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Ann Arbor Carnivals and Fairs

Thrills & Delights: Ann Arbor’s Carnivals 2023

The 2023 Ann Arbor Carnival & Fair season is back! Carnivals are always a great source of family fun with games and rides and entertainment. My daughter loves rides, so carnivals and fairs that bring rides to town have always been a big hit with her.

The Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival at Pioneer High School may be the most popular carnival in Ann Arbor. But, I found so many other carnivals near me in 2023.

In Washtenaw County, there is the Milan Fair, Saline Fair, Manchester Fair, and Chelsea Fair. Nearby is the Canton LibertyFest or the Hamburg Fun Fest. Or venture to Howell for the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest – it is worth the drive!

What other Michigan Carnivals in 2023 are worth the drive from the Ann Arbor area?

Note we are in the process of updating this article for 2023.

Summer Carnivals in Michigan for 2023 – Near Ann Arbor

Our list includes carnivals in communities surrounding Ann Arbor that have rides. We have information on dates, hours, entertainment, and prices. We have also noted which carnivals have an admission fee or minimum purchase.

Carnivals are ordered by event date. If you know of one that we missed, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Milan Fair

The Milan Fair is one of the first Washtenaw County fairs each year an offers a full fair experience.

Opening day Thursday includes a parade at 6p. Friday’s fair day concludes with fireworks over the lake. Pull up a blanket or chairs on Wabash St for a great view. Saturday starts with a magic show at 11a.

Milan Fair Schedule:

🎑 Thursday, June, 1 Milan Fair & Parade
🎑 Friday, June, 2 Milan Fair & Fireworks
🎑 Saturday, June, 3 Milan Fair

At a Glance

Location

Wilson Park, Wabash Street, Milan, MI, USA

Season

Seasonal June 1, 2023-June 3, 2023

Schedule

4-11p Thursday & Friday, 11-10p Saturday

Price

Ride Wristband: $30. Tickets available

Hamburg Family Fun Fest

Celebrate with the Hamburg Fun Fest. Head for the carnival rides, but stick around for some of their other activities. Check out the petting zoo. Let kids take a shot in the Youth Archery Shoot. Ice Skate in June! And check out the giant lawn games in the kids zone.

Don’t miss the Laser Show and Fireworks at West Park on both Friday and Saturday night. Or come Saturday for the Classic & Custom Car Show.

They also have several fun shows – Laugh Magic Live, Rock N Circus Sh Live Reptile Presentation, Radio Controlled Plane Show,

Hamburg Family Fun Fest Schedule

]🎑 Wednesday, June, 14 Hamburg Fun Fest
]🎑 Thursday, June, 15 Hamburg Fun Fest
]🎑 Friday, June, 16 Hamburg Fun Fest
]🎑 Saturday, June, 17 Hamburg Fun Fest

At a Glance

Location

Manly W. Bennett Park, 10405 Merrill Road, Whitmore Lake, MI, USA

Season

Seasonal June 14, 2023-June 17, 2023

Schedule

Opens 4p Wednesday, noon Thursday, 2p Friday, and 11a Saturday

Price

Ride Wristbands: $25 in advance. At the gate: $25/Wednesday, $30/Thursday or Friday, and $35/Saturday

Canton LibertyFest

Canton LibertyFest is a 3 day carnival. 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of Canton LibertyFest.

In addition to the carnival, they have a marketplace, petting farm, live music, LEGO Display, and more.

Mark your calendars for fireworks on Friday night (rain date of Saturday). Saturday starts with the Liberty Run and a pancake breakfast. Also on Saturday is Canton’s Juneteenth Celebration. There will also be music each afternoon and evening.

Carnival ride wristbands can be bought for $30 for a Thursday or Friday or $35 for Sunday – cash only on site. You can buy a $30 single day ticket valid any day online in advance with a $1.99 fee. A 3 day Mega Ride Wristband can be purchased online in advance for $75 (plus $1.99 fee). The multi-day pass cannot be bought on site. Buy your wristband now.

Canton LibertyFest Schedule

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Thursday, June, 15 Canton Liberty Fest
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Friday, June, 16 Canton Liberty Fest & Fireworks
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Saturday, June, 17 Canton Liberty Fest & Juneteenth
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Saturday, June, 17 Liberty Run

At a Glance

Location

Heritage Park, South Canton Center Road, Canton, MI, USA

Season

Seasonal June 15, 2023-June 17, 2023

Schedule

1-11p Thursday and Friday, 10a-11p Saturday

Price

$75 Mega Wristbands, $30/day Wristbands. Tickets 4/$5 or 50/$50

Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival

The Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival is an Ann Arbor tradition. It is held each June in the Pioneer High School parking lot. The Carnival includes rides, games, and food. For my daughter, the highlight of the Carnival is the rides. She has loved rides from the first time I took her to the Jaycees Carnival at 1.5 years old.

2023 Carnival Walk Through

Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival 2023 annual walkthroughhttps://annarborwithkids.com/articles/2023-ann-arbor-jaycees-carnival-details-walkthrough-review-2/

Posted by Ann Arbor with Kids on Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Get all the details in our 2023 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Article.

