The height of summer fun in Ann Arbor, August brings some of the season’s most highly anticipated festivals, races and events. This month, you can enjoy everything from bluegrass festivals to triathlons and German picnics!
Below, we listed our top picks for August fun. So be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss a second of the action!
Arts + Culture
Where: Various Locations in Milan
Featuring both well-known bluegrass bands and up-and-coming acts, The Milan Bluegrass Festival is a can’t-miss music event in Southeast Michigan! The 2021 event features five different bands each day and a special guest on Saturday! For the full concert experience, we recommend camping on-site with KC Campground. Call (734) 439-1076 to reserve your campsite!
Where: Various Locations in Dexter
En plein air is the act of painting outdoors, and the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival invites artists and community members to do just that! Over the course of four days, local and visiting artists will paint in and around Dexter. Then, non-painters can view and purchase the Plein Air artwork online until the end of the festival. To stay up to date on this year’s happenings, follow the team on Facebook here.
After over a year with no indoor events, The Blind Pig is back with a newly renovated interior and three nights of Stormy Chromer and friends! The celebration costs $15 a night or $35 for a three-night pass. Click here for the entire lineup and to learn more about purchasing your ticket.
Originally called OUTFest, Ann Arbor Pride has been showcasing equality and LGBTQ+ support for decades. For the second year in a row, Pride lives on virtually here in Ann Arbor. Tune in on August 7th to see local artists, drag performers, bands, sponsors and headliners from the comfort of home.
At Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, this family event brings the United States Air Force Thunderbirds to Southeast Michigan. The 2021 air show will feature presentations from the USAF F-35 Demo Team as well as the USAF Thunderbirds, so don’t miss it! Kids 15 years and younger are admitted for free.
Fried food, carnival rides and games—oh my! Michigan’s “Biggest Little Fair” is back and we couldn’t be more excited. All the fun kicks off on August 10th at the Manchester Community Fair Grounds.
Where: Various Locations in Dexter
For 50 years in 2021, Dexter Daze has been providing an occasion for our communities’ families to come together and celebrate with artisans and crafters, local businesses and free entertainment. You can join the fun in Dexter starting on August 13th. Click here for more information as it is released.
Where: Various Locations in Saline
Returning to the streets of downtown Saline this month, Saline’s Summerfest is a hometown celebration like no other! In 2021, the event promises even more activities, attractions and amusements, but with plenty of measures in place to help keep you safe.
When: August 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
We love a good car show and the annual Heritage Car Show in Ypsilanti is one of the best! Head to Gene Butman Ford on August 14th and peruse cars from 2021 all the way back to the early 1900s. There will also be live music, food trucks, free drinks, table raffles, goodie bags and so much more.
This exciting shopping event at Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds features five beautiful, connected barns packed full of interesting vintage finds! Shop from more than 150 vendors and enjoy a food truck rally, live music, free photo booths, psychic readings and so much more. Admission is only $5 at the gate and kids 12 and under are absolutely free!
When: August 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Celebrate your Sunday hunting for treasures at this outdoor vintage flea market! Ypsilanti has some of the best vintage shops and sellers in Southeast Michigan and you can shop them all at this special event at the Riverside Arts Center. Peruse genuine vintage items ranging from the early 1930s to the 1990s—clothing, jewelry, furniture, records and more! You can find all the information here. And if you miss this one, don’t worry! They’ll be hosting this special event again in September.
Astronomicon is more than just a comic con, it’s an all-inclusive pop culture convention with the best parts of a comic convention for multiple genres. Comics, horror, wrestling—you name it! Participate in free play video game rooms and tournaments, cosplay contests, celebrity Q & As and more. This event is open to adults and children, so bring the whole family! Click here to purchase your tickets.
When: August 24-28
One of our favorite community events in the region, the Chelsea Community Fair includes a rodeo, multiple tractor pulls, livestock competitions and auctions, demolition derbies, a local merchant tent, and more! For all the details, click here.
When: August 7, 5:45 a.m.
The Ann Arbor Triathlon is the culmination of all your training: running, biking and swimming. Beginning at Halfmoon Lake in Pinckney State Recreation Area, you’ll swim the waters of Halfmoon, bike the country roads of the surrounding rural area, then run the 5-mile Poto Trail course to complete the challenge. If you’re ready, register online here.
The Watermoo, presented by Jolly Pumpkin, is a 111-mile cycling road race on mostly gravel, some tarmac, and an abandoned road with a river crossing in the farmlands of southeastern Michigan. To successfully complete The Watermoo, one must work hard and patiently like the water oxen that once roamed this land many years ago. Afterward, don’t miss the after-party at Jolly Pumpkin and enjoy some food and drinks with your new cycling friends! Click here for all the info.
When: August 15
Photo courtesy of Greg Sadler via Epic Races
Celebrating 12 years in 2021, Swim to the Moon is an extraordinary open-water swimming adventure through the picturesque Hiland Chain of Lakes. Participants can choose between distances including the half-mile, the 1.2-mile, the 5K or 10K. For full details and online registration, click here.
Food + Drink
Join Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels on the first Thursday of each month this summer for food, fun and community! They are inviting local food trucks (August’s event will include Jamaican Spice, Bearclaw Coffee and Kona Ice!) to the parking lot behind First Baptist Church of Ypsilanti and will be hosting live music, games and activities to enjoy between chowing down. All proceeds go towards supporting Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels and their mission.
The German Park Recreation Club hosts a handful of picnics every summer and this month’s event is set for August 28th at 4 p.m.! For an admission price of just $5 per person, you can enjoy German culture, food, beer and more! Feel free to bring the whole family but no one under 21 years of age will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Have an awesome August!
Did we miss your most-anticipated August 2021 event? Let us know in the comments below!