Hear ye, hear ye! The Michigan Renaissance Festival (Ren Fest) is returning once again to Holly, Michigan. Back for the 39th year, the Ren Fest is known for being one of Oakland County’s most unique annual festivals. Riveting jousts, colorful costumes, and delicious turkey legs are just a few things you can look forward to. The festival celebrates the end of medieval times in a fantasy world setting and is open weekends and Labor Day, beginning August 18th through September 30th. Go back in time and experience the magic of the Renaissance!
No matter your heritage, you can always join in on the fun of being “a little Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day. On March 17th, the greenest day of the year, everyone is invited to enjoy special foods, music, parades, dances, and of course, all things green!
Take a look at our list of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in and around Oakland County for events leading up to and beyond this festive day. If you’re looking for a taproom to try an Irish or local brew, be sure to check out our Brewed Local List too. Continue reading
WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
The morning was perfect for a winter exploration. Fresh snow fell much of the night and continued well into dawn. My trailhead greeting party consisted of cascades of accumulated snow sliding off the boughs of white pine trees, and what sounded like the excited warning chatter of an eastern fox squirrel. I stopped to assess the situation.
Squirrels don’t just sit on tree branches talking to themselves. I decided the squirrel’s concern was the motionless Cooper’s Hawk that I noted seconds earlier perched on a nearby tree. I trudged forward, the hawk flew off, and the squirrel scampered down about ten feet, leapt over to another branch and continued to watch me closely. Perhaps the chatter was a welcoming greeting for me after all. I chattered back and we shared pleasantries for a few moments.
St. Patrick’s Day may not be until March 17th, but communities in and around Oakland County are already gearing up for the festivities. From live music, dances, and theatrical productions – to hearty meals, races, and parades – there’s a St. Patrick’s Day event for everyone! So whether or not you trace your ancestry back to the emerald isle, remember that everyone’s a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
Use our list of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in and around Oakland County to make the most out of this special day!
Who was St. Patrick?
- St. Patrick was originally born in England, and was kidnapped by Irish pirates where he was sold into slavery. After his escape from bondage he became a missionary in Ireland.
- A hero in Ireland, there are 60 churches and cathedrals named “St. Patrick’s,” with the most famous being in Dublin.
- The wearing of green is associated with the green hills and shamrocks of the Emerald Isle, although traditionally the color blue was associated with St. Patrick.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in New York, but the first observance of the day was in 1737 by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston.
- In 1996 the first St. Patrick’s Day Festival was held in Ireland as a three-day event, that has since grown to a five day festival that draws roughly 1 million visitors to the area.
St. Patrick’s Day in Michigan
In Michigan, the largest wave of Irish immigrants came in 1815 when one million Irish Catholics settled in the Detroit area. Today’s festivities commemorate St. Patrick with parades and merrymaking, celebrating Irish heritage in Southeast Michigan and the contributions they made to the American cultural landscape.
Think your family can be traced back to the early Irish settlers of the area? Find a record of your ancestors at the Archives of Michigan to discover more about your family history.
Do you remember seeing all of the #DigMilford tweets in your Twitter feed back in January? Well, all of those tweets led to something really worthwhile here in Oakland County! They helped the Huron Valley History Initiative to win a grant, valued at $2,500, to digitize The Milford Times.
The Huron Valley History Initiative (HVHI) is made up of The Milford Historical Society, the Milford Library and also historical groups and libraries from Highland Township, White Lake Township and Commerce Township.
The grant project is funded annually by the Robert and Susan Clarke Endowment through Clarke Historical Library of Central Michigan University.
HVHI submitted their grant request to the Clarke Historical Library with the hope of preserving the history of Milford, Highland, White Lake and Commerce, as The Milford Times has the only continuous account of the area going back to 1871. They wanted the newspaper to be made available to all residents in an online format to provide easier and faster access. The Huron Valley area has a rich history and was once referred to as the “Up north playgrounds of the Detroit wealthy.” by the Detroit News. The HVHI is delighted that the documentation of the people, industries and way of life in Milford and surrounding communities will now be available online.