Thousands Party at Houghton Lake Bud Bash

With spirits high and boats on the water, one of the biggest festivals for one northern Michigan town is back with thousands in attendance.

The 29th Annual Bud Bash in Houghton Lake may have officially started today but partiers have been bringing their boats to Roscommon County since the beginning of the week.

With an estimate of nearly 5,000 people pouring into the town, the bash is easily one of the area’s largest events of the year.

9&10’s Cody Boyer was in the thick of things out on the lake today to bring you the latest on the Bud Bash.


“I love it,” said Houghton Lake resident Helen Macko. “It’s a day I look forward to. It’s just an enjoyable experience and the police are so kind. I just think it’s just tremendous.”

With boats and beers in hand, people from miles around started hitting the water in Houghton Lake with one goal in mind: party like there is no tomorrow.

“Bud Bash at Houghton Lake is awesome,” said Dominic Henning, who travelled from downstate. “My favorite part about Bud Bash is we’re from the Detroit area. Every year we come up here. Fifteen, twenty of our buddies will make a list of who’s going to come every year and we have a great time.”

With a long-standing history of 29 years in Roscommon County, the Bash has changed this time of year for the town.

It’s hard to think this weekend used to be the slowest weekend, until the small town bar, the Limberlost, changed everything.

“The Bud Bash was actually started by our previous owner,” said Cora Hallauer, owner of the Limberlost. “It was the slowest weekend in Houghton Lake for the summertime. It was started 29 years ago and 25 years later, it is the busiest weekend of the summer.”

Thousands of people are out here on the lake and you’d think it would bother a lot of people on the waterline but, actually, that’s quite the contrary. 

People love this thing every year and look forward to seeing it and talking to all the people it brings.

Helen Macko has lived right next to where the Bud Bash happens for nine years.

Even so, she wouldn’t change it for the world.

“It’s a blast watching some of these people,” Macko said. “It’s so funny because they bring down beds and stuff that float in the water or tables that float in the water.”

More than 80 police officers chip in to help keep everyone safe during the festivities.

To visit the Facebook event page for the Bud Bash, click here