September 2011 Events Roundup


Charlotte Frontier Days
September 7-11, 2011, Charlotte
A pro rodeo is a highlight of this 41st annual round-up of fun for cowboys and girls and little Buckaroos, starring the Dancing Deputies at the Frontier Days Saloon. The event also features classic cars, arts & crafts, and Saturday’s Grand Parade.

Wine & Harvest Festival
September 9-11, 2011, Paw Paw
It’s “A Grape Time for Everyone” with the juicy Grape Stomp competition, winery tours and tastings, teen and kiddie activities, music, antiques and arts, entertainment, a parade, and fireworks.

Marshall Historic Home Tour
September 10-11, 2011, Marshall

The 48th annual event, called the “granddaddy of Midwest home tours,” includes several private residences and other buildings in this National Historic Landmark District.

Ferris Wheel at a Michigan Fair - Photo by Chris Arace

Ferris Wheel at a Michigan Fair

Festival of the Forks
September 16-17, 2011, Albion
The 45th annual celebration honors the early settlement at the fork of the Kalamazoo River, but there’s plenty of eating utensil action, too, with food booths plus music, art, and a parade.

September 17, 2011, Coldwater
Munch a crisp Michigan apple and sip fresh pressed cider while browsing 150 arts & crafts booths. There are activities for the kids, too.

Tulipanes Latino Art & Film Festival
September 17-18, 2011, Holland
A fine arts fair, cantina with authentic foods, music, dance, Salsa Night, and films celebrate Latino culture.

St. Joseph County Grange Fair
September 18-24, 2011, Centreville
An end of summer tradition since 1851, this agricultural event, also known as the Centreville Grange Fair, brings 4-H projects, horse shows, a midway, live entertainment and harness racing to southwest Michigan.

Kalamazoo Irish Fest
September 23-24, 2011, Kalamazoo
Arcadia Creek Festival Place offers a taste of Ireland with music, dancing, imported goods, traditional fare and artisans at work in the Heritage Village.

Apple Cider Century
September 25, 2011, Three Oaks
Up to 5,500 bicyclists (the event is usually a sell-out) pedal on a choice of 15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75 or 100-mile routes through southwest Michigan’s orchards, farms, forests, and wine country.

Hillsdale County Fair
September 25-October 1, 2011, Hillsdale
An autumn tradition since 1851, this agricultural event claims to be “The Most Popular Fair on Earth” with traditional livestock exhibits, contests, as well as tractor, horse, pony and mule pulls, and entertainment.

Four Flags Area Apple Festival
September 29-October 2, 2011, Niles
Sink your teeth into the apple pie eating contest, or check out the apple peeling, biggest apple, and apple baked goods competitions, just some of the fun at this seasonal celebration.


Michigan Renaissance Festival
Weekends & Labor Day through October 2, 2011, Holly
Have ye a merry olde time as knights and damsels, royalty, musicians and jesters create a colorful and fanciful version of days of yore.

Arts, Beats & Eats
September 2-5, 2011, Royal Oak
This feast for the senses attracts a quarter of a million people to downtown Royal Oak for tasty food, music on several stages, and a juried fine arts show, as well as activities for the kids.

Detroit Jazz Festival
September 2-5, 2011, Detroit
The 32nd annual event brings a wealth of talent to multiple stages on the Detroit Riverfront and at Campus Martius Park for the world’s largest free jazz festival.

Michigan Renaissance Festival - Photo by Bob Soloway

Michigan Renaissance Festival

Michigan Peach Festival
September 1-5, 2011, Romeo
A peachy celebration of the local fruit includes a packed schedule of events, from a fun run to talent competition, bed race, car show, night parade and floral parade, and peach pie, of course.

Art & Apples Festival
September 9-11, 2011, Rochester
The homemade apple pies rival the juried art fair with more than 285 artists at this festive fall celebration in Rochester Park, where there’s entertainment, student apple art contest, and kiddie activities, too.

