a month-long celebration this June of arts and culture that have made the Art Coast of Michigan a tourism destination for 150 years.
Here is a quick highlight of the weekends:
Week One: The Culinary Arts
Saugatuck/Douglas is home to an astounding number of talented chefs, restauranteurs, sommeliers and culinary professionals. The first week of Expo will showcase all of the delicious ways to experience our region through our foodie-focused events.
- Taste of EatDrinkSDF - June 1, 1 - 4 p.m.
Downtown Saugatuck, Parking lot adjacent to Wick's Park
Taste of EatDrinkSDF is an outdoor food festival with more than 10 area restaurants offering "tastes" of some of their new summer menu items. Taste of EatDrinkSDF will take place in the parking lot adjacent to Wick's Park in downtown Saugatuck. Entry is $6 and includes 2 food tickets. Entertainment like live music as well as a blind smell/taste competition will also take place during this fun event.
- Restaurant Week - June 2 - 9
Downtown Saugatuck and Douglas, Varying locations
To get a true taste of our communities, visit Saugatuck/Douglas during the first week of June, and bring your appetite. Eat out at any of our participating restaurants for community-wide specials that showcase the true talent and creativity of our area's chefs. Come experience curated, specially-coursed menus with items at $10, $15 and $30 price points.
Week Two: Fine Arts
The second weekend of Saugatuck Expo celebrates our region's long-standing reputation for fostering and supporting the fine arts. With dozens of working artists residing in our communities, there's no better place to host these fine art-focused events.
- Exhibition Opening - June 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Downtown Saugatuck, Saugatuck Center for the Arts
The SCA's exhibition opening kick's off the fine arts weekend with live music, food trucks and of course, art at their summer gallery opening. This family-friendly event is open to the public and is free to attend, however, a cash bar and food trucks will be available for refreshments.
- Summer Gallery Stroll - June 8, 6 - 8 p.m.
Downtown Saugatuck & Douglas, Varying locations
Experience the Art Coast of Michigan, strolling through our many galleries in downtown Saugatuck and Douglas. While every participating gallery will have artwork on display and for sale, each gallery will offer unique experiences like refreshments and live music.
Week Three: The Art of Music
The third week of Saugatuck Expo celebrates the art of music with live performances all over town. Expect pop-performances, shows at restaurants and bars and of course, other fun events throughout our towns.
- Sounds of Summer - June 14-16
Community-wide, varying times and locations
Many of our local bars, restaurants and organizations begin hosting live music for the summer in June. Download our music lineup at www.saugatuck.com/expo/ for the full list of artists, venues and show times.
- Town Crier 5k, 10k and Half Marathon - June 15, 8 A.M.
Since 2002, this event has been benefiting the Saugatuck High School Cross Country and Track teams. For runners who vacation here, this is an annual tradition. There's no better way to experience our towns than through a run. All races start at Saugatuck Public High School and end at Beery Field, Douglas.
Week Four: The Performing Arts
The fourth week of Saugatuck Expo celebrates the performing arts. Theater productions, comedy shows and even sporting events will make this week entertaining and fun.
- "In the Heights" Opening - June 21-23
Downtown Saugatuck, Saugatuck Center for the Arts
"In the Heights" tells a captivating story of a neighborhood on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind. Expect Latin rhythms, electrifying dancing and another entertaining show at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Purchase tickets at www.sc4a.org.
- Laugh Shore Comedy Festival - June 21 - 23,
The Laugh Shore Comedy Festival will feature four, 90-minute comedy shows at venues throughout the Saugatuck area. Tickets to each show are $10/person. Ticket sales and comedian lineup to be announced on April 1.
Week Five: The Art of Shakespeare
The final weekend of Saugatuck Expo will encompass a mini-renaissance festival, anchored by multiple performances by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company.
- Shakespeare in the Park - June 29, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Shakespeare in the Park is more than a show, it's a mini renaissance festival. The entrance to Coghlin Park will open at 6 p.m. The show and festival is free to attend, and food and drinks will be available for purchase. Activity tents and restrooms will be available on-site. At 7 p.m., the two-hour outdoor performance of Romeo & Juliet by Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will begin. Participants are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the show. The performance will end by 10 p.m. and the park will close at this time as well.
- Shakespeare Mini-Performances - June 28, 29 & 30
In addition to the other large performance of Romeo & Juliet on Saturday, Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will be performing other mini shows you can catch for free throughout the weekend as well. Showtimes and locations are as follows:
October 26th, 2018
6PM Glow in the Park - Downtown Saugatuck
October 27th, 2018
3:30PM - Costume Judging - at Saugatuck's Wick's Park
4PM - Parade
9:30PM - Halloween Parade for Adults- Downtown Douglas
April 27th, 2018
Saugatuck Brewing Company at 6:30 - 9:00 P.M. - Nicholas James
April 29th, 2018
Salt of the Earth at 7:00 - 9:00 - Escaping Pavement & Drew Nelson
May 4th, 2018
Saugatuck Brewing Company at 6:30 P.M. - Sean McDaniel
May 5th, 2018
Saugatuck Brewing Company at 6:00 P.M. - Toby Bresnahan
May 6th, 2018
Salt of the Earth at 6:00 P.M. Josh Rose & Kaitlin Rose Parmenter
May 11th of 2018
Saugatuck Brewing Company at 6:30 P.M. - El Brandino
May 12th of 2018
Saugatuck Brewing Company at 6:00 P.M. - Joe Jason
Saugatuck-Douglas in the 1950s-1970s Saugatuck, Douglas as a Mirror of American Life in the “Atomic Age”
Currently closed for the winter. Will re-open May 26th 2018, Noon-4pm
Daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day, weekends in September and October
This exhibition chronicles how the two small lakeshore villages of Saugatuck and Douglas reflected the contrasting worlds of fear and fun during the Cold War era of the 1950s-1970s.
Prior to World War II, the villages had a remarkably good relationship with visitors, but in the post-war years this cozy relationship was disrupted amid a rapidly changing world. New cars, superhighways, and plenty of cash drew the pre-war tourist clientele to more exotic destinations, leaving the towns ripe for invasion by wild youth in fast cars and motorcycle gangs who arrived on summer weekends by the thousands. Some were hippies, most were not. Some were locals, most were not. The streets were clogged with cars parading up and down. Ruffians zoomed through town on loud motorcycles. Bars were plentiful—from classy to trashy—and the live jazz and rock music was the best in Michigan. Add in big boats and the Oval, the marvelous “drive-in” beach, to complete a '50s scene where automobile, sand, water, and beach crowd met like nowhere else.
Looming above it all, from high atop the once-friendly old Mt. Baldhead dune, beamed a frightening message. In the new Cold War, a U.S. Air Force radar station was built to monitor approaching Russian bombers—a scary and omnipresent threat of a nuclear attack from abroad. Dauntingly, the tower and its constantly revolving radar screen looked down upon a divided nation, ushering in an unsettling era of fallout shelters, school “duck and cover” practice, and air-raid drills, as well as assassinations, student protests, and anti-war music and culture.
Troubling, unsure, but also happy, it was a time of sharp contrasts. Local authorities, although fair and adept, found the young visitors impossible to control. The music played on, and the visitors had a blast. It was indeed the hottest town in Michigan.
Welcome to Cold War|Hot Towns.
A rural tour of six artistic studios with display gardens hosted by resident artists and special guest garden experts and demonstrating artists on hand to greet visitors of all ages.