Photo by Manistee Forest Festival

Top Festivals & Events in Manistee

All year long, there are activities, festivals, and special events happening in Manistee County, located along the West Michigan lakeshore.

Here we’ve condensed the most popular annual happenings, so you can see at a glance which time of year you may want to visit our wonderful area. Welcome to Manistee!

T.J.'s Pub
The Painted Lady

Tight Lines for Troops

In May of each year, Tight Lines for Troops, a charity fishing tournament for Michigan’s disabled veterans, is held from the port of Manistee, Michigan. First held in 2010, the idea for the tournament was the brain child of Bob Guenthardt, a Manistee County charter captain, former Ogema of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Manistee Forest Festival

The Manistee Forest Festival began as a way to celebrate and honor the Manistee Forest, which encompasses over 480,000 acres. This is truly a “don’t-miss” event for the entire family, and a great venue for making some wonderful summer memories. It’s one of the largest 4th of July celebrations in the state, presented by the Manistee Chamber of Commerce since 1936.

Nu 2 U Resale Shop

Hops & Props on the River

The Annual Hops & Props on the River is an event not to be missed. It focuses on the city’s rich boating history, plus the popularity of Michigan craft beer, cider and wine. Over 100 varieties of beer will be featured from 30 breweries. Wooden boat parade and live entertainment round out this annual festival.

Manistee’s Ghost Ship

One notable highlight of the Halloween season in Manistee is the popular Ghost Ship, otherwise known throughout the year as the S.S. City of Milwaukee, docked off Arthur Street in Manistee. The Ghost Ship is held on Friday and Saturday nights throughout October. Thousands visit the Ghost Ship, which has been transformed into a ghoulish and frightening haunted attraction.

Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend

When the Christmas season is upon us, the Victorian city of Manistee kicks off the festivities in a big way, with its annual Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend. This popular event brings as many as 10,000 visitors to Manistee to experience the wonder of a Christmas gone by. The highlight of the parade is the Belgian draft horses that pulls a 30′ Christmas tree down River Street in downtown Manistee. The entire Old Christmas Weekend is filled with wonderful activities.

Summer Music

The Manistee area offers many opportunities to enjoy live music throughout the summer. Events include Concerts in the Village Park in Onekama, Roots on the River in Manistee, Music on Bear Lake, and more.