Summer Events & Festivals
The National Cherry Festival is the oldest and biggest festival of the region. It celebrates everything cherry every year during the first full week of July with an eight-day party featuring over 150 family activities: air shows, fireworks, parades, games, races, midway rides, demonstrations, nightly outdoor concerts and lots of chances to taste delicious cherry products. The festival is 10 days long over 4th of July.
For all the up to date information about Cherry Festival follow the Cherry Festival Facebook Page or go to the Cherry Festival website
This popular festival features tastings & full glass pours from 27 of the region’s best wineries paired with food for purchase by celebrated local chefs, seasoned with a diverse slate of musical performers and an exhibition and sale of artworks by some of the region’s best painters, potters, weavers and other artists. It takes place on the lawn of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons at the end of June/early July.
The Great Lakes Horse Show takes place for about 25 days in July. The festival is committed to delivering world-class equestrian competition. Competitors and spectators will be able to enjoy all the Traverse City has to offer while attending this elite competition. Each week will also feature family friendly events with concerts and activities for children of all ages.
Held each year on the second Saturday of August. The festival showcases the products of the Northern Wine Loop representing ten wineries, a cidery and a brewery. The wine festival follows the dog parade and is both dog and kid friendly.
Held every Friday at 5:30 in August. Jazz, art, food and fun will fill East Front. This popular community block party features a full slate of music, entertainment, food, demonstrations and family activities along the 100 and 200 blocks of East Front Street.
Fall Events and Festivals
The Empire Hops Festival is an annual event taking place in October in the Village of Empire, Michigan. This festival celebrates local brewing. The festival features live music, local craft beer and ciders, and food vendors. It is a great way to enjoy time with family and friends.
Start your holiday festivities early with the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail’s Toast the Season wine event in November! Enjoy 1.5oz pours of hand-selected wines with delectable food pairings at all participating wineries, plus “Cork Cash” redeemable at any winery. Plus, bask in the holiday lights during the annual Lights over Leelanau event. Don’t miss this incredible food and wine experience!
In October, The Hunt for the Reds of October wine event offers stunning scenery and red wine tastings hand-selected by the winemakers themselves. Enjoy the vibrant autumn colors of the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. Reservations are highly recommended to fully experience all the event has to offer.
This annual weekend features a spectacular race through Leelanau’s vineyards followed by a self-guided wine tour along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. The tour takes place from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $40 and include a souvenir wine glass and a special wine pour and food pairing at each of 23 participating wineries along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail.
Winter Events & Festivals
Suttons Bay Holiday in the Village
Runs the first weekend of December and features luminaria lined streets, refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Local wines will be available to sample (at select locations), there will be restaurant specials, over 50 decorated trees and street carolers.
Tis the season for joy and celebration in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons usually held the second weekend in December. Enjoy a weekend long celebration filled with music, carriage rides, Santa Claus, shopping specials and much more. Each night will feature a Christmas Concert.
This event is hosted along the trail on a Saturday during Mid-January. Tickets are $20 per person and include a souvenir wine glass. You’ll enjoy a yummy soup and wine pairing at participating wineries along the trail.
Tickets are $35 per person and include a souvenir wine glass and a delicious Leelanau wine and small plate pairing of sweet or savory fare at each winery. The fabulous weekend starts on Saturday as you chart your own course along the wine trail between the hours of 11:00 am and 5:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Sunday.
Spring Events and Festivals
The lakeshore village of Empire greets the arrival of asparagus season (Mid May) with a 5K run, a recipe contest, games, a parade, food and – of all things – an annual oral poetry contest for the best “Ode to Asparagus.”
Leland Wine and Food Festival
Held during early June, enjoy tasting local award-winning wines from 12 Leelanau Peninsula wineries & 1 local brewery, delicious specialties from 8 local vendors while soaking up beautiful views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands from Leland Harbor. ‘Come & Go’ re-entry wristbands allow you to explore beaches, unique shops, galleries and Historic Fishtown, and then return for more festival fun. Live Music plays all day.
Colantha Walker Dairy Festival
Held during Mid-June, the festival is a free, family-friendly festival in celebration of Traverse Colantha Walker, the most famous cow in town! Pancake breakfast, live music, farmers market, arts & craft market, kids’ activities, food & drinks, a memorial parade to Colantha’s headstone, the Great Grilled Cheese Grill-off, and MORE!
Enjoy delicious wine and food pairings at 23 wineries along the wine trail. Held around the 1st weekend in May participants take a self-guided tour by visiting the tasting rooms in any order on Saturday from 11:00 to 6:00 pm and Sunday from noon to 5:00 pm. Tickets are limited and typically sell out.