Rejoice, friends… we’ve made it through the worst winter in the history of the world! Well, perhaps that’s a stretch, but it was definitely the worst Michigan winter in all the years I’ve been alive to experience it.
Spring has finally sprung, and you can no longer use the ol’ snowed in excuse for not leaving your house. Celebrate the warmth that spring brings by heading to one of the following festivals over the next few weeks to stay entertained:
The Michigan Pinball Expo begins today at Oakland University, 2200 N. Squirrel Rd., Rochester, and runs through Sunday, April 6. Throughout the weekend, over 125 pinball machines will be at your disposal to play for free. Yes, that’s right, no quarters necessary. Just pay the admission price ($20 single day for adults, $15 single day for kids/students) and you’ve got unlimited pinball access all day.
Pinball machines will be for sale and there will be tournaments taking place for all skill levels. The Michigan Pinball Expo runs from 8 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
FoolMoon 2014 will take place at Washington St. in Ann Arbor beginning at dusk on Friday, April 4. The free event lasts until midnight and features a parade of illuminated handmade sculptures. Before the fun begins, grab a beer from the Grizzly Peak FoolBrew tent and squeeze in a dance with some live music.
On Sunday, April 6, head back to Ann Arbor’s Main St. for Festifools 2014, the area’s annual kickoff celebration to outdoor festival season. The parade of huge paper mache puppets begins at 4 p.m. and there will be a whimsical talent contest of sorts. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s reminiscent of that one scene in “Across the Universe” where they’re singing “Dear Prudence.”
The Great Lakes Art Fair will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi, on Friday, April 11 through Sunday, April 13. Since the Great Lakes Art Fair began five years ago, attendance has doubled, making it the quickest growing indoor art event in the state.
Nearly 200 different artists and artisans will be on display along with live music, entertainment and food offerings. Admission costs just $7 for adults and is free for children ages 12 and under. Ladies receive half off admission on Friday night, and there’s a $2 off coupon on the website that can be printed for a discount!
The same weekend, the Michigan Latin Dance Festival will take place at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. The three-night, two-day festival will include over 20 different dance shows, 10 DJs, more than a day’s worth of workshops and more.
Tickets range between $20 for a single showcase and $145 for a full pass. You can grab them online here! The MLDF runs from Friday, April 11 through Sunday, April 13.
Once you’re done there on Sunday, head over to the Suburban Collection Showplace once again for VegFest 2014! There, you’ll learn all about vegan food and its environmental and health benefits. Cooking demonstrations and product samples will be part of the event, as well as nutrition experts, and a food court full of vegan goodies.
The doors open at 10:30 a.m. and admission costs $10.
If you can’t get enough of local tunes, head to the Detroit Music Awards on Friday, April 25 at the Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Nominees include Metro Detroit artists in categories like Outstanding Acoustic Artist/Group, Outstanding Blues Artist/Group, Outstanding Classical Vocalist, Outstanding Country Recording and more. You can find a full list of the nominees here.
Voting for the awards is now closed, but you can get a ticket to the local Grammys, if you will, for $29 to $35, depending on where you choose to sit. The 18+ show begins at 7 p.m.
Now you’ve got various festivals and events to keep you busy throughout the entire month of April. Check back for part two of spring entertainment soon for the best festivals and fairs throughout the month of May and beyond. I’ll give you a hint… Motor City Comic Con!