By Sammy Schuck
Most people may know that festivals attract people to Michigan communities. What most may not know is that festivals and events in the state are an annual $1 billion industry, according to Michigan Festivals and Events Association CEO Mike Szukhent. According to Szukhent, the lack of winter festivals last year “hit hard.”
There are over 800 festivals in Michigan in a normal year, and the Flushing-based association works with most of them, assisting with advocacy, training, marketing and promotion, Szukhent said. Szukhent emphasizes the importance of such events to local economies. A worker shortage is one major challenge festivals have faced since May 2021 and which will challenge winter festivals this upcoming winter, he said.