Make the most of Northern Michigan this summer with these 24 events. From concerts to wine tours, here are the festivities you’ve got to check out this August.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” // August 1

Bring the entire family to experience the acclaimed musical comedy You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Meet Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts gang as they explore life’s great questions and celebrate the joy of being together. This production, presented by Parallel 45 Theatre in Traverse City, is a great way to help our littlest audience members cope with big feelings and develop resilience in an increasingly challenging world. 

Tenth Intervention, Planet Earth: Ice Worlds // August 1

Playing a live score to “BBC’s Planet Earth: Ice Worlds” is Dorian Wallace (piano/keyboard). Dorian is a composer, pianist, board-certified music therapist and teacher based in New York City. His work addresses socio-political issues and philosophical concepts, often incorporating improvisation. This is the first live show at the Music House Museum in Williamsburg since the start of the pandemic. 

Josh Martin // August 2

Josh Martin’s music, rooted in the country and bluegrass traditions of his eastern Kentucky heritage, is a clear reflection of the stories and sounds of the past. Catch his performance at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey.

Black Star Farms Estate & Wine Tour // August 2-October 29

Join Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay for a one-hour guided walking tour through its picturesque property. Tour highlights include the centennial barn, vineyard and wine cave. During the tour, you learn the history of our iconic 160-acre estate, about the incredible journey from grape to glass and what makes the Leelanau wine region so special.

Collaboration – Live Art & Music Featuring The Jeff Haas Trio // August 2, 16 & 30

Join Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City for “Collaboration”, an intimate, multi-disciplinary art experience. Jeff’s trio, with Bruce Dondero on upright bass and drummer Will Harris, will perform favorites from the Great American Songbook as well as original music exploring avenues for cross-cultural collaboration. Throughout the audience/gallery space, visual artists will create visual music by drawing, sketching or painting.

Historic Empire Walking Tour // August 3-31

Step back into the past with a walking tour through historic Empire! The history of Empire goes back to the lumber days of 1884 and there are still remnants to see from that time. Hear about early settlers, how the town got its name and what people did and where they came from.

Craft & Sip // August 5 & 19

Enjoy a night of creativity and refreshments at Otsego Resort in Gaylord. Your host Deanna will be choosing a new creative project each week, every night is unique; no experience is necessary.

National Writers Series Presents Susie Yang // August 5

Named one of the Best Books of 2020 by USA Today and longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, Susie Yang’s New York Times bestselling novel, “White Ivy,” is filled with surprising twists and a nuanced exploration of class, race and coming of age. Free, virtual event.

Legacy Gala 2021 Honoring Artist Lois Teicher // August 6

At its annual Legacy Gala, Thompsonville’s Michigan Legacy Art Park will present Detroit artist Lois Teicher with the 2021 Legacy Award. She is one of Detroit’s most prolific and groundbreaking artists, well-known for her large-scale steel sculptures.

City Park Grill: Prime Rib Fridays // Fridays starting August 6

Friday night dinner just got a lot easier! Every Friday, the iconic City Park Grill in Petoskey is offering slow-roasted and lightly-smoked prime rib served with a garlic-rosemary au jus, white truffle oil mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables.

Michigan Rattlers Live // August 7

Lifelong friends and deep-north natives, Michigan Rattlers play heavy-hearted folk-rock with an aching dose of Midwestern nice. Graham Young (guitar), Adam Reed (upright bass) and Christian Wilder (piano) began writing music and performing together at their Northern Michigan high school. See them live at Coyote Crossing Resort in Cadillac. 

Theater under the Tent // August 7-27

Back for a second season, Theater under the Tent is an open-air performance series in Traverse City featuring everything under the summer sun. Through August, enjoy stand-up comedy, first-class theatrical plays, live music, Tuesday dance nights and more.

Starry Night Gala // August 11

An evening of auction items, a strolling dinner, libations, music and dancing under the stars at The Ridge at Verterra in Northport. This donor event is championing the new pottery studio at the Village Arts Building, home of the Northport Arts Association. Delectable bites will be prepared by an all-female team of area chefs, including Kim Ryan, winner of season 16 “Hell’s Kitchen,” Stephanie Wiitala of S2S, Eli Rutilla of Antojitos and more!

Live Classics from Distant Shores // August 13

The Erickson Center welcomes six brilliant musicians to the Pine Performance Center in Curtis as they bring you a concert titled “Live Classics from Distant Shores.”

Ore to Shore Bike Race // August 14

Ore to Shore is the third largest point-to-point bike race in the Midwest. The course travels through Ishpeming, heads north into beautiful wooded wilderness, crosses the Dead River and finishes in Marquette at the Lake Superior shoreline.

16th Annual Lobster Fest Fundraiser // August 14

The 16th Annual Lobster Fest Fundraiser at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse (Leelanau State Park) in Northport includes an incredible dinner and silent auction, with proceeds benefitting the continued restoration and preservation of the historic lighthouse.

34th Annual Rubber Ducky Festival // August 16-22

The 34th Annual Rubber Ducky Festival is back for 2021! Race day is August 21 in Bellaire with many family activities, games, sidewalk sales and more from August 16-22.

Cherry Bowl Drive-In: Double Feature // August 20

Rain or shine, dusk is the time for a drive-in double feature at the Cherry Bowl in Honor. Play some vintage mini-golf, take advantage of the playground and hula hoops, and of course, popcorn. Modern-day double features every night.

Drew Hale Band with Sam Morrow // August 21

Sam Morrow opens the evening at Coyote Crossing Resort in Cadillac with Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down, reminding us that the things that set him apart are the very same things that help him stand out. Later welcome Drew Hale, whose name is synonymous with powerful vocals, compelling lyrics and haunting melodies. Northern Michigan’s spin on country music!

Barbossa Brothers // August 25

The final concert of the 2021 Annual Summer Series Season at Sojourn Lakeside Resort in Gaylord. The Barbarossa Brothers are fantastic musicians and simply really good people. “We enjoyed their concert so much last time we invited them back so more of you can also experience a wonderful evening of music lakeside.” Bring snacks, drinks and chairs.


Cedar Polka Fest // August 26-29

The annual Cedar Polka Fest kicks off today under the big tent, running through August 29. The Polka Festival has become a signature event in Leelanau County, attracting Polka bands and enthusiasts from across the Midwest.

To Hell & Back: Hell’s Kitchen Alumni Chef Dinner // August 27 & 28

We’ve been telling people that we’re bringing four Hell’s Kitchen Alumni Chefs to Willowbrook Mill in Northport for another fabulous chefs’ dinner—we lied. We’re bringing FIVE Hell’s Kitchen Alumni Chefs, featuring a theater kitchen style presentation of plating and each chef will be talking about their particular course, and guests will also hear from vintners about their pairings!

Matt Sayles // August 28

Matthew R. Sayles is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and founder of Philville Records, an independent label he formed in 2000 in Marquette, Michigan. An accomplished songwriter, story-teller, and performer with a deep interest in the history of American roots music, Sayles’s live performances evoke a modern interpretation of the coffee house shows of the 1950s and ’60s, while still keeping one foot grounded in the beer halls, honky-tonks and night clubs of the recent past and present. Catch a show at Coyote Crossing Resort in Cadillac. 

Follywood: “Lost in Vegas!” // August 30 & 31

Viva Las Vegas! Follywood takes you on a whirlwind adventure to Sin City. This year, what happens in Vegas … becomes a variety show in Curtis, Michigan! Get ready for tons of laughs with all your favorite live and “not so live” numbers. Sit back, relax, and let the cast of multi-aged, local performers, entertain you, Curtis-style.

Photo(s) by Rachel Soulliere