Pure Michigan October 2014 Events Roundup

With apple picking, pumpkin carving and hay rides, it’s easy to see why October is a favorite time of year for many. From Monroe all the way to Houghton, there are events for the whole family to enjoy as fall enters full swing.

Below is a roundup of some of the many events going on around the state in October. Visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

 Week of September 29-October 5

A2 Art & Brew
October 2, Ann Arbor
This year visit eight participating breweries that will offer a tasting of its featured craft beer along with a uniquely paired tasty bite that compliments the beer. Join in the fun as local artists design a unique piece of site-specific sidewalk chalk art inspired by the brewery and beer. 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 through Monday, September 29th, $60 thereafter. Purchase tickets early, space is limited to 300 guests. You must be 21 years of age.

Zeeland Pumpkinfest
October 2-4, Zeeland
Pumpkinfest in Zeeland, Michigan, celebrates community, family fun and fall activities! 2014 will mark the 30th year for Pumpkinfest and take place October 2, 3, & 4. The three-day event will feature a number of free and low-cost events that can be enjoyed by all ages. Each year, a theme is chosen and from that theme, downtown Zeeland is decorated in fall decor and parade floats join the fun in matching the theme as well. The 2014 theme is “Pumpkinfest Pride…Celebrating 30 Years”.

October 3-4, Boyne Falls
A fall extravaganza and homecoming taking place in the Boyne Mountain Village and surrounding area. Skitoberfest celebrates the best of fall’s family offerings in an Oktoberfest style setting and the coming winter season with a Snowsports Summit hosted by Olympian Cary Adgate. Highlights include gourmet foods from northern Michigan restaurants, markets and farms, Michigan beers, wines and spirits for tasting, plus music and endless family entertainment. Admission is free, and tickets for food, brews and some activities are available. Special event lodging rates are available at Boyne Mountain Resort.

Bangor Apple FestivalBangor apple fest
October 4, Bangor
Fall is a beautiful time in Michigan. From the color of the fall leaves to the taste of a crisp apple, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Head to Bangor for the 36th Annual Bangor Apple festival, for activities that include car shows, lawn mower races, kids’ activities, live entertainment and much more.

Rattlesnake Run 5k
October 5, Rochester
Enjoy the fall colors and run, jog, or walk along the Paint Creek Trail located in Rochester, Michigan, in north Oakland County! Participants will receive a commemorative Rattlesnake Run T-shirt. To add to the fall fun, enjoy cider and donuts from the Paint Creek Cider Mill! Race begins at the Paint Creek Cider Mill.

Week of October 6-12

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival
October 9-12, Alpena
Tour 11 lighthouses a whole new way. The four day event provides activities for the young and old including lighthouse tours (aerial, boat or personal vehicle), entertainment, and vendors. Climb many of the lighthouses, enjoy live entertainment and lighthouse exhibits, and nautical vendors round out the weekend.

Frankfort Fall Festival
October 11, Frankfort
Fall Festival celebration in Frankfort’s open space. Featuring a parade with the Scottville Clown Band, kid’s games, GIANT pumpkins, squash and watermelons, Master Carver Ed Moody, pumpkin drop on a car and catapults! Make your way to Frankfort for pumpkin decorating, Farmer’s Market and more!

Color Cruise and Island FestivalColor cruise
October 10-12, Grand Ledge
This three day festival is always the second full weekend in October at the Island Park in downtown Grand Ledge. See the beautiful autumn colors by riverboat, canoe, horse & wagon, bicycle or air. This event is filled with fun for the whole family and includes cider pressing, blacksmithing, fur traders, pioneer crafts, candle dipping, pumpkin painting, music, food, and a petting zoo. Shuttle service available from JC Park and the parking area off River Street. Friday is “Seniors Day” with discounts available

Appleumpkin Festival
October 11-12, Tecumseh
Tecumseh’s Appleumpkin Festival features arts and crafts, an antiques street fair, carnival games, midway rides, inflatables, a make-it take-it scarecrow tent and yummy fair food as well as live entertainment. Free parking is available with free shuttle service to transport visitors downtown and to the nearby Kapnick Apple Festival. Local restaurants are ready to serve delicious meals and merchants open their doors and invite you to explore a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. This festival is one you won’t want to miss!

