March 30, 2024

Michigan Upper Thumb Festivals and Events


The Upper Thumb is at the end of the road but it’s the start of good times. Each community in Huron County prides itself on offering fun events for local residents, visitors, and tourists. From Art Fairs, themed festivals to the 4H Community Fair it’s a fun place to be each summer weekend. Here are the top events we look forward to each year.

Bad Axe

Huron Community Fair Logo

This end of summer offers good old-fashioned 4-H agricultural exhibits, a midway full of rides and attractions, and an arena of events that include rodeos, tractors, and team pulling, demolition derbies, and live entertainment.

Bay Port

Bay Port Fish Sandwich

This is considered one of the original shoreline festivals featured by  ABC’s 20/20 and NBC’s Today Show. It celebrates one of the tastiest creations of the Upper Thumb. An original recipe fish sandwich that takes two hands to hold. Held in early August.


Winter Shanty Days

Shanty Days – This mid-winter festival in February began in 1992.  The major events can be found at Caseville County Park and in Caseville Harbor. The highlights include a Polar Bear Dip, Chili Cook-off Potty Trotty, and Broom Ball Hockey.   

Ribstock – It starts to warm up in the Upper Thumb in June and it also signals the start of festival season. Ribstock is a weekend full of top county western bands, line-dancing lessons and, a BBQ cook-off that brings in brisket and rib cooks from all over the state. This is an opportunity to kick off summer with being a cowboy or cowgirl for a weekend.

Cheeseburger in Caseville Considered the highlight of the summer festivals the August Cheese Burger in Caseville event its 10 days of grilled burgers, grass skirts, and crazy hats. Caseville rolls out the red carpet and hosts over 20,000 visitors to see the mid-week Parade of Topical Fools.

Pumpkin Festival – Enjoy the fall color and bring the kids to make a scarecrow, put a face on a pumpkin and participate in various events. The event is scheduled in late September or early October.  

Christmas in Caseville – This December event offers food, fun and a visit from Santa.

Harbor Beach

Maritime Music Festival – Enjoy music on the beach on this three-day event. Some of the best up-and-coming bands in Michigan are featured. Camp on the beach and browse the festival’s craft booths. 


Summer Fest & Wing Fling – This late July event is fun in a small town. The “Wing Fling” offers a great chance to sample a variety of seasoned chicken wings and compete in a wing-eating contest. The weekend is family-oriented, with a parade, kid’s inflatables, clowns, fireworks, entertainment, a car show, and golf and softball tournaments.

Port Austin

Port Austin Farmers Market

The Port Austin Farmers Market is a bustling outdoor market located in Port Austin, Michigan. It offers a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce, artisanal baked goods, and handmade crafts. The market is a great place to buy fresh and seasonal ingredients for cooking and provides an opportunity to support local farmers and small business owners. The atmosphere is lively and welcoming, with live music, food vendors, and a friendly community of shoppers and vendors. Overall, the Port Austin Farmers Market is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves good food, local culture, and the great outdoors.

Porch Fest

This June event is part of a large annual music event held across the United States and in Canada on front porches. Started in Ithaca, New York in 2007, Port Austin’s first porch fest events bring local musicians and neighborhoods together to celebrate and create a sense of community.

Porch Fest is a music festival held in Port Austin, Michigan that features local musicians playing on porches and yards throughout the town. The event is typically held in the summer and attracts visitors from all over the area who come to enjoy the lively atmosphere and diverse musical lineup. Participants are encouraged to walk or bike from porch to porch, discovering new musicians and taking in the beautiful scenery of the town. The festival is a celebration of community, with local residents opening their homes and yards to visitors, and creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Whether you’re a music lover or just looking for a fun, laid-back day out, Porch Fest in Port Austin is definitely worth checking out.

Art in the Park

Original artwork from local and statewide artists. Mediums include watercolor, oil, acrylic, photography, ceramics, wood creations, jewelry, decorative ironwork, rustic birdhouses, stained and fused glass, gourd art, burn sketching, mixed media, fiber art, soaps, hand-carved ice fishing decoys, wood feathers, and wearable art.


Michigan Sugar Festival

This June festival kicks off summer in western Huron County. The event shows the area’s appreciation for the sugar industry which has purchased sugar beet crops from farmers and processed sugar here with local employees since 1902. Events feature the Sugar Rush Color run, fishing tournament, Kids paint the town (window painting), golf tournament, petting zoo, kiddie tractor pull, bed races, bingo, and laser tag.

Avatar Of Michaela Nolte

Michaela Nolte

Michaela is a history buff and loves to export historical markers and old buildings and seeks stories about Michigan and Great Lakes history. When she is not writing, you can find her with a good book sipping wine on the beach.

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