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Mittenfest VII

This holiday season, join local nonprofit 826michigan for nearly a full week of Michigan music and fun with Minifest and Mittenfest VII! Mittenfest is an annual music festival that serves as a fundraiser for 826michigan as well as a good-time holiday get-together. It was founded in 2006 by Brandon Zwagerman and Jeremy Peters and has grown to a five-day extravaganza featuring artists like Misty Lyn & The Big Beautiful, Frontier Ruckus, and Lightning Love. 2011’s Mittenfest VI raised over $20,000 for 826michigan’s free creative writing and tutoring programs for students 6-18 in Washtenaw County.

This year, the fun starts early with Minifest, a one-night-only mini-festival of local music at Ann Arbor’s Rush Street Lounge. On Wednesday, December 26, music lovers will enjoy intimate performances by local acts A Vagrant Symphony, Nick Bertsos & Little Traps, and Joshua Barton. The $10 cover charge also includes a Minifest-special drink by renowned mixologist Andy Garris.

Mittenfest VII kicks off two days later at Woodruff’s Bar in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town. Starting Friday, December 28, through Tuesday, January 1, each day will include eight full hours of Michigan music from Mittenfest favorites like Matt Jones & The Reconstruction as well as up-and-coming acts. On Monday, December 31, Mittenfest will ring in 2013 in style with a DJ’ed dance party stretching till 4am. $10 one-day wristbands are available at the door and subject to capacity. For bands, schedules, and to purchase all-access skip-the-lines VIP Passes for $82.60, please visit

For those who prefer a lower-key atmosphere (with food!), Ypsilanti’s Beezy’s Cafe is hosting a Mittenfest brunch on Sunday, December 30, from 10am-2pm. As with Mittenfest and Minifest, all proceeds benefit local nonprofit 826michigan.

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Mittenfest has grown beyond our wildest dreams,” says Amanda Uhle, 826michigan’s Executive Director, “Because so many of the students we serve live in Ypsilanti, we’re touched and thrilled by the response Mittenfest has received from the Ypsilanti community. There’s something really special to us about knowing that the funds raised to support our programs are raised in small increments -- a $10 wristband, an $8 brunch. We could not do what we do without year-round community support, and Mittenfest is the best way we can think of to end the year with a bang.”

Mittenfest VII is presented with support from Woodruff's Bar, Jenny Harley Design, Quite Scientific Records, Yelp!, VGKids, Chelsea Milling Company, Radio OPIE, Bud Light, Gene Butman Ford, and Fingerle Lumber. Proceeds from the festival benefit 826michigan’s free creative writing and tutoring programs for students in Ypsilanti, including an after-school program at Ypsilanti Middle School and writing workshops at the Ypsilanti District Libraries. For more information about Mittenfest, including bands and schedules, and to purchase VIP passes, please visit For more about 826michigan’s volunteer-driven services, visit or call (734) 761-3463.