Getting to the Great Lakes Folk Festival, Aug. 11 – 13

Festival facts: travel, transportation and what to bring!

East Lansing streets will be blocked off for the weekend of the Great Lakes Folk Festival.  Bring chairs, and some water and then be ready to soak up 21 hours of programming in music, dance, arts, and culture!

The Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council will provide free guarded parking for festival-goers at a bike lot located at the corner of Albert Street and Abbot Road.

For those who drive, the City of East Lansing has a number of parking ramps downtown.  Motorists can also park literally steps away from the festival, across the street on the MSU campus in designated spots that are free to the public on weekends (check posted signs).

The following roads will be closed for festival pedestrian traffic from Friday, Aug. 11 through Sunday, Aug. 13: Albert Avenue (corner of Albert Avenue and Charles Street); Grove Street (corner of Grove Street and Albert Avenue); Abbot Road (from Grand River Avenue to Elizabeth); M.A.C. (from Albert to Linden). Motorists are advised to please find alternate routes for these roads on the days of the festival.

– City Hall – north lot
– Grove Street Ramp
– M.A.C north of the Marriott

“Seniors on the Go” courtesy shuttles are also available to senior festival-goers on-site, at the information booths.

The Great Lakes Folk Festival is accessible to persons with disabilities. Lansing Community College interpreters offer sign language at nearly every performance and stage. Wheelchairs are available at the main information booth. Schedules are available in Braille and large print by advance reservation.  Audio CDs with information about the festival are available by advance reservation. Call 432-GLFF (4533) to reserve schedules or audio CDs.

Note: the GLFF site is on CATA Route 1.

Some of the stages and activity areas have chairs and are under tents to protect visitors and performers from rain drops or too much sun but visitors are advised to have an umbrella handy, bring sunscreen, wear a hat and bring a collapsible chair for seating.

The festival grounds are swirling with music and sounds, smells, and thousands of people situated in compact seating arrangements and crowded thoroughfares.  Summer heat can also be a factor for many pets.  Please be considerate of fellow festival attendees and your pets, and leave them at home.

What sets this MSU Museum-produced event apart from many other festivals and fairs is the special fusion of culture, tradition and community that GLFF programs explore. Beyond a robust music and dance program, GLFF program highlights include; the GLFF Marketplace; Kidlore a children’s folk activity area; and 2017 Michigan Heritage Awards, honoring the state’s top tradition-bearers.

The festival site — across the street from the MSU campus – spans the downtown core of the city for three days of festival fun. Admission is by donation.

Festival hours are: Friday, Aug. 11, 6 – 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 12, noon – 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 13, noon – 6 p.m. For more information, call the MSU Museum at (517) 432-GLFF (4533) and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter (

The Great Lakes Folk Festival is presented by the Michigan State University Museum, Michigan’s first Smithsonian affiliate. The MSU Museum’s Michigan Traditional Arts Program researches, documents, preserves, and presents our shared heritage and cultural expressions.