Coast Bridges and Dams Natural Wonders History


This is the signature festival for the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce.  Hosted every year over the 4th of July/Independence Day Holiday, the Manistee National Forest Festival is a Manistee County tradition stretching back nearly 80 years. 

Drawing thousands of tourists to the area along with many residents returning with ties to the community, the festival embodies the idea of "Community" that so many love about this area.  Each year, the Forest Festival highlights events such as the Manistee World of Arts & Crafts, Independence Day Parade, Fireworks over Lake Michigan, Festival Marketplace, carnival and much more!

2015 World of Arts & Crafts Application - Download Here
2015 Independence Day Parade Application - Download Here
2015 Food Vendor Contract - Download Here
2015 Flea Market Contract - Download Here

Presenting & Fireworks Sponsor: Little River Casino Resort - website

Festival Supporters: 
Ludington Beverage Company - website
Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties - website

Event Sponsors:
Scottville Clown Band Parade Sponsor – Manistee Ford
Scottville Clown Band Concert Sponsor – Manistee Ford 
Independence Day Parade Presenting Sponsor – Manistee World of Arts & Crafts
Sandcastle Contest - Ramsdell Inn / TJ's Pub
High School Band - Riemer Eye Center
Whispering Pines Animal Kingdom – Morton Salt & Best Drug Rehabilitation Center & Meijer
Rubber Duck Race – Morton Salt & Packaging Corporation of America & Manistee County Deputy Sheriff's Association
Kids Day – West Shore Medical Center & Watson's Manistee Chrysler
Tittabawasee Valley Fife & Drum Corp. – Charles A. Boyer
Entertainment Area Two Days - Consumers Energy
Entertainment Area One Day - Lighthouse Group / Manistee Abstract
Entertainment Area July 3rd - Will Zoscsak Logging & Trucking



July 2nd
Business after Hours at the Beach - 5:30pm - 7:30pm - Admission $5
Kicking off the festival with this fun event. Enjoy great food, music by Rocky Supply, and beach games at the Festival Entertainment Area. Prizes & Cash bar available.

July 2nd
Douglas Valley GPS Hike & Poker Run - 4:00pm - $5 per person
Its an electronic treasure hunt and 5 card poker rolled into one! Use your GPS unit or smart phone to find several caches throughout Douglas Valley Winery, 5375 Douglas Valley Drive. At each location pick up a playing card; collect 5 cards to make a hand. Turn in your hand by 4pm. Prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd.

July 2nd
Chalk Art - 4:00pm - (Registration begins at 3:30pm) - Free Event
River Street and Water Street in the fountain triangle (across from Municipal Marina)

July 2nd & 3rd
Doctor Dolittle - Musical - 2:00pm - Admission $16-$20
Ramsdell Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 101 Maple Street
The classic tale of kindness to animals that trot, crawl and fly onto the Ramsdell stage, is one of adventure, unlikely friendships and talking animals. All the characters we've come to love through the magical movie musical are given new life in the stage version. 800.836.0717 or

July 3rd
Forest Festival Golf Outing - 8:30am
Lunch will be provided on the course. Please contact Manistee National Golf & Resort for reservations, 231.723.8874. Manistee National Golf & Resort, 4797 US 31.

July 3rd
Forest Festival Book Sale - 9:00am - 5:00pm
The friends of the Manistee County Library will hold a giant sale of used books. This event takes place outdoors and outdoors at the Book House behind the library, 95 Maple Street.

July 3rd
Historical Hay Rides - 12:00pm - 4:00pm - $3 per person
Enjoy a leisurely hayride through the property with a commentary of the history of Douglas Valley Winery. Leaves on the hour at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm. Douglas Valley Winery, 5375 Douglas Valley Drive.

July 3rd - 4th
Manistee World of Arts & Crafts 44th Annual Art Fair
Juried arts and crafts show in a beautiful tree lined park. 90 Vendors will display their art and fine crafts, food, and music by Tim Krause. A fire truck and police cars will be onsite for children and adults enjoyment. Red Szymarek Park on Fifth Avenue.

July 3rd
Forest Bus Tour - 10:00am - Free Event
Take a scenic ride through the Manistee National Forest, learn about forest practices and see recreational sites throughout the County.  Meet at Veterans Memorial parking lot across from Manistee County Transportation, 180 Memorial Drive. Reservations required as seats are limited, contact the USDA Forest Service, 231.723.2211, Participants are encouraged to bring lunch and water.

July 3rd
Beach Buddies Kids Parade & Activities - 12:00pm - 3:00pm - Free Event
Calling all kiddos, dress up as your favorite beach buddy character and meet at Lighthouse Park, on Cherry Street. Face painting begins at noon in preparation for the parade that kicks off at 1:00pm. Activities will take place after the parade, which will include gifts from the USDA Forest Service and prizes for the best costume. Mingle with the special guests Ronald McDonald, WESTY, CHIP, Smokey Bear and Ducky!

