Carnival Rides, Music & More: Summer Festivals of Metro D

By: Amber Ogden | June 3, 2015
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There are a number of reasons why summer is such a great season in the state of Michigan, and when it comes to summer in Metro Detroit, there are plenty of festivals to keep your attention, from now through the end of the season.

There are festivals for every taste, from classic carnivals to music fests to ones all about books, or even berries. If you’re looking to attend a few festivals this summer, be sure to add one (or likely more) of the following to your calendar:

Ya’ssoo Greek Festival of Ann Arbor begins this Friday, June 5 and runs through Sunday, June 7. The three-day festival is a celebration of Greek culture, including cuisine, homemade pastries, live music, entertainment, church tours and more.

Admission costs $3 on Friday and Saturday (entry is free before 4 p.m. on Friday and before 1 p.m. on Saturday), and $2 on Sunday (children ages 12 and under get in free all day). A portion of the proceeds from this year’s festival will benefit SOS Community Services/Washtenaw County. Check out the festival food menu here, full of authentic Greek cuisine!

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The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is a celebration of the performing arts that begins on Friday, June 12 and goes through Saturday, July 5. During the festival, check out more than 140 different concerts and events throughout downtown Ann Arbor.

Highlights this year include performances by the Indigo Girls, Golden Dragon Acrobats, Ingrid Michaelson, The Appleseed Collective, Third Coast Kings and The Flutter and Wow. In addition to live performances, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival includes movie screenings, KidZone activities and beer and wine tastings. Tickets for all can be purchased online.

The 24th Annual Canton Liberty Fest is a three-day event that takes place in Heritage Park on Thursday, June 18 through Saturday, June 20. The festival is free and offers carnival rides, two stages of live entertainment, food and a fireworks finale.

Runners, don’t miss out on the 4th Annual Liberty Run on Saturday morning, which includes a 5K, 10K and family fun run. A full schedule of activities for each day of the festival can be found on the official website.

The Belleville National Strawberry Festival always takes place Father’s Day Weekend, and this year it falls Friday, June 19 through Sunday, June 21. The festival is full of “berry special” events for strawberry lovers, including a beer tent, music, concerts, crafts, food, and of course, strawberry treats.

The Strawberry Parade takes place on Saturday morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features more than 150 floats, music acts, acrobats and more. Carnival rides and a Father’s Day Car Show are also part of the festival action.

Stars & Stripes Festival is held at Freedom Hill, where surely many of you will spend a good amount of time this summer in the first place. The festival runs Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28 and features a lineup of bands including Buckcherry, Hoobastank, P.O.D., Sebastian Bach and more.

Additional attractions include an art fair, carnival, craft beer village, petting zoo, white tiger exhibit, monster truck rides, fireworks and more. All concerts throughout the weekend are free, while VIP tickets are also available for $25 (which gets you a private bar and bathrooms, a drink ticket and enters you for a chance to win a meet and greet).

Farmington Founders Festival is next month, from Thursday, July 16 to Sunday, July 19. The four day festival gives you plenty of opportunities for fun, meaning you should take advantage of the crafters marketplace, beer tent, enjoy live music at the Brighthouse Main Stage and let your kids enjoy games, face painting and crafts at the Meijer Kid Zone.

If you get hungry, enjoy a traditional carnival snack from the food court (think pretzels, hot dogs and elephant ears), or grab a bite to eat from one of downtown Farmington’s beloved eateries including Basement Burger Bar, Dagwood’s Deli & Catering or Farmington Brewing Company.

St. Clair Riverfest is a great reason to visit the beautifully scenic area of downtown St. Clair, if you don’t do so enough already. Head to Palmer Park between Thursday, July 23 and Sunday, July 26 for a series of free shows, including performances by Starship, Sponge and Candlebox.

In addition to the music, the festival also includes a family fun zone with carnival rides, as well as boat races. The carnival will feature over 20 different rides, and Thursday is Family Fun Day, when you’ll receive half off all carnival wristbands all day.

Milford Memories is a summer festival and art fair set to take place over the weekend of Friday, August 7 through Sunday, August 9. With three days of activities like a charity softball game, sand volleyball, a blind canoe race, teen activity tent and more, you’re going to find it difficult to pack all of that fun into such a short amount of time.

In addition to the usual (and loved) festival concessions, don’t miss out on a Pancake Breakfast, which takes place both Saturday and Sunday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Main Street. The art show is an excellent way to find cultural enrichment through the works of over 300 different artists with their pieces on display.

Additional festivals taking place this summer worth attending include:

Don’t miss out on any of the aforementioned summer festivals this season in southeast Michigan! And make sure you partake in at least one funnel cake while you’re at it.