Food lovers unite! Michigan’s top-notch spring and summer food festivals are inching closer and our mouths are already watering.
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite food festivals — from southeastern Michigan to the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula — that we consider worth the drive. So whether its asparagus, ribs or peaches that tickle your fancy, grab your calendar and start planning for a season of yummy eating.
National Morel Mushroom Festival
Boyne City, May 12-15
Whether you’re a devoted Morel hunter or a novice, the National Morel Mushroom Festival has been welcoming thousands into Boyne City for 55 years. The most popular events happen on Saturday, May 14, starting with the 8 a.m. mushroom hunt. Then taste the elusive delicacy at the Taste of Morels event, as area restaurants and chefs offer up treats. Check them out on Facebook here.
Morel mushrooms are pictured in Boyne City, Michigan. (Photo: Boyne City Chamber of Commerce)
National Asparagus Festival
Oceana County, June 10-12
Known as the “Asparagus Capital of the Nation,” Oceana County knows how to celebrate the spring vegetable. Learn everything you could possibly know about asparagus at the Asparagus Farm Tour on Saturday, June 11. It runs about an hour and includes a talk with growers. Later in the day, taste asparagus dishes at the food show. $5 for adults, $3 for kids. Children under 5 get in free. Stalk them on Facebook here.
Danielle Kokx, Asparagus Queen 2014. (Photo: NationalAsparagusFestival.org)
Battle Creek, June 10-11
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s all about cereal in Battle Creek. Plus, it’s not every day you get to eat at the “World’s Longest Breakfast Table.” Head to Battle Creek — home of the Kellogg’s brand for the past 110 years — to do just that. The fun begins Friday, June 10, with the “Cereal City Grand Cereal Parade” through downtown. Then arrive hungry and pull up a chair on Saturday morning, June 11, to the “World’s Longest Breakfast Table,” which runs along West Michigan Avenue from Washington Avenue to McCamly Street. Get more details on their website here.
Belleville, June 17-19
Get your fill of strawberry treats at Belleville’s annual Strawberry Festival in the heart of downtown. Visitors can enjoy strawberries in pies, smoothies, jams, shortcakes and much more. Be sure to get there in time for the Father’s Day car show and the crowning of the Strawberry Queen. Need more delicious details? Head to their website.
National Cherry Festival
Traverse City, July 2-9
Head Up North for the 4th of July week as Traverse City is transformed into a hub for everything cherry. This year’s event will include some pretty notable changes, including the addition of an extra day for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ air show and the return of the Heritage Parade. When you’re not too busy eating a signature piece of cherry pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Company or loading up on fresh cherry jam, you can always attempt to beat a world record at the Cherry Pit Spit Contest. The record distance is 95 feet and 6.5 inches. More sweet details available on their website.
In this July 2, 2011 photo, cherries from Edmondson Orchards are sold during the opening day of the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich. (Photo: Keith King, AP)
Michigan Summer Beer Fest
Ypsilanti, July 22-23
So it may not be a food-focused festival, but we think this beer-drinking event is certainly worth including. The summertime favorite returns to Riverside Park in Ypsilanti for its 19th year of beer taste-testing that will prove why Michigan brews continue to shine in the international spotlight.
More than 100 Michigan breweries are expected to attend, showcasing almost 1,000 different craft beers. Food will also be available to purchase. Last year’s Saturday event sold out and ticket sales are opening Thursday, April 28 at 10 a.m. so be sure to get yours right away. Drink up more info here.
Kalamazoo, August 4-6
The scent of mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone ribs will fill the air in downtown Kalamazoo in early August. Ribfest is a three-day event that welcomes more than 10,000 people each summer. National and local rib vendors bring in an incredible selection of ribs and chicken lathered in a variety of barbeque sauces. Several rock and country music artists will be playing. Admission starts at $10. Head to this website for ticket info or check out this Facebook event page.
Fish Sandwich Festival
Bay Port, August 5-7
Located in Michigan’s Thumb, Bay Port has had bragging rights on their signature “two-fisted” fish sandwich since 1978. The popular weekend event has several fun events for families, including a petting zoo, parade and fireworks. Check out the Fish Sandwich Festival schedule of events here.
National Blueberry Festival
South Haven, August 11-14
The almighty blueberry takes the spotlight in South Haven for this long-running weekend event. According to the National Blueberry Festival website, Van Buren County is the nation’s most prolific producer of blueberries, with Michigan producing upward of 100 million pounds each year. Head to the Huron Street Pavilion for fresh blueberry-infused foods, jams and children’s events.
Kids eat blueberry pie at the 2015 Blueberry Festival in South Haven, Mich. (Photo: Kelly K Weber)
Crystal Falls, August 12-14
Get in your earthy element at this three-day festival in the Upper Peninsula that pays tribute to a monstrous mushroom. Visitors will be celebrating the world’s largest mushroom, billed as the Humongous Fungus, which stretches across 37 acres, weighs 21,000 pounds and is about 1,500 years old. Many other activities will be enjoyed including a pancake breakfast, volleyball and golf.
Mackinac Island, August 19-21
Step one foot inside a Mackinac Island chocolatier during this August festival and experience some of the most popular fudge in America. Satisfy your inner fudgie with ooey-gooey events like a fudge-inspired dinner, fudge-making demonstrations, beer and fudge tasting and much more. Indulge with more information here.
Cheeseburger in Caseville
Caseville, August 14-23
Find your lost shaker of salt at this 10-day Jimmy Buffet-themed festival at the top of the Thumb. Get in on the Best Cheeseburger Contest, the Cheeseburger Fun Run, parade, mud baths and countless activities for the little ones. Sit back and enjoy a few dozen bands as nearly 300,000 attendees celebrate the final weeks of summer vacation. Plan your stay here.
Romeo, Sept. 1-5
Sink your teeth into a juicy peach at this family-friendly event over Labor Day weekend in downtown Romeo. You’ll find many events based around the village’s prized crop as well as parades, craft shows, a car cruise and a 10K race.
A full daily schedule will be posted on their website here.
Festivals celebrating Michigan food happen throughout the state. (Photo: Martha Thierry/Detroit Free Press)