The SDACVB Presents: Saugatuck EXPO

Long known as the Art Coast of Michigan, the Saugatuck/Douglas region has captivated visitors with it’s creative, diverse and naturally beautiful communities. Stunning stretches of acclaimed beaches, the tranquil Kalamazoo river, quaint locally-owned boutiques, galleries and lodging, strollable downtowns and winding wooded trails; Saugatuck/Douglas has been the premier recreation and leisure destination since the early 1900s.

To celebrate the town’s rich creative history, the Saugatuck/Douglas Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (SDACVB) has curated a new summer experience: Saugatuck Expo – a month-long celebration of arts and culture that have made the Art Coast of Michigan a tourism destination for 150 years. Saugatuck Expo’s purpose is to create experiences, showcasing the best of what the Saugatuck/Douglas region has to offer in the realms of food/beverage, arts/entertainment, music, lodging and more. The expo is also expected to serve as a kick-starter for the area’s busy tourism season as well.

“We envision Saugatuck Expo to be a spotlight, shining on the best of what’s in the Saugatuck, Douglas and Fennville region,” said Josh Albrecht, SDACVB’s Executive Director. “We’re excited to showcase all that our communities have to offer in one month-long experience.”

The tagline for the event is “30 Days on the Art Coast,” referencing art in all of its forms that will be on display throughout the month. Saugatuck Expo will kick-off on Saturday, June 1 and continue until Sunday, June 30 with events taking place throughout the duration of the month. Each week has a specific theme with special programming.

Week One: The Culinary Arts

Saugatuck/Douglas is home to an astounding number of talented chefs, restauranteurs, sommeliers and culinary professionals. The first week of Expo will showcase all of the delicious ways to experience our region through our foodie-focused events.

  • Taste of EatDrinkSDF – June 1, 1 – 4 p.m. // Downtown Saugatuck, Parking lot adjacent to Wick’s Park

Taste of EatDrinkSDF is an outdoor food festival with more than 10 area restaurants offering “tastes” of some of their new summer menu items. Taste of EatDrinkSDF will take place in the parking lot adjacent to Wick’s Park in downtown Saugatuck. Entry is $6 and includes 2 food tickets. Entertainment like live music from the Mainstays, as well as a blind smell/taste competition will also take place during this fun event.

  • Restaurant Week – June 2 – 9 // Downtown Saugatuck and Douglas, Varying locations

To get a true taste of our communities, visit Saugatuck/Douglas during the first week of June, and bring your appetite. Eat out at any of our participating restaurants for community-wide specials that showcase the true talent and creativity of our area’s chefs. Come experience curated, specially-coursed menus with items at $10, $15 and $30 price points.

Week Two: Fine Arts

The second weekend of Saugatuck Expo celebrates our region’s long-standing reputation for fostering and supporting the fine arts. With dozens of working artists residing in our communities, there’s no better place to host these fine art-focused events.

  • Exhibition Opening – June 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m. // Downtown Saugatuck, Saugatuck Center for the Arts

The SCA’s exhibition opening kick’s off the fine arts weekend with live music, food trucks and of course, art at their summer gallery opening. This family-friendly event is open to the public and is free to attend, however, a cash bar and food trucks will be available for refreshments.

  • Summer Gallery Stroll – June 8, 6 – 8 p.m. // Downtown Saugatuck & Douglas, Varying locations

Experience the Art Coast of Michigan through strolling through our many galleries in downtown Saugatuck and Douglas. While every participating gallery will have artwork on display and for sale, each gallery will offer unique experiences like refreshments and live music.

Week Three: The Art of Music

The third week of Saugatuck Expo celebrates the art of music with live performances all over town. Expect pop-performances, shows at restaurants and bars and of course, other fun events throughout our towns.

  • Sounds of Summer – June 14-16 // Community-wide, varying times and locations

Many of our local bars, restaurants and organizations begin hosting live music for the summer in June. Watch the website and our social media for the full release of artists, venues and show times.

  • Town Crier 5k, 10k and Half Marathon – June 15, 8 A.M. // Saugatuck

Since 2002, this event has been benefiting the Saugatuck High School Cross Country and Track teams. For runners who vacation here, this is an annual tradition. There’s no better way to experience our towns than through a run. All races start at Saugatuck Public High School and end at Beery Field, Douglas MI.      

Week Four: The Performing Arts

The fourth week of Saugatuck Expo celebrates the performing arts. Theater productions, comedy shows and even sporting events will make this week entertaining and fun.

  • “In the Heights” Opening – June 21-23 // Downtown Saugatuck, Saugatuck Center for the Arts

“In the Heights” tells a captivating story of a neighborhood on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions to take with you, and which ones to leave behind. Expect Latin rhythms, electrifying dancing and another entertaining show at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Purchase tickets at www.sc4a.org.

  • Laugh Shore Comedy Festival – June 21 – 23, // Saugatuck and Douglas, Locations Vary

The Laugh Shore Comedy Festival will feature four, 90-minute comedy shows at venues throughout the Saugatuck area. Tickets to each show are $10/person. Ticket sales and comedian lineup to be announced on April 1.

Week Five: The Art of Shakespeare

The final weekend of Saugatuck Expo will encompass a mini-renaissance festival, anchored by multiple performances by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company.

  • Shakespeare in the Park – June 29, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. // Downtown Saugatuck, Coghlin Park

Shakespeare in the Park is more than a show, it’s a mini renaissance festival. The entrance to Coghlin Park will open at 6 p.m. The show and festival is free to attend, and food and drinks will be available for purchase. Activity tents and restrooms will be available on-site. At 7 p.m., the two-hour outdoor performance of Romeo & Juliet by Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will begin. Participants are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the show. The performance will end by 10 p.m. and the park will close at this time as well.

  • Shakespeare Mini-Performances – June 28, 29 & 30 // Saugatuck and Douglas, Varying Locations

In addition to the other large performance of Romeo & Juliet on Saturday, Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will be performing other mini shows you can catch for free throughout the weekend as well. Showtimes and locations are as follows:

  • Friday, June 28 – 8 p.m., at the Saugatuck Women’s Club
  • Saturday, June 29 – Noon, at the Saugatuck Women’s Club
  • Sunday, June 30 – Noon, at the Saugatuck/Douglas History Museum

For more information on Saugatuck Expo, visit www.saugatuck.com/expo/.

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