ArtPrize 2014
September 24-October 12, Grand Rapids
ArtPrize is the world’s largest international art competition open to any artist and decided by public vote. Take 11 days to explore over 4500 artists at 515 venues in Grand Rapids and vote for the entries you think should win.

Week of October 13-19

Michigan’s Big Country Fest 2014
October 17-18, Frankenmuth
Slip on your cowboy boots, tip your hat and swing on over to the third annual Michigan’s Big Country Fest. Enjoy live bands, beer & mixed drinks, mechanical bull, down-home BBQ dinners and snacks, line dancing and much more. Free parking, handicapped accessible

Fall Fling Festival
October 18-19, New Era
Autumn is a special time at the farm: beautiful orchards and forests in the peak of fall color change, ripe pumpkins, the most varieties of apples to choose from of any season. That’s the backdrop for the annual Fall Fling Festival! Musicians, mimes, magicians, rides, face painters, balloon tiers, stilt walkers and more will join you at the 70+ animal petting farm. You won’t want to miss Michigan’s only animated chicken show, jumping pillows, pedal carts, duck races, Farming Rocks Gem Mining, Bunker Hill Fruit Cannons, pumpkin moon walk, barrel train rides, Apple Express wagon rides, pumpkin chucker and an eight acre corn maze.

Saginaw Zoo Boo
October 18-19, Saginaw
Put on your costumes and trick-or-treat your way through the decorated zoo! Load your treat bag with goodies from various vendors and booths. Watch Dr. Slime, the mad scientist, put on a mysterious, scientific show! Ticket price includes zoo admission, train and carousel ride, Dr. Slime Show, and trick-or-treating. Zoo members and the general public: $7 discount tickets available through October 17th. October 18th and after tickets are $9. Event also runs October 25 & 26.

The Walk
October 18, Shelby Township
Come dressed in your best costume and head out to Stony Creek Metropark on Saturday, October 18. The Walk offers an accessible and scenic fall route to walkers of all ages, while providing a fun filled and memorable day. Participants age 5 & under are free, ages 6-12 are $15, and ages 13 & up are $30. Halloween costumes or attire are strongly recommended!

2014 Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank MarathonTalmer
October 19, Detroit
There are so many things that make running Detroit unique and exciting – crossing international borders twice, running an “underwater mile”, and the large crowds and entertainers posted every few miles. The sights on Belle Isle are scenic and views of the city from the riverfront will make you wish you had your camera. This race has something for everyone from start to finish. All participants of the Marathon, International Half -Marathon, or U.S.-Only Half-Marathon must be at least 16 years of age. There is no age limit on the 5K or the Marathon Relay. Ages 4-12 are welcome for the Kids Fun Run.

Weeks of October 20-26 & October 27-31

Scarecrow Glow
October 22, Troy
Troy Historic Village is hosting “Scarecrow Glow”, a costume-optional event on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, from 6pm to 9pm. See the magic of the Village at night, and experience an evening of fall fun. Attendees will enjoy food and drinks from Troy establishments, while listening to the sweet sounds of jazz and bluegrass music. Watch a nighttime blacksmithing demonstration and make s’mores. A special gift bag will be given to all attendees. Costumes, especially related to the “Alice in Wonderland” theme, are encouraged. Tickets $40 per person, $50 per person at the door. Adults (21 and older) only.

The Glo Run
October 24, Lansing
The Glo Run is the energy that sparked the night run revolution. This is a 5k course on funroids with stimulating areas along the course. Run a nighttime 5k through a dreamworld full of glowing wonders and music.

Zombie Dash
October 25, Grand Rapids
Get ready for the wildest 5-K you will ever experience. Run a five kilometer course within the quarantine area. Conquer the infamous Apocalypse Avenue and Kill Hill. Dodge over 300 zombies looking for “fast food.” Race against darkness and survive the Zombie apocalypse. You’ll be given three or four “life strips” (flag football flags) to tuck in your pants. For each one you keep, you’ll have one minute subtracted from your time. No worries if you lose both. Just keep running and enjoy the experience of one of the most unique night races ever held.

