Are you looking for a list of the best events & festivals in Jackson Michigan? We’ve got it all. From family-friendly fun to great date ideas in Jackson County, and everything in between! Broken down by season and month, here’s what’s happening in Jackson County, Michigan.
Spring Events & Festivals in Jackson Michigan
March Events & Festivals in Jackson Michigan
Spring is just around the corner, and these Jackson County events and festivals are a great way to beat the winter blues in March.
Jackson Antique & Flea Market
The Jackson Antique & Flea Market Show in early March is a popular event that draws a crowd from all over south-central Michigan. With over 90 exhibits in the American 1 Expo Center at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, the event spans two days. It’s a pickers’ paradise!
Held the third weekend in March each year, dealers from across the U.S. bring their precious gems and display them. Several area schools take their students to see fossils, minerals, and gems.
Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival
You won’t want to miss the Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival held each March at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. Over 150 of the best craft, specialty, and import beers will be on tap, as well as food trucks and other great entertainment.
Indoors you’ll find tasting tables and warmth, while bonfires, ice carving, games, and more will be available outdoors. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Dress for the weather and come warm your bellies with delicious food and drink!
Jackson County Events and Festivals in April
Get outside and enjoy the sun with this fun Jackson County festival happening during the month of April!
Fans of all things vintage won’t want to miss this semi-annual vendor market that takes place at the American 1 event center in Jackson.
The annual Fairy Festival hosted by Jackson School of the Arts is a must-attend event for families each April. Spread out over two days, this magical event is free and features arts & crafts, vendors, Ye Ole Fairy Shoppe, the Cupcake Cafe, a Fairy Garden Contest, tea with Miss Jackson Crossroads, carriage rides, dancing fairies, and more!
Visitors to this event enjoy dressing up as fairies and having their photos taken throughout the magical fairyland.
What to Do in May in Jackson, MI
Spring showers bring May flowers… and lots of great happenings around Jackson County!
Jackson County Free Museum Day
Jackson County families look forward to the Jackson Museum Day each year as it gives them an opportunity to explore the best museums in Jackson County, Michigan, for free! Load up your vehicle and learn all about Jackson’s history as you visit some of the participating museums.
Past participants have included:
- Cambridge Junction Historic State Park and Walker Tavern in Brooklyn, MI
- Cell Block 7 Prison Museum in Jackson, MI
- Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, MI
- Hanover-Horton Area Historical Society in Hanover, MI
- Lost Railway Museum in Grass Lake, MI
- Mann House in Concord, MI
- Tompkins Historical Stewart Museum in Rives Junction, MI
- Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School Museum in Grass Lake, MI
- Ye Old Carriage Shop Auto Museum in Spring Arbor, MI
The premier fundraising event of the year for the Jackson County Animal Shelter, the Bark & Brew takes place in The Hall at Keeley Park. This dog-friendly beer tasting annual event includes live music and food trucks.
On the fourth Friday during the warmer months of May through September, you can find the streets of downtown Jackson lined with hundreds of classic cars. This free, family-friendly event is a delight for all ages as you enjoy watching the classic cars cruise by and then stroll through the streets admiring them.
Many downtown businesses remain open to the public, and vendors can be found scattered amongst the cars offering giveaways and contests.
Memorial Day Fireworks at the Cascades
Thousands of people pack Spark Park for the annual Memorial Day fireworks over the Cascades. Held on the Saturday evening of Memorial Day Weekend (weather permitting), it’s the must-attend event to kick off summer in Jackson, MI!
Come early and enjoy the live entertainment at the Cascades – gates open at 6 pm. Bring a blanket or folding chair and join a couple thousand of your closest friends as you ooh and ahh over the splashes of color against the dark night sky.
Grand River Farmers Market
Open Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, the Grand River Farmers Market is a destination for families and individuals looking to eat and buy local.
Farmers and artisans bring their fresh Michigan-sourced food and quality products to downtown Jackson for locals and visitors alike to browse and purchase at the corner of Mechanic Street and Pearl Street, next to Grand River Brewery.
While you’re downtown be sure to explore some of the best restaurants in Jackson Michigan.
Summer Events & Festivals in Jackson County Michigan
June Events & Festivals in Jackson Michigan
Summer has arrived in Jackson County, and it’s time to get your party on at these great events & festivals happening in Jackson Michigan this June.
The annual Kids’ Fest at American 1 Event Center is usually held in mid-June. This free event is a fun day for kids of all ages and their families. Local businesses and organizations educate kids through games and other hands-on activities and crafts, featuring topics such as health, nutrition, art, safety, community, and more.
NASCAR at MIS
The NASCAR weekends at Michigan International Speedway throughout the summer months are a fun way to welcome race fans to Michigan. Thousands of RVs and tents make their way to Jackson County, and the area’s hotels are booked solid as race day fun gets underway.
