Community buzz: Isabella County's April adventures & events

Spring is officially here, and it’s time to get out and experience all this season has to offer. From films and festivals to fairs and fundraisers, the month of April brings fun for all ages to Mt. Pleasant and Isabella County. Don’t miss out—grab your calendar and pencil in your picks from the events below.

Arts & Entertainment

CMU Film Festival
The Central Michigan International Film Festival (CMIFF) takes place April 3 through 7. This five-day event travels throughout multiple venues—both on and off campus—and is an annual showcase for a diverse slate of films from around the world. Organized and staffed by students, CMIFF shines a spotlight on independent, international, and Michigan-made films, including films produced by CMU students.

Wellspring Literary Series at Art Reach
Art Reach of Mid Michigan will host a Wellspring Literary Series event at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 8 in The Morey Family Gallery within Art Reach. The free downtown Mt. Pleasant event will feature Michigan author Katie Hartsock. Hartsock is the author of two poetry collections, “Wolf Trees” and “Bed of Impatiens.”

Rubbles 80s Bash with Miranda and the M80s
Miranda and the M80s have been making waves all around Michigan since 2015 with their energetic shows. Playing pop/rock songs from Prince, Journey, Pat Benatar, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Bon Jovi and delving into artists like Ozzy, AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Billy Squier, they’re back downtown—this time at the legendary Rubble’s Bar for a one-night-only 80s Bash on Friday, April 12 from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The band posts, “Rubbles is the kinda place we can mix things up and just have a helluva good intimate time with all our fans! Can’t. Wait.”

Art Reach’s Midnight at the Masquerade Murder Mystery Dinner
Art Reach will host their annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser on Friday, April 19 at Mid Michigan College’s Mt. Pleasant campus. The event begins at 5:15 p.m. with a “VIP Cocktail Hour” and doors open for general tickets at 6 p.m. “The rustle of silks and feathers under muted conversation was probably the last thing heard by the tragically and unexpectedly deceased at the Annual Billionaires Club Masquerade Ball,” shares Art Reach. “With a mystery under each feathery façade, unmasking the killer may be quite a challenge. It’s up to you to determine which partygoer is guilty, bring this crime to justice, and save the party!”

…and a Mini Masquerade for the Kids!
In tandem with the Murder Mystery Fundraiser, kids are invited to celebrate at their own Mini Masquerade. Art Reach will host an evening of food, fun, and festivities to keep kiddos entertained and engaged. Kids are invited to dress up or wear a costume just for fun, and will decorate masquerade masks to fancy-up their attire. The Mini Masquerade event will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 19 at Art Reach (111 E. Broadway in Mt. Pleasant). Pizza and breadsticks will be served at 5:30 p.m. for those joining for dinner.

Family Friendly Events

Solar Eclipse Experience
On Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m., join fellow astronomy enthusiasts at the Veteran’s Memorial Library in celebration of the upcoming solar eclipse. In partnership with CMU’s Center for Excellence in STEM Education, attendees will explore the concepts of heat, light, and shadow at stations throughout the Mt. Pleasant library. While supplies last, participants will receive eclipse glasses, snacks, and a Chippewa River District Library bag. You may not be in the path of totality, but you can still have fun at the library! 

Community Family Reading Night at Immanuel Lutheran Church
Gather up the family and head to Immanuel Lutheran Church for a Community Family Reading Night. Open to the public and free to attend, this event takes place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 at 320 S. Bradley Street. Community Family Reading Night will feature three readers, including local author Dominic Thrasher who will share his book, “The Adventures of Cece the Sheriff.” Books will be available for purchase as well.

“Willy Wonka” at Broadway Theatre
Broadway Playhouse Kids presents Roald Dahl's “Willy Wonka” directed by Dawn Bardell and Fia Roebuck. This classic musical means fun for the whole family. Tickets are $15 for the classical musical, and are on sale at (Note: Via the ticket link, if you want to purchase tickets for a performance other than opening night, simply click the "Select Different Date" button and a box will pop up for you to select your desired show date/time.) Performances will be held April 19 through 21, and April 26 through 28. 

Annual Mom2Mom Sale at Mt. Pleasant Middle School
The Mt. Pleasant Instrumental Music Boosters (IMB) presents the Annual Mom2Mom Sale at Mt. Pleasant Middle School on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. With over 100 booths featuring both mom sellers and regular vendors, shoppers will have plenty to peruse. Concessions will be available during the event and strollers are welcome. Admission costs $2 at the doors, while “early birds” can begin shopping an hour early, at 9 a.m., for a $5 admission fee. Proceeds go to support the Mt. Pleasant Public Schools bands and marching band.

