Andrew Bird, performing July 2.

Fun Of Every Flavor At Ann Arbor Summer Festival

By Shelby Clark Petkus

Ann Arbor Summer Festival has kept Washtenaw County busy since June 13, but the fun won't stop until July 6.

The almost month-long festival features a smorgasbord of events, from movie showings, yoga retreats, DJs, folk musicians and hula hooping. Since 1984, the festival has offered dozens of activities, exhibitions, performances and more for the diverse nature of Ann Arbor. The festival has two main programs, one indoor and the other outdoor.

The indoor space, "the Mainstage," features ticketed events, while "Top of the Park," the outdoor program, has more free admission and family-oriented entertainment.

Upcoming Mainstage events include a presentation of NPR's "Ask Me Another" at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 26. Ophira Eisenberg hosts and Jonathan Coulton serves as house musician for the show that blends trivia, sketch comedy and live music. Tickets are $25 for students, $35 for general admission.

Together with special guest Tift Merritt, Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory will play Ann Arbor at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 2. The world-renowned musician brings violin, whistling and more together with Grammy-winning Merritt's country singing and songwriting. Tickets are $35-45. Featured indoor events will take place at the Power Center, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor.

For "Top of the Park," different stages feature a wide variety of outdoor events. Tasting events for both craft beer and wine will happen throughout the festival, for instance.

Some highlights of the outdoor portion of the festival include KidZone, a kid event hosted by Ann Arbor YMCA at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 3 in the KidZone Tent. Children can make star-shaped bubbles, patriotic crafts and more in anticipation of Independence Day.

The Rackham Stage will show blockbuster films at 10 p.m. on various nights, such as "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" on Sunday, June 29 and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" on Tuesday, July 1.

Transe Express: Les Tambours (The Drummers) will fill South Ingalls Mall with energetic percussion. The band, dressed as French tin soldiers, can be found at various times on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28.

Nervous But Excited will reunite for one of their select few shows at 6 p.m. July 4 on the Grove Stage. The unique duo of Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver use multiple instruments, blended harmonies and "quirky" songwriting to convey their "pleasantly aggressive folk."

The festival will also feature select choices from some of Ann Arbor's top food choices, as well as beer, wine, coffee and more from area bars, cafes and more.

For more information on location details, times and events, call 734-994-5999 or visit

Check out BTL's Cool Cities pages online at for more info on Ann Arbor and other LGBT-friendly areas of metro Detroit.
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