When the dull days of winter have kept you down (or stuck inside altogether), there's no better way to welcome spring warmly than celebrating with festivals that honor the season to refresh. Get ready to Go Great Lakes Bay with a few of our festival favorites that'll leave you savoring spring blooms, reeling and reveling in the day's catch, tapping your own maple syrup... even tapping into some of the season's best craft brews!
Butterflies In Bloom @ Dow Gardens
March 2 - April 15, 2018
Interactive and utterly inspired, Butterflies In Bloom brings thousands of brilliantly-colored butterflies from across the globe to the tropical oasis of Dow Gardens' conservatory (and to your fingertips!). See butterflies emerging, feeding, and flying, and don't forget to stop at the Butterfly Craft Barn for some spring-inspired activities that'll leave your little ones with a love and appreciation for natural spring beauty at its finest.
Maple Syrup Day @ Chippewa Nature Center
March 17, 2018
Savor spring sweetness at Chippewa Nature Center's famed Maple Syrup Day, where the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of spring are brought to life all day for your little ones. Make a maple leaf craft, watch the Midland Woodcarvers create amazing works of art, stop by the Wigwam, take a hayride to the Sugarhouse to see sap boiled into pure maple syrup, and even learn how to tap a tree on a Sugarbush tour. A live music program at the Schoolhouse and woodstove cooking demonstrations at the Log Cabin round out the day of spring delights.
St. Patrick's Day Parade @ Bay City
March 18, 2018
Irish and Irish at heart, delight: because festive floats, pipe bands, drum and drill teams come together as the 64th Annual Bay City St. Patrick's Day Parade fills the streets of Bay City. So, don your best (and warmest!) green attire and get to the center of it all: Bay City's Center and Park Avenues, where the floats set sail and the luck of the Irish spreads!
Bringin' Back The 80s Festival @ Frankenmuth Heritage Park
April 20-21, 2018
Lift up your leg warmers, dust off those Members Only jackets. Bust out the Atari, and blast in some Aqua Net: the 80s are back, and they're BIG. So, be here in Frankenmuth this April when the trends we love to remember (and tried to forget) come back for two nights full of live music, drinks, dancing, and even a Retro Rec Room filled to the brim with 80s nostalgia... not to mention a DeLorean for all those 80s photo ops!
Freeland Walleye Festival & Fishing Tournament @ Freeland
April 26-29, 2018
Whether you're dropping a line in for this locally-famous fishing tournament, ponying up for the Texas Hold ‘Em tourney that comes with, or you're just in it for the massive, community-wide garage sales that stretch from sun up to sun down, you'll want to pencil this in: April's Freeland Walleye Festival & Fishing Tournament (complete with live, local music and casino games inside the always-hopping hospitality tent!).
Frankenmuth Dog Bowl @ Frankenmuth River Place Shops
May 26-27, 2018
Love your dog? Then you'll love this: two days positively packed with 29 fun dog events, 25 hot air balloons, 3 balloon glow events, and a world full of everything from Weiner Dog Races to Pet Costume Contests. Be here for the Frankenmuth Dog Bowl and give Fido the chance to be crowned Dog Bowl King (or Queen!). Best of all, take in the Annual Canine Cruise of the Bavarian Belle Riverboat, the DockDogs Competition, and so much more worth barking about.
World Expo of Beer @ Frankenmuth Heritage Park
May 18-19, 2018
Hoping to sample some of the finest craft brews from around the world without ever hopping the pond? Make it to Michigan's largest international beer tasting event - the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth - and be ready to sip on your choice of almost 300 brews - brought from across the globe straight to your tasting glass. And don't forget to sign up for the 1Beer1K Fun Run, where you'll get a souvenir tasting mug, three beer sample tickets, a jumbo soft pretzel, custom medallion, and - did we mention - EARLY ENTRY to the 2018 World Expo of Beer!?