Vernal Pool Exploration at Hall's Lake Natural Area
Are you a fan of amphibians? Join the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy at Hall’s Lake Natural Area in Remus on Wednesday, April 24 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. as they explore the fascinating world of vernal pools. Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that typically fill with melted snow and spring rains, but then dry out during the summer months. Because of the seasonal nature of these pools, fish are unable to survive in them. This makes them the preferred habitat for the reproduction of amphibians such as spotted salamanders, blue-spotted salamanders, and wood frogs. Be sure to wear rubber boots so you can better explore the pools! A boot disinfection station will be provided.

Gus Macker Comes to CMU
2024 marks an anniversary year for Gus Macker basketball. Founded in 1974 by Scott McNeal in Michigan, the Gus Macker tournament has grown nationwide, bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together through the love of basketball. This year’s CMU Macker theme is “Top GUS” and will be April 27 and 28 at Finch Fieldhouse. Details can be found at

Annual Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival
Come the last full weekend in April, it’ll be time for the annual Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival. Stop by the “Sweetest Town Around” April 25 through 28 for a full schedule of events including pancake and sausage dinners, an arts and crafts show, a carnival, and plenty more. Visit for more details.


MyMichigan Health’s Free Health Fair
In partnership with the Central Michigan University College of Medicine, MyMichigan Health is hosting a free health fair at MyMichigan Medical Center in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The health fair will provide free health education services, health and lifestyle products, and food for community members in need. You may also bring outdated and/or unused medications to be safely disposed of. Enjoy a chat with primary care and specialty providers, along with community services and vendors at this free event. 

Central Michigan University Spring Surplus Sale
Love a good deal? CMU Surplus Sales are typically held the last Friday of each month from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Prices aren’t listed online and everything is sold as-is, where it is. The next surplus sale will take place April 19 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at 275 W. Bellows St. For more information, visit their Facebook page

Mid Michigan College Student Showcase
On April 24, Mid Michigan College will host a Student Showcase from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come out and see the amazing work Mid students are doing! Take a look up close at various projects, speak with students, and even meet instructors. This event will be held in the Community Room at the Mt. Pleasant campus and awards will be presented to students at 2:30 p.m.

Grand Opening of Life Unplugged in Downtown Mt. Pleasant
On Friday, April 26, Life Unplugged will open their brick-and-mortar retail store in downtown Mount Pleasant with a special grand opening event. The store will open to the public at 9 a.m, and beginning at 4 p.m. there will be live music, free food, games, and giveaways in celebration of their opening. Come support downtown businesses and join in the fun.


21st Annual Northern Tradition Education Fundraiser in Clare
Join the Mid Michigan College Foundation and Jay’s Sporting Goods on April 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for their 21st Annual A Northern Tradition fundraiser. This exclusive event is hosted by Jay’s Sporting Goods and raises funds “to support student success, academic excellence, high-tech learning spaces, and campus improvements.” Tickets are $50 each and include opportunities to shop after store hours, enjoy free food from local restaurants, take home an exclusive print, and enter to win a $1,000 Jay's gift certificate. 

Isabella County Restoration House Party for a Purpose at Sacred Heart
Get ready for a night full of fun on April 20; doors open at 5 p.m. Support Isabella County Restoration House’s homeless shelter with a paddle auction, food, and cash bar at Sacred Heart Parish Hall. Tickets are $40 per person; $320 for tables of eight; and $400 for tables of ten. Admission includes dinner, dessert, and an auction paddle. Auction items will range from 50 cents to $5.00. Attendees can also purchase an “all-in paddle” for $200 and will be included on all of the items—no quarters needed! For more information, visit

Amazing Race Riverwood for the National Scleroderma Foundation 
The National Scleroderma Foundation’s Upper Great Lakes Chapter is excited to announce the inaugural Mt. Pleasant Amazing Race on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Teams of four receive a route map to local businesses where fun mini-challenges await. Points are earned at each challenge, as well as for things like funkiest outfits, best decorated vehicle, best pre-made music video, and more. One of the challenges is a hole-in-one contest where competitors could even win a new car; and, there is a special prize for the team who raises the most funds. Support research and help them reach their fundraising goal at Riverwood Resort (1313 E. Broomfield Rd.).

Ales for Trails in Shepherd
Back for 2024 is the Sixth Annual Ales for Trails event in Shepherd. The event takes place on Saturday, April 27 from 6 p.m. to midnight and will feature a beer tent with live music. The band After it All will play from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with Rampage taking the stage from 9 p.m. to midnight. This is a 21-and-up event with a $10 entry fee; beer, wine, and seltzers will be available for purchase. The event will be located on Wright Ave. between First and Second streets. Event proceeds benefit the Friends of Mid-Michigan Community Pathways, a group responsible for the maintenance, overall care, and promotion of the Mid Michigan Community Pathways non-motorized path.
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