Pure Michigan October 2015 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. 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.

October 1 – 10

26th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show
September 30-October 4
If experiencing a Pure Michigan fall adventure in the comfort of your own RV sounds awesome, attending the26th Annual Fall Detroit Camper and RV Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, September 30-October 4, should definitely be your first stop. With multiple Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) RV dealers and campgrounds represented at the show, attendees can peruse hundreds of new 2016 makes and models and take advantage of big savings on 2015 models.

Haunted Weekend on Mackinac Island
October 2 – 4
Join in the adventure for our 5th Annual Haunted Weekend on Mackinac Island. A weekend filled with day and night time ghost hunting adventures and haunted history tours. This year sites include a night time tour and hunt at Fort Mackinac, Mission Point Resort PLUS day time carriage ride to the 1814 Mackinac Battlefield and investigation at Arch Rock and death trail.

South Higgins Lake State Park – Halloween Fest
October 2 – 3
12th Annual Halloween Festival will be held in the campground at South Higgins. Events include hay rides, a haunted forest walk, dance, Trick-or-Treating through the campground, carnival games, and much more! We will also have prizes for the best decorated campsites, best costumes, and pumpkin painting contests. Events on Friday are open to the public and campers.

Blues & Brews Festival
October 3
Guests will sample a broad variety of local, regional, and national beers and live music at the pavilion (Toledo St.) in Downtown Adrian from 4 – 9 p.m. VIP tickets/packages includes early entry. Designated Driver tickets (without drink tickets) are also available.

October 3
Join the Boyne Mountain crew for an Oktoberfest-style celebration of fall, and the promise of the coming snowsport season. You’ll find everything you’d expect at Oktoberfest–great food, Michigan beer, wine and spirits, live music and performances–plus our own ski- and snowboard-oriented twists on tradition. Carve out plenty of time for our on-snow rail jam, the Burton Riglet Park for kids, a ski swap, free rides on our six-place chair, a parade, street dancing, and tons of other surprises during this amazing preseason celebration.

Photo courtesy of @jasonmciver.

Photo courtesy of @jasonmciver.

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival
October 8 – 11
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.

Charlevoix Apple Festival
October 9 – 11
Experience the magic of autumn in Northern Michigan at the Annual Apple Festival & Craft Show. This three day event is held yearly to honor local orchards and growers who, in the spirit of the season, line Bridge Street to bring the fall harvest to you. The festivals focal point is the apple, proven to be the most popular fruit in North America. Local organizations will warm you up with hot food items such as chili, hot dogs, kielbasa, and pasties! Activities include a holiday art & craft show with 125 exhibitor booths, face painting, pony rides, a petting zoo, and pumpkin carving contest. So, bundle up and bring the family to our fall harvest bonanza!

Lake Huron Discover Tour
October 9 – 11
Explore the rich array of maritime sites, from working harbors and lighthouses to museums and art galleries, while taking in breathtaking waterfront vistas and fall color along the historic US 23. Plan a ‘voyage’ based on your area of interest, whether it’s hiking, biking, a tour of the ARTrail galleries, bird watching, and/or savoring the Wine and Hops Trail. ,

October 11 – 17

Fresh Fall Harvest – Farm2Fork
October 11
Farm2Fork is a unique culinary series at Treetops Resort which features locally grown and prepared dishes and the hands that brought them from seed to the table. Through this series we hope to spread awareness about the benefits of locally grown food. A different farmer will be featured at each event and will talk about their farm, operations, etc. We work closely with the Gaylord Farmers Market and other Northern Michigan growers to put this event on.

A fall backroad in Northern Michigan in the peak of fall color season.

A fall backroad in Northern Michigan in the peak of fall color season.

Three Rivers Color Tour
October 11
View the fall colors from Swiss Valley Ski Area while enjoying their annual car show. See the brilliant fall kaleidoscope of color while traveling the route of this year’s Annual Three River Color Tour, October 11. Enjoy the Scarecrow Contest, pumpkins and games for the little ones at Meyer Broadway Park. View the magical colors of River Country in the comfort of your vehicle and enjoy some refreshments along the way.