Greenfield Village Old Car Festival
September 10-11, 2011, Dearborn
Inspect and admire wheeled vehicles from the 1890s through 1932 and attend car talks and demonstrations. The Village is open until 9 p.m. Saturday.

Old Town BluesFest
September 16-17, 2011, Lansing
Original compositions and old favorites fill the air of Old Town, a revitalized historic corner of the Capital City during this free music fest.

Victorian Festival
September 16-18, 2011, Northville
Cars are banned in this charming downtown for a weekend trip into the 1800’s as the streets fill with old-fashioned entertainment and residents in period costumes. Historic Mill Race Village hosts a Victorian tea and fashion show on Saturday.

Fall Detroit Restaurant Week
September 23 – October 2, 2011, Detroit
Metro Detroiters will once again be able to enjoy hearty three-course meals for $28 at select fine dining locations in Detroit.

Clinton Fall Festival
September 23-25, 2011, Clinton
A rodeo show, country music, classic cars, arts & crafts, a mechanical bull ride for the kids, and plenty of food add up to family-friendly fall fun.

Ghoultide Gathering
September 30-October 1, 2011, Northville
“A Halloween Artist Spectacular” takes place at historic Mill Race Village, which becomes a showcase for original, artsy interpretations of the holiday.

West CentralWest Central

Big Rapids Riverdays Festival
September 1-5, 2011, Big Rapids
The 10th annual event has something for everyone, from a book sale to Bingo, classic cars to concerts, and arts & crafts to an ice cream social.

Shoreline Spectacular
September 2-5, 2011, Muskegon
The long weekend of music, contests, food and fun is a favorite way to wind down summer at Ross Park in Norton Shores, just outside of Muskegon.

Celebration on the Grand
September 8-10, 2011, Grand Rapids
Free entertainment and Friday night fireworks over the Grand River, flavored with a Taste of Downtown, are highlights of this annual downtown happening.

Ref Flannel Festival in Michigan - Photo by Chris Arace

Red Flannel Festival in Michigan

Apple & BBQ Cook-off Festival
September 9-10, 2011, Silver Lake Sand Dunes
What could be better than fresh Michigan apples and a Michigan sanctioned Kansas City BBQ competition? An apple pie contest, Dune Buggy Show, classic car and truck show, and entertainment, too.

Grand Haven Salmon Festival
September 16-18, 2011, Grand Haven
Get hooked on the salmon cook-off, Fresh Catch Fish Boil, live jazz, nature-themed art fair and wine tasting pavilion with grape stomping at the 8th annual salute to the migrating salmon and other natural wonders of the Lake Michigan community.

Michigan Irish Music Festival
September 16-18, 2011, Muskegon
You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy authentic music from 18 bands (including three from Ireland), Celtic Kitchen food, imports at the Irish Marketplace, activities for the kids, and Irish dance competition.

Grand Haven ArtWalk 2011
September 21-October 8, 2011, Grand Haven
The Lake Michigan community of artists showcases their talents at businesses at the waterfront and in Central Park, all within strolling distance. The event complements ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, a 30-minute drive away.

September 21-October 9, 2011, Grand Rapids
1,582 artists from 42 states and 36 countries will display their work throughout Grand Rapids, with the pubic voting for the winner of the top award of $250,000. Entertainment, lectures, and fun activities accompany the third annual event.

Red Flannel Festival
September 23-24, and 30-October 1, 2011, Cedar Springs
Wear red or risk “arrest” by the Keystone Cops! Locally made “drop seater” undergarments inspired “Red Flannel Day” back in 1939. The annual event offers two weekends of games, competitions, a car show, entertainment, parades and famous Lumberjack Supper.

East CentralEast Central

Elkton AutumnFest
September 1-5, 2011, Elkton
If you like lawnmower races, tractor pulls, demolition derby, Bingo, entertainment and midway games head to the Thumb for this family-friendly event.

Newaygo Logging Festival
September 2-4, 2011, Fairgrove
The spotlight is on the logging history of the area, with chainsaw carving and log rolling, fire building, plus a midway, music, family activities and parade.

Rides at a Michigan Fair - Photo by Tim Hindenach

Rides at a Michigan Fair

65th Michigan Bean Festival
September 2-5, 2011, Fairgrove
The area’s bean crop is the focus of the fun with a bean creation contest, entertainment, crowning of the Michigan Bean Queen, and parade.

September 3, 2011, Lexington
The Bluewater Folk Society hosts this traditional music festival with multiple stages, workshops and dance on the Lake Huron shore.

Art in the Park
September 3-4, 2011, Port Austin
More than 50 artists give this annual juried show in Gallup Park a Thumbs Up. Musical entertainment, artist demonstrations and activities for the kids round out the event.

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest
September 15-18, 2011, Frankenmuth

There’s no shortage of oompah-pah at the only Oktoberfest outside of Germany officially sanctioned by the City of Munich. The seasonal celebration at Heritage Park features authentic German foods, beer, music, dancing and costumes.

Ovid Carriage Days
September 23-25, 2011, Ovid
It’s a wheel big time for vintage carriages plus antique tractor and horse pulls, a carnival, entertainment, and Saturday’s parade at this 18th annual tribute to the horse and buggy days.

Whistles on the Water
September 24, 2011, St. Clair
B.Y.O.Whistle, or just come to hear the sounds of the 1800s when Great Lakes freighters used steam whistles to communicate. Collectors will demonstrate their unique sounds on the banks of the St. Clair River.

Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival
September 29-October 2, 2011, Bay City
Watch independent films from the Midwest in unique venues including the historic State Theatre and Masonic Temple. The event’s name is a nod to Bay City’s days as a rowdy seaport.


Mackinac Bridge Walk
September 5, 2011, Mackinaw City/St. Ignace
Tens of thousands of folks walk enjoy this once-a-year opportunity to walk across the five-mile-long “Mighty Mac” Bridge. The engineering marvel links Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas high above the waters of the Straits of Mackinac, where the Great Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

Michigan Event - Mackinac Bridge Walk - Photo by Daniel Turner

Michigan Event - Mackinac Bridge Walk

Hopps of Fun Beer & Wine Festival
September 9-10, 2011, Mackinaw City
Sip and sample a taste of Michigan with more than 50 micro-brewed beers and over 40 wines made in the state, and enjoy entertainment and food at Mackinaw Crossings.

Michigan Schooner Festival
September 9-11, 2011, Traverse City
Flip over Pancakes with Pirates on Sunday morning, tour three Tall Ships, tap your toes to maritime tunes, and cruise Grand Traverse Bay under the billowing sails of a schooner.

105th Farwell Labor Day Celebration
September 2-5, 2011, Farwell
For over a century “The Longest Continuous Festival in the State of Michigan” has been a Labor Day tradition with fun for the whole family.

Port City Street Fair
September 10, 2011, Manistee
Enjoy the waning days of summer with an art fair, classic cars, food booths and entertainment in the Victorian Port City.

Harvest Stompede
September 10-11, 2011, Traverse City
Run 7 miles or run/walk 5k through the vineyards, and sample local wines and foods on a tour of Leelanau Peninsula wineries. Participation is limited; advance registration suggested.

Epicurean Classic
September 15-18, 2011, Traverse City
Traverse City’s signature foodie event, the Traverse Epicurean Classic, returns to its native shores. The Classic features dinners, tastings and classes taught by top-level chefs from across the country and around the world.

Big Mac Shoreline Fall Scenic Bike Tour
September 17-19, 2011, Mackinaw City
Bicyclists choose from 25, 50, 75 or 100-mile bike routes along Lake Michigan for Saturday’s ride, and the first 400 to register may pedal in Sunday’s crossing of the Mackinac Bridge linking the Lower and Upper Peninsulas.

