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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 2, 2018. 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. April 29, 2018. 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 E. Washington. The State Street District Art Fair (734-663-6511, statestreetdistrict.org) 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 19-22, 2018.




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. 20-25, 2018. info@aafilmfest.org, aafilmfest.org

Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty; office: 230 Collingwood, #160B [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. 26 & 27, 2018. 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 7-10, 2018. 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 7-10, 2018. karenfreedland@jccfed.org, jccannarbor.org

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


Ann Arbor Mile - Dart for Art

This race 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 16, 2018. 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, 2018 date TBA. a2mfplanners@gmail.com, annarbor.makerfaire.com

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


Ann Arbor Summer Festival & Top of the Park

Presents 170+ events over nearly 4 weeks each summer, 90 percent of which are admission-free. The Mainstage ticketed series features performances by marquee talent in music, public radio, circus, dance, and comedy in a variety of venues. The admission-free Top of the Park series, held outdoors on Ingalls Mall at 915 E. Washington St., 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 8-July 1, 2018. 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. Hands-on crafts, games, inflatables, snacks and food for purchase, baked goods for purchase, and more. Apple and honey tasting. Open to people of all backgrounds. 2018 date TBA. 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, the Henry Ford Museum, and Cinema Detroit. June 2018 dates TBA 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. Labor Day Sunday. info@aactmad.org, 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. 2018 dates TBA. ddw@aactmad.org, aactmad.org/ddw

Ypsilanti High School, 2095 Packard, Ypsilanti [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 proceeds support Dawn Farm's care for people with addictions. Free admission. Sept. 10, 2017. jamboree@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 proceeds support Dawn Farm's care for people with addictions. April 29, 2018. rideforrecovery@dawnfarm.org, dawnfarm.org

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


Earth Day Festival

Environmental education displays from local-area non-profits, live music, hands-on activities, guided hikes, live-animal presentations, wind-energy demonstrations, and more. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes representing plants and animals. Apr. 22, 2018. 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. 18-21, 2017. 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. 8, 2018. 4-5 p.m. wonderfoolproductions@gmail.com, wonderfoolproductions.org


(313) 806-3952


FoolMoon

Processions carrying hand-made luminary sculptures converge on downtown in this kickoff event to FestiFools. Interactive art installations, laser shows, beer tent, DJs raised in the air, street dancing, and more. Begin at Washington St. and Ashley. Sunset to midnight. April 6, 2018. wonderfoolproductions@gmail.com, wonderfoolproductions.org


(313) 806-3952


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 8, 2018. 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 2018 dates TBA. foodgatherers.org, (click on events)

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


Huron River Day

River exhibits, discounted canoe and kayak rentals, live music, food vendors, fishing, and a children's activity tent. July 15, 2018. Noon-4 p.m. csaam@a2gov.org, a2gov.org/hrd

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


Juneteenth

The 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. Held on Sat. closest to June 19th annually wvhamp@comcast.net, a2naacp.org

Wheeler Park [map]
(734) 761-9084


Kerrytown BookFest

Author panels, book signings, book exhibitors of all types, from booksellers to book artists and printers. Storytelling by Mother Goose and other kids activities. At the Ann Arbor Farmers Market and the Kerrytown Concert House. Sept. 10, 2017. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. volunteer@kerrytownbookfest.org, kerrytownbookfest.org


(734) 769-1114


Michigan A Cappella Festival (MACFest)

A showcase for all 15 U-M a cappella groups. 2018 fall date TBA. 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 15, 22, and 24, 2018. kch@kerrytown.com, kerrytownconcerthouse.com

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


NashBash

Eleventh 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. 16, 2018.

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. Early August 2018 jimtoycenter.org




Rolling Sculpture Car Show

More than 300 antique, classic, and concept cars on display downtown. July 13, 2018. 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. 2018 dates: June 7-10; 14-17; 21-24.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 3, 2018. maura@mainstreetannarbor.org, mainstreetannarbor.org


(734) 668-7112


The Ark's Storytelling Festival

International, national, and regional storytellers. Sat. 7:30 p.m. (aimed at adults) and Sun. 1 p.m. (aimed at kids). Feb. 24 & 25, 2018. 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 16, 2018. 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. 26-28, Feb. 2 & 3, 2018. 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 8-10, 2018. annarborgreekfestival.org

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




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