The Grand Rapids Improv Festival
October 12 – 19
The dates for the second annual Grand Rapids Improv Festival (formally known as the West Michigan Improv Festival) at Dog Story Theater Join acts from all around West Michigan, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and more. Get involved beyond attending performances with workshops, open jams, and a family-friendly day on Sunday.

Little Traverse Bay Parafest
October 16 – 17
Have you ever wondered about the paranormal, life after death, or wanted a reading from a Psychic Medium? Do UFO’s and aliens really exist? Come join us October 16th and 17th, 2015, in Petoskey for an epic event brought to you by The Terrace Inn of Bayview and Bumps in the Night Paranormal Research. Join paranormal celebrities for lectures/presentations, vendors, ghost walk tours, ghost hunt with TV celebrities, and VIP dinner. Mediums, Psychics, Paranormal investigators, UFO experts and others will also be at event. Event and lectures start Friday evening and all day Saturday. You will have plenty of time to talk with the celebrity guests/vendors/ and other attendees at the event.

Made in Michigan Film Festival
October 16 – 17
This is an exclusive to Michigan-made films and celebrates and recognizes the best of Michigan film talent. The Bronner Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art, 500-seat theater. Filmmakers will enjoy networking with other film industry professionals through our Hospitality Room, Friday night cocktails, and After-Glow Party. Several activities are being planned – including a free Motion Picture Institute educational student workshop, Q & A sessions with filmmakers and the audience, and much more.


October 18 – 24

Detroit Fall Beer Festival
October 23 – 24
Join the Michigan Brewers Guild at Eastern Market for one of the largest all-Michigan beer tastings around. Attendees can enjoy some incredible food from Detroit area restaurants (available for purchase) and listen to a talented line-up of local musicians while sipping any of more than 450 craft beers from 60 Michigan breweries.

Howl-O-Ween Hoof and Woof
October 24
The Howl-O-Ween Hoof and Woof is a fun-filled day for families and their two- and four-legged kids. Entrance to the event is free. Games, food and activities can be enjoyed at family-friendly prices. In the spirit of a good, old-fashioned fall carnival, you will find inflatable fun, face painting, games many of which include your dog and prizes. You won’t want to miss a walk with your dog along the “Trick-or-Treat Trail” in your Halloween costume – fill up your candy bag and bring your pooch along to get a treat for performing his favorite trick! If your pup likes to dress up too, there will be prizes awarded for best dog and kid costumes. You’ll get hungry having this much fun! We’ll be sure to have hotdogs, popcorn, caramel corn, caramel apples and more.

Legend of Sleepy Howell
October 24
Activities include trick or treating, human and pet costume contests, live music, hay rides, the viewing of the classic Disney film “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, 1 mile Monster Run and storytelling, ghostly graveyard, inflatables for kids and teens, broom ball, food and street vendors, and the night-time, luminary lit Headless Horseman 5K/10K race that runs through Lakeview Cemetery drawing over 1,500 athletes.

Carpenter Farms. Photo courtesy of  Lenawee CVB.

Carpenter Farms. Photo courtesy of Lenawee CVB.

Fall Fun Fest – Downtown Wayland
October 24
Fall Fun Fest is a free family event in beautiful Downtown Wayland! Trick-or-treating at local businesses and other family events will be available from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Scarecrow Fest
October 24 – 25
Get into the holiday harvest spirit with this FREE family event. Folks young and old can enjoy a costume parade, trick-or-treating, pumpkin catapult, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin painting, face painting, and inflatable stations. Businesses throughout Frankenmuth compete in a “Best Store Front Scarecrow” contest.

October 25 – 31

Halloween Treat Parade
October 30
It’s the 15th annual Treat Parade in downtown Ann Arbor. Area merchants welcome your little costumed characters to the neighborhood with greets and treats. Black and orange balloons will fly from participating businesses. Join the fun from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Halloween Beer Bus Tour
October 30
Get in the Halloween mood with this spooky bus tour featuring a brewery with a haunt, a haunted brewery, one of Kalamazoo’s best haunted attractions and some fall beers. Be prepared for a night of frights, flights and fun. Our Halloween tour will begin at Shakespeare’s Pub in downtown Kalamazoo (241 E Kalamazoo Ave) where autumn favorites will be on tap. The group will then make the jaunt west to Paw Paw Brewing Co. where the crew will get you in the spirit of the season with fall ales and perhaps a few scary surprises. From there, we’ll make way to Psycho Ward & Nightmares, one of Kalamazoo’s best haunted attractions tucked into the woods. We’ll then conclude with a quick ride north to Plainwell’s Old Mill Brewpub for samples and a tour of the more than 100-year-old building known to be inhabited by a few ghosts. Duration is approximately five hours.