Al Glick Youth Football Camp
Young athletes in grades 4-9 will love spending the day at Jackson High’s Withington Stadium learning and improving their football skills with instruction from current and former NCAA and NFL football stars, including members of the University of Michigan football team, at the annual Al Glick Youth Football Camp.
Paws in the Park 5K
Bring your favorite four-legged friend (on a leash, please) and participate in the annual Paws in the Park 5K. Run or walk through the beautiful Sparks Foundation Park (aka Cascades Park) and help raise money for the Cascades Humane Society.
Don’t want to do a full 5K? There’s a 1.3-mile walk option as well.
Art, Beer, & Wine Festival
The annual Art, Beer, & Wine Festival is a highlight of the summer for art, wine, and beer enthusiasts. With over 40 local wineries, breweries, cider mills, and distilleries on the grounds of the Ella Sharp Museum, there’s plenty to drink while you browse the dozens of artists’ booths.
Food vendors and live music are also a big part of this fun event that draws nearly 5,000 guests to Jackson’s Ella Sharp Park each summer.
Jackson Blues Fest
Fun for the whole family, the annual Jackson Blues Fest is held at the Jackson County Airport and spans three days. Food vendors and beer tents will be available on-site.
No coolers are allowed to be brought into the event, but you will want to bring your own seating (blankets, lawn chairs, etc.) to this family-friendly event. Tickets start at $10 each day, and kids under 12 are free.
One in a series of annual festivals celebrating the culture and community of Jackson’s Southside, the Freedom Fest takes place in Elnora Moorman Plaza and features vendors, food, entertainment, and more.
Annual Rose Run
The annual Jackson ORS Rose Run is a scenic run held in and around the Jackson College Campus in June 2020. Participants have the option of a 5K run, 5K walk, 10k run, 10-mile run, and half-mile kids’ fun run.
Part of the ORS Race Series and endorsed by the Michigan Fitness Foundation, this annual event is a great way for the whole family to enjoy fitness together!
Jackson County Rose Festival
Since 1958, the Jackson County Rose Festival has been a highlight of locals and visitors to Jackson Michigan. Complete with a parade and pageants, the family-friendly festival celebrates the history and beauty of Jackson County. Events take place throughout the city over the course of the summer months.
Michigan Center Carp Carnival
If you’re looking for a full-fledged carnival experience in Jackson Michigan this summer, you won’t want to miss the annual Michigan Center Carp Carnival! Just minutes from downtown Jackson on the northwest shore of Center Lake, you’ll find live entertainment, carnival rides, food trucks, beer tent, vendor booths, and more.
Family-friendly and tons of fun, admission is free and ride wristbands can be pre-purchased at area businesses. Be sure to catch the parade on Saturday morning and enter the fishing contests for kids and adults!
Festivals & Events Happening in July
Happy Birthday, America! Here’s what’s happening in Jackson County during the month of July.
Hanover-Horton 4th of July Celebration
Celebrate America’s birthday on Jackson County’s southwest side with a full day of fun, family-friendly events at Hanover-Horton’s 4th of July Celebration. The fun kicks off on the evening of July 3rd with a Family Street Dance and Karaoke on Spink Street in Hanover. Then you’ll want to be sure to wake up early to enjoy a pancake breakfast at the American Legion Post 270 from 7-11 am.
The Hanover Firecracker Run starts at 8 am (with the kids’ fun run at 9:15 am) and is followed by the parade at 11 am. After the parade, there’s a car show, BBQ in the park, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, youth baseball tournament, kids’ games, bounce house, arts & crafts show, tractor pull, corn hole tournament, and more!
Live music in the park and fireworks at dusk round out the celebration.
Grass Lake Traffic Jam’in
Fun for all ages, the annual Grass Lake Traffic Jam’in is a family-friendly event that is packed with lots of great events during the two-day community festival in Grass Lake Michigan. The event started in 2009 and has grown each year with over 10,000 attendees expected at this year’s festival.
Live music, a classic car show, food, drinks, a 5K run, vendor booths, and more are a part of this free weekend that you won’t want to miss!
Hands-On Learning Fair
The annual Hands-On Learning Fair introduces kids and families to technology, industry, and the arts. This fun-filled day-long event provides a unique, hands-on opportunity to explore technology and the arts with demonstrations by craftsmen and companies from across Jackson County and Michigan.
Bring the family to Northwest Elementary School for this family-friendly event in Jackson, MI!
Faster Horses Festival
Country music fans won’t want to miss the annual Faster Horses Festival at Michigan International Speedway each July in Jackson County Michigan.
