Food Truck Faceoff, backpack giveaway and more late-summer events in mid-Michigan

SAGINAW, MI — Summer is winding down, but event calendars in mid-Michigan are still full of fun things to do, including free family-friendly events.

From county fairs and farmers’ markets to backpack giveaways and outdoor concerts, here are some things to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Midland County Fair

The Midland County Fair is underway and continues through Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Midland County Fairgrounds, 6905 Eastman Ave.

General admission is free, and parking is $8 per vehicle per visit or $20 for a weekly parking pass.

For more information, visit

Back to School Health and Wellness Fair with backpack giveaway

Ascension St. Mary’s Health Center in Chesaning is giving away backpacks filled with school supplies during a Back to School Health and Wellness Fair. The event takes place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Ascension St. Mary’s Health Center, located at 1600 Brady St. in Chesaning.

Backpacks will be distributed while supplies last. There will also be health and wellness information, community resources and snacks available, and health care providers and staff at the Chesaning location will meet with the public.

For more information, call 989-845-1800.

Downtown Saginaw Farmers' Market

Visitors flock to Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market for its opening day at SVRC Marketplace, 203 S. Washington Ave. in Saginaw on May 25, 2018.

Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market

The Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market continues through Saturday, Oct. 30.

For the 2021 season, the market is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The market is also open Mondays through Aug. 30.

The Downtown Saginaw Farmers’ Market is located outside the SVRC Marketplace, 203 S. Washington Ave.

Visit to learn more.

Animal-free vintage circus at Frankenmuth River Place Shops

An animal-free, vintage-style circus is in town.

Circus Kirkus, “a jubilant and whimsical vintage circus,” is performing eight shows per week through Sunday, Sept.19, at Frankenmuth River Place Shops, 925 S. Main St.

“This wunderbar show has been created by former Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus performer Kirk Marsh and a host of his friends from around the world. Featuring the beautiful voice of Kristen Michelle Wilson, the first female ringmaster for RBBB Circus, Circus Kirkus is a classic European one ring show with death defying acts presented in a circus tent imported from France,” according to a news release.

“It is a show replete with grandiose intimacy and total audience engagement! This fascinating show features aerialists, magic, acrobats and comedy. It is an incredible comedy driven theatrical circus experience for all ages.”

Read more here.

Friday Night Live

Hundreds of people gather to listen to live music performed by Horizon during the last Friday Night Live of 2018 in downtown Saginaw.Kaytie Boomer |

2021 Friday Night Live

The final Friday Night Live event of the year, Motown Music Fest featuring Denise Davis & The Motor City Sensation and Detroit Social Club, takes place Friday, Aug. 20.

The free concerts are scheduled to take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Attendees should bring their own chairs or blankets.

Get more details here.

Sculpture Garden Party

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University is hosting a Sculpture Garden Party Saturday, Aug. 21.

The event, described as “not your average garden party,” takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $30.

“The Sculpture Garden and Museum come to life with a DJ spinning tunes, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar,” reads the Facebook event description. “You and your friends also can print your own T-shirt or tote bag from the Museum’s Marshall Fredericks ‘Spirit of Detroit’ manhole cover! Each $30 ticket includes one drink ticket and manhole print activity. T-shirts and bags will be provided, but feel free to bring your own!”

Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.

Saginaw’s Morley Building

A view of the Morley Building in the Morley Plaza in downtown Saginaw on Friday, July 23, 2021. (Kaytie Boomer | Kaytie Boomer |

Support Saginaw’s small businesses expo, with guest speaker and author Latrice Goodwine

The Saginaw Economic Development Corporation is hosting a 2021 Small Business Expo this month at downtown Saginaw’s Morley Plaza.

The expo will feature music, food trucks, family fun and a growing list of vendors offering clothing, accessories, arts and crafts, beauty, business services, entertainment, home décor and more. Financial coach Latrice Goodwine of Girl, What’s in Your P.U.R.S.E? is the guest speaker.