Halloween in Greenfield VillagePhotos for Pure Michigan
October 10-26, Dearborn
Stroll down streets and alleys haunted by over 1,000 carved jack-o’-lanterns and lavishly costumed characters during America’s most spooktacular Halloween event. This is a kid-friendly, nightmare-free Halloween gathering. October 10-12, 17-19, and 24-26. Tickets rain or shine.

All Things Detroit III
October 26, Detroit
It’s time again for all of Detroit to come together and celebrate an amazing city at All Things Detroit III. This event will feature 60 local business owners with products made in Detroit, Detroit theme art, local bands, entertainment, raffles every 30 minutes, and free All Things Detroit souvenirs for the first 200 guests. This is a Motor City event you won’t want to miss!

Fall Color Tours by Dog Team
September 15 – October 31, Mc Millan
Enjoy the beautiful seasonal changes of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by taking a ride with the sled dogs in our dog-powered trail vehicle. This is a fall color tour like you’ve never seen before! Our fall trips begin at 8 am and 10 am when you will meet your guides and receive an introduction to sled dog training. You’ll see how we hook up the dogs and even learn to harness a dog if you’d like. You’ll also get a tour of our kennel and the opportunity to hold adorable puppies. We’ll stop along the route for photos. We’ll have coffee or hot cocoa and a homemade treat when we return. Plan about two hours for your tour.

Eisenhower Dance: The Light ShowAlicia Light Show
October 31, East Lansing
Back by popular demand after the sensational Red, Hot and Blue, and fun-filled Motown in Motion, Eisenhower Dance returns with a visually stunning co-commission by Wharton Center and the Detroit Opera House. The Light Show matches choreographers with lighting designers for four cleverly electrifying pieces incorporating lasers, light, and innovative dance. One of the finest contemporary dance ensembles today, Michigan’s acclaimed Eisenhower Dance combines remarkable technique with inventive choreography. Ticketed event.

With so much to do around the state in October, what will you do? 

Six Steps to Making the Most of ArtPrize 2013

If you’ve never explored the unique buildings or graced the diverse streets of Grand Rapids during ArtPrize, you may be wondering where to start. No worries, there are few simple things you can do to make visiting the world’s largest art competition simple, fun and inspiring. Todd Herring, Director of Communications for ArtPrize, shares these steps with us below.

Step 1 – Get Inspired – Visit artprize.org click “FIND ART.” Artists from all over the world will be showing at ArtPrize 2013.  Their work and their stories are inspiring, challenging and beautiful.  Browsing 1524 artist entries might seem daunting, but you can filter your search by choosing specific venues, types of artwork and descriptive tags like “music” and “photography.”  When you find artwork that you’d like to see, simply click the button marked “Add to Collection.”  This feature allows you to create multiple collections or “lists” that you can reference when you visit.

Step 2 – VOTE! – Voting takes you from passive observer to active participant.   There are two ways to register.  If you have an iOS (apple) or Android smart phone, simply open the ArtPrize mobile app while you’re in the ArtPrize district and you’ll be registered to vote in a snap.  Or you can check in at any ArtPrize voting site.  When you check in, you’ll get your free ArtPrize map, be registered to vote and able to purchase the complete ArtPrize event guide and transportation wristbands. All that’s left to do is GO SEE ART!  Cast your votes on the ArtPrize mobile app, online at artprize.org, or via text.  Go to artprize.org/visit to learn more!

Step 3 – Keep Moving – Here at ArtPrize, we’re all about experiencing ArtPrize in the most active way possible. Take the bus, ride a bike, or walk the ArtPrize district! This year we have five walking path options, all roughly 1-2 miles in length. They all begin at Rosa Parks Circle and will take you into our local neighborhoods: City Center, Heartside, Westside, Monroe North, and Hillside. Each neighborhood brings it’s own perspective to the ArtPrize event–eclectic, historic, natural, cultural, near the water or right in the heart of it all. Each walking path will help you explore the city and sample everything ArtPrize has to offer.

A display from ArtPrize 2012.

Step 4 – Stay in the know – Every morning ArtPrize will publish a Daily that kicks out the news, daily schedule of events, major announcements and an Epic Events recap of the day before. The Daily can be found at www.artprize.org/daily. You can even contribute to the Daily with your very own Epic Events video clips by downloading the Epic Events app from the Apple App Store. Checking out @ArtPrize for daily interactions and updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will also keep you up to date on all things ArtPrize.

