Known as the Lumber Queen of the World during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries for its impressive lumber production, Muskegon is a destination with miles of pristine sugar-sand beaches, a rich maritime history, and attractions for all ages. Those interested in outdoor activities and scenic vistas are in the right spot. Muskegon State Park sits on two miles of Lake Michigan and one mile of Muskegon Lake shorelines and features stunning natural views, hiking and biking trails, and the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex. As one of the deepest ports in the great lakes, the city has a long history of maritime commerce. Visitors looking for unique history-themed attractions will be enamored with the Lakeshore Museum Center and Steamship S. S. Milwaukee Clipper.
The Lakeshore Art Festival has been one of the region’s top art events for almost six decades, and it will take place July 6-7 in Downtown Muskegon. Much more than your typical art festival, the event includes a fusion of art, music, food, and fun. This year’s edition will feature more than 350 juried art and craft exhibitors, children's activities, live performances, hands-on art experiences, specialty activities, and more. In Historic Hackley Park (downtown) attendees will encounter a collection of artisans and crafters showcasing only fine art and craft pieces. The Craft Market and Artisan Food Market covers more than eight downtown blocks and has everything from jewelry and home decor to gourmet pet treats and spices. Children's Lane is a must-visit destination for those that plan to attend with the entire family, featuring art-themed activities, entertainment, and education. Fans of live entertainment will find the event delivers in spades with street performers, musicians, and more. Those over 21 will have the chance to visit the Wine and Craft Beer Garden, and food vendors around the event will sell something for every taste. ResortsandLodges.com interviewed the Vice President of Marketing for the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce, Carla Flanders, to learn more about this can’t miss art spectacular.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
CF: Art and craft “fairs” have been a part of downtown Muskegon for nearly 60 years. The Lakeshore Art Festival was a revitalization of an earlier fair, and it began in 2013.
RAL: How many annual attendees do you draw?
CF: More than 50,000 people.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
CF: The event offers something for all ages, demographics, incomes, etc.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
CF: It’s unique because it’s not “just” a craft fair. It’s an artful event that encompasses high-quality fine art and 100% handcrafted goods by over 350 artisans. Plus, we have a whole block of children’s activities that engage and encourage different forms of art for the kids to learn and enjoy. Each year there is something new for guests to explore!
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
CF: Follow the links for more information:
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
CF: Here is a breakdown of the dining options. Plus, there will be nearly 20 Artisan Food Market exhibitors.
RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere?
CF: The event is incredibly festive and full, but not overcrowded. There is generally a warm breeze (we are just two blocks of off Muskegon Lake), and the event footprint has a smooth flow.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
CF: Plenty of traditional and non-traditional lodging. We are a tourist town, so we always recommend booking early. In addition to hotels/motels, there are plenty of B&Bs, VRBO, and Airbnb rentals.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
CF: It means a great deal. The local community looks forward to it each year. Our revitalized downtown depends on the event's positive economic impact.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
CF: Yes! We have some great community projects including The Door Project, Emerging Authors, Student Art Showcase, and Children’s Lane. Additionally, we go to great lengths to make this a zero-waste event.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
CF: I’m so glad you asked this, I always think of this event as creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you are a family that considers this a 4th of July tradition or if you are a new person to the community, this is the type of event that will surprise you with unique opportunities that will create lasting memories!
For more information about the Lakeshore Art Festival, please visit the event website.