This free event is scheduled to take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, at Morley Plaza, the park located between the Temple Theatre and Huntington Bank on Washington Avenue. In addition, a VIP vendor and sponsor networking event will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the day before.

Vendors already signed up to participate include Trinity Essence LLC, Trinity Creations Photography, Lux Legacy LLC, MH&D Catering, R&R SNY Enterprises, Upstairs Resale Shop and more.

Read more here.

Food Truck Faceoff

The Food Truck Faceoff event series presented by Jolt Credit Union continues in downtown Saginaw Thursday, Aug. 26, and Thursday, Sept. 16.

These free events take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Huntington Event Park, 300 Johnson St. Vendors’ food prices vary.

Enjoy fare from a variety of food trucks competing for the championship, live music, yard games and more.

Find Food Truck Faceoff on Facebook for more details.

6th Annual Tapped Craft Beer Festival in downtown Midland

The 6th Annual Tapped Craft Beer Festival, presented by Midland Sports Rehab, returns to downtown Midland on Saturday, Aug. 28.

This year’s event will feature two tasting sessions of craft Beer, seltzer, wine and cider from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Main Street between Cronkright and Ellsworth streets near the East End development. The new event location will also include live music, food trucks and the newly renovated Main Street Plaza under the Poseyville Bridge.

When the tasting tents close, an after party will take place inside the Commons Pedestrian Plaza with live music by two additional bands: Andy Dalton from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 23 North from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The after party is free and open to the public.

“After a year hiatus, we’re so excited to welcome Tapped back to downtown Midland, one of our marquee events in downtown each summer,” Selina Tisdale, community affairs director for the city of Midland, said in a statement. “There’s going to be so much to do in downtown Midland on Saturday, Aug. 28. You can start your day at the Midland Area Farmers Market, grab a bite to eat in the Commons Pedestrian Plaza, enjoy Tapped, and end your day back in The Commons for some live music.”

Pre-ordered tickets are $25 and include six tasting samples and a commemorative tasting cup. Additional sample tickets are available for purchase at the event. Tickets purchased the day of the event, if available, are $30.

Purchase tickets online in advance at or in person at these downtown businesses:

  • Ace Hardware
  • Grape Beginnings Winery
  • Molasses
  • Proper Taco
  • Whichcraft Taproom

Attendees must be 21 or older to enter the event. Learn more at

Saginaw Children's Zoo reopens to public after coronavirus shutdown

Kona Ice employees wear masks while serving customers at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo in Saginaw on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. They have reopened to the public after being closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Kaytie Boomer | Boomer |

Frankenmuth Funtown Chowdown Food Truck Festival

The final Frankenmuth Funtown Chowdown Food Truck Festival of the season takes place Thursday, Sept. 9, with 20 food trucks offering something for everyone.

The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Frankenmuth River Place Shops, 925 S. Main St., which is also hosting the vintage-style, animal-free Circus Kirkus.

Each Frankenmuth Funtown Chowdown event features food trucks from across Michigan, live music, a tap takeover, non-alcoholic beverages, shaded seating, and activities for families. Pets are welcome but must be on a 6-foot leash at all times. Admission and parking are free.

Market at Uptown Bay City

This free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, at Uptown Bay City.

“Please join us in Uptown Bay City for our fifth year exploring unique handiworks and crafts,” reads the Facebook event description. “The Great Lakes Market celebrates the thrill of the hunt and discovery of new treasures, while enjoying the fresh breeze from the river and the last remnants of summer, looking forward to the change in seasons.”

Find Market at Uptown Bay City on Facebook to learn more.

Leaman’s Country Craft Show

Leaman’s Green Applebarn in Freeland is hosting its annual Country Craft Show Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 and 12.

The event will feature about 50 vendors offering jewelry, photography, wood art, metal crafts, candles, hair accessories, purses, clothing and other handmade items, plus Leaman’s baked goods, doughnuts, pies and cider for sale.

Parking and admission are free.

Leaman’s is located at 7475 N. River Road. Visit to learn more.

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