Special Issues » Annual Manual

Metro Detroit has plenty of annual attractions year-round

Four seasons of fun




Marche du Nain Rouge
March 26; Detroit; marchedunainrouge.com
This relatively new Detroit tradition occurs on the Sunday after the Vernal Equinox, making it the start of spring. It mixes a Mardis Gras-esque spirit with Detroit folklore, featuring a parade in which revelers chase out the impish Nain Rouge (the legendary "Red Dwarf") out of the city.

Ann Arbor Film Fest
March 21-26; Ann Arbor; aafilmfest.org
Now in its 55th year, the Ann Arbor Film Fest is the place to go for independent and experimental film.

Ann Arbor Hash Bash
April 1; Ann Arbor; hashbash.com
Long before the rest of the nation followed suit, Ann Arbor has been a tolerant bastion for cannabis use. The Hash bash pre-empts 4/20 festivities with this annual celebration of all things marijuana-related, held each year on the first Saturday of April.

FoolMoon and FestiFools
April 7 and 9; Ann Arbor; festifools.org
On FoolMoon, the streets of Ann Arbor get invaded with illuminated costumes and contraptions. On the sister event, FestiFools, a "flash mob" army of papier-mâché puppets takes to the streets.

East Lansing Art Festival
May 20-21; East Lansing; elartfest.com
A 50-plus-year-old festival focused on engaging the downtown East Lansing community and its tens of thousands of attendees with many artists and craftspeople.

Midwest Media Expo
April 28 -30, Dearborn; midwestmediaexpo.com
This is a celebration of animation, TV, film, comics and gaming. The Midwest Media Expo brings a unique, all-ages blend of interactive events, celebrity guest panels, and live musical performances to metro Detroit.

Stratford Festival
May-Oct; stratfordfestival.ca
North America's largest repertory theater company puts on dozens of plays each year with an emphasis on Shakespeare.

Movement Electronic Music Festival
May 27-29; Detroit; movement.us
There's a reason Detroit is the undisputed capital of electronic music. This annual event draws fans and DJs the world over.

Cinetopia International Film Festival
June 1-11; Ann Arbor, Detroit, cinetopiafestival.org
Cinetopia honors the rich heritage of cinematic culture and Michigan's proud legacy of outstanding cinema artists through special film events, panels, and presentations.

Ferndale Pride
June 3; Ferndale; ferndalepride.com
Celebrate our local gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities.

Dates TBA; Detroit; wycd.cbslocal.com
The Motor City goes country, drawing thousands of fans to see acts big and small.

Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix
June 2-4; Detroit; detroitgp.com
Each year, the gem of Detroit is transformed into a world-class IndyCar racing track.

Motor City Pride
June 10-11; Detroit; motorcitypride.org
Motor City Pride is Michigan's largest pride event, drawing some 40,000 participants.


Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Dates TBA; Ann Arbor; a2sf.org
Ann Arbor's massive festival practically takes up all summer with 22 nights and more than 150 events, featuring music, art, film, and more.

Electric Forest
June 22-25 and June 29-July 2, Rothbury electricforestfestival.com
Once again, a psychedelic neon hippie commune is erected in rural Michigan, featuring electronic music, jam bands, and more.

Summer Solstice Jazz Fest
June 23-24; Downtown East Lansing; eljazzfest.com
The 21st annual festival features hours of top-notch jazz performances, including youth and community education programming.

Michigan Elvisfest
July 7-8; Ypsilanti; mielvisfest.org
Celebrate the King with some of the country's best Elvis impersonators.

Wyandotte Street Art Fair
July 12-15; Wyandotte; wyandottestreetartfair.org
Art comes to the heart of Downriver.

Pig and Whiskey
July 14-16; 9 Mile Rd. and E. Troy St., Ferndale
Sample some of the area's best barbecue joints, along with whiskey, beer, and a killer music lineup at this family-friendly event.

Concert of Colors
July 14-17; Detroit; concertofcolors.com
Now in its 24th year, Detroit's annual diversity festival features world music, ethnic food, and more.

Motor City Steam Con
July 14-16, Romulus; motorcitysteamcon.com
The Con with the ultimate SteamPunk Experience.

Ann Arbor Art Fairs
July 20-23; Ann Arbor; artfair.org
Stroll the streets of downtown Ann Arbor to browse contemporary fine arts and crafts in one of the country's top-ranked art fairs.

