Michigan festival or two to your calendar.
It’s a beautiful time of year to make road trips across the state and embrace the energy, creativity and pride found in these quintessential summer celebrations. Join fellow Michiganders welcoming sunshine and the start of festival season with open arms.