Muskegon welcomes return of popular Lakeshore Art Festival

The popular Muskegon Lakeshore Art Festival (LAF) is back and promises to be better than ever. Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Downtown Muskegon. 

The event, hosted by the Muskegon Downtown Development Authority, is free to attend. Whether you swing by for a couple of hours or make a weekend of it and head to the beach afterward, this year’s lineup won’t disappoint.

After a year off, LAF has booked nearly 200 fine art and craft exhibitors and is preparing for a celebratory way to safely bring the community back together. Sunshine Artist Magazine, a national publication, has featured LAF for the past six years as one of the Top 200 Festivals in the country based on artist votes. LAF has also been recognized by The Grand Haven Tribune for the West Michigan People’s Choice Award as one of the Best Art Festivals in West Michigan.

“We are thrilled to bring the festival back again to the community,” says Carla Flanders, chief experience officer at CMF Marketing LLC and LAF director. “Hosting fine art and craft exhibitors from all over the country provides a long-awaited way to connect in a beautiful setting while supporting talented artists, sampling culinary delights, and encouraging kids to express themselves through art.”

Reasons to attend LAF

LAF’s main hub is at the Muskegon DDA building, 380 W. Western Ave. 

There are many reasons to attend the Lakeshore Art Festival — besides the opportunity to get outside and see friends again — which include:

1. Fine art and craft market exhibitors — Bring your gift list. Historic Hackley Park is home to fine art/fine craft exhibitors, showcasing high-quality art created by artists from across the country. The craft market covers seven blocks in the heart of Downtown Muskegon. Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list — jewelry, lawn art, home décor, apparel, toys, and more — that you can’t get anywhere else.

2. Artisan food vendors (and festival favorites) — Bring your appetite and your pooch. Experience a host of unique and delicious artisan food vendors, who will be located on Clay Avenue and Third Street. With more than a dozen specialty artisan food booths and 20 food trucks — including slow-roasted barbecue, Greek cuisine, specialty sandwiches, gourmet frozen treats, and cakes — save room to sample the many options. Plus, the festival will feature all of your deep-fried favorites — elephant ear, anyone? You can even spoil Fido with gourmet doggie treats that are sure to delight.

3. Children’s activities — Bring the kids. Children and families will find fun and artful happenings on Children’s Lane, featuring booths that educate, entertain, and inspire creativity in various mediums. Art activities will be available on location or to take home. 

This juried show features only items handcrafted by the artisan present at the booth. In the fine art category, more than $3,000 in cash prizes is to be awarded. The craft market features a people’s choice award, sponsored by the Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce, for which the community gets to vote on their favorite exhibitor for first, second, and third place.

“Living on the West Coast of Michigan, there are many art shows and fairs throughout the summer in different beach towns. This one, by far, was the best I have been to,” says previous festival attendee Lillian Dotzlaf. “The variety and number of vendors was wonderful. I felt there was something for everybody, including the kids.”

Community Mosaic Project

Each year, LAF adds an element that’s engaging for the community. This year, the festival will host its first-ever Community Mosaic Project. Local recycling company Padnos has provided 1,500 4-by-4-inch reclaimed wooden square tiles that will be available to the community as mini canvases upon which to create art. The public is invited to grab a tile ahead of the festival, get creative, and bring the completed tile to LAF. There, each tile will be added to larger boards, creating a multidimensional community mosaic. Sections of the mosaic will be displayed at various locations throughout Muskegon after the festival is over.

The festival will practice safety first and will follow the current Centers for Disease Control and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services pandemic guidelines, along with a customized LAF safety protocol. 

Michigan is expected to fully lift outdoor capacity limits, put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, on June 1.

Volunteers are still needed. If you like to meet new people, learn more about artists, give back to your community, and get a free volunteer T-shirt, click here to learn more. 

You can also pre-order merchandise, including T-shirts, aluminum water bottles, fanny packs, and more ahead of the festival and year-round at For more information about LAF, visit


Read more articles by Kristie Burns.