Michigan Summer Beer Festival
July 21-22; Ypsilanti; mibeer.com
Escape the heat with a cold one, celebrating the best of Michigan's local brews festival at Riverside Park in Depot Town.

Renaissance Festival
Aug-Oct; Holly; michrenfest.com
Travel to another world somewhere between Medieval past and fantasy with jousting, musicians, costumes, and, of course, turkey drumsticks.

The Woodward Dream Cruise
Aug. 19; various; woodwarddreamcruise.com
Classic cars and cruisers are on parade at this annual cruise down metro Detroit's main drag.

APBA Gold Cup
Aug 25-27; Detroit; detroitboatraces.com
More than 100 years strong, the Gold Cup is the oldest active motor sports trophy, featuring high-speed hydro- planes on the Detroit River.

Michigan State Fair
Aug. 31-Sept. 4; 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-348-6942
After a 160-year-old family-friendly state tradition was canceled, a new State Fair LLC stepped into the breach, organizing a privately run state fair in Novi in 2012.

Detroit International Jazz Festival
Sept. 1-4; Detroit; detroitjazzfest.com
Spanning several city blocks downtown, this hip celebration of jazz features fireworks, jam sessions, and more.

Arts, Beats & Eats
Sept. 1-4; Royal Oak; artsbeatseats.com
Local artists, musicians, and restaurants from metro Detroit give Royal Oak a taste of what they're all about.

Dally in the Alley
Sept. 5; Detroit; dallyinthealley.com
Celebrate the spirit of the Cass Corridor as a historic block of the old is cordoned off and given over to multiple stages of live music and vendors selling art, T-shirts, books, and beer.


Arts & Apples Festival
Sept. 8-10; Rochester; pccart.org
The city of Rochester transforms the 30-acre Rochester Park into one of the nation's top fine-art fairs with over 290 exhibiting artists from across the country.

DIY Street Fair
Sept. 16-18; Ferndale; diystreetfair.com
Celebrate the philosophy of doing-it-yourself with live music, food, and vendor booths hawking all manner of art.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair
Sept. 22-24; Ferndale; funkyferndaleartfair.com
Head to everyone's favorite funky stretch of Nine Mile Road for an immersion in metro Detroit's eclectic art scene.

Detroit Fall Beer Festival
Oct. 27-28; Detroit; mibeer.com/detroit-fall-festival
Eastern Market samples the finest craft brews the Great Lakes State has to offer.


Detroit's Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 23, 2017; Detroit; theparade.org
Detroit's Thanksgiving Day is one of the country's largest and most spectacular Parades in the United States. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Parade spectators line historic Woodward Avenue Thanksgiving morning to watch the larger than life floats, colorful helium-filled balloons, thunderous marching bands, and exciting specialty acts.

Noel Night
Date TBA; Detroit; midtowndetroitinc.org
Catch Christmas carolers, ice sculptors, horse-drawn carriages — and most importantly, get some gift shopping done.

Motor City New Year's Eve Drop
Dec. 31, Detroit; motorcitynye.com
Celebrate New Year's Eve Detroit-style with the dropping of a giant illuminated "D."

Meridian Motown Winter Blast
2018 TBA; Detroit; winterblast.com
Originally devised as a backdrop to help populate downtown Detroit during Super Bowl XL in 2005, the Meridian Motown Winter Blast has now grown into a strong annual tradition featuring live music, a snow slide, and s'mores.

North American International Auto Show
2018 TBA; Detroit; naias.com
Detroit's annual auto show opens to the public, and always draws huge crowds eager to see the latest industry offerings.

Motor City Tattoo Expo
March 2018; Detroit; eternaltattoos.com
Got ink? This event draws tattoo aficionados from all over, featuring seminars, vendors, live music, and more.

2018 TBA; Detroit; autorama.com
Since 1953, Autorama has celebrated the best of hot rods and custom cars. Custom builders compete for the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Trophy; other happenings include a pin-up beauty contest, a "Dancing With the Cars" sock hop, live music, a Toy-a-Rama collectibles exhibition, and more.

Detroit St. Patrick's Parade
2018 TBA; Detroit;
Corktown's longstanding annual celebration of its Irish heritage continues with a parade, traditional music, beer, and lots of green paraphernalia.

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