Known for beautiful beaches, unspoiled natural resources and a charming downtown, summer in Ludington also means exciting events and festivals for your enjoyment.
Whether it’s open-air concerts along the waterfront, weekly markets downtown or craft beer festivals, there is a bit of something for everyone to enjoy in Pure Ludington.
Live music and open-air concerts
Waterfront Park, nestled between the municipal marina and Harbor View Marina, is an incredible space to enjoy the view of the SS Badger coming into port and open-air concerts throughout the summer. Starting mid-June, free weekly concerts, compliments of the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, fill the space each Wednesday evening with music ranging from soulful, bluesy sounds to pop, R&B and everything between. Concertgoers love to grab a picnic dinner and some local brews to-go and enjoy them in the park while taking in the music.
Visitors also will want to mark their calendars as West Shore Bank hosts its Rhythm & Dunes concert series. These back-to-back weekends, featuring touring bands Union Guns on July 30 and Your Generation in Concert on Aug. 6, have high-energy entertainment. Also free to attend, these are two events visitors do not want to miss.
Downtown Ludington’s Legacy Plaza is host to live music from 3-7 p.m. each Thursday and Friday evening. The concerts are the perfect complement to markets happening and the businesses nearby. Grab something from one of Ludington’s newest grab-and-go restaurants Keeper’s Fish Shack, located right along the plaza, and enjoy your meal while enjoying the local musicians who are gracing the stage that evening.
And if you are just looking for a relaxing evening by the water, be sure to stop by Stearns Park Beach from 8-10 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month for a sunset beach bonfire, complete with talented local musicians and a warm fire overlooking Lake Michigan.
Markets and art fairs
Local boutiques lining Ludington Avenue and James Street offer great finds like custom-printed T-shirts, vintage treasures and stunning Michigan photography to take home. In addition to the shops downtown, there are a number of markets and art fairs throughout the summer to score some great finds.
One of Ludington’s newest events on the calendar is a weekly artisan market, hosted at Legacy Plaza from 2-6 p.m. each Thursday. Patrons can expect to find handmade macrame planters, home decor, repurposed books, paintings, pottery, jewelry and more.
Rotary Park also is host to two art fairs throughout the summer. The West Shore Art Fair, happening July 2 and 3, is known as one of the top fine art fairs in the state of Michigan over the past 50-plus years and has been recognized as one of Sunshine Artist Magazine’s 200 Best Fine Art and Fine Craft Fairs over the past few years.
Later in the summer, Aug. 13-14, the Gold Coast Artisan Fair will take over the park with nearly 200 vendors offering handmade crafts, jewelry, food, photography and more.
Food and drink
Downtown Ludington’s weekly farmers market, which happens at Legacy Plaza each from 3-7 p.m. each Friday, will feature fresh, local produce and some great finds like cheese, bread, flowers and so much more, depending on the week.
One of Ludington’s signature summer events is the Suds on the Shore Craft Beer & Wine Festival, which brings thousands of craft beer and wine enthusiasts to Rotary Park to enjoy tastes from nearly 50 vendors. The afternoon is made complete with food and live entertainment.
With events filling the calendar all summer long, be sure to check out pureludington.com/events for all of the details.