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Summertime Soirees: Five facts about local festivals and gatherings

It’s something of a rite of passage in the summer months. No one wants to see the arrival of autumn and not be able to boast a bit about attending at least one summer festival. From art to food to heritage and music, Greater Lansing has no shortage of outdoor gatherings in the summer months; however, there’s more than just recreation and entertainment involved in these events. Here’s a look at five ways summer festivals elevate the community experience.

Explore Culture, Tradition
The Lansing area is a rich melting pot of different ethnicities, religions, backgrounds and beliefs. Local festivals are a wonderful way for a group to showcase and celebrate its culture and traditions in the form of art, music, food and customs. At the same time, it allows people from outside the group to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of their community neighbors.

Promote Diversity, Inclusivity
While cultivating the previously mentioned deeper understanding and appreciation of the differences among us, the diversity and inclusivity of festivals also promote a sense of community, belonging and place. Embracing and celebrating what makes us unique helps foster and strengthen the bonds of empathy, respect and tolerance.

Celebrate Civic Pride
Recurring festivals are more than simply highly anticipated annual events. They become an ingrained part of the community fabric. In doing so, they cultivate a sense of civic pride and community ownership among residents. The enhanced spirit of togetherness and awareness help bolster an area’s positive image and reputation and creates a stronger sense of attachment.

Build Social Bonds
By opening a platform for family, friends, neighbors and strangers to unite, interact and share a single experience together, festivals strengthen the social bonds of a community. Socialization is a built-in component of any festival, and the memories created by the festival experience nurture a sense of social connection and cohesion among the attendees.

Boost Tourism, Economy
More than a gathering, festivals are a happening. They are designed to draw people in — both from the local area as well as guests and newcomers from a much wider region. Because of that, they put the community in the center-stage spotlight. The increased activity generated ripples far beyond the festival grounds to retail, food and hospitality services everywhere.