When Ann Arbor comes alive

It seems a constant tease lately. The grey days persist. Thank goodness for the sunny mornings and later sunsets which have me feeling more productive and positive lately.

But what really got me excited yesterday was the arrival of the Rec & Ed catalog.

Sorry, Rec & Ed, it wasn't because of your summer programming…

It was the ad on the back cover that was staring straight at me as I lifted the mail from it's dark cavity of a box. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF). It's coming!

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Starting June 14th. The last day of school for Ann Arbor Public Schools begins the (almost) month long of (almost) daily, (basically) free to the public, performances by musicians and street performers. There's a beer tent, food tents, kids' tent...

Families and friends spread their picnic blankets and chairs to set up for an evening of giant bubbles, fresh air, and community. A night of people watching and letting the kids run free. Businesses and organizations host private parties under white tents but adjacent to the public, open festivities.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival is the month I feel the most alive in Ann Arbor.

As a transplant to Ann Arbor, the A2SF Top of the Park (TOP) series is what reminds me that - despite all the dismal, grey months we have in Michigan - we know how to celebrate life and sunny skies. And we live through festivals like it's what we were born to do. With multiple live musical performances on multiple stages every night. "Give $5, keep TOP free".

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That's the campaign. Do it. Go. Put it on your calendar, or don't - go on a whim. Take a friend.

ooo! Have your #engagebychance at TOP! yes, do that!

Find community among smiles and laughter. And for all you Engage members out there, keep an eye out in Slack where I'll announce an Engage Pop-up or two, or three over the month. I'll see you there!

Other favs this week:

  • Ann Arbor Tech Trek - part of the new 10-day long Tech360 event series.

  • Bill's Beer Garden - about as "third place" as you can get during the warmer months in Ann Arbor.

  • FeastFinder - This website made it possible for yours truly to have a girls' night where I didn't run into anyone I knew, outside, in a private, back alley dining area that I didn't know existed!

    • Thanks to my bestie - who worked with the creator, Jeff Parker, at their day job - I got to have a new experience in A2!

    • You can search by outdoor seating, free parking, or gluten-friendly (I'm looking at you, Hassan!) among other criteria. And if you're struggling to decide where to eat, there's a feature for that! It'll randomly select a spot among your short list!