Tickets

Skerbeck returns as the ride operator for the 2023 Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival. There is a minimum purchase to enter the carnival. You have to spend $10/person or $30/family.

You can show proof of an online wristband purchase, or purchase a wristband, ride tickets, or midway bucks for food or games at the gate.

Ann Arbor Jaycees Carnival Schedule

🎑 Wednesday, June, 21 Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
🎑 Thursday, June, 22 Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
🎑 Friday, June, 23 Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
🎑 Saturday, June, 24 Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival
🎑 Sunday, June, 25 Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival

At a Glance

Location

Pioneer High School, West Stadium Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Season

Seasonal June 21, 2023-June 25, 2023

Schedule

4-9p Wednesday-Friday, noon-9p Saturday & Sunday

Price

$30 ride wristband. $10 minimum purchase to enter, $20/family

Michigan Challenge Balloonfest

Michigan Challenge Balloonfest has their 38th event in 2023. The event features hot air balloons that you can see on the ground, as they fly in, or during the Balloon Glow on Saturday night. The Festival also includes a full carnival, market place shopping, and live entertainment.

Check out our review from the 2019 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest. We attended on Saturday to watch the Balloon Glow.

There is an admission fee of $5/day or $10/weekend. The weekend admission wristband is only available Friday and is valid Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Carnival rides are an additional cost with a $30/day wristband or tickets for $1.25/each or $20/20 tickets.

Schedule your carnival visit to see the 6:30p balloon launch on Friday or Saturday and either fireworks (on Friday) or Balloon Glow (Saturday).

Make time to take in the Arts Festival & Open Market, Entertainment, and the Family Fun Tent (which includes the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum on Friday and Saturday).

🎈 Thursday, June, 22 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest – Rides Only
🎈 Friday, June, 23 Michigan Challenge Balloon Festival
🎈 Saturday, June, 24 Michigan Challenge Balloon Festival
🎈 Sunday, June, 25 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest

At a Glance

Location

Howell High School, West Grand River Road, Howell, MI, USA

Season

Seasonal June 22, 2023-June 25, 2023

Schedule

Thursday & Friday 2-11p, Saturday 6a-11p, Sunday 6a-9p

Price

$5 Wristband for admission, $10 Weekend Wristband.

Chelsea Community Fair

Head to the Chelsea Community Fair for a fun time at the carnival rides or visiting the animal exhibition barns.

The 2023 schedule is not out yet, but we will update closer to the fair. Currently, there is a demolition derby and horse show listed as events on their Facebook page. Their website still lists 2022 details beyond that.

Make plans to attend for either the children’s parade or the Fair Parade.

🎑 Tuesday, August, 22 Chelsea Community Fair
🎑 Wednesday, August, 23 Chelsea Community Fair
🎑 Thursday, August, 24 Chelsea Community Fair
🎑 Friday, August, 25 Chelsea Community Fair
🎑 Saturday, August, 26 Chelsea Community Fair

At a Glance

Location

Chelsea Community Fair, West Old US Highway 12, Chelsea, MI, USA

Season

Seasonal August 22, 2023-August 26, 2023

Schedule

Gates open at 10a. Rides open: 5p Tuesday, 3p Wednesday & Thursday, noon Friday, 1p Saturday

Price

TBD: 2022 rates: $10/day, $30/season, $20/season for students, seniors. Plus ride wristband

Saline Fair

The Saline Fair is an annual event that brings together agricultural displays, activities and a carnival. Beyond the rides, take a walk through the barns to see the animals from baby birds to large cows. Check out the buildings for collections. Check out some of the grandstand shows like tractor pulls, Ag Olympics, auto cross derby, and more.

This year, the fair starts on Wednesday which is Saline Schools Day. The full fair runs through Sunday with just rides on Labor Day Monday.

When my daughter was younger the fair was after Labor Day and we loved visiting for children’s day while the big kids were at school. We always had a great time. There’s a touch a truck and usually lots of kid-friendly activities.

Saline Fair Schedule

🎑 Wednesday, August, 30 Saline Fair
🎑 Thursday, August, 31 Saline Fair
🎑 Friday, September, 1 Saline Fair
🎑 Saturday, September, 2 Saline Fair
🎑 Sunday, September, 3 Saline Fair
🎑 Monday, September, 4 Saline Fair

At a Glance

Location

Fairgrounds, Ann Arbor-Saline Road, Saline, Washtenaw, MI, USA

Season

Seasonal August 30, 2023-September 4, 2023

Schedule

Rides open at 2p Wednesday & Thursday, 1p Friday-Monday.

Price

$7 Admission/ Ride Wristbands $17 in advance, $20-25/day on site

Gone But Not Forgotten – Ann Arbor Carnivals

It appears that the National Strawberry Festival in Belleville is gone. They cancelled their 2020-2022 events. As of May 2023, their website is gone.

The Sumpter Township Country Fest was typically held Memorial Day weekend and has not been held since 2019. It does still appear on their website, so perhaps it will return in future years.

Fairs without Rides

Manchester Community Fair

The Manchester Community Fair had rides prior to 2020. They did not list rides for 2022 or 2023 and I could not find rides on the websites for any of the usual ride operators.

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