It’s summer and school is done for the year. What better way to celebrate the summer months than to experience all that Ypsilanti has to offer?
The best way to get a feel for the businesses and events in the Ypsilanti area is to go to any of the businesses in downtown or Depot Town during First Fridays.
First Fridays Ypsilanti takes place on the first Friday of every month and features free food, music, art, and other activities as a way to introduce newcomers to our unique city.
Every Tuesday, between 3 to 7 Growing Hope hosts an outdoor Farmer’s Market at 16 S. Washington Street in downtown Ypsi. The downtown Farmer’s Market is a great place to get fresh fruits and vegetables during the warm summer months. The Farmer’s Market summer season lasts from May to October.
One of the most popular events in Ypsilanti is ElvisFest, which happens every July in Riverside Park, near Depot Town. ElvisFest is a celebration of the life and work of rock n’ roll star Elvis Presley, and is also a tribute to the great music, fashion, and culture of the 1950’s.
ElvisFest features Elvis impersonators performing some of the King of Rock’s most iconic hits, a classic car show displaying some of the most fashionable automobiles of the era, and also has great food and drinks. This year’s ElvisFest will take place July 6 and 7.
One of my personal favorite places to be at in Ypsi is Go! Ice Cream, located at 10 N. Washington Street in downtown Ypsilanti.
Go! Ice Cream is a locally owned ice cream shop that has unique handcrafted ice creams with flavors like Local Honey, Peanut Butter Sorbet, and my personal favorite, the Brûléed Banana Split. Yum! Go! Ice Cream is open Wednesday-Sunday from noon to 9 pm.
If you aren’t interested in parties, and simply want a quieter, reserved experience, then Ypsilanti still has you covered. The Michigan Firehouse Museum, located at 110. W. Cross Street, has a great collection of historic firefighting equipment.
Located inside the original 1898-built Ypsilanti Firehouse, it will give visitors an insight into the history of firefighting, and a look at firefighting in Ypsilanti. The Michigan Firehouse Museum is open Thursday-Sunday from 12-4.
Not too far from this museum, at 220 Huron St is the Ypsilanti Historical Museum, located in a historic house built in 1860. The museum has exhibits on Ypsi’s history and shows what life was like in the 19th century. The Ypsilanti Historical Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 2 to 5.
Ypsilanti’s biggest festival would have to be YpsiFest, which will take place August 24-26 this year.
This year’s festival will have music performances, the “Ring of Steel” aerialist/acrobatic troupe, food trucks, an Arts and Crafts competition where visitors can buy unique goods, museum tours, and a row of markets lined up on Cross Street.
YpsiFest is quite possibly the best way to celebrate everything great about our town. This year, it will take place in various areas around Depot Town, Frog Island Park, Riverside Park, and Cross Street.
Ypsilanti is always buzzing with activity, and there is definitely fun to be had during the summer months when school is out. If you are ever in Ypsi during the summer months, you should check out some of these events and places. Ypsi is the place to be!
Gary Simmons is a senior from Muskegon, Michigan who is majoring in both Journalism/Media Studies and Urban Planning. When he isn’t out promoting EMU/Ypsilanti with the Go Social! Team, he is either writing articles for the Eastern Echo, working on TV programs with EMU’s student-ran ETV station, or is making people laugh with Laugh-a-Minute Enterprises.