Step 5 – Attend ArtPrize Events – From ArtFitness bike tours to Grand Prize Jury panels to Internet Cat Video Festivals, there is something for everyone. For a full list of events, visit artprize.org/events.

Step 6 – Make it Your Own. – Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s a perfect starting point to plan your own adventure. You choose the views, how much art you want to see or how long to linger.  ArtPrize is not the creation of one individual or team, it is the culmination of hundreds of thousands of independent voices, ideas and perspectives. It is art, creativity, culture and adventure, and it’s all waiting for you at ArtPrize.

Will you be checking out ArtPrize in Grand Rapids? Tell us in the comments section below!

Todd Herring is the Director of Communications for ArtPrize, an international art competition that annually draws more than 400,000 visitors to Grand Rapids, Michigan. With a background in product development and innovation, Todd now specializes in crowd sourced engagement models and speaks regularly on collaborative design, urban engagement and arts management.

Top 10 Tips for Experiencing ArtPrize 2013 in Grand Rapids

ArtPrize returns to Grand Rapids from September 18 – October 6! Guest blogger Kirsetin Morello shares her top 10 tips for making the most of your visit to this award-winning event.

The artists and venues are set and time is ticking down to the start of the 5th annual ArtPrize, the open, international art competition where you—the public—get to vote for the art you like best. And your vote really makes a difference: the winner takes home $200,000 in prize money. This unique event made Time Magazine’s list of Five Festive Events You Won’t Want to Miss in 2013 and draws more than 400,000 people to Grand Rapids annually to explore and experience art in an entirely new way.

Stick-to-it-ive-ness: Unwavering pertinacity; perseverance, by Richard Morse, ArtPrize 2012

If you’re planning to join the throngs attending ArtPrize from out of town and haven’t already booked a hotel, it’s time to get busy! See our first post in this series for tips on where to stay.

You’ll also want to do a little pre-trip prep so you can hit the ground running when you arrive in Grand Rapids. See our second post in this series for detailed information on how to register to vote, where to get a map, how to approach ArtPrize with or without kids, where to find food and parking, and various ways to get around Grand Rapids during the event.

Mantis Dreaming, by Bill Secunda, ArtPrize 2011

Whether you’re coming to ArtPrize from the suburbs of Grand Rapids or another state or country, though, some things will be the same: you’ll be wowed by the amazing display of art throughout the city, you’ll be impressed by the size of the crowd, and you’ll do more walking, much more!, than you expect.

To make your visit to ArtPrize the very best, here are our top 10 tips on how to get the most out of ArtPrize.

1. Check the weather app. Then add a jacket, some shorts, and an umbrella, regardless of what it says. Fall weather in Grand Rapids is fickle. We may see temperatures in the 80°’s during the day and experience a precipitous drop to 60° or lower in the evening. (Breezy nights make it even cooler, so you’ll be thankful for your favorite fleece.) Last year, my husband and I spent hours walking the 3-mile ArtPrize course—and it poured for a good bit of our walk. In the event the skies open up again this year, having an umbrella (or rain jacket with a hood) along will allow you to keep on trekking without too much disruption.

2. Sneakers. While fall may seem like the perfect time for jeans and sandals, take my word that you (and your kids, if they’re coming) do not want to see ArtPrize in shoes that are anything less than Very Comfortable. If your fashion sense forbids sneakers, find another shoe you deem acceptable that will provide you with adequate support. Trust me on this one. ArtPrize is enticing to kids and adults, so even if you plan on only walking a few blocks, it’s very likely your plan will change. Art is inside and outside, along the river and on hillsides. Throw fashion to the wind and wear good shoes. Your family’s feet will thank you.

3. Small backpack. If you plan to be downtown with kids, you’ll need a few supplies. Resist the urge to pack for every contingency. A couple of small snacks and some water, as well as diapers or any other small child paraphernalia should do it. If you weigh yourself down with a large backpack, it will get heavier by the minute and instead of enjoying the art, you’ll be focusing on your backache by about the third venue.

