It may seem like the doldrums of winter, but we are just one month away from the Clare Irish Festival, which will be followed by the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival, and before you know it the Highland Festival In Alma will mark the start of summer..well close enough! Here are some of the mid-Michigan festivals we have to look forward to in 2017.
1Clare Irish Festival
Kicking off the mid-Michigan festivals in 2017 is the Clare Irish Festival. If you want to see the streets of Clare with more people that it can handle, head to the Clare Irish Festival. Last year when I was there, I couldn’t even make a phone call! I had no cell service from the flood of people. But who needs cell service when you having a ball in Clare? Well, except to call a cab!
This year the Irish Festival runs March 15-19. Things kick off Wednesday and Thursday with an auction and recipe contest. Saturday is jam packed with events like the parade, craft show, pot o’ gold cash raffle, pet photo contest, euchre tournament…and lots and lots of beer!
Find the full calendar of events on their website.
2Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival
The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival is dear to my heart, as I grew up in Shepherd. It wasn’t until I moved away for several years and came back that I realized just how awesome it is! Just about every house has a garage sale, and if not it’s because they joined up with their neighbor. This year’s Maple Syrup Festival runs April 28-30.
Stop by and see My 1043 broadcasting live from Mercantile Bank on Friday afternoon. Check out the parade on Saturday, see vendors all weekend in and around the high school! The kids can ride on the amusement rides while the parents enjoy the first annual Ales For Trails, and oh yeah, the all-you-can-eat pancakes, with the legendary, delicious maple syrup. A treat we’re lucky to have right here in mid-Michigan!
3Alma Highland Festival
The Alma Highland Festival, much like the Maple Syrup Festival, floods Alma with garage sales all weekend. And then there are the kilts and bagpipes! One of my favorite events at the highland festival is the Heavyweight Athletic Competitions! Seven events, beginning with the professional competition on Saturday morning.
The amateur competition is held on Sunday. These aren’t ordinary athletic events! For example the hammer throw uses the Scottish hammer, a 22 pound metal sphere attached to a handle and thrown for distance. Then there is the caber toss. A caber is near 20 feet in length and is over 100 pounds. This event is thrown for accuracy, not distance.
All the Heavyweight Athletic Competition events take place on the north end of the festival grounds. The Highland festival also features a parade, entertainment, craft shows, and a ton of entertainment including a road race! Check here to see a full list of events at The Alma Highland Festival!
And don’t forget all of the glorious fair food at each of these mid-Michigan festivals! Elephant ears, funnel cakes, corn dogs, deep fried Oreo’s, and all that stuff that is soo bad, but soo good!