Beer, Brisket, Bacon, and… Bologna? Coming to you hot all summer long.
MICHIGAN — There’s something particularly delightful about wearing your comfy pants to a summer festival, where you feast on locally sourced comfort foods from the comfort of a picnic table. Come on, you know you want to.
Lansing Beer Fest (Lansing)
When: June 11, 2022
Where: REO Town, Lansing
Beer City, USA might be Grand Rapids, but Michigan’s Capital City may be home to one of the best outdoor beer festivals you’ll find this summer.
For the eighth annual Lansing Beer Fest, more than 20 local Michigan breweries are signed up to give festival goers some of the best beer in Michigan. You’ll find household names like Founders, Bell’s, Atwater, and Old Nation —as well as lesser-known breweries from across Michigan. The festival offers live music in three sets, food trucks, vendors, giant chess and checkers, and more.
General admission tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the gate and include 10 three-ounce beer samples and a souvenir glass. VIP tickets are $45 in advance or $50 at the gate and include 15 three-ounce beer samples, a dated souvenir glass, and early entry. Designated drivers get in for only $10.
National Cereal Festival (Battle Creek)
When: June 11, 2022
Where: Kellogg Arena, Battle Creek
If your family is the first to reach for the cereal boxes at a breakfast buffet, the National Cereal Festival might be for you.
This family-friendly event celebrates Battle Creek’s heritage as the birthplace of the cereal industry and home of Kellogg’s Cereal. Battle Creek’s signature summer event is returning in 2022 for the first time since the festival was canceled in 2020.
The free event runs from 8 a.m. to noon, and features, among other things, plenty of free cereal. Festival-goers can run or watch the Cereal City Classic 5K and 10K, and there will be a variety of live music, a magic show, children’s activities and inflatables.
Undeniably Dairy Mac and Cheese Fest (Kalamazoo)
When: June 18-19, 2022
Where: Homer Stryker Field, Kalamazoo
Mac and cheese served up in a ballpark. Is there a better example of Americana?
The Undeniably Dairy Mac and Cheese Fest is designed from the ground up to support Michigan’s dairy farmers. This year, due to high demand, the Mac and Cheese Fest has expanded to a two-day celebration of all things creamy and cheesy. And the cream isn’t just for clout – the festival is sponsored by Milk Means More, which represents the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.
The festival features local food vendors serving up variations on traditional mac and cheese both with and without meat, as well as zany creations. Some of the previous creative mac remixes have included pizzas, popcorn, tacos, donuts, and even ice cream. There will also be live music, games, and other entertainment options.
Tickets include food, souvenir cups, lanyards, and sporks. Prices start at $30 for “Just the Mac” general admission, including seven mac and cheese samples, or $40 for 10 samples and early admission. If you’d like to upgrade your ticket to include samples of beer or hard cider, the “Mac and Beers” admission is $40 with five beverage samples or $55 for 10. As of this writing, Saturday is sold out, but there’s still room for Sunday!
Michigan Taco Fest (Lake Orion)
When: June 24-26, 2022
Where: Canterbury Village and Wildwood Amphitheater, Lake Orion
The only thing better than one taco truck is a fleet of taco trucks.
The Michigan Taco Fest is the perfect pitstop for all things Tex-Mex. With six different sessions to choose from, festival-goers can get their fill of different tacos from a variety of taco trucks. And don’t forget the margaritas — the festival is set to include more than 40 tequilas, as well as select cervezas, cocktails, and more. Multiple Mariachi bands will be featured among the festival’s seven stages, along with Lucha Libre wrestling every day. Guests can take on taco and hot pepper eating contests, and their pets (!!) can compete in the “Cutest Chihuahua Contest.”
Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the gate. Parking is $5.
Michigan Rib Fest (Lake Orion)
When: July 1-4, 2022
Where: Canterbury Village, Lake Orion
The largest rib festival in the Midwest takes place on Fourth of July weekend near Metro Detroit, and there’s plenty of porky fun for the whole family.
With seven sessions over four days, the Michigan Rib Fest is a great opportunity to chow down on ribs for the lunch or dinner of your choice. Their BBQ Pit Row has ribs, brisket, pulled pork, summer sides, and more — all from barbecue masters. You’ll also find a wide selection of alcoholic beverages, or non-alcoholic favorites like Faygo if you don’t partake. Some of the best live music in Detroit will entertain festival-goers all weekend long. There’s also plenty of other entertainment, like monster truck rides, wiener dog and pig races, cornhole, giant Jenga, and so much more.
