August offers family-fun festivals for all

Submitted by the West Michigan Tourist Association

WEST MICHIGAN — Festivals centered around food, beer, art, culture and more are slated throughout Michigan over the next month. With events taking place all month long, there’s always something for everyone right around the corner with these West Michigan festivals:

The 45th annual Island Art Fair in Grand Ledge is Saturday, Aug. 4, and is designed to promote Ledge Craft Lane. Vendors at the Island Art Fair come from all over the state. As it was for the first Island Art Fair and continues to be, all artists’ and artisans’ work is approved by a jury. Those interested in participating need to complete an application and provide pictures of their art or craft, as well as a picture of the applicant creating their work.

Just an hour trip from Grand Ledge is Heritage Landing in Muskegon. From Aug. 8 to 11, Heritage Landing is home to the biggest Christian music festival in Michigan: Unity Christian Music Festival. Three stages will be set up to feature more than 45 acts. Unity Christian Music Festival has quickly become one of the country’s premier events for live Christian music.

The 28th annual Del Shannon Car Show in Coopersville takes place during the same weekend as the Unity Christian Music Festival. Del Shannon Car Show is one of the largest linear car shows in West Michigan when it comes to town on Aug. 10 and 11. Approximately 400 cars pull into town for the cruise and draws thousands of people from all over to participate and enjoy.

The Rubber Ducky Festival in Bellaire kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 12, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 19. This year’s festival is part of Bellaire’s 12 Days of Summer Celebration and is kicking off with the three-day Antrim County Fair, which features a carnival, restaurant cook-off, family movie night and horse shows.

Another local county fair will begin Aug. 13, and continue through Aug. 16. The Berrien County Youth Fair will offer  plenty of concerts, carnival rides, food and family fun that’s sure to be worth a visit.

The Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan is Aug. 15 to 19. The mission of the festival is to promote the interests of individuals and businesses related to natural fiber, to advance and continue high quality standards of business practice in the natural fiber area and to further the development and knowledge within the fiber community. With the festival, enjoy workshops, activities and a market, with something for everybody.

Approximately an hour north of Allegan is Greenville, home of the Danish Festival. The 54th annual Danish Festival is Aug. 17 to 20, and features live entertainment, parades, hot air balloons and other summer staples while celebrating the area’s Danish heritage.

One way to celebrate summer coming to an end is a day at the beach. Just before school begins again this year, the inaugural Great Lakes Surf Festival will take place on Saturday, Aug. 18, in Muskegon. The goal of the festival is to bring people together in an all-ages and family-friendly atmosphere.

GRandJazzFest in Grand Rapids is West Michigan’s only free, weekend-long jazz festival. This year’s festival is scheduled for Aug. 18 and 19, at Rosa Parks Circle, a central location in the heart of downtown. The festival brings to the stage notable jazz performers as well as up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences.

Originally started in Columbus, Ohio, the Breakaway Music Festival expanded to Grand Rapids last year for a new music experience. Featuring a well-curated musical lineup of national and local artists, local vendors and food trucks and more, Breakaway is a release from the everyday life. The event takes place at Belknap Park on Aug. 24 and 25.

Another Grand Rapids-based festival will take place during the same weekend as the jazz fest is the 39th annual Polish Festival, held by the Polish Heritage Society, from Aug. 24 to 26. The festival is designed to encourage education and scholarship among people of Polish heritage.

Summerfest, Hastings’ end of summer celebration, commemorates the end of the season with activities and events from Aug. 24 to 26. Enjoy a weekend of music, food, family activities, a car show and more.

Rounding out local August festivals will be on Saturday, Aug. 28 at Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach. The fourth annual Burning Foot Beer Festival, serving as Michigan’s only barefoot beer festival on the sand, encourages festival-goers to enjoy craft beers found in the Great Lakes region, revel in local art and food, groove to local and national music acts and take in the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan.

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