Each year, Greater Lansing hosts two festivals that celebrate the longest day of the year. The first, Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, took over the streets of East Lansing last weekend. The second, Festival of the Moon & Sun, comes to Old Town Friday and Saturday.
“I think what makes this event so unique is the fact that when patrons come out to enjoy the festival, they are helping an entire community continue to move forward in the most positive way that it can,” said Heather Muylle-Mossing, interim executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association.
Friday night features food from local vendors and beer from Bell’s Brewery. There’s also sangria for the non-beer drinkers. Saturday, the craft beer and food will return, but the festival adds Michigan wines and craft cocktails prepared by American Fifth Spirits.
“With Saturday, the committee has worked hard to get the event back to its roots. This is one of Old Town’s original events,” Muylle- Mossing said. “Saturday, the event will have a more upscale feel with craft beer, wine and cocktails with tapas style eats and laid back tunes.”
The music lineup was selected to complement each day’s theme. Friday’s beer-centric Festival of the Moon features heavier rock bands, whereas Saturday’s lineup is more acoustic- and folk-driven.
“Out of the many bands that applied, we carefully hand selected each one to fit with the mood and setting of each day,” Muylle-Mossing said. “Most of the bands are local Michigan bands.”
Friday’s lineup comprises Sierra Denae, the Aimcriers and Vandalay. Saturday features Alex Mendenall, Less Is More, Slim Gypsy Baggage and Coolidge.
“Our band was involved in ScrapFest last year,” said Johnny Aimcrier, singer and guitarist for the Aimcriers. “We’re super excited to perform at the Festival of the Moon & Sun.”
While summer festivals are often great for family outings, Muylle- Mossing stressed that the alcoholcentric Festival of the Moon & Sun is for attendees 21 or older.
“We encourage families that are of age to come out and enjoy the festival together,” she said. “This is a great event for the family to come out, sit back, relax and kick-start the summer.”
“I bring my family out,” Aimcrier said. “We go shopping, walk the streets of Old Town and listen to music. We spend a lot of time there. It’s not just about hearing us play; I think Old Town has a lot to offer.”
Modern rock duo Vandalay, which has been together since 2012, is excited to be participating in this year’s festival.
“The sense of community at this particular festival is one of my favorite things about it,” said Vandalay drummer Jake Greenwood. “We’ve attended this festival before and we’re always impressed by the positive atmosphere.”
“Old Town is a unique and fun part of Lansing,” added Ben Warner, Vandalay guitarist and vocalist. “We’re going to make it a party for everyone there.”
Festival of the Moon & Sun
6 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, June 24; 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, June 25 $22/$18 adv. Friday; $25/$20 adv. Saturday; $45/$35 both days.
Cesar Chavez Plaza Intersection of Turner Street and Grand River Avenue, Lansing (517) 485-4283, festivalofthesun.com