Fall Fever Festival
September 23-24, 2011, Cadillac
The season heats up with pumpkin painting, samples of local beers and foods, outdoor contests for the kids, and a classic car show at this annual autumn event.


Art on the Lake
September 3, 2011, Curtis
Local artists and musicians are featured on the grounds of the Erickson Center in the Manistique Lakes resort town.

Harmony Weekend
September 3-4, 2011, Harrisville
The sweet sounds of Barbershoppers and Sweet Adelines accompany an arts & crafts fair with more than 500 exhibitors.

Photo by Ashley FoxPosen Potato Festival
September 9-11, 2011, Posen
The 60th annual spud celebration dishes up tasty potato pancakes, potato recipe contest, midway rides, Polish Polka Folk Mass and a side of lively tunes at the Polka Pavilion and Country Western Tent.

Michigan Firemen’s Memorial Festival
September 15-18, 2011, Roscommon
Firefighting competitions, a Bright Light Vehicle Showdown and Light Parade, memorial service, food and camaraderie draw firefighters and EMS folks from across the U.S. who honor those who have given their lives while protecting their communities.

Paul Bunyan Festival
September 16-18, 2011,Oscoda
Log on to big fun at the Bunyan Games (such as axe throwing), Great Lakes Chainsaw Carving Competition, and Timberjack Shows.

Elk Festival
September 23-25, 2011, Atlanta
Head to the “Elk Capital” of Michigan for games, a parade, music, the famous bed race and silly competitions.

Midwest Sled Dog Symposium
September 30-October 1, 2011, Mc Millan
A weekend for mushers and those who would be. B.Y.O.Dog or come to learn from the pros who’ve run the Yukon and Iditarod.

Upper PeninsulaUpper Peninsula

101st Dickinson County Fair
August 31-September 5, 2011, Norway
The Upper Peninsula event is entering its second century of celebrating rural living, agriculture, and home arts.

Arts & Crafts Dockside
September 3-4, 2011, St. Ignace
Soak in entertainment and creative works by 100 visual artists and crafters at the New Marina Dock on the Lake Huron waterfront.

Daytime Mackinac Bridge Walk - Photo by Jessica Krutell

Daytime Mackinac Bridge Walk

Marquette Area Blues Fest
September 3-4, 2011, Marquette
Favorite musicians perform at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in downtown Marquette at this 8th annual event, “Where Superior Meets the Blues.”

U.P. Steam & Gas Engine Show
September 3-5, 2011, Escanaba
The familiar green John Deere tractors and equipment are in the spotlight at the 36th annual gathering for vintage farm equipment. Events include the daily tractor parade, tractor slow races, music and a visit to the museum on the fairgrounds.

Mackinac Bridge Walk
September 5, 2011, Mackinaw City/St. Ignace
Tens of thousands of folks walk enjoy this once-a-year opportunity to walk across the five-mile-long “Mighty Mac” Bridge. The engineering marvel links Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas high above the waters of the Straits of Mackinac, where the Great Lakes Huron and Michigan meet.

Fat Tire Festival
September 4, 2011, Copper Harbor
Mountain bikers look forward to a full day of fun on the new 16-mile and 28-mile courses, plus Jr. Fat Tire kids race, 1 and 3-mile XC races, and awards followed by a concert.

U.P. Fall Beer Festival
September 10, 2011, Marquette
Say yah to da beer, eh? at this opportunity to sample the best of the brews from Michigan’s craft beer industry on the Lake Superior waterfront.

September 30-October 1, 2011, Newberry
The music begins Friday afternoon, everyone refuels at the Saturday morning Lumberjack Breakfast, followed by a full day of toe-tapping tunes and an arts & crafts fair.

Pumpkin Festival
September 30-October 2, 2011, Bessemer
Start the day with a pumpkin pancake breakfast, then check out the entries in the scarecrow and totem pole contests, bake-off, and craft show. Stop by the Pie Social and Chili Cook-off, and enjoy a variety of music and other activities and foods at the 33rd annual event.


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