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City Guide

Annual Events

Highlights of Ann Arbor's yearly calendar. For comprehensive current events, use the Observer Daily Calendar link below.

NOTE: This listing spans two years--always check the year as well as the date.


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African American Downtown Festival

Crafts, merchandise, food, and kids' activities at N. Fourth Ave. and Ann St. Musical, theatrical, and dance performances. First Sat. in June 9 a.m.-9 p.m. June 3, 2017. cwpfestival@gmail.com


(734) 858-9121


Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair

Forty antiquarian book dealers sell 1st editions, old and collectible books, children's books, Americana, prints, and more. May 21, 2017. jplatt@provide.net, annarborbookfair.com

Michigan Union ballroom, 530 S. State [map]
Jay Platt, (734) 995-1891


Ann Arbor Art Fair

Four independent fairs with more than 1,000 artists. Thurs-Sun. The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original (734-994-5260, artfair.org), is on Ingalls Mall, North University, and W. Washington. The State Street Area Art Fair (734-663-6511, a2statestreetartfair.com) is in the shopping districts around State and Liberty. The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair (734-662-3382, theguild.org) has a downtown section on Main and Liberty and a campus section on S. State. Ann Arbor's South University Art Fair (734-663-5300, a2southu.com) runs from State St. to the South University business district, with branches on East University and Church. Includes entertainment stages, artist demonstrations, art activities, and food and drink vendors. July 20-23, 2017.




Ann Arbor Film Festival

Started in 1963, the longest-running independent and experimental film series in North America exhibits 6 days of screening films of all lengths and genres celebrating film as art. The festival also includes panels, workshops, multimedia installations, and parties. Mar. 21-26, 2017. info@aafilmfest.org, aafilmfest.org

Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty; office, 217 N. First [map]
(734) 995-5356


Ann Arbor Folk Festival

Two concerts of roots and acoustic music to benefit The Ark. Features well-known acts along with musicians on the rise. Jan. 27 & 28, 2017. feedback@theark.org, theark.org

Hill Auditorium, 825 North University [map]
(734) 761-1800


Ann Arbor JCC Book Festival

Brings in authors from around the world. Talks are free and open to the public; lunches and Sunday brunch available for a small fee. Some events are off-site. May 7-11, 2017. karenfreedland@jccfed.org, jccannarbor.org

Jewish Community Center, 2935 Birch Hollow [map]
(734) 971-0990


Ann Arbor JCC Film Festival

Films from around the world that explore Jewish culture and identity from a range of historical and modern perspectives, using every conceivable film genre. May 7-11, 2017. karenfreedland@jccfed.org, jccannarbor.org

Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty [map]
(734) 971-0990


Ann Arbor Mile - Dart for Art

Part of a national campaign to restore interest in one-mile races, the Ann Arbor Mile kicks off the Townie Street Party (see below) before the Ann Arbor Art Fair (see above). Top runners compete for cash awards in the elite division, followed by local athletes, families, and anyone else who wants to enjoy a one-mile run in downtown Ann Arbor. 6 p.m. elite runners; 6:30 p.m. community race. July 17, 2017. mriley@artfair.org">mriley@artfair.org, bringbackthemile.com mriley@artfair.org">mriley@artfair.org, bringbackthemile.com.




Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire

Free family-friendly showcase of local invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Exhibits include robotics, radio, rocketry, machines, tools, STEAM & STEM projects, whimsical creations, participatory activities & more. Volunteers welcome. Early June, 2017 date TBA. a2mfplanners@gmail.com, a2makerfaire.wordpress.com/call-for-makers/

Ann Arbor District Library, 343 South 5th Ave. [map]


Ann Arbor Summer Festival

Presents 150+ events over nearly 4 weeks each summer, 90 percent of which are admission-free. The Mainstage series includes ticketed indoor performances featuring figures from the worlds of music, public radio, circus, dance, and comedy in a variety of venues. The free Top of the Park series, held outdoors on Ingalls Mall between North University and Washington, offers concerts, movies, kids activities, wellness classes, and open-air spectacles with local food vendors. Top of the Park takes place 6 nights a week (except Mondays) starting at 5 p.m. June 9-July 3, 2017. a2sf.org


