Out on the town: Old Town celebrates the first nights of summer with two festivals
|By Simone Carter|
FRIDAY, JUNE 20 -SATURDAY, JUNE 21Although the first night of summer is also the shortest night of the year, it doesn’t affect the number of hours in the weekend, and Old Town is maximizing every last one of them. On Friday, Lansing’s Old Town Commercial Association hosts its 10th annual Festival of the Moon, followed by its 15th annual Festival of the Sun the next day, which is also the summer solstice — and the longest day of the year.
The Festival of the Moon is known for its energetic atmosphere and live local bands. This year, Mark Grinnell is the opening act, followed by pop/ punk sounds of Way To Fall and the experimental indie rock band Lights & Caves. Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo will provide all of the craft brews.
The Festival of the Sun takes a different approach of celebrating the summer nights by having a smoother appeal than its day-before counterpart. Saturday’s acts include local ukulele dynamo Ben Hassenger, Lansing singer/songwriter Taylor Taylor and headliners I Am Dynamite, a minimalist rock duo from Detroit.
Keeping in the tradition of Lansing Beer Week, East Lansing home brewing supply store That’s How We Brew will hold brew demonstrations throughout the day. And fret not, vino fans — there will be plenty of Michigan wines on hand too.
Both events are will have food vendors to help keep you fully fueled for all the activities. Mark’s Gourmet Dogs and Whipped Bakery will have a booth on both days. Grand Grillin will be at the Festival of the Moon, with Trailer Park’d at Festival of the Sun.
During the duration of the two festivals, you can also peruse the recycled art on display at the 6th Annual Old Town ScrapFest. Teams of artists were given one hour to collect up to 500 pounds of scrap and two weeks to create works of art. The competition is also an auction, with proceeds supporting artists and public art projects in the community.
Ticket prices for each the festivals are $17 in advance, which can be purchased until the day of the event, and $20 at the gate. If you are looking to attend both festivals, there are options for $30 advanced weekend and $35 at the door weekend passes. Up to 70 percent of proceeds will go to the operating budget for Old Town Commercial Association to help revitalize Lansing’s Old Town district.
Both festivals have a 21 and up age restriction, due to its alcohol-inspired celebration.
Festival of the Moon
6-11 p.m. Friday, June 20
Festival of the Sun
2-11 p.m. Saturday, June 21
Turner Street and Grand River Avenue Lot 56/Cesar Chavez Plaza, Lansing $20/$17 adv. festivalofthemoonandsun.com
THURSDAY, JUNE 19 >> TEASE A GOGO AT AVENUE CAFÉ
Autumn Luciano has assembled a theatrical cast of characters to whisk audiences under the sea at the newest incarnation of Tease a Go-Go, a bimonthly burlesque/ drag show. The nautical theme will incorporate mermaids, sea monsters and sailors. There will also be live burlesque wrestling, a “human blockhead” who uses his face as an anvil, a fire-eater, and a sword-swallower. “You’ll have to see it to grasp it,” Luciano said. The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 9 p.m. doors/10 p.m. show. $10. (517) 853-0550, facebook.com/teaseagogo.
THURSDAY, JUNE 19-SUNDAY, JUNE 22 >> ‘IN THE NEXT ROOM (OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY)’ AT OVER THE LEDGE THEATRE CO.
Boy, has science ever come a long way. Over the Ledge Theatre Co. takes a peek behind the doors of an unconventional story based on a real experiment with its second show of the summer season. “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)” explores a time during the Victorian Era when women were treated for “hysteria” with, well, vibrators. A doctor’s wife becomes curious with the treatments her husband is giving and learns lessons about sensation, intimacy and love. Don’t take the kids, but adults may find it funny and tender. Directed by Mary Job. $10/$8 seniors/$6 students. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. The Ledges Playhouse, 137 Fitzgerald Park Drive, Grand Ledge. (517) 318-0579, overtheledge.org. (Continues June 26-29.)
FRIDAY, JUNE 20- SUNDAY, JUNE 22 >> TRAIN EXPO: LOCOMOTIVE WINGS AND WHEELS
This weekend, the Steam Railroading Institute brings steam locomotives, vintage aircraft and automobiles together for a transportation packed three-day event. A giant midway, an auto race, train rides and the history of transportation are all available for the family members of all ages to see, ride and take their photos with. Tickets start at $20, 405 S. Washington St., Owosso, (989) 725-9464, michigansteamtrain.com.