5 of the Best Summer Festivals in Northern Michigan

The winters may be long in northern Michigan, but the summers are even longer – and that’s just how we like it. It seems as if almost every weekend during the summer, there is something fun going on somewhere. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite summer festivals in northern Michigan, which you have to attend when you visit us this summer.

Summer Festivals

Leland Wine & Food Festival


June 9th

At the Leland Wine & Food Festival, you’ll be treated to local award-winning wine from Leelanau Peninsula’s twelve wineries. Eight local food vendors will fill your stomach, and the views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands will put a smile on your face. A unique feature of this festival is their “Come & Go” re-entry bands. Leland is a charming and historic town, so these bands allow you to explore the beaches, shops, and galleries, all while being allowed re-entry into the festival.

Cherry Festival


June 30th – July 7th

Drawing in crowds in the hundreds of thousands every year, the National Cherry Festival is the crown jewel of summer festivals in northern Michigan. The National Cherry Festival is a week long festival that begins this year on June 30th and runs until July 7th. Events during the week-long festival include pie eating contest, volleyball tournaments, a beer tent, an amusement park, and of course a legendary air show put on by either the US Navy’s Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds.

Traverse City Film Festival


July 31st – August 5th

Created by renowned filmmaker Michael Moore, the Traverse City Film Festival is “committed to showing just great movies and helping to save one of America’s few indigenous art forms – the cinema,” says the founder himself. Each year the festival features over 100 movies at ten different venues in Traverse City. Filmmakers from all over the world debut their feature-length films or shorts at the Film Festival every year. Additionally, a giant inflatable screen overlooking Grand Traverse Bay plays classic movies free of charge every evening during the festival.

Harbor Days


August 1st – August 4th

Harbor Days is a four-day community festival that takes place in Elk Rapids. Harbor Days is a celebration that highlights the beauty of Elk Rapids. The festival kicks off every year with the Evening on River Street. The main drag is closed down and vendors and merchants of downtown supply food, music, and entertainment. The following days are filled with contests for kids and adults. Also, a parade, musical entertainment, athletic events, and carnival rides ensue. The culmination of the event is a massive firework show that lights up the night sky along the shoreline.

Suttons Bay Art Festival


August 4th & 5th

2018 will be the 39th Annual Suttons Bay Art Festival. Located on the shores of Suttons Bay Marina Park, the art festival brings 100 artists, community groups, and musical entertainment for two days to celebrate art. Not only are artists there selling their masterpieces, but entries from any and everyone are accepted before the festival for their Poster Competition. Original works must be submitted by April 20th, and the winning poster will be the feature poster for the entire poster.

Stop by Nifty Things

After attending one of the above festivals make sure you take some time either before or after and stop by Nifty Things. With locations in Traverse City, Alden, Suttons Bay, and Elk Rapids you’ll never be too far away from one our stores. So, stop by and see why we’re are we say, “always new, always nifty.”