Special Issues » Annual Manual

Your guide to annual events, festivals and attractions



Meridian Motown Winter Blast

February 6-8; Detroit; winterblast.com

February is right in the thick of a Michigan winter, so why not embrace it with ice-skating, bonfires, snow slides, and all sorts of other ways to enjoy the cold.

Hamtramck Music Festival

March 5-7; Hamtramck; hamtramckmusicfestival.com

The annual Hamtramck Music Festival is three-day music event in Detroit's beloved enclave of Hamtramck, celebrating local music.

Motor City Tattoo Expo

March 6-8; Detroit; eternaltattoos.com

This event draws tattoo aficionados from all over, with seminars, vendors, live music, and more.

Marche du Nain Rouge

March 22; Detroit; marchedunainrouge.com

For 300 years, on the Sunday after the Vernal Equinox, Detroiters have celebrated liberation from the Nain Rouge, the fiendish embodiment of all that holds us back.

Ann Arbor Film Fest

March 24-29; Ann Arbor; aafilmfest.org

Not quite Sundance, but this film fest is the place to go for independent experimental film.

Ann Arbor Hash Bash

April 4; Ann Arbor; hashbash.com

The annual celebration of all things marijuana-related welcomes its 44th year.


April 12; Ann Arbor; festifools.org

The streets of Ann Arbor get invaded with a flashmob army of papier-mâché puppets.

Metro Times Blowout

April 29-May 2; Detroit, Ferndale, Hamtramck; mtblowout.com

What started as the little music festival dreamed up by Metro Times' music editor has now becomes a sprawling event that hosts more than 300 bands across three cities.

East Lansing Art Fest

May 16-17; Downtown East Lansing; elartfest.com

Roughly 70,000 people attend this street fair, and it's nationally ranked as one of the best fine art festivals in the country. It features all kinds of artists, including mixed media, ceramics, photographers, clothing designers, jewelry makers, and leather workers, but there are also live musical acts that perform throughout the festival as well.

Ferndale Pride

May 30; Ferndale; ferndalepride.com

Ferndale Pride strives to recognize, promote, and celebrate pride for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and ally communities.

Downtown Hoedown

May 30-June 1; Detroit; wycd.cbslocal.com

Detroit's not the first place people think of when they think of country, but the Hoedown draws thousands of fans to see acts big and small.


May 23-25; Detroit; movement.us

Celebrate Detroit's legacy of electronic dance music at an event that draws fans the world over.

Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix

May 29-31; Detroit; detroitgp.com

Michigan's newest state park is transformed into a Grand Prix racing track.

Motor City Pride

June 6- 7; Detroit; motorcitypride.org

Whether you're L, G, B, T, or an ally, Motor City Pride is the time to join cities all around the world in celebrating gay culture.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival

June 12-July 5; Ann Arbor; a2sf.org

Featuring music, art, film, and more, Ann Arbor's massive festival practically takes up all summer.

Clay, Glass and Metal Show

June 13; Royal Oak; royaloakchamber.com

Celebrate the spirit of creativity, as artists showcase jewelry, sculpture, and more.

Summer Solstice Jazz Fest

June 19-20; Downtown East Lansing; eljazzfest.com

Get 14 hours of free jazz at the East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Fest, where the caliber of performer is always top-notch. It's put on by the city of East Lansing, Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and the MSU College of Music, with artistic direction from Rodney Whitaker, so you know it's going to be good.

Stars & Stripes Festival

June 26-29; Sterling Heights; starsandstripesfest.com

This patriotic fest is a sort of pregame for Fourth of July celebrations.

Detroit Electronic Music Festival

July 3-5; Detroit; demf.us

That's right, there are now two electronic music fests in Detroit, as EDM's massive popularity gave festival promoters a good excuse to dust off this old moniker.

Wyandotte Street Art Fair

July 8-11; Wyandotte; wyandottestreetartfair.org

Celebrate art and culture in the heart of Downriver.

Concert of Colors

July 5, -13; Detroit; concertofcolors.com

How often do you get to hear music from all around the world? Don't miss this annual festival.

Michigan Elvisfest

July 10, 11; Ypsilanti; mielvisfest.org

Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Celebrate the King with Elvis impersonators and superfans alike.

APBA Gold Cup

August 21-23; Detroit; gold-cup.com

More than 100 years strong, it's the oldest active motor sports trophy — and as good an excuse as any to spend a sunny day downing a few beers.

Ann Arbor Art Fairs

July 15-18; Ann Arbor; artfair.org

Your summer is not complete until you stroll the streets of downtown Ann Arbor to browse contemporary fine art and crafts.

Pig and Whiskey

July 17-19; Ferndale; metrotimes.com/pigandwhiskey

Three nights of barbecue, live music, a beer tent and, oh, yes, whiskey by the barrel.

Michigan Summer Beer Festival

July 24-25; Ypsilanti; mibeer.com

Celebrating Michigan's craft beer movement for the summer months, this festival takes place at Riverside Park in Depot Town.

The Woodward Dream Cruise

Aug. 15; various; woodwarddreamcruise.com

Grab the lawn chairs and stake out your plot of grass along Woodward for this weekend event featuring classic cars and cruisers.

Detroit International Jazz Festival

Sep. 4-7; Detroit; detroitjazzfest.com

Spanning several city blocks downtown, this hip celebration of jazz features fireworks, jam sessions, and more.

Arts, Beats & Eats

Sept. 4-7; Royal Oak; artsbeatseats.com

The name says it all — local artists, musicians, and restaurants from metro Detroit give Royal Oak a taste of what they're all about.

Brighton Smokin' Jazz & Barbecue Blues Festival

Sept. 5-6; Brighton; brightoncoc.org

Witness the music of jazz and blues collide with the tastes of barbecue in downtown Brighton.

Renaissance Festival

August-October; Holly; michrenfest.com

The Ren Fest has it all — jousting, musicians, costumes, and turkey drumsticks — every weekend from August until October. Huzzah!

Dally in the Alley

Sep. 5; Detroit; dallyinthealley.com

One historic block of the old "student ghetto" is cordoned off and given over to people hawking art, T-shirts, books, beer, and music.

Arts & Apples Festival

Sep. 11-13; Rochester; pccart.org

Every September, 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.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair

Sep. 25-27; Ferndale; integrityshows.wix.com/ferndale

Head to everyone's favorite funky stretch of Nine Mile Road for an immersion in metro Detroit's eclectic art scene.

DIY Street Fair

September 5; Ferndale; diystreetfair.com

Celebrate the art of doing-it-yourself with live music, food, and vendor booths hawking all manner of unique items.

Detroit Fall Beer Festival

Oct. 23, 24; Detroit; www.mibeer.com/detroit-fall-festival

Hop on over to Eastern Market to sample the finest craft brews our great state has to offer and dig into some delicious Detroit eats, all while treating your ears to music provided by local musicians.

Noel Night

December 5; Detroit; midtowndetroitinc.org

Noel Night is a great opportunity to get some gift shopping done, plus you can catch Christmas carolers, ice sculptors, horse-drawn carriages, and more.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.