Summertime in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan is an event in and of itself. With the array of outdoor activities, historical sites, and learning opportunities, any summer weekend spent here is sure to be filled with things to do. These are a few of our favorite summer events in the Keweenaw that you may wish to incorporate into your trip UP north.
63rd ANNUAL BRIDGEFEST
June 15-18, 2023
Any visitor will tell you that crossing the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which spans the Keweenaw Waterway between the cities of Houghton and Hancock, is THE sign that you’ve made it to the Keweenaw. For the past 63 years, the Keweenaw community has gathered to celebrate the engineering marvel (in addition to the kick-off of summer) through food, sporting events, live music, parades, and fireworks.
JULY 4TH CELEBRATIONS
July 3-4, 2023
If you’re taking advantage of the long weekend to make a trip to the Upper Peninsula, join one of the local Independence Day celebrations. South Range hosts a variety of activities to celebrate Independence Day including a parade, fun in the park for kids, a horseshoe tournament, KBC brewery tours, and sampling, as well as fireworks. Throughout the Keweenaw, other towns carry on their traditions this year, such as parades held in Lake Linden and Gay. In Copper Harbor, the town will gather for one of the best fireworks displays in the Keweenaw.
75th Chassell Strawberry Festival
July 7-8, 2023
Celebrate the world's tastiest strawberries, grown in Chassell, MI. This special event is sponsored has been sponsored by the Lions Club and held during the 2nd weekend of July since the first year. Strawberries have been an important part of the Chassell economy since the early 1920's and 30's and this celebration brings that to life. Enjoy a strawberry themed parade, the crowning of the Strawberry Queen, and of course, delicious strawberry shortcake during this weekend of fun. Chassell Strawberry Festival also includes a dance, entertainment, family activities, and an ever-growing craft and art fair at the Chassell Centennial Park.
48th CANAL RUN
July 15, 2023
Following along the Portage Lake Shipping Canal, the Canal Run offers four distances for runners and walkers of all levels, including a half marathon, 10-mile run or walk, five-mile run or walk, and two-mile fun run/walk. This high-energy community event began in 1975 and continues to grow each year.
Since 2011, the Canal Run has donated $10,000 to area non-profit organizations as part of its Canal Run Gives Back program. For more information or to register for the Canal Run, please visit www.canal.run.
For nearly 50 years, the Keweenaw’s Canal Run has attracted runners from across the Midwest.
End of the Road Keweenaw Tour & Keweenaw Classic Car Show
July 15, 2023
The End of the Road Keweenaw Tour & Car Show brings classic car and truck enthusiasts to the Keweenaw each July. The tour starts in Calumet and ends in Copper Harbor for the car show. The car show in Copper Harbor includes live entertainment, awards, and food and refreshments.
6th Annual Dam Jam Music Festival
June 30- July 1, 2023
The Dam Jam Music Festival is a charity event founded in 2016. This event brings original music and art to the Calumet area in a safe and fun environment. The lineup includes a fantastic selection of local and touring acts performing a variety of musical genres. Discounted early tickets are on sale! Learn more at www.damjamup.com/.
62nd ANNUAL EAGLE HARBOR ART FAIR
August 12-13, 2023
If you’re looking to bring home a truly unique souvenir, attend the Eagle Harbor Art Fair. For over 60 years, the art fair has showcased original works by artists from all over the Midwest and beyond. Artists will be offering jewelry, photography, paintings, fabric art, ceramics and pottery, stained glass, and more. Each year the fair is held at St. Peter’s by the Sea Church in Eagle Harbor where more than 60 vendors gather to sell their work. More information about the Copper Country Associated Artists can be found at www.ccaartists.org.
KEWEENAW MINERAL DAYS
August 4-12, 2023
Prospect for interesting minerals like miners during the Copper Boom. Keweenaw Mineral Days, hosted by the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Keweenaw Gem and Gift, allows participants to collect minerals at historic mine sites throughout the Keweenaw. This rare opportunity is only offered during Keweenaw Mineral Days as mineral collecting is prohibited otherwise. Participants will also have access to special sales at the A.E. Seaman Museum and Keweenaw Gem and Gift. For more information, please visit here.
15th Annual FARM BLOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL
August 4-6, 2023
Three days of live music to celebrate summer in the Keweenaw and raise funds for the Dan Schmitt Gift of Music. This burgeoning festival brings an eclectic group of musicians to the small town of Allouez on Farmers Block Road on the west side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Find festival updates at https://farmblock.com/.
19TH ANNUAL PASTY FEST
August 19, 2023
That’s right, it’s a festival dedicated to the Upper Peninsula’s favorite cuisine: the pasty. Mark your calendars for this epic celebration of a savory blend of root vegetables and pastry crust. Each year, the festival is hosted in the historic downtown of Calumet, MI. Vendors from across the Keweenaw bring their “A” game in a bid to when the prestigious title of “best-in-show” with the headline event being a pasty eating competition! Visitors are encouraged to apply, but honestly, we don’t expect you to win.
Get more event details at https://www.mainstreetcalumet.com/pasty-fest.html
COPPER HARBOR TRAILS FEST
September 1-3, 2023
If your trip to the Upper Peninsula involves two knobby tires and loads of stoke, then you won’t want to miss the annual Copper Harbor Trails Festival. This Labor Day weekend event features Enduro races, short (~15 miles) and long (~30 miles) XC courses, Downhill Race, a Junior MTB race (for kids 13 & under), and a 10K Trail Run. Throughout the weekend you can enjoy music, beer, and trails-inspired art at ArtBike. Learn more about the event at https://copperharbortrails.org/event/copper-harbor-trails-fest.
Crush the Midwest’s best singletrack during the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Copper Harbor Trail Fest.
34th ANNUAL PARADE OF NATIONS
September 16, 2023
The Parade of Nations and Multicultural Festival, held in September each year, celebrates diversity with a colorful parade of flag-bearing Michigan Tech students, staff, and community members. More than eighty nations are represented in this popular event. Typically, the Parade of Nations includes the Multicultural Festival at the Dee Stadium where the celebration continues with food, culture, music, and dance. More information for the event can be found at www.mtu.edu/international/events/parade-nations.
Michigan Tech’s Parade of Nations features representatives from more than 50 countries celebrating the spirit of understanding and unity. Photo courtesy of Michigan Tech.
The Keweenaw is home to many great events year-round. Enjoy live music in the park, pick up some goods at a farmer's market, or enjoy a performance at a historic theatre. Check out our events calendar to see what's happening while you are in town!
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