10 Metro Detroit Festivals and Fairs to Round Out the Summer

Water Lantern Festival, Charivari Detroit Music Festival, Armada Fair, and more late summer festivals.
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water lantern festival - metro detroit fairs and festivals
The Water Lantern Festival takes place at Lake St. Clair Metropark. // Photograph courtesy of Water Lantern Festival

Fight off the back-to-school blues at these metro Detroit festivals and fairs. From live music to livestock sales, there’s plenty of neighborhood happenings to scope out before the unofficial end of summer.

Charivari Detroit Music Festival

The four-day electronic dance music festival honors the genre’s Detroit roots. Returning for its tenth year, the event celebrates health, art, and music. Charivari features well-known and up-and-coming artists on multiple stages throughout the historic Fort Wayne. $30+. Aug. 11-13. Fort Wayne Detroit, 6325 W. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; charivaridetroit.com.

Ribs and R&B Music Festival

Combining two summer favorites — barbecue and music — Ribs and R&B guests can enjoy live performances and delectable grilled fare along the Detroit Riverfront. Headliners include Rob Base from Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Chante Moore, and the female R&B band, Brownstone. $15 after 1 p.m. Aug. 11-13. Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza, Detroit; ribsrnbmusicfestival.com.

Shelby Township Art Fair

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the local art fair features more than 120 exhibits. In addition to a Kids’ Craft and Activity Corner, the fair also features shopping, live music, interactive art, and eats. No cost. Aug. 12-13. River Bends Park, 5700 22 Mile Road, Shelby Township; shelbyartfair.org.

Charivari - metro detroit fairs and festivals
Charivari Detroit Music Festival features a lineup of electronic dance music. // Photograph courtesy of Malikah A. Shabazz

Armada Fair

This rural fair has been celebrated for over 151 years. For adrenaline seekers, the six-day eventfeatures demolition derbies, tractor pulls, and power wheel races. For more laidback fun, enjoy the carnival, parade, and livestock sale. $4-$19 for kids, $9-$24 for adults. Aug. 14-20. Armada Fair Grounds, 74280 Fair St., Armada; armadafair.org.

Woodward Dream Cruise

Car enthusiasts gather at the quintessential auto event of Michigan summers. Attendees can park themselves along Woodward Avenue for the annual event when the iconic road becomes a runway for classic cars from all over the world. No cost. Aug. 19. Along Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Pontiac; woodwarddreamcruise.com.

Emerging Artists Art Fair

A culmination of the work of artists from the Emerging Artists Corps, a program dedicated to developing and nurturing young creators, the EAC Art Show provides its artists opportunities to network, showcase, and sell their artwork. No cost. Aug. 20. Eastern Market Shed 5, 2810 Russell St., Detroit; easternmarket.org.

A Taste of Greece Cultural Festival

Learn all about Greek culture and tradition at the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church’s three-day festival. Put together by parishioners and friends of the Plymouth church, visitors are encouraged to enjoy Greek food, discover traditions, and dance along to Greek dances. $3. Aug. 24-27. Nativity of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, 39851 W. Five Mile Road, Plymouth; michigangreekfestival.com.

armada fair - - metro detroit fairs and festivals
Enjoy carnival rides at the Armada Fair. // Photograph courtesy of Nick Shafer

Water Lantern Festival

Voted the No. 1 Best Festival by USA Today, the Water Lantern Festival returns to metro Detroit. Invite friends and family to write wishes, hopes, dreams, and more on a paper lantern to send adrift along Lake St. Clair. The nighttime event lights up the lake, creating breathtaking views as the lanterns shine atop the water. $26+. Aug. 26. Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metro Parkway., Harrison Twp.; waterlanternfestival.com/detroit.

Cider Dayze Festival

Prior to its autumnal activities, Blake’s Apple Orchard and Cider Mill hosts its annual Cider Dayze Festival. Dance along in a silent disco, enjoy live music, and indulge in drink samples from breweries and cider mills across Michigan. $45. Aug. 26-27. Blake’s Hard Cider Co., 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada; blakefarms.com.

Hamtramck Labor Day Festival

Come celebrate Hamtramck’s 42nd anniversary with Labor Day fun including yacht races, wrestling and carnival rides. Beer and food will be offered as well as live music. The festival ends with a Labor Day parade. No cost. Sep 2-4. Caniff St & Joseph Campau Ave, Hamtramckhamtownfest.com.

Looking for even more things to do in metro Detroit? Check out HourDetroit.com

This post has been updated for 2023.