This three-day country music event showcases the nation’s top country stars as well as new up-and-comers. Camping, concerts, and more make this event one you won’t want to miss!
Relay For Life is a life-changing community event to Celebrate-Remember-Fight Back against cancer. This annual event in Jackson takes place each summer in Cascades Park.
Gus Macker Jackson
The Gus Macker 3-on-3 street basketball tournament has come back to Jackson Michigan! This annual tournament is a fun, family-friendly 3-day event in downtown Jackson that brings together basketball fans of all ages.
Grab some friends and enter to play, or just make your way downtown to cheer on the teams. All skill levels are welcome!
Hosted by the Jackson DDA, this annual weekend event showcases the best things happening in downtown Jackson! The weekend kicks off with a cruise-in and concert on Friday night and culminates with a fun festival atmosphere on Sunday.
MHRA Wild Ones Regatta
The Michigan Hydroplane Racing Association (MHRA) has held its annual power boat races at Grass Lake for more than 30 years in order to tally points toward the competition for the association’s annual driver of the year trophy.
The Grass Lake race, known as the “Wild Ones Regatta,” is one of the numerous events that the association sponsors each year. It has grown every year with new events, new drivers, expanded sanctioning, and boat racers from all over the Midwest and Canada.
Hot Air Balloon Jubilee
Join thousands of balloon enthusiasts as they look to the skies of Jackson Michigan each July for the annual Hot Air Balloon Jubilee. This free, family-friendly event takes place on the grounds of Ella Sharp Park.
Rides, food, vendors, and more pack the park during the four-day festival. Balloon flights are scheduled six times throughout the weekend (weather permitting), and at least one Night Glow is scheduled each year.
Must-Attend Events & Festivals During August
Beat the summer heat with these fun events & festivals in Jackson Michigan this August!
Jackson County Fair
Summer’s not over until you’ve gone to the Jackson County Fair the second full week of August. Games, rides, livestock, events, and your favorite fair food await you at this annual, must-attend event in Jackson Michigan.
Live entertainment each night, including national headlining artists and comedians, and all the 4-H fun of a county fair, this family-friendly event is held at Keeley Park.
Conveniently located at Cascades Park, this can’t-miss annual event takes visitors back in time. Experience what it was like on the battlefield, in the barracks, and in one of the most crucial periods of time for our country.
Fall Events & Festivals in Jackson, MI
September Festivals & Events in Jackson
School’s back in session, but the fun isn’t done. Here’s what happening in Jackson Michigan during the month of September.
Labor Day Fireworks at the Cascades
Celebrate the end of summer with thousands of your closest friends at the Labor Day Fireworks at the Cascades. Once again, you’ll want to arrive early to stake your spot for the best viewing and to make a trip to the Cascades Ice Cream Company.
Bring your own seating (blankets, folding chairs, tailgates) and enjoy the live music starting at 7 pm with fireworks to follow at dusk. This annual family-friendly event in Jackson Michigan takes place on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend (weather permitting).
Bright Walls Jackson
Downtown Jackson never looked so colorful before Bright Walls Jackson came to town. While past years’ artwork is able to be enjoyed all year long, this annual event brings new artists from around the world to downtown Jackson for one week in a festival-like atmosphere that has individuals and families strolling the streets.
Musicians, local artists, and many community organizations join the fun during the event as new murals are constructed on the city’s many buildings and walls.
Note: The annual festival ended in 2022, but the murals will be up for years to come.
Country Boots & Bands
The annual Country Boots & Bands event is held at Keeley Park (aka Jackson County Fairgrounds). This one-day event features 2 stages with more than ten of the hottest country music artists and rising stars. Food, drinks, and fun round out this festival of country music.
Be sure to bring your own folding chair or blanket – seating is first-come-first-served and not provided by the festival.
A five-day celebration of performing and visual arts, the annual Jackson Festival for the Arts takes place in multiple venues around downtown Jackson Michigan.
Freedom Festival & Steam Engine Show
The annual Freedom Festival is held at the Tompkins Town Hall in Rives Junction, MI, each September. Beginning with a flag-raising ceremony on Saturday morning, this two-day festival is a free event that all ages will enjoy!
Tractor pulls, working steam engines, classic car shows, museum tours, a bake sale, a tractor parade, flea market and craft show, live entertainment, food wagons, and more are part of this family-friendly event in Jackson County Michigan.
Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm Fall Festival
Every fall weekend is a festival at Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm in southern Jackson County Michigan. Packed with family fun, there is something for everyone: wagon rides, live entertainment, pony rides, hot dog roasts, corn maze, bounce house, and a pumpkin patch.
You can visit the cider mill and watch cider being made or enjoy donuts hot from the oven. Be sure to stop at the ticket booth when you arrive to get your tickets for all the fall fun around the farm!