Royal Oak Taco Fest (Royal Oak)
When: July 1-4, 2022
Where: Downtown Royal Oak
If your idea of a great night out involves friends, tacos, and tequila, then this Royal Oak event will be your bag of chips.
For the Fourth of July weekend, Royal Oak will be cramming a few parking lots with over 40 taquerias from the Metro Detroit area and beyond, refreshing margaritas with 15 varieties of tequila, and three stages of live entertainment, including Lucha Libre wrestling. Contests will include a hot pepper challenge and taco-eating. Younger guests will enjoy the Kids’ Zone, including bounce houses, face painting, and other age-appropriate entertainment.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Children’s admission is $5. And those under age 3 get in free.
Berrien Springs Pickle Fest (Berrien Springs)
When: July 4, 2022
Where: History Center at Courthouse Square and Berrien Springs Community Library, Berrien Springs
Frankenmuth might be Michigan’s unofficial Christmas Capital, but did you know that Michigan has a Christmas Pickle Capital of the World?
The entire southwest Michigan region is a big contributor to Michigan’s status as the top grower in the country for pickled cucumbers. Berrien Springs has a long-running Christmas Pickle Festival, and after a decades-long hiatus, its summer pickle festival came back last year with nearly 2,000 attendees. The small town of Berrien Springs is keeping the pickle party going into 2022.
Last year’s tasting room was a pickled paradise, including pickled vegetables, pickled eggs, pickled popcorn, and pickled cotton candy. Other festivities include a Pickle Fling, Big Wheel Races, pickle decorating, contests for pickle recipes, local vendors, and more.
Visit the Berrien Springs Pickle Fest Facebook Page for more information.
Manchester Chicken Broil (Manchester)
When: July 16, 2022
Where: Alumni Memorial Field, Manchester
This little town halfway between Jackson and Ann Arbor has an interesting claim to fame — over 60 years of charbroiling half chickens as a fundraiser to serve up more than 10,000 meals in four hours. For a town with fewer than 3,000 people, that’s impressive.
Manchester chicken meals are famous for their slow-broiled, butter-basted chicken accompanied by coleslaw made from a secret recipe. Other sides include radishes, chips, a dinner roll, and a beverage. You can feast on your dinner on-site and enjoy the live music, walk up and buy, or drive-thru for pickup. Proceeds benefit civic organizations in Manchester and the local area. The event is organized and staffed entirely by volunteers, some of whom have been working the event since its infancy.
Tickets are $12 at the gate or online, and $11 if purchased from a local merchant.
Summer Beer Festival (Ypsilanti)
When: July 22-23, 2022
Where: Riverside Park, Ypsilanti
The Summer Beer Festival is the oldest of the Michigan Brewers Guild festivals and one of the most famous to those outside the state. The event features hundreds of local beers from more than 100 local breweries, and draws attendance in the thousands.
All breweries are a part of the Michigan Brewers Guild, but vendors also include local restaurants and food vendors. Live music is also planned. The Summer Beer Festival was canceled for 2020 and 2021, but it’s back with a vengeance in 2022.
Tickets are $50 or $55 per person in advance and include 15 three-ounce beer samples. This is an event only for attendees ages 21 and older.
Visit the Michigan Brewers Guild website for more information.
Yale Bologna Festival (Yale)
When: July 29-31, 2022
Where: Downtown Yale
Michigan has its own “Bolognaville,” complete with royalty, located in the thumb region — just east of Flint and Lapeer. Though the town has only about 2,000 year-round residents, the Yale Bologna Festival attracts upwards of 20,000 visitors.
Why bologna? Because of the company C. Roy Inc., which serves hundreds of Yale Bologna rings every week. During the Bologna Festival, the company opens its doors for tours, so visitors can learn how their favorite bologna sandwiches get made from start to finish. The Bologna Festival has events like a parade, bologna ring toss, cardboard boat races, live entertainment, crowning of the Bologna King and Queen, food and craft vendors, and, of course, legendary fried bologna sandwiches.
Bacon Festival (Lansing)
When: July 30, 2022
Where: Jackson Field, Lansing
In Michigan, we know how to bring home the bacon.
The newest invention of the Outlier Events group, Lansing’s Bacon Festival will be a “celebration of all things bacon, beer and fun,” according to a press release. The event will feature food trucks and food vendors serving up all things bacon. Creative culinary offerings are set to include bacon donuts, bacon mac and cheese, bacon burgers, and even bacon beer.
The festival is family-friendly and open to all ages. General admission starts at $30 and includes seven food samples. For $40, you can add five more beer or cider tastings, and a $55 VIP ticket gets you ten food samples, ten drink samples, and early entry. All tickets come with a souvenir cup and lanyard.
