Sip lavender lemonade, learn from gardening experts, gather an armful of blooms and enjoy floral-themed parades and activities at this bouquet of colorful events.

Lady’s Slipper Festival, May 24

The Huron County Nature Center & Wildlife Arboretum hosts an enjoyable day of crafts, art, music, food and wildflowers at the tip of the Thumb in Port Austin.

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival, June 5-14

Fragrant lilacs have been a part of the island landscape since before the Civil War. This celebration touches all of the senses, from lilac walks and talks to lilac-infused cocktails, children’s activities and the Grand Parade with its horse-drawn units.

Original Michigan Lavender Festival, July 9-11

Indigo Lavender Farms hosts its event at Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds in Imlay City, with classes and demonstrations, artisan booths, music and workshops, and a shuttle to its nearby 20-acre farm for the lavender u-pick.

Blake’s Lavender Festival, July 10-12

At Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill in Armada, sample lavender-infused drinks and foods, join yoga and aroma meditation, get creative at make-and-take sessions, shop handmade goods, ask gardening questions and pick lavender from the field.

Frankenmuth Flower Festival, July 31-August 1

At Grandpa Tiny’s Farm and during related happenings throughout Frankenmuth, immerse yourself in flower-themed arts and crafts, learn about blooms on the garden walk, join the color run and stroll into the field for a sunflower u-pick.

Mayville Sunflower Festival, Sept. 24-27

Inspired by fields of sunflowers that grew outside of this village in the Thumb, this festival has blossomed into a multi-day, family-friendly celebration with the popular Bump and Run Derby, amusement rides, games and contests, entertainment, parade and fireworks.

See you next year…

These early May festivals were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but we hope to see them in 2021!

Blossomtime Festival Parade (cancelled for May 2, 2020)
Admire the blooms of southwest Michigan orchards in a celebration that dates to 1906, with pageants for the festival royalty, blessing of the blossoms and fun run/walk. Join 250,000 spectators for Saturday’s Grand Floral Parade between St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.

Tulip Time, (cancelled for May 2-10, 2020)

More than five million tulips set the scene for this festival highlighting the Holland area’s Dutch heritage through food, dancing, import market and authentic clothing, plus a full calendar of concerts, tours, family activities, carnival, artisan market and several parades.

Pictured above: Frankenmuth Flower Festival


Kath Usitalo is the author of three books, “Secret Upper Peninsula: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure,” “100 Things to Do in the Upper Peninsula Before You Die” and “100 Things to Do on Mackinac Island Before You Die.”

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