Festivals & Events to Attend During October
There are several fun fall festivals and events happening this October in Jackson Michigan, but here is the one you won’t want to miss.
An annual celebration of storytelling and music, Jackson StoryFest is a three-day festival that brings talented and famous storytellers from all over the Midwest and beyond to Jackson Michigan.
With events at Jackson Carnegie Library, Ella Sharp Museum, local school district campuses, and the Michigan Theatre in downtown Jackson, there are many opportunities for all ages to enjoy this family-friendly event in Jackson County.
K105.3 Fall Fest & Chili Classic
Join the fun in downtown Jackson for this annual fall festival and chili cook-off competition! A farmer’s market, kids’ kingdom, chili-tasting, live music, and more will be enjoyed throughout the day.
Halloweentown Trunk or Treat
Hosted by the Jackson County Fair, American 1 Event Center, and Jackson County Parks, the annual Halloweentown Trunk or Treat provides a safe and fun environment for kids of all ages to enjoy trick-or-treating.
November Festivals & Events in Jackson, MI
The holidays are here, and Jackson Michigan has lots of events and festivals to help you get in the festive mood.
Take a drive out to Michigan International Speedway to enjoy the sounds and sights of Christmas at the annual Nite Lites display on the southeast side of Jackson County. This drive-through Christmas Light display draws crowds from all over southcentral Michigan and the tri-state area.
Carpool with friends and save – just $25 per carload of people. And don’t miss out on participating in the Nite Lites 5K Run/Walk – it’s the only way to see the lights before cars are allowed to drive through the display!
After driving through Nite Lites, explore more of the best Christmas lights in Jackson County Michigan.
Downtown Jackson Christmas Parade
You won’t want to miss the annual Downtown Jackson Christmas Parade in late November. Many of the area schools send their marching bands, local businesses and organizations participate, and even Santa Claus gets in on the holiday fun. It’s a great way to welcome the holiday season in Downtown Jackson!
Jackson Turkey Trot
Before you sit down to watch the Thanksgiving Day parades and fill up on food, football, and family, make your way to Ella Sharp Park for the annual Jackson Turkey Trot. With races for all ages and skill levels (10K run, 5K run or walk, and a kids’ half-mile fun run), the whole family can participate in this fun tradition!
Winter Festivals & Events in Jackson
Events & Festivals in Jackson Michigan During December
Happy Holidays! Jackson County Michigan is full of great events & festivals in December to celebrate the season, and this one you’ll want to be sure to attend!
Grass Lake’s Festival of Lights
Start the day eating breakfast with Santa at the Grass Lake Charter Township Fire Department, shop the Winter Market throughout the day, and enjoy the Lighted Parade in the evening hours.
Christmas on the Farm
The annual “Christmas on the Farm” is hosted by the Waterloo Farm and Dewey School museums each December. Tours of the 10-room farmhouse, log house, and eight outbuildings are included in the event. You can buy Christmas greenery, homemade baked goods, and gifts.
Hanging of the Greens
An annual tradition for students, alumni, and community members, the Hanging of the Greens at Spring Arbor University is a much-anticipated event each holiday season. Christmas music, candle lighting, fireworks, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more are a part of this festive celebration.
Best Events & Festivals in January
While there are several festivals and events happening in Jackson during the month of January, perhaps the most attended events are the indoor ones, such as the JSO or concerts at the Potter Center. But that doesn’t mean there’s not also fun to be had outdoors during January!
February’s Top Events & Festivals in Jackson Michigan
February includes several events & festivals in Jackson Michigan that help fight against cabin fever during the traditionally cold and snowy month.
Jackson Toy Show
If you are a kid or a kid at heart, you won’t want to miss the annual Jackson Toy Show that comes to the Jackson County Fairgrounds each Februrary. This fun event started in 2004 and has grown from 18 tables to over 240 tables of collectible toys.
Toys enthusiasts will enjoy browsing tables filled with tractors, dolls, model cars, trains, die casts, action figures, comics, and more.
HBA Home and Garden Show
The annual Home & Garden Show in Jackson Michigan is a fun way to beat the winter blues and start dreaming of spring and summer. With local home improvement vendors and area landscapers on-site, you’ll have the opportunity to win free home improvements, make a list of gardening ideas, and more!
Jamie McKibbin Memorial Daddy Daughter Dance
Sponsored by the Jackson Recreation Department, this annual event for dads and daughters is a highlight of the Valentine’s season. Pre-registered is required as there are a limited number of tickets available for each night.
There are so many great events and festivals in Jackson Michigan happening all year long, and these are the best ones for you and your family to enjoy! For more great things to do in Jackson Michigan, be sure to sign up for our weekly emails.