Visit the Bacon Festival website for more information.
Pasty Fest (Calumet)
When: Aug. 20, 2022
Where: Downtown Calumet
Yoopers may do their cuisine a little differently, but these delicious handheld meat and vegetable pies popular among 19th century copper miners deserve a festival all for themselves.
Calumet is located on the Keweenaw Peninsula, the heart of Copper Country in the U.P. And the Pasty Fest is its annual celebration of the traditionally Cornish culinary creation. At Pasty Fest you never know what you’ll see in the bake-off. Aside from the traditional Cornish pasties you can find at any roadside pasty shop, Pasty Fest also features a “non-traditional” pasty category with fusion creations, such as a pizza pasty. There’s also a pasty-eating contest, in which competitive eaters can use water or ketchup to help consume their pasties quickly — but not gravy. Never gravy.
Details about the 2022 Pasty Fest are still unfolding, but past events have featured a parade, local art vendors, a car show, live music, and hundreds of pasties.
Mackinac Island Fudge Festival (Mackinac Island)
When: Aug. 26-28, 2022
Where: Mackinac Island
Sure, if you live in Michigan, you can easily acquire authentic Mackinac Island fudge through mail-order or specific vendors throughout most of the year. But there’s something special about going straight to the source.
The Mackinac Island Fudge Festival is the perfect chance to indulge in all your favorite flavors of the Fudge Capital of the World, especially the ones not normally sold in stores. This year, the Fudge Festival will host the “Fudge-of-War,” a tug-of-war competition between the island’s fudge shops. The festival also includes fudge-making demonstrations and giveaways at Mackinac Island’s 13 fudge stores. Other events include fudge bingo, family games, an outdoor movie, and fudge-flavored cocktails.
Visit the Mackinac Island website for more information.
Michigan Chicken Wing Festival (Lansing)
When: Sept. 3-4, 2022
Where: Adado Riverfront Park, Lansing
What’s the next best thing to being a guest on Hot Ones? Visiting Michigan’s Capital City.
At the “Super Bowl of Wing Festivals,” you can make like Hot Ones and compete to win hot wing-eating King or Queen of the festival. But even if you keep things on the mild side, there’s still plenty of chicken wings and great food. Additionally, you’ll find entertainment for the whole family, including live music, pro wrestling, a game trailer, a kids’ zone with inflatables, and much more.
General admission is $5 before 4 p.m. and $15 afterwards. Kids ages 14 and under get in free at the gate with an adult ticket. Festival-goers can also purchase wing or drink samples with their tickets. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Against All Odds Foundation, which supports cancer survivors.
Apple and BBQ Festival (Mears)
When: Sept. 9-10, 2022
Where: Downtown Silver Lake, Mears
West Michigan is already full of delicious fruit ripe for the picking, but this late-summer festival highlights show-stopping apples with a side of delicious barbecue. It’s not as weird as it sounds.
This festival on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes of Lake Michigan is perfect for amateur pitmasters and pie-makers ready to compete for gold. The barbecue cook-off and the apple pie contest allow local practitioners of the culinary arts to put their creations to the test. There’s also a dune buggy show, classic auto and truck show, a 5K run/walk, kids activities, and, of course, enough locally-sourced apples and barbecue to tempt your taste buds.
U.P. Fall Beer Festival (Marquette)
When: Sept. 10, 2022
Where: Mattson Lower Harbor Park, Marquette
This highly anticipated event from the Michigan Brewers Guild is set to feature more than 600 craft beers from 80 different Michigan breweries. That’s a lot of hops.
All breweries are a part of the Michigan Brewers Guild, but vendors also include local restaurants and food sellers. In previous years, the festival has also included local music.
Tickets are $50 per person in advance and include 15 three-ounce beer samples. This is an event for attendees ages 21 and older.
Visit the Michigan Brewers Guild website for more information.
Michigan MEGA Food Truck Rally (Lake Orion)
When: Sept. 17-18, 2022
Where: Canterbury Village, Lake Orion, MI
Michiganders know better than anyone else — our good eats are frequently found in unpredictable places, like strip malls and parking lots. Ergo, what better way to celebrate hidden food gems than with a huge food truck rally?
The Michigan MEGA Food Truck Rally features more than 30 food trucks from across Michigan. The trucks are diverse in cuisine offerings, like barbecue, tacos, chicken, pitas, teriyaki, ice cream, and even egg rolls. Booze will be on the menu, too, along with live music.