4. Camera. Obviously you want to bring one, but do you bring a fancy camera or will your smartphone suffice? This is a tough one. Sensibility tells me to suggest you take photos on your smartphone or with a smaller camera, especially because it’s incredibly difficult to capture the essence of the art on film (or digitally). However, if you’re a photography buff, you’ll kick yourself if you leave your favorite camera and lens at home. So, this one’s an individual choice but remember: you’ll be covering a lot of ground. If you don’t want to haul a heavy camera around and you’re comfortable leaving it in your hotel room or the trunk of your car, you may want to bring both cameras. (This is especially true if you’re already carrying a backpack.) Take the small camera or your phone along for your first round, and then return to your favorite spots with the big camera. Keep in mind, though, that because there’s so much to see that you may find it difficult to return to a venue you’ve already visited—there will be so many others you want to see! Be sure to bring back up batteries if you might need them—nothing would be worse than lugging your camera around all day and not being able to take a picture when you finally find your favorite entry.

Ocean Exodus, by Paul Baliker, ArtPrize 2011

5. Cash. ArtPrize is free, but you’ll want to have cash on hand anyway. Kids will get hungry, adults will get thirsty, and sometimes you just need a break from walking—sitting in a cozy restaurant is the perfect solution. While your backpack will help you get through short bursts of hunger, hopefully you’ve heeded our advice and not over-packed it. But Grand Rapids has so many delicious restaurants (and some incredible breweries) that there’s no shortage of places to stop. Just do it before or after everyone else—and expect a bit of a wait even then.

6. Swimsuits. If you’re coming from out of town and your hotel has a swimming pool, be sure to pack swimsuits so you can enjoy a little family time in the evening. It will give your kids—who will probably love ArtPrize but may tire more easily than you—an extra incentive to get through the day peacefully.

7. Smartphone. If you use one, bring it. If you’re visiting during the first 10 days of the competition, when you can vote for everything you like, having a smartphone allows you to vote “this one!” the minute something catches your fancy. If you prefer, you can haul an iPad along, but see our above recommendation about backpacks and cameras—lighter is better. However, if you’re staying in a hotel you may want to keep your iPad there so you can transfer photos to it later in the evening. Then, kids and adults can flip back and forth between favorites and discuss why you like, or don’t like, a particular piece.


Cities Departure and Deviation by Norwood Vivano, ArtPrize 2012

8. Map it. We mentioned this in our last post about ArtPrize but it bears repeating: attend ArtPrize with a plan. Your first stop should be an ArtPrize voting site where you can get an ArtPrize map (they’re free). There are over 1,500 exhibits displayed in 169 venues, which are grouped by 5 city neighborhoods: Center City, Hillside, Heartside, Westside and Monroe North/Belknap. An additional venue is Meijer Gardens, which is located a few miles outside of the downtown area, and you’ll be able to see 25 entries on display there this year. I’d strongly recommend splurging $5 for the ArtPrize Event Guide (which you can also get at voting sites). It includes a map but also suggests 5 different walking tours of ArtPrize. Each tour takes you through art in one of the 5 neighborhoods. The walks are about 1-2 miles long and paths will be clearly marked on the pavement.

9. Get the app. ArtPrize has its very own mobile app. If you use a smartphone, it’s available for both the iPhone or Android. By using the mobile app, you can skip the lines that queue up to register to vote. The geo-location feature in the app allows you to activate your voter account as soon as you enter the ArtPrize district in downtown Grand Rapids. You can also search for entries, artists, and venues, and connect to Facebook with just one click.

10. Be original. It’s impossible to see every ArtPrize entry in a day or two. As you look at your map and set your course, be sure to make time to see the most popular entries. But don’t be too set in your ways. ArtPrize is all about discovery–leave time to veer off the beaten path so you’re sure to find the art that speaks to you.

Click here to check out our first post in the “Get Ready for ArtPrize” series.

Click here for our second post in the “Get Ready for ArtPrize” series.

Kirsetin Morello is a writer, author, and blogger who’s called Grand Rapids home for more than a decade.  She’s enthusiastic about yoga, basketball and travel, and is a reluctant runner. Kirsetin, her husband, and their three children love to explore everything West Michigan has to offer. You can find her online at www.KirsetinMorello.com.