(734) 994-5999. Tickets: (734) 764-2538


Apples and Honey Fall Festival

Annual family event celebrating the Jewish fall holidays of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simcah Torah, open to people of all backgrounds. 2 p.m.-5.p.m. Sept. 25, 2017.ethankrasnow@jccannarbor.org, http://jccannarbor.org/activity/appleshoney/

Jewish Community Center, 2935 Birch Hollow [map]
(734) 971-0990


Cinetopia International Film Festival

10-day festival featuring feature-length dramas, comedies, and documentaries from the world's top film festivals, including Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes. Screenings at the Michigan Theatre, the State Theatre, the Detroit Film Theatre, and Cinema Detroit. June 2-11, 2017 cinetopiafestival.org


(734) 668-8397


Dancing in the Streets

An afternoon of dancing to live music, including swing, square, contra & more, as well as concerts, performance dance groups, and children's activities. Sponsored by AACTMAD, the Ann Arbor Community of Traditional Music and Dance. 1:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 4, 2016. anafshalom@alumni.iu.edu, aactmad.org/dits/


(734) 786-8380


Dawn Dance Weekend

A nonstop weekend of traditional and folk dancing to live music provided by national bands, plus workshops on different dance styles and choreography, group singing, and music jams. Feb. 2017 dates TBA. p.j.baker@me.com, aactmad.org/ddw

Clague Middle School, 2616 Nixon [map]
(734) 476-4650


Dawn Farm Jamboree

Family-friendly event with activities for all ages: music and entertainment, live and silent auctions, a gift table, a children's tent and midway, hayrides, farm animals, food and beverages. All funds support Dawn Farm's care for people with addictions. Free admission. Sept. 11, 2016. info@dawnfarm.org, dawnfarm.org

6633 Stony Creek Rd. [map]
(734) 485-8725


Dawn Farm Ride for Recovery

Family fun and fitness event with four bike rides to choose from, a run/walk, and a Recovery Celebration lunch. All funds support Dawn Farm's care for people with addictions. Spring 2017 date TBA. info@dawnfarm.org, dawnfarm.org

6633 Stony Creek Rd. [map]
(734) 485-8725


Earth Day Festival

Educational displays, music, hands-on activities, face painting, animals, clean energy expo, guided hikes, parade, and family entertainment. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes representing plants and animals. Apr. 23, 2016. Noon-4 p.m. info@lesliesnc.org, a2earthday.org

Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver


Edgefest

One of North America's premier alternative music festivals, featuring jazz and experimental music at Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., and other locations. Oct. 26-29, 2016. kch@kerrytown.com, kerrytownconcerthouse.com


(734) 769-2999


FestiFools

A downtown spectacle of larger-than-life puppetry and pageantry accompanied by musical entertainment which everyone is invited to help create and operate. Apr. 9, 2017. 4-5 p.m. wonderfoolproductions@gmail.com, wonderfoolproductions.org


(734) 763-7550


FoolMoon

Procession of participants carrying hand-made luminary sculptures with food, live music, shadow puppets, and film projections on Washington St. from dusk to midnight. April 7, 2017. wonderfoolproductions@gmail.com, wonderfoolproductions.org


(734) 763-7550


Green Fair

Downtown exhibits promoting Washtenaw County nonprofits, local environmental groups, products, and issues. Clean Energy Expo, alternative fuel vehicles, energy saving appliances & green building materials. Green commute/alternative transportation, live music, organic fare, live birds of prey, and activities for children. June 9, 2017. 6-9 p.m. cschopieray@a2gov.org, a2gov.org/greenfair


(734) 794-6161, ext. 41602


Grillin' for Food Gatherers

This festive barbecue blowout fundraiser features live music, food from more than 50 local restaurants, beer and wine, kids' games, and a silent auction of food-related items. Rain or shine. 3-8 p.m. June 11, 2017.

Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd., Saline [map]
(734) 761-2796


HomeGrown Festival

Grassroots event featuring local food and drink at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. Activities include heirloom tomato and garlic tastings, kids' activities, handmade crafts and goods, music, and information booths. Sept. 10, 2016. 6-10 p.m. homegrownfestival.org


(734) 707-8488


Huron River Day

River exhibits, discounted canoe and kayak rentals, live music, food vendors, fishing, and a children's activity tent. July 9, 2017. Noon-4 p.m. csaam@a2gov.org, a2gov.org/hrd

Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller [map]
(734) 794-6240


Juneteenth

Ann Arbor NAACP's observance of the announcement of the end of slavery in Texas and the Southwest on June 19, 1865. Performances by local talent, games, health and nonprofit information, food concessions, vendors, cake walk and a children's area. June 19, 2017. wvhamp@comcast.net, a2naacp.org

Wheeler Park [map]
(734) 761-9084


Kerrytown BookFest

Exhibits and demonstrations of book arts, book sellers, and nonprofits at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market and Kerrytown Concert House. Authors and other speakers, readings, children's activities, panel discussions, and more. Sept. 11, 2016. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. bookfest@kerrytownbookfest.org, kerrytownbookfest.org


(734) 769-1114


Michigan A Cappella Festival (MACFest)

A showcase for all 16 U-M a cappella groups. 2016-2017 performances TBA. maccexec@umich.edu, umich.edu/~umsing

Rackham Auditorium [map]
(734) 763-1107


Minifest

The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival presents concerts featuring internationally known artists and new chamber ensembles. June 16, 23, and 25, 2017+. kch@kerrytown.com, kerrytownconcerthouse.com

Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave [map]
(734) 769-2999


NashBash

Tenth anniversary of this outdoor concert featuring musicians from Ann Arbor and Nashville. Beer, wine, barbecue & food truck offerings. 5-9:30 p.m. Open-mic afterparty at Braun Court, 9:30-11 p.m. Aug. 18, 2016.

Ann Arbor Farmers Market


OutFest

Celebrates the diversity of gender identity, sexual orientation, and the LGBTQ community. All are welcome. Features live music, dancing, food, educational workshops, substance-free spaces and events, family-friendly programming, resource connecting, and a variety of other entertaining and informational events. Follow Jim Toy Center on Facebook for more information. Oct. 2-4, 2015. info@jimtoycenter.org, jimtoycenter.org




Rolling Sculpture Car Show

More than 400 antique, classic, and concept cars on display downtown. July 14, 2017. maura@mainstreetannarbor.org, mainstreetannarbor.org


(734) 668-7112


Shakespeare in the Arb

University students and local actors in an alfresco production of a Shakespeare play that moves through various settings in Nichols Arboretum. 2017 dates: June 8-11; 15-18; 22-25.mbgna.umich.edu


(734) 647-7600


Taste of Ann Arbor

Bite-sized samples from local restaurants and cafes, live music, and children's activities. Downtown. June 4, 2017. maura@mainstreetannarbor.org, mainstreetannarbor.org


(734) 668-7112


The Ark's Storytelling Festival

International, national, and regional storytellers present programs Sat. 7:30 p.m. (aimed at adults) and Sun. 1 p.m. (aimed at kids). Feb. 25 & 26, 2017. feedback@theark.org, theark.org

316 S. Main [map]
(734) 761-1800


Townie Street Party

Kick-off event to art fair week in Ann Arbor. Live music, food and drinks, free art activities, and the Kids' Art Fair, showcasing the work of artists in grades 3-8. Also includes Community Central, the Art Activity Zone, and the annual Ann Arbor Mile - Dart for Art. At E. Washington between Fletcher and Thayer. July 17, 2017. towniestreetparty.com


(734) 994-5260


Wine, Women, and Song

Local, notable singer-actresses perform songs from musical theater to light opera, including some original numbers. Wine included in admission. Jan. 27-29, Feb. 3 & 4. kch@kerrytown.com, kerrytownconcerthouse.com

Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave. [map]
(734) 769-2999


Ya'ssoo Greek Festival

Local bands and Greek dance groups, and homemade Greek food and pastries. June 9-11, 2017. annarborgreekfestival.org

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 3109 Scio Church [map]
(734) 332-8200




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