Everything You Absolutely Must Do Around Detroit This Summer

Updated On 06/12/2017 at 06:22PM EST Updated On 06/12/2017 at 06:22PM EST
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival | Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
Detroit City FC
Detroit City FC | Detroit City FC
Saturday - Tuesday
Jun 17-Aug 22
Detroit River
Get carried away by the current on this 28-mile-long river that connects the Great Lakes and serves as our only real line of defense from marauding Canadians.
Saturday - Wednesday
Jun 17-Aug 2
Less expensive and way more energetic than your average professional sports game, don’t miss out on the borderline-excessive outpouring of local pride to be had at the Detroit City FC  games.
Friday - Sunday
Jun 16-18
Belleville, MI
The Belleville Strawberry Festival honors the sweet summer fruit -- it’s like eating an entire case of pink Starburst and living to tell about it.
Jun 17
Royal Oak
The Detroit Summer Beer Fest will not be in Detroit, but it WILL feature 50 different Michigan breweries as well as distillers of fine spirits, food, music, and games.
Jun 23
Gull Island in Lake St. Clair
Interested in completely denigrating Mother Nature in the name of Bud Light and boob flashes? Then this trashy water fest is all for you. Boys should bring beads, and girls should bring a Shewee and a chastity belt.
Friday - Sunday
Jun 23-25
Detroit Riverfront
Nautical extravaganzas, '70s music, and barbecue make up RiverDays, one of Detroit’s most iconic summer events. What more could you possibly want? Other than for summer to last for more than three months?
Saturday - Saturday
Jun 24-Aug 26
Ann Arbor
All the things you think you’d like about Germany -- beer, wurst, lederhosen -- come together the last weekends of June, July, and August each summer at this shaded grove out in the sticks.
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair | Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original
Jul 8
Ypsilanti, MI
Get your kitsch on at the annual Michigan Elvisfest, which leaves very little to the imagination. Hint: There’s a lot of dudes dressed like Elvis.
Jul 11
Belle Isle
The Backpack Music Festival combines the talents of Detroit DJs and the foresight of do-gooders to raise money for supplies for Detroit school kids. Don’t miss an opportunity to help a future generation of Movement attendees.
Jul 12
Wyandotte, MI
Some of the shit Downriver gets is understandable, but don’t let that deter you from checking out Wyandotte Street Art Fair, a true riverside gem. This half-a-century-old arts and entertainment fest just might help you put to rest any negative connotation you may have about the drive down south.
Friday - Sunday
Jul 14-16
What sounds better than standing in the middle of the hot sun drinking whiskey and eating barbecue? Maybe replace “hot sun” with pontoon boat, but hey, we’re not complaining. The Pig & Whiskey Festival is a good time, with some of the best bands, food, and booze the Detroit area has to offer.
Friday - Sunday
Jul 14-16
Attention, herb-worshipping pagan folk: There’s a festival for you, too! The Michigan Lavender Festival is a great reason to get out of the city and into the lush fields of the countryside north of Detroit, with workshops, demonstrations, and gifts for sale.
Thursday - Sunday
Jul 20-23
Ann Arbor
If you can muster the courage to fight the crowds, you’ll be rewarded with the Ann Arbor Street Fair: a classic that’s introduced up-and-coming artists to the local masses in this college town since 1960.
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 29-30
Tinkerers, nerds, and wannabe nerds, get in on Maker Faire and check out your fellow metro Detroiters’ creations and inventions. You may be surprised with the innovation that surrounds you.
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise | Flickr/Joe deSousa
Friday - Saturday
Aug 4-5
Detroit’s Northwest Side
A grassroots performance and sculpture festival on Detroit’s west side, Sidewalk Art Festival aims to bring the local community together and grows each year with more and more artists, food, and retailers.
Friday - Sunday
Aug 11-13
Forest Park
It might be the most perfect food, and definitely one of the most beloved in all of Detroit, so don’t miss your chance to tour pierogi heaven at Sweetest Heart of Mary Pierogi Festival this summer.
Friday - Sunday
Aug 18-20
African drumming and dancing, African foods, African art -- some of the continent’s vibrant cultures and offerings will be represented at the African World Festival.
Aug 19
Along Woodward Avenue
Haters gonna hate, but the Woodward Dream Cruise continues to be the biggest classic car event in the WORLD, and of course the passion of the (former) automobile capital only makes the appeal more charming.
Aug 26
South Lyon
A downhome country bumpkin, barrel-aged craft beer fest with live jams and food trucks? Yes, please. Witch’s Hat Brewing Company is recognized for its extremely potent suds and friendly vibe, all of which combines for a huge fundraiser each year known as Fury for a Feast. Take it outside with this party that’s raised $26,000 over the past five years for charity.
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival | Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
Sunday - Tuesday
Sep 3-5
Downtown Hamtramck
Quite possibly the state’s most comprehensive collection of weirdos, rock ‘n’ roll, hoodlums, and carnies you could possibly hope to find on one street. Each Labor Day weekend, Downtown Hamtramck is transformed into a haven for local bands, artists, beer vendors, cornholers, canoe-racers, fowlers, and every kind of human you can imagine.
Sep 9
Midtown Detroit
Always a favorite, the Dally caters to everyone, with a family-friendly vibe overtaking Midtown in the day -- good for checking out artwork and an ever-expanding array of Detroit-themed T-shirts -- and the city’s wild side coming out later for stacks of good bands and, of course, rivers of Ghettoblaster.