Year-Round Festivals in Marquette, Michigan


Located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Marquette sits on the shores of Lake Superior. Showcasing its distinct flair through an exciting lineup of annual events and festivals in Marquette, Michigan, you’ll find everything from dog sled races and the Polar Roll to the Festival of the Angry Bear. Marquette offers an array of unique events.

For those who have not yet discovered some of Marquette’s must-see festivals, check out this 2023 roundup of crazy fun events you’ve never heard of in Marquette, Michigan.

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Skiing Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette
Skiing in Marquette Michigan
Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette

Heikki Lunta

For an authentic “Yooper” celebration of Finnish heritage, the Heikki Lunta Festival is an annual mythology event created for the fictional Heikki Lunta. This creature would dance to make it snow. Returning to Negaunee on February 3 and 4, the action-packed weekend of festivities begins on Friday night with the Irontown Rail Jam, a fast-paced ski and snowboard competition taking place downtown between Iron and Rail streets. Enjoy activities, including snowshoe tours of Old Town, the South Shore Fishing Tournament, public sledding, and s’mores.

Winter Fat Tire Biking in Marquette Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette
Winter Fat Tire Biking in Marquette
Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette

Polar Roll

The largest fat-bike event in Michigan and a proud member of the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, the Polar Roll invites participants to experience a new adventure each year – from blizzards to ice storms and rain. Racers can choose from the 30-mile event named “Danny’s Hills” or the shorter 15-mile event called “Half the Hills.” The mass start through Marquette’s snowy trails begins February 18, and those searching for adventure on demand can experience the extended edition of the race at their own pace through March 15.

Festival of the Angry Bear

Each year in April, as the frozen grounds of Lake Superior’s shores attempt to thaw, the Festival of the Angry Bear comes out of hibernation and takes over Spring Street in downtown Marquette. This year it happens on April 15, where they’ve modeled the festival after some great European beer festivals. The event showcases barrel-aged beer, live music, and delicious food. Attendance is free, and fun is guaranteed.

Running Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette
Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette

Marquette Trails Fest

A fun-filled weekend, June 23 through 25, celebrates Marquette’s trails and features mountain bike races, trail running races, and socials. Marquette Trails Fest welcomes those who enjoy biking, running, and hiking to join the excitement in support of the community’s trails and the Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN).

Hiking and Biking Trails Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette
Hiking and Biking Trails
Photo Courtesy of Travel Marquette

Ore to Shore

Ore to Shore is the third largest point-to-point race in the Midwest. Riders gear up at the start line in Negaunee. This year the event takes place on August 12 at a site where in 1844 where they first discovered iron ore in the Lake Superior region. The long-distance track travels through Ishpeming, past towering head frames from the days of underground mining, and then heads north through the wooded wilderness, crossing and running alongside the Dead River into Marquette to the Lake Superior shoreline. Events include the 48-mile Hard Rock, the 28-mile Soft Rock, 10-mile Shore Rock, and the 4-mile Junior Rock. 

Dryland Dash

At the Dryland Dash on October 14, the dogs may not be dashing through the snow, but the fall foliage is a treat. Watch the teams train and compete throughout the one to two-mile courses on the Negaunee Park ski trail system. Different team sizes use bicycles, scooters, wheeled rigs, or run behind the dogs, so you’ll see a variety.

So no matter when you make it to Marquette, you’re sure to find some activities and festivals you won’t find anywhere else.

For more festival fun in Michigan check out these articles:

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Amy Piper
Author: Amy Piper

While Piper is a lifelong Michigander, she’s had adventures worldwide. Bomb-sniffing dogs chased her in the middle of the night in Bogota (working late), gate agents refused her boarding to Paraguay (wrong visa), and US Marshals announced her seat number on a plane while looking for a murder suspect (she’d traded seats). It’s always an adventure! She even finds exciting activities in her home state of Michigan, where she lives in Lansing with her husband, Ross Dingman, her daughter, Alexis, and two granddaughters.


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Welcome to Follow the Piper! Discover interesting destinations, and practical planning tips for packing more travel into your everyday life.

Our founder and author, Amy Piper, is a freelance travel writer, blogger, photographer, and author specializing in traveling through a food lens and multi-generational travel. She is a native Michigander who travels through the lens of a food lover and has been to 41 countries and 45 states.


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