2023 Summer Guide

10 things to do this summer in Greater Lansing

Festivals, outdoor concerts, a fiesta and more


1. Cristo Rey Fiesta

May 26, 4-11 p.m., May 27, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., May 28, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Cristo Rey Church, 201 W. Miller Road, Lansing


At mid-Michigan’s premier Hispanic festival, you can enjoy authentic Mexican food, live music, dance performances, a market, a raffle and more.

The festival is mostly free, though there will be a $5 entrance fee Friday and Saturday after 5 p.m. 

Members of the military and veterans are invited to attend the festival on Sunday for a pre-Memorial Day tribute to those who have served and are currently serving.


2. Pumpstock 2023 Festival of American Roots Music

June 3, 2-8 p.m.

Bailey Park, 300 Bailey St., East Lansing


2023 marks the 13th year of this outdoor festival, which will feature local food vendors, a hands-on Instrument Petting Zoo courtesy of Music is the Foundation, children’s art-making activities, a Uke Strum with the Lansing Area Ukulele Group and custom-made ukuleles from Dave’s Ukes. 

On the main stage, hosted by DJ and musician Jim Hall, will be Creature of One, Nikki Morgan, Emily White, Black Rock 101: The Black Rock Sextet featuring Benjamin Hall and Elden Kelly and The Wilson Brothers.

On the local stage will be Bart Moore, Trailer Cats, Sammie Hershock and Clemmie Kelly.

The festival recommends you bring “chairs, blankets, your family, your friends and your dogs.”

Attendees are asked to donate to the festival’s Kickstarter prior to the event. A link can be found on the Facebook event page.

3. Lansing Beer Fest

June 10, 3-8 p.m.

Washington Avenue, REO Town


The 9th annual Lansing Beer Fest will feature more than 20 Michigan breweries and 100 craft beers and ciders in addition to food trucks, live music, giant chess and checkers, vendors and more.

General admission tickets are $25 until May 27, $35 until June 10 and $40 the day of the event and include entry into the festival, a logo tasting glass and 10 sampling tickets. VIP tickets are $35 until May 27, $45 until June 10 and $50 the day of the event and include early entry at 2 p.m., a dated souvenir glass and 15 sampling tickets. Designated driver tickets are $10.

Each sampling ticket is redeemable for 3 ounces of beer or cider, and additional tickets will be available at the festival for $1 each.

All proceeds benefit the REO Town Commercial Association, which promotes cultural and commercial development in the neighborhood.

4. 517 Juneteenth Weekend

June 15-18

REO Town


517 Juneteenth Weekend, recognizing the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States, is packed with events to celebrate Black culture, expression, experiences and entrepreneurship.

June 15 features a Black History, Black Futures Seminar with Tony Willis, chief equity development officer for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership; Rashida Harrison, an assistant professor of social relations and policy at Michigan State University’s James Madison College; Dwayne Powell Jr., a vice president of community development at PNC Bank; and more.

June 16, there will be an ice cream social with free ice cream sandwiches and popsicles from Sweet Encounter Cafe and Bakery, music and DJs, PNC Bank’s Mobile Learning Adventure activity stations, Impression 5 Science Center experiments and more.

The 517 Juneteenth Festival, June 17 on South Washington Avenue in REO Town, will feature 75 Black-owned-business vendors, information booths, a Kidz Zone, a food court and Battle of the Qs barbecue station and live performances by two Grammy-nominated musicians, Kenyon Dixon and Gwen Bunn, as well as other local, regional and national performers.

Ending the weekend June 18 is a Father’s Day Brunch.

Check the website in the coming weeks for lineup announcements, schedules, locations and other information.

5. Charlotte Bluegrass Festival

June 22, Noon-10:15 p.m., June 23, Noon-10:15 p.m., June 24, 11 a.m.-10:25 p.m.

Eaton County Fairgrounds

1025 S. Cochran Ave., Charlotte


The 51st annual Charlotte Bluegrass Festival features three days of live music, camping, group jam sessions, workshops, food wagons, vendors and more.

Performers include Harbourtown Bluegrass, Williamson Branch, the Amanda Cook Band, the Kody Norris Show, Full Cord, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, the Lonesome River Band, the Edgar Loudermilk Band and more.

Tickets are $80 until May 31 and $90 after that. Thursday one-day tickets are $25, and Friday and Saturday one-day tickets are $30. Camping is $18 per day and includes water and electricity.

