Spring is in full bloom, and May is the perfect time to explore all the exciting events happening in the Ann Arbor area. There’s something for everyone this month, from bourbon festivals to 5Ks, and live music to craft markets — and much of it takes place outside, so you can fully enjoy our incredibly pleasant weather.
May is packed with fun and unique experiences that showcase the vibrant culture and community of Ann Arbor — so don’t miss out!
Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink
Arts + Culture
Where: Various Locations
When: May 17–20, 2023
Third Place [MusicFest] is an annual four-day performing arts festival featuring multiple concerts in various local spaces. At the heart of the festival lies a simple yet crucial principle — that concerts should be radically welcoming, accessible, and inclusive. The festival aims to bring together artists, businesses, and community members from Southeast Michigan to celebrate the power of the “third place,” which might be churches, cafes, clubs, public libraries, bookstores or parks. Third places are often overlooked but play a vital role in building a sense of community. Third Place [MusicFest] recognizes this and seeks to honor and showcase these third places through a series of concerts. Get more information here as the event draws near!
Where: Michigan Theater
When: May 19, 2023
The Mavericks is a rock and country band founded in Miami in 1989 that has managed to survive three decades, going through three distinct phases. The first period was marked by big hits and critical acclaim in the ‘90s, followed by a long hiatus starting in 2003 when the members went their separate ways. They reunited in 2012 and recently celebrated their 30th anniversary! The band is now embarking on a fourth phase of their evolution with the release of their first-ever, all-Spanish album, En Español. And they’re coming to Michigan Theater in May to share their new album along with old classics! Get your tickets here.
Where: Chelsea Community Fair
When: May 21, 2023
Finders Keepers Vintage Market is a market event at Chelsea Community Fair featuring local boutiques, wall decor, one-of-a-kind furniture, delicious sweets, food trucks, salvaged finds, trendy clothing boutiques, jewelry, organic products, and so much more. The event has two ticket options: an early bird entry ticket that costs $15 (and must be purchased in advance!) and allows entry from 10–11:30 a.m., and a general admission ticket that costs $5 and is available at the gate only with cash from 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Guests who purchased an early bird ticket do not have to leave at 11:30, as the market will remain open for general admission.
Where: The Blind Pig
When: May 5, 2023
There’s no better place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than the Blind Pig — especially since the holiday falls on a Friday this year! Party all night long with Icarus Fell, Gangway, Mr. Cool, Earth Below Us, Suicidal Fish, and Walking Down Main. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this 18+ event. General admission tickets are just $15!
Where: Gallup Park
When: May 21, 2023
More than 40 years ago, Huron River Day began as “a way to encourage partnerships among government, private and non-profit organizations and to educate citizens about the importance of water quality and Huron River preservation.” Today, the event has grown to include educational and fun river exhibits, canoe and kayak rentals, stand-up paddle boarding, live music, and more. The festival also offers nature walks by Natural Area Preservation starting at the information tent at various times throughout the day. Additionally, guests can enjoy food from local food trucks while exploring the classic wooden canoes, live animals from Leslie Science & Nature Center, and fishing opportunities with poles, bait, and instruction included. Admission to Huron River Day is free — and if you ride your bike there, your boat rental is free too!
Where: Dexter High School
When: May 7, 2023
Join the National Honor Society of Dexter High School as they host the Third Annual Sprout Love Spring Fling Move-A-Thon. This student-led event has a goal to raise $10,000 for the Sprout Love Initiative. In addition to the 5k race, this family-friendly day will feature yoga, yard games, bounce houses, face painting, arts and crafts, seed planting, food trucks, and so much more! 100% of the event proceeds will go directly to Cancer Support Community’s Sprout Love financial assistance program, which grants money to families experiencing financial hardship as a result of their cancer.
Where: Burns Park
When: May 7, 2023
The Burns Park Run is a beloved event in the Burns Park neighborhood that attracts runners of all ages and skill levels. This annual fundraiser is organized and operated entirely by volunteers, with the proceeds supporting the Burns Park Elementary PTO and other local school PTOs through their “Run for Schools” program. The event features a 5K and 10K race, as well as a 1/2 mile “Fun Run” for younger participants. The route, which winds through a picturesque neighborhood near the University of Michigan campus, is a favorite among both beginners and elite runners. The Burns Park Run draws between 1,000 to 1,500 runners each year, with more than 200 elementary school kids participating in the 5K race. For the 2023 run, all finishers of the 10K and 5K (walk and run) will receive a finisher medal! Register for the Burns Park Run here.
Where: Downtown Ann Arbor
When: May 14, 2023
The Mother’s Day Time to Teal 5K is an awareness event hosted by the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance to promote early detection of ovarian cancer and improved treatment outcomes. The event includes a timed 5K run and a 1-mile fun run/walk through scenic downtown Ann Arbor. All participants will receive teal ribbon finisher medals, a treat from Washtenaw Dairy, and post-event munchies. Plus, top individual and team fundraising prizes and prizes for the first place male and female finishers will also be awarded. Founded in 2011 by Ann Arbor resident Pam Dahlmann, who lost her mother and maternal grandmother to ovarian cancer, MIOCA raises awareness, provides resources and support to survivors and their families, advocates for change, educates Michigan communities, and funds innovative ovarian cancer research. Register here to support this amazing cause!
Where: Bløm Meadworks
When: May 28, 2023
The Bløm 5th Annual 100 Mile Ride is a self-supported gravel/mixed terrain ride that offers participants the chance to ride their bike, have fun, and enjoy some delicious post-ride snacks and drinks. Choose from the 50K (ideal for those wanting a chill ride), 100K (for the seasoned rider looking for a good workout) and the 100-mile (for the hardcore rider who doesn’t mind gravel and rough terrain). The event is not a race and not a no-drop ride, so riders can go at their own pace. The route is unmarked and on open roads, and riders must obey all traffic laws. The rider’s guide will provide all the necessary information for a great day of riding and will be sent out to registered riders a few days before the event. After the ride, stick around for some tamales and snacks from Pilar’s Tamales and mead or cider from Bløm on the patio! For all the information, and to register, visit Bløm Meadwork’s website.
Food + Drink
Where: Ypsilanti Freighthouse
When: May 13, 2023
The Ypsilanti Bourbon Fest is back for its second annual celebration! Held indoors at the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, the festival will be divided into two sessions, with the first session happening from 4–7 p.m. and the second from 8–11 p.m. This year’s event promises to offer more than 100 different whiskeys, including store picks and a VIP section, with most of the list featuring bourbon. However, non-bourbon options, such as beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, will also be available. Apart from the diverse beverage selection, the festival will also feature food trucks, live music, vendors, and other exciting activities. Every festival ticket includes entry to the festival, a souvenir tasting glass, and tasting tickets, which give you a ½-ounce pour of liquor, a 3-ounce pour of beer, and a 1.5-ounce pour of wine. More expensive alcohols require multiple tasting tickets; see the Bourbon List for a pricing breakdown. Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Friends of the River, a non-profit organization working to improve water quality, access, and awareness on the Rivers in Michigan.
What May events in the Ann Arbor area do we need to add to the calendar? Let us know in the comments below!
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