CELEBRATE THE SEASON!
August brings the summer and, with it, the festival season to the Capital City. With our festival guide, you’ll find something for everyone — from bikes and bands to pow-wows, from mint to Danish — during this hot month. | by Mallory McKnight
Great Lakes Folk Festival
EACH YEAR THE GREAT LAKES Folk Festival brings traditional cultural treasures from America and across the globe to the streets of downtown East Lansing. The three-day donation-driven festival, produced by the Michigan State
University Museum, presents a distinctive merging of arts fair, music fest, crafts, children’s activities, a Green Arts Market Place, hands-on activity workshops and celebration of cultural heritage. The music and dance program features performances ranging from blues
to bluegrass, Latino, polka, Cajun, Celtic and more. Musical artists often per- form multiple times throughout the weekend, giving visitors a chance to see the performers they like and discover new ones. The festival includes nearly 150 musicians and dance groups. There are four performance stages — including one with a massive dance floor. This year all the main musi-
2011 Great Lakes Folk Festival Downtown East Lansing Friday, Aug. 12, 6–10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, noon–10:30 pm. Sunday, Aug. 14, noon–6 p.m. greatlakesfolkfestival2011.sched.org
cal performers are returning past favorites of the fest. The line-up features Detroit blues legend Johnnie Bassett, the bluegrass sounds of Cats & the Fiddler, gospel guitarist Calvin Cook, and the Cajun style of Feufollet, to only name a few. World music will also be showcased with Gao Hong (Chinese pipa), Téada (Celtic) and George Kahumoku Jr., who plays Hawai’ian slack key guitar. For those who want to get involved, there will also be a community sing. Aside from entertainment, the three-day fest has a mission: encourage
cross-cultural understanding of our diverse society. The organizers do this through the artists, entertainers and food. In a nutshell, these people aren’t putting on an act, for them it’s a way of life, it’s their culture. The festival’s “Taste of Traditions Food Court” offers traditional foods closely
linked to each vendor’s ethnicity or region. This year Mumbai, Greekland Foods, Woody’s Oasis, and Anishnabe Meejim are just a few of the vendors. Other spots will offer locally made ice cream and homemade root beer. —Rich Tupica
Clare County Fair Aug. 1-6 Clare County Fairgrounds clarecountyfair.org
Clare County celebrates summers waning days with rides, games, two free circus shows, mud bog, demolition derby and motocross. The festival’s centerpiece is a bandstand concert featuring The Band Perry and Kari Lynch.
NativeFest Aug. 3-5 Ziibiwing Center, Mt. Pleasant sagchip.org/ziibiwing
Mt. Pleasant celebrates American Indian culture with three days of celebration featuring car bingo, as well as music and comedy performances. The center will also show off its collection “Honoring Our Youth – Part I.”
Bikes & Bands Aug. 6 Gier Park BMX Track, Lansing zvents.com/lansing-mi/events/
show/180521685-bikes-bands-2011 This unique festival features BMX bikers and live rock music. Kids will be able to bring their bikes and use the remodeled track in between races. Seven bands will rock the track while BMXers race and trade tips and tricks.
Isabella County Youth & Farm Fair Aug. 7-13 Isabella County Fairgrounds isabellacounty.org/dept/fair
This week-long fair features a carnival, 4-H exhibitors (animals, arts and crafts), as well as musical entertainment. Rides, food
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vendors, a talent show and many more attractions help make the fair an annual summer celebration.
Frankenmuth Summer Music Festival Aug. 9-13 and 19-20 Heritage Park frankenmuthfestivals.com
Seven days to celebrate music of all kinds including 14 of the na- tion’s top polka groups, along with Polish, German and Slovenian styles, a giant wood floor to accommodate your dancing needs and plenty of food and drinks to choose from. The festival exists for people to party and polka, so bring your dancing shoes.
ROCK the Tridge Aug. 11 Downtown Midland downtownmidland.com
A free family event with ROCK Youth Center’s Battle of the Bands, rock climbing wall, crafts and other activities. This is your chance to live out your “Cliffhanger” dreams without ever having to leave downtown Midland.
27th Annual Mint Festival Aug. 12-14 St. Johns City Park/Clinton County Fairgrounds clintoncountychamber.org/mint-festival
A family oriented weekend festival with a flea market, pony and train rides, sports tournaments, car show, free evening concerts, laser tag, dog shows and a mint cooking contest. Just think of how much poorer the world would be without mint: no mint juleps, no mint chocolate chip ice cream, no mints! Really, come show your appreciation.
Danish Festival Aug. 18-21 Greenville danishfestival.org
The 47th annual event to honor the town’s Danish history is appropriately themed from the classic tale by Hans Christian
SOUNDS | SCENE
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