2018 Festival Weekend Schedule

Chelsea Area Festivals and Events is proud to announce the return of its annual Sounds & Sights Festival, presented by Rick Taylor Real Estate, on July 26, 27 and 28 in vibrant downtown Chelsea, just 14 miles west of Ann Arbor.  In its 42nd season, the weekend event will draw over 15,000 visitors and will feature national and regional live music acts, local food and brew, an open-air art market, classic car show, chalk art contest, and multiple events activities for all ages.

Building on Chelsea’s Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights, a free multi-concert series located in downtown Chelsea each Thursday night during the summer months, The Sounds & Sights Festival is a two-day, three-night  event that  offers something for everyone.

For a complete line up of the Sounds & Sights Thursday Night’s free concert series, visit

Social Tent:
Located behind The Common Grill restaurant, the social tent is open at 6 p.m., with live bands performing from 7 to 11 p.m.  Beer and wine will be for sale to those aged 21 and over. Admission is $5 and all ages are welcome. In addition to the many local sponsors including the City of Chelsea DDA, Chelsea State Bank, “Jiffy” Mixes and Chelsea Chevrolet Buick, proceeds from the Social Tent help fund the summer long Thursday Night free concert series.

Thursday, July 26 is billed as ‘Local Spotlight’ and features two rising bands from Michigan.  Opening at 7pm is Ben Daniels Band followed by The Accidentals.

Friday, July 27 is ‘Country Night’ and features two of the region’s most popular performers: Kari Holmes and Bill Kirchen.  

Saturday, July 28 is the festival’s traditional ‘Dance Party’ showcasing funk band Root Doctor followed by FiftyAmpFuse who performs renditions of classic rock and dance favorites from the 80’s, 90’s and today.

For a complete line up of music events, visit the Sounds and Sights Social Tent website.

The KidZone Area

The KidZone area, sponsored by Ann Arbor Pediatric Dentistry and Rainbow Child Care Center, will offer activities for children of all ages on both Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Located behind the Clocktower complex, kids will enjoy a variety of shows like Kevin Devine Music, bounce houses, Chelsea Fire department demonstrations, sports with Coach Jeremy, ATA Martial Arts demonstrations, character meet and greet with the Chelsea Bulldog mascot, Chelsea Lanes games, Chelsea District Library fun, and more. For a complete list of activities, visit the Sounds and Sights KidZone website.

Pet Parade
The annual pet parade, sponsored by Chelsea Farmers Supply, is a favorite for all ages. This year’s parade theme, Mythical Creatures, promises an unforgettable opportunity for pets and their owners to strut their stuff downtown. Participants should plan to arrive at Chelsea Farmers Supply, located across from the railroad tracks at 122 Jackson Street, between 9:00 and 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 28 to check-in and get lined up for the parade which starts at 10 a.m.  For further information on the pet parade call H.K. at Chelsea Farmers Supply 734-475-1777 or visit the Sounds and Sights Pet Parade website.

Classic Cruisers Car Show
Be sure to zip on over to East Middle, East, and Harrison Street on Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. to see  more than 300 classic cars from across the Midwest.  Sponsored by Parts Peddler Auto Supply, this event is an annual favorite for car enthusiasts. Live music, sponsored b Roberts Paint and Body, features Billy Mack and the Juke Joint Johnnies . For details on how to enter your car into the show, visit the Sounds and Sights Classic Car website.

Chalk Art Contest
The Chalk Art Contest, sponsored by Healthy Smiles Dental Group, is scheduled on Saturday, July 28 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Participants will create vibrant colors and works of art at the Clocktower building. Chelsea Area Festivals & Events will award over $1,000 across 11 contest categories.  For details on how to participate, visit the Sounds and Sights Chalk Art website.

Chalk Art Professional Artists
In addition to the festival’s ever popular chalk contest, a mini grant from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and the Arts Alliance helped to expand the annual Sounds & Sights Festival Chalk Art into a two day event featuring 15 world-renowned “Street Artists”.  The event will take place July 26 and 27, 2018 on East and West Middle Streets in downtown Chelsea.  To learn more about the artists, and to see example of their work visit Sounds and Sights Professional Chalk Artists website.

Polka Party
On Saturday, July 28, the Social Tent will feature The Kielbasa Kings from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The Dearborn based polka band performs contemporary and traditional polkas, waltzes and obereks, instrumentally and sung in Polish and English.

Located in the parking lot behind The Common Grill restaurant, the social tent has free admission from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Beer and wine will be for sale to those aged 21 and over with valid identification.

A food court, featuring Srodek’s Campau Quality Sausage Co., is adjacent to the social tent’s entrance on West Middle Street.    In addition to polish food, the food court offers a variety of food from The Incredible Kettle Krab, Thompson’s Pizza, Amie Jo’s Elephant Ears, Chelsea Kiwanis Food Truck, Smokehouse 52 BBQ, and The Common Grill.

Thanks to continuous sponsors support  the Sounds & Sights Festival offers entertainment and activities for all ages that have drawn generations of families to downtown Chelsea time and time again.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit http://www.chelseafestivals.com.

Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights is a program of Chelsea Area Festivals and Events, and is made possible with the support from its 2018 season sponsors including: City of Chelsea DDA, Rick Taylor Real Estate – Reinhart, Chelsea State Bank, “Jiffy” Mixes, Chelsea Cheverlot and Buick, Cleary’s Pub, The Common Grill, Golling of Chelsea, Jeff Klink and Associates, LaJolla Fine Jewelry, Michigan Medicine, Lehman & Scheffler Real Estate Services, Roberts Paint & Body, Smokehouse 52 BBQ, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation, and Chelsea District Library.