7 Can’t-Miss Keweenaw Summer Events

Posted on June 13th, 2021

Summertime in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan is an event in and of itself. With the array of outdoor activities, historical sites, and learning opportunities, any summer weekend spent here is sure to be filled with things to do. These are a few of our favorite summer events in the Keweenaw that you may wish to incorporate into your trip UP north.

July 4th Celebrations

July 3rd-4th, 2021

If you’re taking advantage of the long weekend to make a trip to the Upper Peninsula, join one of the local Independence Day celebrations.  South Range hosts a variety of activities to celebrate Independence Day including a parade, fun in the park for kids, a horseshoe tournament, KBC brewery tours, and sampling, as well as fireworks. Throughout the Keweenaw, other towns carry on their traditions this year, such as parades held in Lake Linden and Gay. In Copper Harbor,  the town will gather for one of the best fireworks displays in the Keweenaw.

Fireworks over Lake Linden

Canal Rock

Starting July 10th, 2021

Pull up your pontoon boat or grab a lawn chair. Starting July 10th, the City of Hancock will host a summer concert series at Porvoo Park on the Portage Canal. Each Saturday in July from 6-9 pm you can enjoy live music on the waterfront and a great view of the iconic Portage Lake Lift Bridge. The park is located right next to the Hancock bike/ORV trail which is convenient for those who want to ride over. A large wooden boardwalk surrounds the park and provides plenty of room to dock boats and pontoons. Bring the whole family and enjoy the evening soaking in the sounds and sun. 

Keweenaw Mineral Days

July 12th-17th, 2021

Prospect for interesting minerals like miners during the Copper Boom. Keweenaw Mineral Days, hosted by the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Keweenaw Gem and Gift, allows participants to collect minerals at historic mine sites throughout the Keweenaw. This rare opportunity is only offered during Keweenaw Mineral Days as mineral collecting is prohibited otherwise. Participants will also have access to special sales at the A.E. Seaman Museum and Keweenaw Gem and Gift. The event is still on for 2021 but COVID-19 precautions will be in place. For more information, please visit www.museum.mtu.edu/visit/museum-activities/keweenaw-mineral-days.

46th Annual Canal Run

July 17th, 2021

Following along the Portage Lake Shipping Canal, the Canal Run offers four distances for runners and walkers of all levels, including a half marathon, 10-mile run or walk, five-mile run or walk, and two-mile fun run/walk. This high-energy community event began in 1975 and continues to grow each year. 

Since 2011, the Canal Run has donated $10,000 to area non-profit organizations as part of its Canal Run Gives Back program. Registration for the 2021 Canal Run remains open, with in-person and virtual options. For more information or to register for the Canal Run, please visit www.canal.run.

Three women participating in the Canal Run in Hancock

For nearly 50 years, the Keweenaw’s Canal Run has attracted runners from across the Midwest.

Eagle Harbor Art Fair

August 14th-15th, 2021

If you’re looking to bring home a truly unique souvenir, attend the Eagle Harbor Art Fair. For over 60 years, the art fair has showcased original works by artists from all over the Midwest and beyond. Artists will be offering jewelry, photography, paintings, fabric art, ceramics and pottery, stained glass, and more. Each year the fair is held at St. Peter’s by the Sea Church in Eagle Harbor where more than 60 vendors gather to sell their work. More information about the Copper Country Associated Artists can be found at www.ccaartists.org

Bell’s Beer Trails Fest

September 3rd-5th 2021

If your trip to the Upper Peninsula involves two knobby tires and loads of stoke, then you won’t want to miss the annual Bell’s Beer Trails Festival. This Labor Day weekend event features Enduro races, short (~15 miles) and long (~30 miles) XC courses, Downhill Race, a Junior MTB race (for kids 13 & under), and a 10K Trail Run. Throughout the weekend you can enjoy music, beer, and trails-inspired art at ArtBike. Learn more about the event at www.copperharbortrails.org/event/copper-harbor-trails-fest.

Woman at Bell's Beer Trail Festival

Crush the Midwest’s best singletrack during Bell’s Beer Trail Fest in Copper Harbor.

Parade of Nations

September 18, 2021 

The Parade of Nations and Multicultural Festival, held in September each year, celebrates diversity with a colorful parade of flag-bearing Michigan Tech students, staff, and community members. More than eighty nations are represented in this popular event. Typically, the Parade of Nations includes the Multicultural Festival at the Dee Stadium where the celebration continues with food, culture, music, and dance. However, for 2021, the Multicultural Festival will be canceled due to COVID-19 but the parade will still take place. More information for the event can be found at www.mtu.edu/international/events/parade-nations.

Members from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community at the Parade of Nations in Houghton.

Michigan Tech’s Parade of Nations features representatives from more than 50 countries celebrating the spirit of understanding and unity. Photo courtesy of Michigan Tech.

For a full list of Keweenaw events, click here.

About the Author

Erin was born and raised in the pristine Keweenaw Peninsula. Her appreciation for the area grew after she moved away to the big city. She quickly realized she needed to live where the air and water are fresh. She’s now lucky to have found a job at SmartCreative where she can work on creative projects and live in one of the best outdoor communities.

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