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!
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.
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
Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
- 5 Picturesque Waterfalls in Lower Michigan & the UP
- The Best Camping in Upper Peninsula Michigan (9 campgrounds)
- 14 Best Cities and Towns Along Lake Michigan
- Awesome camping in the UP: Michigan’s stunning Upper Peninsula
The Great Lakes RV Adventure Guides
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The Great Lakes Shoreline Tour — One of our favorite RV trips has been driving the United States side of the five Great Lakes. It is a trip of over 4,000 miles and takes you to 8 states! And it’s filled with beautiful vistas, welcoming towns and villages, and fabulous places to camp, hike, and explore.
Upper Peninsula RV Adventure Guide — Whenever someone asks us, “Where is one of your favorite places in the US for RVing?” Our answer is unquestionably, in unison, “The UP of Michigan.” The “UP” means Upper Peninsula, of course.