2017 Manistee National Forest Festival Event Schedule

The current Forest Festival Planning Committee is working hard at finalizing the 2017 schedule.  New items this year will include an exciting entertainment line-up along with many new entries in the Grand Parade.  We are also pleased to be expanding our kids day events along with keeping the fan favorites like fireworks, carnival, duck race, arts and crafts fair and much more.

Check back soon for a complete list of the 2017 events.  Until that time, we welcome you to browse our current event line-up that has been confirmed for this upcoming festival!

Daily Events beginning on July 30th and ending on the final day (July 4th) unless otherwise noted:

Festival Market Place – June 30th, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 10:00am – Dusk; July 4th 10:00am – 5:00pm
A festival favorite, the marketplace offers great bargains, unique merchandise and of course delicious festival food!

TJ Schmidt Carnival – June 30th, 2:00pm – Dusk; July 1, 2 & 3 12:00pm – Dusk ; July 4th 12:00pm – 5:00pm
A family owned and operated traveling carnival serving the state of Michigan. Traveling Theme Park with thrilling rides, tasty carnival fare and games of skill combine with superior customer amenities!

Whispering Pines Animal Kingdom – July 1-3 10:00am – Dusk, Free Event
A mobile exhibit that has a variety of animals from around the world from farm animals to exotic animals – it’s a zoo on wheels that’s fun for everyone!

Lion’s Fish Boil – 4:00pm -6:00pm

VIP Festival Kick-Off Party – 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Live Music at the Festival Tent/First Street Beach Area – 9:00pm


Salt City Rock & Blues Concert – 4:00pm – 12:30am


Pancake Breakfast – 7:00am – 1:00pm – Advance Tickets: Adults $7, 5-12 years $5, Children under 5 Free.
Tickets at the door: Adults $7, children under 5 Free. Pancake Breakfast will be at the Manistee Middle/High School, 525 12th Street.  A Manistee and Forest Festival tradition for over 50 years.

Scottville Clown Band – 4:00pm – 6:00pm – Free Event

A festival tradition! Enjoy a fun concert in the open air, so bring your beach chairs, blankets and be ready to dance at the Festival Entertainment Area!


Beach Buddies Kids Parade & Activities – 11:30am – 1:30pm – Free Event
Calling all kiddos, dress up as your favorite beach buddy character and meet at First Street North Softball Field. Free lunch provided by Manistee Area Public Schools Satellite Program. West Shore Bank will be onsite with their ice cream cart for the kids, mingle with special guest mascots, gifts from USDA Forest Service, face painting, Balloon Man and a duck pond. At 1pm, the Forest Festival Prince & Princess will be crowned at Lighthouse Park and will lead the parade immediately following. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes, open to all children and fun for all! Rain location: Manistee Area Public Schools Commons, 425 12th Street

Prince & Princess Pageant Crowning Ceremony – 1:00pm – Free Event
First Street North Softball Field. The Forest Festival Prince and Princess will be crowned for all to see the new royalty will then lead the parade immediately following.

Fireworks Over Lake Michigan – 10:30pm
Spectacular display, best viewing from First Street Beach, Fifth Avenue Beach or from the Forest Festival Entertainment Area. 


Flag Raising Ceremony – 9:45am
Corner of Division Street & River Street Veterans will raise the flag as the National Anthem is sung. All Veterans and active duty are invited. Thank you for your service!

Independence Day Parade – 10:00am

This fantastic one of a kind parade highlights our Veterans, Manistee County’s rich history, the Manistee National Forest and all the creative entries! Travels west on River Street from Division Street to First Street by the Armory parking lot.

Duck Race – 1:30pm

Presented by the Chamber Ambassadors, the Manistee County Child Advocacy Center and the mascot Ducky. 100’s of ducks will be released into the river from the Maple Street Bridge  they race to the finish line by the Elk’s Lodge #250 and are scooped up by the Marine Patrol. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. 1st Prize $500, 2nd Prize $100, 3rd Prize $50  last place $25. Tickets are available at: Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, Manistee County Visitors Bureau and Knizacky Insurance.