June may be one of the best months to be in Washtenaw County. The kids are in their last days of school, everyone’s excited to spend time outdoors, and lots of concerts, festivals, movies, and activities pop up across the county.
So whether you love music, running, films, car shows, theater, or all of the above, you have tons of great choices this month. Check out these highlights to get your planning started.
Sonic Lunch. Everyone’s favorite free, outdoor lunch concert series is back, with Ann Arbor’s own blues rocker Laith Al-Saadi, a recent finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” kicking things off on Thursday, June 1 (with special guest Phillip-Michael Scales) at 11:30 a.m. in Liberty Park Plaza. Other SL shows in June, at noon on Thursdays, will feature LP on June 8; Tuxedo – featuring another Ann Arborite, Mayer Hawthorne, with Jake One – on June 15; Michigan’s own The Accidentals (“Michigan and Again”) play June 22; and U-M grad Theo Katzman plays June 29.
Cinetopia Film Festival. This 10-day film festival, beginning June 1, will bring together over 60 new features, documentaries, and shorts from some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, and it plays them in various venues in Ann Arbor (U-M’s Lorch Hall and the Michigan Theater, where the festival was born) and Detroit (Arab American National Museum, The Henry Ford Museum, the Detroit Film Theatre, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, College for Creative Studies, Cinema Detroit, and the Maple Theater). Tickets for individual showtimes are $12, but passes are available. For a complete listing of films, showtimes, locations, and ticket info, visit www.cinetopiafestival.org.
Ann Arbor Summer Festival. Get ready for over three weeks of free outdoor concerts, retreats and movies at Top of the Park on U-M’s Ingalls Mall, as well as a series of mainstage ticketed shows that include Diana Krall (June 6 at Hill Auditorium), Pink Martini (June 13 at the Power Center), Carolina Chocolate Drops lead singer Rhiannon Giddens (June 14 at the Power Center) “This American Life” host Ira Glass (July 1at the Power Center) and more. For details on all the events happening this year, and for mainstage show ticket information, visit a2sf.org.
Depot Town Cruise Nights. Ypsilanti’s Depot Town rocks on Thursday evenings during Cruise Nights, when hundreds of visitors stroll the length of Cross Street to check out classic cars, hot rods, and customs. It’s also a perfect time to sit at one of the several sidewalk restaurants, grab a bite to eat, and watch the cars roll in. Cruise nights run on Thursdays, June 1-August 31, from 6-9 p.m., and many have an optional theme: Pre-WWII (June 15); Victorious 40s (June 22); Fabulous 50s (July 6); Muscle Car (July 13); Anything Goes (July 20); Arsenal of Democracy (July 27); and Rosie’s Choice (August 3). Plus, on Thursday, June 29, the 2017 Hemmings Motor News Great Race – which spans the Dixie Highway from Florida to Michigan, and highlights car cities and automotive museums – will make an overnight stop in Ypsilanti. For more information, check out Depot Town Cruise Nights’ Facebook page.
The Color Run. Known as the Happiest 5K on the Planet, the un-timed, take-it-at-your-own-pace Color Run has two rules: wear white at the starting line, and finish, at your own pace, plastered in color. How does this happen? Participants are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer marker. Plus, after the race, participants can party at the Finish Festival, with music, dancing, and massive color throws. June 24 at Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park. The start-line window opens at 8 a.m., with waves going every few minutes until 8:45. Visit thecolorrun.com for cost and registration information.
22nd Annual African American Downtown Festival
Fourth Ave., between Ann and Catherine, Ann Arbor
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
44th Annual Dexter-Ann Arbor Run
Races start in various locations, but all end in downtown Ann Arbor
First race begins at 7:50 a.m.
17th Annual Green Fair
Main St., between William and Huron, Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation
Meet at Gallup Park Canoe Livery, 3000 Fuller Rd., Ann Arbor
Jackson Road Cruise
Jackson, between Wagner and Baker Roads, Ann Arbor
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Ann Arbor Garden Walk
Six gardens in the Ann Arbor area and Kerrytown Marketplace (see website)
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Grillin’ for Food Gatherers
Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.
Ann Arbor Book Festival
Book crawls in local businesses and restaurants, plus a street fair (Saturday) on Washington St. between 4th and 5th
Thursday (starting at 6 p.m.) and Friday (starting at 5 p.m.) evenings; Saturday, street fair starts at noon, book crawl begins at 4 p.m.
June 15-July 1
“The Renaissance Man”
Penny Seats Theatre Company
West Park (near the bandshell), 215 Chapin St., Ann Arbor
7 p.m. (Thursdays-Saturdays)
Starting June 15
Summer Music Series
7-9 p.m. on Thursdays
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
June 21-July 26
Music in the Park
Ann Arbor Civic Band Summer Concerts
West Park bandshell, 215 Chapin St., Ann Arbor
8 p.m. Wednesdays
Summer Splash Day
Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation
Veterans Park Pool, 2150 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor
The Ark, 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor