The Bud Bash Returns To Houghton Lake, Michigan

Tracy Stengel
Fun seekers at a previous Bud Bash.Photo via The Limberlost Facebook page.

If you’re looking for ways to heat up your summer, be sure to dive into The Limberlost’s Bud Bash in Houghton Lake, Michigan on August 7, 2021. It will be sizzling!

Five to ten thousand people pour into the South Shore of Houghton Lake every year for one of the biggest boat parties in Northern Michigan. Fun seekers flood The Limberlost’s lakeside patio and boaters tie off to each other in front of the tavern forming a gigantic floating party platform. People hop from one boat to the next to party and socialize. While officially, the event is only on Saturday, rest assured there will be partiers around The Limberlost all weekend long!

The Bud Bash is brimming with hot bodies, boats, bikinis, and booze! Plus, it’s free — there’s never any cover charge!
View of the Bud Bash from The Limberlost.Photo via The Limberlost Facebook page.

The Bud Bash began in 1985 and became an annual event the first Saturday of August. It became a summer staple for locals and tourists alike -- the perfect counterpart to Houghton Lake’s wildly popular winter fest, Tip Up Town. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Bud Bash was cancelled and The Limberlost closed for the day. Last year, the owner, Cora Hallauer, posted the following message on Facebook with a heavy heart:

Thirty-five years ago, The Limberlost hosted the first Bud Bash on the slowest weekend of the summer to not only improve the inflow of business through our doors but of every business within the community. At its core, Bud Bash was, is, and will again be hosted as a means of creating unforgettable memories with friends and loved ones while simultaneously supporting our community’s development. Hence, we simply could not prioritize one day over a legacy intended to continue in good health.
Aerial view of a previous Bud Bash.Photo via The Limberlost Facebook page.

The 2021 Bud Bash is expected to be bigger and better than ever to make up for last year. Boaters and lake enthusiasts are eager to celebrate summer with new friends and old.

If you are interested in attending the Bud Bash by land, many people park at the Houghton Lake High School at 4433 West Houghton Lake Drive and walk over to The Limberlost. For those who are on the water and want a tamer party, consider anchoring at the Iroquois Sandbar (Grassy Island) for a “chill” vibe.

Just a heads up for parents, this is a party for adults 21 and over. Things tend to get a little wild, so it’s a good day to leave the kiddos home. Speaking of getting wild, folks need to be aware the police have a presence at the Bud Bash. They will be on the lookout for drunkenness, nudity, urinating in public, and underage drinking. Be responsible and don’t come for vacation and leave on probation!
Cheers!Photo via The Limberlost Facebook page.

The Limberlost is located at 4168 W. Houghton Lake Drive in Houghton Lake. But you don’t need the address, just follow the crowd!

If you’ve been to a Bud Bash on Houghton Lake in the past, share your memories in the comments and any advice you have for newbies!


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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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