While Cereal Fest on June 10 really kicks off summer here in Calhoun County, it’s only the beginning of the fun.
Here are seven events you should put on your calendar:
Marshall Blues Festival
Maybe it’s because Marshall is halfway between the musical cities of Detroit and Chicago, but this small town loves the blues. In summer, main street is replaced with a music stage and beer tent. Food vendors line the street, ready to feed hungry music-lovers.
Field of Flight
Hot-air balloons, jet planes, giant kites, fireworks and Ferris wheels take over the skies of Battle Creek from June 29 to July 4.
The official air show, with demo teams and acrobatics, is from noon to 5:30 p.m. July 1-4. Hot air balloons usually launch at 7 p.m. every day, and night shows include pyrotechnics.
If what you’re after are carnival thrills, June 29 is the best day to attend. There aren’t any planes, but admission is free (parking $10). All of the vendors will be open, selling things like barbecue and lemonade by the gallon. Skerbeck Carnival, Victoria Circus, Great American Kites and FireKeepers Stage will provide the entertainment. It’s also Kids Day, so kids can sign up to win a free bike.
Leilapalooza is two days of music, food, art and fun. The music festival takes place in Leila Arboretum, at the Fantasy Forest stage. You can spread out a picnic blanket among the fantastic sculptures that have been carved from tree trunks. On July 29, you’ll get a variety of music, from electronic to rock to Americana.
Epson Tour: FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship
You might have heard of the Espon Tour – the women who win these games are headed to the LPGA. Check out the Battle Creek tournament June 9-11.
The FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship is at the Battle Creek Country Club, located on Goguac Lake.
Tickets are by donation — the proceeds from the tournament will be donated to The South Michigan Food Bank. So you can see some professional golf and support a good cause at the same time!
Color the Creek
Color the Creek has brought professional muralists to paint in Battle Creek since 2016. It has filled the walls of the city with realistic animals, larger-than-life heroines, prism bursts and the mantra “Believe in Battle Creek.”
You can pick up a guide to all of the murals at the Battle Creek Welcome Center and take yourself on a tour. Not only is it great art, it’s great for Instagram.
Color the Creek returns in August with more murals, art installations and events. Families should keep an eye out for Kids Day – last year included spray paint art, flower crowns and chalk designs.
Calhoun County Fair
The county fair has been a tradition since 1848. You don’t have to be a farmer to enjoy this weeklong event. Anyone craving fried food and a ride on the carousel is welcome Aug. 13-19.
It’s a chance for kids to get close with animals such as sheep, horses, cows and goats. There’s a petting farm and show animals are kept in barns that are open to the public.
There’s a show every night, ranging from a rodeo to demolition derby. Check out the schedule for livestock selfies and the frog-jumping contest.
Backyard Burgers & Brews Festival
Finish the summer with good food at the end of August. This festival started as a burger competition and has evolved into a food truck rally with offerings that range from pizza to Indian food to ice cream bars. There’s at least three blocks of trucks to try.
Of course, the burgers and brews are still important. We recommend stopping by Handmap Brewing’s outdoor patio for the best burgers and inventive pairings with craft beer brewed here in Battle Creek.