6. Summer Solstice Jazz Festival

June 23, 5:30 p.m.-midnight, June 24, 2:30 p.m.-midnight

Albert Street, East Lansing


This year’s Summer Solstice Jazz Festival will again feature two stages with a host of jazz performers, including the Randy Napoleon Quintet, the Michael Dease Quartet, Rodney Whitaker, the Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan Scholarship Band, 496 West, Gayelynn McKinney & McKinney Zone and more. 

The After Glow performances at the Graduate Hotel Rock Bar will feature Hugh Downs Friday evening and Michael J. Reed and the Revelation Saturday evening.

In addition, the festival is partnering with the East Lansing Farmers Market June 18 to host performances by Christopher Minami and Jonathon S. Muir-Cotton & Expressions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

7. Mighty Uke Day Festival

June 23-25

University United Methodist Church

1120 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing


The 2023 Mighty Uke Day Festival includes plenty of workshops, music-making opportunities, live performances and more.

June 23, the event kicks off with a flash mob at noon, followed by workshops from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be other activities from 1 to 6 p.m., including a walk-up open mic, a Punch Drunk intro lesson and a two-chord strum. The Main Stage Concert begins at 8 p.m., featuring Peter Luongo’s Legacy Ensemble, Heidi Swedberg & Daniel Ward and more. Ending the evening at 11 p.m. is an after-hours jam at SpringHill Suites.

June 24, music on the Community Stage begins at 10 a.m. with an opening strum. From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a walk-up open mic, group strums and live performances. Workshops will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a Main Stage Concert at 7:30 p.m., featuring Aldrine Guerrero and Aaron Nakamura, The Corner Laughers and more. Again, there will be an after-hours jam at SpringHill Suites at 11 p.m.

Finally, the weekend ends with an Acoustic Afterglow Concert 1 p.m. June 25.

8. Dam Jam Music Festival

July 7, 6-11 p.m., July 8, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Brenke Fish Ladder

216 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing


Dam Jam, presented by Lansing 5:01, is back for a fifth year, featuring local vendors, food stalls and, of course, live music. New this year is a full day of programming on Saturday, with two stages. The festival will expand into the Fish Ladder’s adjacent parking lot to include more music, vendors and activities.

The lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but the festival’s Facebook page promises an array of genres to ensure there’s something for everyone.

The festival is taking applications for vendors, and interested parties can apply at youshineeventsconsulting.com.


9. Michigan JazzFest

Aug. 3-5

Old Town Lansing


This year’s JazzFest will feature four venues: the South and North Turner Street Stages and the River Stage, which are outdoors, and the UrbanBeat Afterglow Stage. 

Each artist or group will premiere a song, composition or arrangement they haven’t performed publicly before. The full lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but performers will include Tom Duffield, the School of Rock Adult and House bands, the Ammy Amorette Quartet, Walter White and the Lounge Wizards, Michael Dease & Friends and T-Bone Paxton & the Old Town Stompers. The festival promises something for everyone – even children.

10. Michigan Chicken Wing Festival

Sept. 2-3, 2-9 p.m.

Adado Riverfront Park

201 E. Shiawassee St., Lansing


As the event website states, “This festival is not about how many wing vendors participate; it’s more about the different flavors of wings you can buy.” 

Food vendors will sell a variety of wings, ranging from a mild spice level to off-the-charts heat. The festival will also include a main stage with musical acts, other live entertainment, professional wrestling, a kids’ zone with inflatables, a game trailer, giveaways, a VIP beer and wine tent, a chicken wing-eating contest, a people’s choice vendor contest and more.

General admission tickets are $5 before 4 p.m. and $15 after 4 p.m. at the gate. Kids 14 and under can enter for free with a paying adult. Cancer survivors, military members and seniors ages 65 and older can also enter for free. 

VIP tickets are $45 for ages 21 and up and include tokens for 12 wing samples, two drink tokens for alcoholic beverages, five drink tickets for nonalcoholic drinks, early entry, a giveaway drawing ticket and access to the VIP Tent and the VIP area near the stage. VIP beer and wine tickets are $55 for ages 21 and up and include, on top of the other VIP perks, eight drink tokens for alcoholic beverages and access to premium beverages.

VIP tickets must be purchased online prior to the event.

Guests are encouraged to bring foldable chairs and blankets, as there won’t be general seating.


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