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9 Best Events & Festivals in Northern Michigan (2023)

Want to know the best events and festivals in Northern Michigan to add to your RV travel itinerary?

As you probably already know, Michigan is one of Jennifer and my favorite states to visit.

It's beautiful country with so much to do, including some great festivals. We missed them during the pandemic, but now they're back!

From cherry to wool festivals, there is sure to be an event that is fun for the whole family.

9 Best Events & Festivals in Northern Michigan

This list of the best festivals in Northern Michigan is one of the most eclectic you'll see. It covers such a wide range of interests!

1. National Cherry Festival

Dates: July 1 to July 8, 2023

Location: 521 Union Street, Traverse City, MI 94684

As one of Michigan's most popular festivals, this one has it all! You can get delicious treats from food vendors, do a fun run, or watch one of their live performances.

Of course, it's a great place to find cherry merchandise from local merchants or u-pick cherries to take home.

If food is what you are after, then food is what you will get. The local favorite is a Very Cherry Flying Pancake Breakfast. After eating, you can cool off with a cold one from “Traverse City's Coolest Bar on the Bay.” The view is beautiful!

You can also enjoy live performances by several different artists, including Sheryl Crow, Dwight Yoakam, Nelly, ZZ Top, Boys II Men, and more! You can also laugh with Jim Gaffigan and enjoy new talent at Cherries Got Talent Finals.

If you want to be part of the action, you can join in the Meijer Festival of Races, happening on July 10 this year – (check dates before you travel). They are hosting both an in-person and a virtual race.

For the family, there are kids' activities aplenty. Don't miss the classic car show, porch parade, a balance bike race, bike trek, Kids! Club, and more.

Last but not least, you can enjoy one of their traditional programs. They include a Prince and Princess program, Cherry Awards, Grocer's Program, and Green Team.

2. Michigan Fiber Festival

Dates: AUGUST 16-20, 2023

Location: Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan, Michigan

Known also as the Wool Festival, the Michigan Fiber Festival celebrates all things sheep and wool.

This family-friendly event has typical event fare like food and merchandise vendors. You will also find unique workshops and animal shows!

Festival highlights include unique food vendors featuring local food and a fibers art challenge. There's also plenty of fun, festival merchandise for purchase.

There are also workshops you can join. You can learn to do needle felting, use a fiber blending board, or crochet sparkly beads. Or, try knitting, spinning on a Tibetan spindle, or working with cashmere.

If animal competitions or exhibits are your ideas of a great time, then you won't want to miss theirs:

  • Angora Rabbit Exhibit
  • Angora Rabbit Wool and Garment Competition
  • Fiber Goat and Pygora Goat Shows
  • Fiber Animal Costume Parade
  • Sheep and Wool Fleece Show

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3. Suttons Bay Art Festival

Dates: August 2023

Location: Suttons Bay. MI

This annual art fair takes place next to the picturesque Suttons Bay Marina Park. It's held every year during the first weekend of August.

This festival features fine art from local artists, a community library book sale, food vendors, and a fun children's area.

It is a wonderful way to spend an art-filled weekend!

If art is not enough, take part in the pancake breakfast on Sunday morning.

4. Charlevoix Venetian Festival

Dates: July 15-22, 2023

Location: 309 Petoskey Avenue, Charlevoix, MI 49720

This festival features so many special events, they are too numerous to name. That's why this makes the list of best festivals in Northern Michigan.

There is a street parade, fireworks, and a kid's day filled with kids' activities You also won't want to miss the Miss Charlevoix contest, Aquapalooza, and Farmer's Market to name a few.

To get more information on their events, check out their festivities pages.

5. More Festivals in Northern Michigan Great Indoor Folk Festival (Feb 2023)

Dates: February (check ahead for actual dates)

Location: The Mercato at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons

This Festival has been canceled for 2022, but I still wanted to include it on this because they are planning to come back in 2023. Since it's early in the year (in February), you'll want to start planning in 2022 to attend it.

This family-friendly, annual event features free admission to hear live music by local musicians.

You'll get to hear a variety of music from the Northern Michigan's folk, bluegrass, and acoustic music scene.

6. Traverse City Film Festival

Dates: July 2023

Location: Traverse City

If you are a film lover, then you won't want to miss the Traverse Film Festival. The festival was canceled in 2021, but it's back this summer!

This annual film festival is one of Michigan's most popular events and is held every year in late July. Created by Michael Moore, it celebrates the cinema and aims to show “Just Great Movies.”

You can stay up-to-date on their Facebook page.

7. Big Ticket Festival

Dates: July 23-24, 2023

Location: Gaylord, MI

This celebration brings people together to celebrate God through a series of shows put on by artists and speakers.

This year, they're featuring We the Kingdom, For King & Country, Phil Wickham, Ben Fuller, Anne Wilson, and Maddie Rey, just to name a few.

8. Indian River Summerfest

Dates: July 2023

Location: Marina Park Indian River, MI

This Pure North Family Celebration is one of Michigan's favorite local events. It is an annual celebration taking place every third week of July.

The festival features live entertainment, craft show, classic car and truck show, and more. Both adults and kids alike will have a blast.

9. Leelanu's Vineyards

Dates: Year-Round Trail & Multiple Events

Location: NW Michigan

If wine tasting or wine tours are more appealing than a food festival, check out Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail.

You can sip and taste from three different wine trails: the Sleeping Bear, the Northern Loop, and the Grand Traverse Bay Loop.

Plus, they have multiple events throughout the year, which earns it its spot on this list!

Have you been to any of these festivals in Northern Michigan?

Please share your experiences in the comments!

Want to read more about Michigan?

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-05-20

Mike Wendland is an Emmy award-winning journalist, traveler, and producer of RV Podcast, the RV Lifestyle travel blog, and the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike, traveling with his wife Jennifer and their Norwegian Elkhound, Bo, has vast experience and a great passion for exploring North America, previously working as a long-time NBC-TV News Channel Technology Correspondent and now sharing his love for the RV lifestyle with millions. Mike is not only an adept RV life enthusiast but also a skillful storyteller, bringing to his channels stories from the road that perfectly capture the magic and hardships of this lifestyle.

4 Responses to “9 Best Events & Festivals in Northern Michigan (2023)”

June 30, 2021at10:05 am, Michael Keyes said:

If you wants a family friendly music festival at the city campground in Marquette, you can’t go wrong with the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival.

There’s great music, plenty of kid and teen oriented activities and it is on an RV friendly campground with all the amenities.


June 29, 2021at9:47 am, John W said:

Don’t forget the Michigan U.P. Fall Beer Festival up in Marquette. It’s typically the weekend after Labor Day. Tickets are required. Designated Drivers get a heavily discounted ticket price.


June 29, 2021at8:06 am, Tom said:

We’ve gone to the Sutton’s Bay Arts Festival. Beautiful location right next to the bay. Sutton’s Bay is a great little town. We’re heading back in a few weeks.

Also have done the Venetian Festival at Charlevoix. Make sure to check out the live music. Granddaughter loved all the carnival rides.


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