The Best Summer Festivals in Flint
One of the best things about the summer season is the variety of fun festivals and events that take place. People love festivals, and they’re great for the community and local businesses. Flint, Michigan, has a rich artistic and cultural heritage and is the hub of many different types of festivals over the summer months.
When discussing festivals in the Flint area, it’s important to point out the contribution of the Greater Flint Arts Council. The GFAC is a nonprofit organization that strives to enrich the region around Flint by providing opportunities for residents and visitors to participate in many different cultural and artistic events. One of the council’s key goals is to promote community growth through festivals and events throughout the summer in Flint. Here are some of the best summer festivals in Flint, many of which the GFAC organizes and promotes.
Flint Jazz Festival
The Flint Jazz Festival is a popular music gala featuring musicians ranging from local stature to international status, performing live jazz music. The GFAC has produced the jazz festival for the last 20 years of the festival’s 40-year history. The event takes place in Flint’s Riverbank Park Amphitheater and lasts for an entire weekend. The festival begins with a jazz walk celebration through the town, with many local shops participating.
A large selection of vendors sell food, beverages, and festival merchandise over the course of the event. Fans of jazz, R&B, and many other genres of live music will thoroughly enjoy this event. Past headliners include Banda Magda, Phil Denny, and Najee. Details of the Flint Jazz Festival as well as many other happenings in the area are on the Genesee Fun event site.
Call of the Goddess Festival
Call of the Goddess Festival is an event that supports the divine feminine spirit. This uplifting all-day celebration features a variety of workshops and presentations on topics like soul purpose and spiritual fulfillment. The event features a large selection of craft vendors, lectures and classes, energy healers, and psychic readings. Applications are available for those who would like to be a part of the festival. The free Call of the Goddess Festival takes place in the beautiful Windiate Park in Flint, and is supported by a grant from Keep Genesee County Beautiful.
Back to the Bricks Festival
Back to the Bricks Festival is Flint’s signature downtown car show that started as a simple one-day event in 2005. The festival celebrates motor vehicles and the key historic role of the automobile industry in the region. The festival takes place in Flint on the historic red bricks below the arches of Saginaw Street, where the city cordons off several blocks to allow for vendors, car displays, and other festival attractions. According to the website, Back to the Bricks now draws over 500,000 attendees a year.
The festival features music, food and beverage stands, souvenir booths, and many other family-friendly activities over the course of the week. Spectators can view classic and custom vehicles, as well as an expansive variety of collector vehicles in the car show, and vote on their favorites. With parades, cruise nights, and live music concerts, there’s daily fun from the celebratory Opening Ceremony to the finale of the week-long festival. Back to the Bricks is one of the largest and most impressive classic car events across the U.S., so don’t miss this one if you’re a car enthusiast.
Crim Festival of Races
The Crim Festival of Races began in August 1977 when Bobby Crim, Michigan House Speaker at the time, launched the inaugural 10-mile run with his assistant. The Bobby Crim 10 Mile Road Race evolved over the 40-plus years of its existence into a significant Flint attraction, and it now attracts hundreds of participants. The festival has walking events as well as running races, to make participation possible for all ages and fitness levels.
As of 2020, the event now features both in-person and virtual race opportunities. The primary race traditionally takes place on the fourth Saturday in August. Today, the Crim Fitness Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, hosts the Crim Festival of Races.
New Works Festival
Theater and performing arts are a significant part of Flint’s culture. The annual New Works Festival highlights new plays and musicals by local writers and artists. The festival lasts for three days and includes performances of plays, musicals, stage readings, and workshops. After performances, playwrights and composers participate in discussions and Q&A sessions with audience members.
Tunes at Noon Festival
The Tunes at Noon Festival is another event hosted by the GFAC. This six-week-long series of daily concerts by local musicians over the summer is free to attend. Each weekday at noon, a musician performs in Willson Park, at 448 Wallenberg St. The concerts feature a wide variety of musical styles including soul, jazz, funk, bluegrass, R&B, and blues.
You can bring folding chairs or a blanket for comfortable seating, and many viewers enjoy the concert with a picnic lunch or carryout from one of the nearby restaurants. The rain location is the Greater Flint Arts Council Gallery, which you can find at 816 S. Saginaw St. in Flint.
I Chews the Blues Festival
MoJoe’s Food & Spirits sponsors the annual I Chews the Blues Festival, which has been going on for 15 years. This is a day-long celebration of music that features several different bands. Local vendors have food and beverage stands, and you can bring blankets, lawn chairs, or pop-ups. Past performances have featured Motor City Josh and the Big Three, Prof. Joe Wright and Friends, and Kathleen and the Bridge Street Band.
The event has raffles and T-shirts for sale, and all proceeds for this event go to The Marc Adams Music Scholarship Fund. Tickets are available online or at MoJoe’s Food & Spirits, which is at 4300 N. State Road in Davison.
The staff at Applegate Chevrolet is here to support the Flint community in many ways, including sharing the best local attractions and events. Did we cover all the best summer festivals in Flint? If we missed any, let us know and we can get it posted on a future list.
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