July 3rd
Salt City Rock & Blues, Takin' it to the Beach Concert - Gates open at 7:00pm - Admission $15
Looking for a beach party this is your event! Enjoy a tribute to Jimmy Buffett's music in the open bring a beach chair or a blanket and relax. Cash bar available featuring Landshark, Jimmy Buffett's beer along with cheeseburgers and beach cuisine from the Iron Works Café. Prizes for limbo contest & best costume! Proceeds from the event will benefit the restoration of Historic Lighthouse and Catwalk.

July 4th
Firecracker 5k Run/Walk & 1k Fun Run - 8:00am
Manistee Middle/High School, 525 12th Street Registration Fee

July 4th
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!

July 4th
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.

July 4th
Wine Tasting & Live Music - 1:30pm - 4:30pm - Free Event
Enjoy live music, wine tasting and wine by the glass. Shop the Bodega to find everything you need for a picnic, with over 100 Made in Michigan food products! Douglas Valley Winery, 5375 Douglas Valley Drive.

July 4th
Port City Pageant - 2:30pm - 5:00pm (Registration 2-2:30pm) - Free Event
Your pet does have what it takes to be a champion! Come see your pets strut their stuff for a chance to win a trophy. Is your pet the cutest? The best dressed? The smallest? The oldest? The most patriotic? Do you and your pet look like twins? Enter to find out! Registration is on site and is free. For more information call Parkdale Animal Hospital 231.723.8998. See you There!

July 4th
Customs-N-Classics Car Club Cruise Night - 4:00pm - 8:00pm - Free Event
Meet at VFW Hall located on 28th Street. Awards will be given by VFW #4499. Music by Mr. D's and food will be available.

July 4th
23rd Annual Manistee Jaycees Aquapalooza - Gates open at 8:00pm - Admission $10 ($9 in advance)
Featuring the country rock band Whiskey Rebels and Manistee's own Josh Janowiak of Platinum Sound to spin all your requests until 2am. Bring your beach chairs and blankets, also a perfect spot to watch the fireworks. Ages 21 and over only. Cash bar, food and non-alcoholic beverages available.

July 4th
Fireworks Over Lake Michigan - 10:30pm
Spectacular display, best viewing from First Street Beach, Fifth Avenue Beach or from the Forest Festival Entertainment Area.  Rain date is July 5th.

July 4th & 5th
20th Annual Jiingtamok (Pow Wow) - 11:00am - 10:30pm; July 5th 11:00am - 5:00pm - Free Event
Grand entries at 12pm and 7pm (July 4). Native American Dancing, food, arts and crafts, Miss Little River Princess Contest, drum and dance contest, exhibition dancing and specials. The public is welcome to attend. No pets except service animals. Tribal Gathering Grounds located across from the Little River Casino Resort (corner of US31 & M22).

July 5th
World Famous Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast - 7:00am - 1:00pm - Advance Tickets: Adults $6, 5-12 years $3, Children under 5 Free.
Tickets at the door: Adults $7, children under 5 Free Manistee Armory, 555 First Street, on the way to First Street Beach. A Manistee and Forest Festival tradition for over 50 years. Special this year arrive before 9am and you may order blueberry pancakes at no extra charge. Advance tickets available from Kiwanian, Jackpine Business Center, Sports Ink or Goody's Juice & Java Downtown location. Proceeds from this event benefit area youth.

July 5th
Customs-N-Classics Car Club 24th Annual Car Show - 8:00am - 2:00pm - Free Event
Douglas Park, First Street Beach

July 5th
Sandcastle Contest - 9:00am - 3:00pm - Free Event
Gather your family and friends and build your masterpiece! New this year the contest will be held at Fifth Avenue Beach. Judging will take place at 3pm; 1st place will receive $50 in Downtown Dollars and their picture on the Manistee National Forest Festival Facebook Page.

July 5th
Duck Race - 1:00pm
Presented by the Chamber Ambassadors, the Manistee County Child Advocacy Center and the new mascot Ducky. The Manistee Fire Department will release 100's of ducks into the river from the Maple Street Bridge as 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 and new this year last place will receive $25. Tickets are available at: Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce, Manistee County Visitors Bureau, Rosie's Place in Bear Lake, Knizacky Insurance and Goody's Juice & Java Locations 1 & 2.

July 5th
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!

Festival Market Place - July 2nd-5th 10:00am - Dusk; July 5th 10:00am - 4:00pm
A festival favorite, the marketplace offers great bargains, unique merchandise and of course delicious festival food!

TJ Schmidt Carnival - July 2nd 2:00pm - Dusk; July 3 & 4 12:00pm - Dusk ; July 5th 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!

Little Smilin' Choo Choo - 10:00am - 9:00pm; July 5th 10:00am - 4:00pm - $3 per person
Douglas Park, First Street Beach
The Little Smilin' Choo Choo is always a big hit with kids of all ages! Remember, "you're Never Too Old to Ride the Train!" It's not just a kids ride; the train was built to accommodate adults and kids alike, making it a true family attraction.

Whispering Pines Animal Kingdom - July 3-5 10:00am - Dusk, July 5th 10:00am - 4:00pm - 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!