Get ready, Mid-Michigan: On June 1, the riverfront at the Lansing Center turns into Margaritaville.

That’s the date of Michigan’s first Margarita Festival, courtesy of City Pulse and the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority.

Fifteen local establishments will compete for Best Margarita. And you can be a judge.

The five-hour event kicks off at 5 p.m. For the advanced general admission ticket of $25, attendees will be able to enjoy up to 15 margarita samples from area bars and restaurants —including Bordeaux, The Exchange, La Senorita, MP Social and Tin Can — looking to show off their craft cocktail-making skills. You decide which you like best and vote on an app we will provide you. The winner will be announced in the June 6 issue of City Pulse.

Live entertainment will be provided by Don Middlebrook as well as Jammin’ DJs. Besides margarita samples, a full service bar will be mixing drinks. Hungry attendees can fill up on offerings from an assortment of food trucks and local eateries.

Tickets are on sale now and include the options of advance general admission for $25 until May 25, when it goes up to $35. There’s also a VIP ticket for $40, till May 25 when it goes up to $50), that gives you a private entrance, hors d’oeuvres and a tent for shade. Attendees must be 21 or over with a valid ID to gain entry. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ingham County Animal Shelter.

Tickets will be available at the door for $35 if they have not sold out. Tickets are limited to 600 for the first year.

The idea for the festival started with City Pulse publisher Berl Schwartz.

“Our counterpart in Tennessee, the Nashville Scene, pioneered this event, which has spread across the country.” Schwartz said. For 12 years, City Pulse has been celebrating the best in our community through our annual Top of the Town contest. Now, our readers and the entire community can join together to make a very important choice: Who has the best damn margarita in mid-Michigan!” Said LEPFA CEO Scott Keith: “LEPFA is looking forward to starting a new event for Lansing, showing off our beautiful entertainment space along the Grand River. LEPFA and City Pulse are proud to host another event that brings vibrancy, fun and great libations to downtown Lansing.”

Want to participate?

Fifteen bars and restaurants are invited to compete is the first Margarita Festival. Five spots are already reserved. Want one of the others? Contact Lee Purdy at lee@lansingcitypule.com or (517) 999-5064 for details.


Margarita Festival Friday, June 1, 5-10 p.m.

Lansing Center Riverfront $25 general admission (till May 25, then $35) $40 VIP (until May 25, then $50) Tickets: bit.ly/18MargaritaFest