How is it already August?! Summer is flying by, but the fun isn’t stopping anytime soon. Let’s soak up the last of these beautiful days with all the good food, friends and fun we can handle at these Northern Michigan events.
Raise a Glass!
Short’s Fest | August 4
Grab your thirsty friends and get ready for a celebration. It will be an epic evening of Short’s Brews, Starcut Ciders, live music, scrumptious local foods, and hundreds of your closest beer buddies. Held in conjunction with Elk Rapids Harbor Days, the party starts at 4 p.m. and ends in time for the Harbor Day fireworks. Let’s raise a glass (or a bottle of their specialty releases) to this summer party. Check out the details and pre-party options here.
Wine on the Water | August 18
Wine on the Water showcases two of the best aspects of the Traverse area: waterfront views and the incredible wine scene. This festival captures the “Up North living” vibe with a relaxed atmosphere and the opportunity to connect with the community. Find out what’s new in the wine industry or grab a glass, a bite and kick back and relax. With more than 50 wines to choose from, plus cider, beer, local food and live music, you can’t go wrong with this festival.
Microbrew & Music Festival | August 24–26
We all know and love the Microbrew Fest and this year it’s back and better than ever. Now at Mount Mancelona, festival admission includes a custom 2-ounce glass for unlimited samples, a silent disco tent with a 1,000-person capacity, and the option to camp on site. By shifting away from the typical beer fest, it’s now a chance for people to connect with craft beer industry professionals and fellow beer lovers while enjoying the great outdoors. Get your tickets here to enjoy breweries from across the state and country, 4+ music stages, marching bands, great food, craft beer, and many fun surprises.
Keweenaw Brewfest | August 25
Beer tastes better when you’re enjoying it for a good cause. With more than 50 breweries, 200 beers, live music, and local food vendors, this fundraiser and U.P. beer festival is nothing short of a good time. Proceeds will benefit the Keweenaw community, which was hit by a massive flood in June. A portion of MyNorthTicket fees will also be donated back to the Keweenaw Community Foundation relief efforts. Get your tickets here.
A fantastic meal and a night to remember. Willowbrook Mill is hosting an evening of fabulous food and wine with celebrated chef and food scientist Jimmy Schmidt. Delectable appetizers followed by a sumptuous, five-course meal featuring the best of local, sustainable products paired with Black Star Farm wines. Chef Jimmy Schmidt and Lee Lutes, of Black Star Farms Winery, will share their expertise during dinner conversation. As part of the sustainable approach, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the local Black Sheep Crossing Farm Animal Sanctuary. Make your dinner plans now.
Lobster Fest | August 18
Enjoy a New England tradition on Michigan’s fresh coast. The Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum at Leelanau State Park is bringing you a delicious meal to benefit the continued restoration of the lighthouse. Chow down on fresh lobster, boiled redskin potatoes, corn on the cob, cherry dessert and a glass of beer or wine to pair. Enjoy live entertainment and a silent auction during dinner.
Mackinac Island Fudge Fest | August 24–26
If Mackinac Island is known for one thing, it’s definitely the fudge. Although we don’t need an excuse to indulge in a piece or two of the decadent treat, this festival is the perfect reason to do so. The weekend will be packed with many ways to enjoy fudge, from a fudge egg hunt for the kids to fudge-inspired cocktails and food pairings for mom and dad. We’ll see all you “fudgies” on the island (and I’m not just referring to the Northern Michigan tourists). Click here for the full list of fudge activities.
Taste of Boyne Highlands | August 25
Sip, sample, taste and try the best of Boyne Highlands’ offerings. This tasty outdoor event features wine distributor Republic National, a whiskey/bourbon tasting table, signature Boyne Highlands fare, and plenty of fun to savor for the whole family. While treating your taste buds, enjoy live music from local artists. Grab your tickets here.
Boyne Falls Polish Fest | August 3–5
Take it from me, when you’re Polish, you do it big or you don’t do it at all. Boyne Falls Polish Fest is doing just that with a four-day carnival, parades, Polka tent, mud run, car show, live music, and a lot more. If that isn’t enough for you, the entire festival will be stocked with all the good Polish food (shout out to my family staple, Kielbasa and Sauerkraut). This festival is all about good times and family fun. So get your Polskie Stroje Ludowe (colorful Polish attire commonly worn for festivals) ready and click here for all the details.
Friday Night Live | August 3–24
The Traverse City area’s favorite block party is back! Every Friday in August the Downtown Traverse City Association hosts Friday Night Live along Front Street. Live music, entertainment, food, demonstrations and family activities fill Front Street. Admission is free.
41st Annual Les Cheneaux Antique Boat Show | August 11
We’re always celebrating our beloved Great Lakes and the time spent on them. Because of that, Michiganders have an appreciation for boats and water-crafts like no other. For 41 years, boaters have come together in the beautiful Upper Peninsula town of Hessel to enjoy and view antique wooden boats coming from as far as California. Enjoy the views and a Northern Michigan tradition. Get your tickets here.
Porsche on the Mac | August 17–19
Porsche drivers unite for the very first “Porsches Across the Mackinac Bridge.” On Saturday, join in the police-escorted caravan from St. Ignace (on the north end of the five-mile bridge) to Mackinaw City and perhaps back. The weekend will also include a car show on Saturday afternoon followed by evening entertainment and dinner on the St. Ignace marina dock, ending with fireworks over the harbor. Extend your visit to Sunday (highly recommended) and take yourself on a self-guided tour and enjoy a little more of Michigan’s scenic U.P.
Enjoy these August events in Northern Michigan and keep an eye out for my top picks in September. Cheers to a happy summer! –Hannah