Beer to Boating: Springtime Festivals in Metro Detroit

By: Amber Ogden | April 21, 2015

Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to get out and enjoy all that Metro Detroit has to offer! With the warm weather comes festival season, and the first crop of fests are already upon us. Whether you enjoy art, comics or music, there is plenty to take advantage of in the festival department this spring. Here’s what you’re going to want to put on your calendar through the end of May:

Motor City Nightmares is a horror film festival and expo that takes place at the Novi Sheraton, 21111 Haggerty Rd., Novi, this weekend. The festival runs Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26, and includes celebrity guests, film screenings and vendors.

Don’t miss out on your chance to meet Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, PJ Soles or anyone else on the roster! You can find the full schedule of events here, including celebrity signing times and live music performance times.

Various ticket packages are available, as well as individual day passes. Passes for Friday cost $20, while Saturday costs $25 and Sunday costs $15.

Ashley’s Michigan Cask Ale Festival takes place at Ashley’s, 7525 N. Wayne Rd., Westland, on Saturday, May 9. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., enjoy 30 casks of ale tapped at once! Well, don’t enjoy all 30 yourself, but you get the idea.

Participating breweries include Arbor Brewing, Brewery Vivant, Founders Brewing Co., Greenbush Brewing Co., Odd Side Ales, Perrin Brewing Co. and Right Brain Brewery. Here’s a fun fact for you: cask ale is different from bottled and draft beer because it contains live, active yeast and is not filtered or pasteurized.

Tickets to Ashley’s Michigan Cask Ale Festival cost $40 and include admission, tasting notes and 12 drink tokens. Designated driver tickets are also available for $5.

Art Birmingham, formerly known as the Birmingham Fine Art Festival, will be held in downtown Birmingham’s Shain Park on Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10. The 34th annual festival will feature art by over 150 different artists, including photography, jewelry, mixed media, paintings and more.

The festival is free to attend, and is a wonderful celebration of local artists and artisans. Art Birmingham is a great opportunity for Metro Detroiters to get out and celebrate all of the culture the area has to offer.

The 27th Annual Great Lakes Boating Festival takes place at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, 788 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Shores, on Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17. The festival is free and open to the public and features a boat show with marine products and services, an antique car display, a vintage boats display, Jet Skis and water toys.

There will be several raffles throughout the festival, including a 2015 Boston Whaler raffle and a Rolex watch raffle. Funds raised through these raffles will go toward the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation. I don’t know about you, but boating is one of my favorite signs of warm weather. What a great way to celebrate spring!

MotorCity ComicCon is Michigan’s number one comic and pop culture event! It takes place the same weekend, Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17 at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi. The weekend will feature celebrity guests, vendors, exhibits, movie screenings, a cosplay contest, games and more.

This year’s lineup of celebrity guests includes “The Walking Dead” cast members Steven Yeun, Chad Coleman and Emily Kinney, as well as other celebs like Linda Blair, Robert Englund and Tom Savini.

ComicCon runs from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For a full view of the weekend schedule, take a look at the website here. Tickets to MotorCity ComicCon range from $10 to $150 for adults and children, depending on the date and package.

Flower Day sounds like a delightful hippie holiday, but it’s also an event that takes place at Eastern Market, 2924 Russell St., Detroit, on Sunday, May 17. From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., shop for this year’s staples for your flower garden. Members from the Metropolitan Detroit Flower Growers Assocation (MDFGA) will be on hand to answer questions, so whether you’re wondering if a particular lilac bush will work in your backyard, or you just want to talk succulents, they’re you’re go to.

You can either bring a wagon to tote your purchases, or take advantage of the free Flower Day pick-up/drop-off service available. Simply drop off the flowers you’ve purchased, go out for another buy, come back and have your car loaded up for free.

Movement Electronic Music Festival is always a popular event for Metro Detroiters around Memorial Day. This year, it will be held on Friday, May 23 through Monday, May 25 at Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit.

Over 100 techno music acts will come together at the “birthplace of techno” to celebrate the genre through performances on five different outdoor stages. Tickets are available for the full weekend or single day passes. A three-day pass costs $150, while a single day general admission ticket costs $65.

The spring months are a great time to get out and about in Metro Detroit, and what better way to do so than by enjoying a festival? See you all there!