As summer reaches its peak, the Ann Arbor area comes alive with a kaleidoscope of captivating events. Get ready to immerse yourself in a tapestry of cultural celebrations, artistic marvels, and outdoor adventures this August, from art fairs and concerts to air shows and cycling races.
Add these upcoming Ann Arbor events to your calendar to make the most of the final days of summer!
Every year, Michigan Shakespeare Festival presents a “Shakespeare Unplugg’d” show at The Ark, where this talented team shows off some hidden skills and abilities not always showcased in their plays. You’ll enjoy singing, dancing, juggling, improvising, and more — all for free! However, donations to both The Ark and the MSF are always appreciated and welcomed.
Perhaps most known for his hit 2006 song, “Ain’t No Reason,” Brett Dennen isn’t done. This talented songwriter and performer is still producing excellent songs — including his newest, “This Is Going to Be the Year.” Hear old and new songs alike at his show at The Ark on August 9! General admission tickets are $35.
“En plein air” is the French term for painting outdoors. The Paint Dexter Plein Art Festival celebrates just that — and gives artists and community members the opportunity to paint outdoors over the course of six days in Dexter. Hosted by the Dexter Arts, Culture & Heritage Committee, the festival includes a variety of activities throughout the week for painters and non-painters alike, culminating with an art sale on Friday and Saturday.
Once a month from July through September, the Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project hosts Movie Night in the Park at Frog Island Park in Ypsilanti. And this month’s movie falls on the 18th! They will show the latest titles along with some of your favorite classics — all for free. Movies begin at dusk and there will be free popcorn, candy and soda.
The 2023 Native Plant Symposium at Matthaei Botanical Gardens aims to celebrate biodiversity and native plants of the Great Lakes region. Esteemed local and national conservation experts will present practical approaches to supporting biodiversity in urban and suburban settings. Attendees will gain empowering insights to implement micro-actions with macro effects in their communities. The symposium will explore the significance of conserving biodiversity, strategies for urban/suburban biodiversity conservation, and thoughtful approaches to native plant preservation at various scales. Tickets are $100 for in-person or $50 for virtual — and just $20 for U-M students.
Ypsilanti is turning 200 years old! Celebrate at the day-long Ypsilanti Bicentennial Celebration at Riverside Park. There will be historic tributes, family fun, live music, and entertainment. Plus, don’t miss the History Stroll along South Huron Street from 9–11 a.m.!
Who doesn’t love a good neighborhood block party? Head to Main Street Ann Arbor for an evening of summertime fun at the Main Street Block Party, where you can enjoy local restaurants, the arts, and an impressive display of classic cars. The festivities are happening from 6–10 p.m.!
Previously known as OUTFest, Ann Arbor Pride has been a beloved summer event since it was first celebrated in 1995. This all-day event features entertainment, vendors and fun — all focused on supporting the LGBTQIA+ community in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor Pride is hosted by the Jim Toy Community Center, a resource center that provides information, education, social events and advocacy by and for the Queer and Ally community in the Washtenaw County area.
Fried food, carnival rides and games — it’s fair season! Michigan’s “Biggest Little Fair” is back and we couldn’t be more excited. All the fun kicks off on August 8th at the Manchester Community Fairgrounds. Take a look at the schedule of events and purchase tickets at the gate — admission ranges from just $8–10!
For more than 50 years, Dexter Daze has been a beloved community tradition, celebrating summer with artisans and crafters, local businesses and free entertainment in the heart of Dexter. Check out the entertainment schedule to see who’s playing this year — and don’t miss the fireworks show on Friday night and the parade on Saturday morning!
Calling all vintage car collectors and enthusiasts! The annual Heritage Car Show in Ypsilanti is one of the best car shows around. For the 8th year, Gene Butman Ford is hosting this all-day car show, featuring a total of 150+ classic cars, from modern-day cars all the way back to cars made in the early 1900s. All makes and models are welcome! Pre-register your vehicle online here. There will also be live music, food trucks, table raffles, kids’ activities, and so much more. And this year, Ford Motor Co will be on site teaching attendees about the newest technology Ford has to offer!
Thunder Over Michigan is back at Willow Run Airport! Considered one of the best air shows in America, this two-day event features four incredible shows, plus dozens of static and flight teams. This is a drive-up air show, which means you’ll pack up your car with lawn chairs and enjoy the show “drive-in” style. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted as well. Tickets are sold by car only, which means you only have to pay one price per car, no matter how many people are in your group!
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! Check out the full schedule for this exciting five-day event in Chelsea.
A fully restored 1928 Ford Tri-Motor is coming to the Yankee Air Museum — and you have the rare opportunity to fly in it! The “Tin Goose” will be flying consistently throughout the day on Thursday, August 24 from 2–5 p.m. and Friday, August 25 through Sunday, August 27 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Purchase tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here!
Citizen Yoga is hosting an all-levels yoga class on the Michigan Stadium field to raise money for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. In addition to the class, owner and founder Kacee Must will speak openly about mental health and suicide loss and survival. And a portion of proceeds from this year’s event will go toward The Miles Jeffrey Roberts Foundation and No Future Without Today, two local organizations working to improve mental health and prevent suicide throughout our community. Tickets are $23 and include a free one-month subscription to Citizen Yoga On Demand!
Presented by Jolly Pumpkin, The Watermoo 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 and to register.
Don’t let the fact that it’s located in Hell, Michigan deter you from participating in this extraordinary open-water swimming race. Participants can choose their distance — the half-mile, 1.2-mile, 5K or 10K, going through the picturesque Hi-Land Chain of Lakes. Plus, proceeds from the event benefit an amazing cause: North Star Reach, a camp for children with life-threatening, serious and chronic medical conditions. Learn more and register for Swim to the Moon here!
The Ton-Up is a motorcycle and music festival, returning to Ypsilanti for the 13th year this August! Serving to promote and educate the public about the art, science and history of the motorcycle, motorcycle safety, and awesome music, this all-day event will bring vintage and custom motorcycles, scooters and mopeds to Arbor Brewing Company’s Corner Brewery in addition to local music and tons of fun. To learn more, check out the Facebook page!
We hope you have an amazing August in Ann Arbor!
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