Spooktacular Weekend
October 31
There will be a costume contest, face painting, pumpkin painting, sack race, great pumpkin roll, and more! Trick or Treating with Pentwater’ Downtown Merchants and at Charles Mears State Park 2 – 4 p.m. Spooktacular Parade at 4 p.m. Visit the local watering holes for ghoulish food, scary drinks, and spooky treats.

Shipshewana On The Road
October 31 – November 1
Enjoy a weekend of fun where you’ll find anything and everything under the sun! You’ll find thousands of unique items that you may not find anywhere else! Shipshewana On the Road shows are two day sales where independent vendors offer their products or merchandise for sale to the general public. The vendors consist of artisans, crafters, flea market dealers, and retail business owners. Finished and unfinished pine furniture, handmade crafts, toys, home decor, handmade jewelry, cleaning products, clothing, homemade jams, jellies and cookies, 14kt. gold and sterling silver jewelry are just a few of the products at the show.

Which events do you plan to check out in October? 


Pure Michigan September 2015 Events Roundup

September will soon be upon us, and with it, the sights, sounds and smells of fall. From great events like Grand Rapid’s ArtPrize to the ever-popular Detroit Jazz Festival, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the month of September. 

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

September 1 – 5

Michigan Chicken Wing Festival
September 5 – 6
This festival will feature a wing eating & tasting contest, V.I.P. Beer & Wine Tent, Kids Zone with lots of activities, and a variety of bands–Pop, Soft Rock, Blue, R&b, Gospel, Hip-Hop, and Jazz. Free admission.

Evart Car Cruise & Show
September 4 – 5
Want to go places? Want to see cars in action? Friday’s cruise is the place to be! The Car Show is open and cars are not roped off. This allows spectators the opportunity to get close to the car and to interact with the owner. Food and beverages are available. Cruise and Car Show free to spectators.

Marquette Area Blues Fest
September 4 – 6
The 12th annual Marquette Area Blues Fest will be held over Labor Day weekend 2015 at the beautiful Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette. The fest features three days of world class blues music, along with workshops, a dance floor, vendors, and a wide array of food and beverage choices! The Friday show is a free event, while the Saturday/Sunday shows are ticketed events.

Jazz Festival. Photo Courtesy of Jason Vaughn.

Jazz Festival. Photo Courtesy of Jason Vaughn.

Detroit Jazz Festival
September 4 – 7
Come and enjoy the 35th annual Detroit Jazz Festival which occupies two million square feet of downtown Detroit from Hart Plaza on the riverfront, three blocks north to beautiful Campus Martius Park. Entertainment will be placed on stages throughout the space.

Arts, Beats & Eats
September 4 – 7
The festival offers more than 200 performances on nine stages, a highly ranked Juried Fine Arts Show, and local restaurants with some of the finest cuisine in Metro-Detroit. Each year international, regional and local attractions at the festival make the City of Royal Oak the premier destination for Labor Day weekend.

September 6 – 12

Antiques on the Bluff
September 6
Antiques on the Bluff is held along tree lined Lake Bluff Park, overlooking Lake Michigan. This antique show is a premier event for St. Joseph and antiquers around Southwest Michigan! Located in Lake Bluff Park the show runs from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. the first Sunday of each month. Rain or shine event.


Photo Courtesy of David Kunze.

Photo Courtesy of David Kunze.

Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk
September 7
Join thousands of walkers and make the five mile trek across the Mighty Mackinac Bridge! Walkers can begin walking at 7 a.m. and can start up until 11 a.m. Walkers begin in St. Ignace at the north end of the Bridge and walk south. The walk is one-way, and bus transportation is available to return you to St. Ignace until 2:30 p.m. You can also park your vehicle in the parking lot of the Little Bear East Arena and be shuttled to and from the start line for the bridge walk.

Downtown Art Walk
September 11
The Downtown Art Walk is a local favorite and will showcase art exhibits throughout Downtown Traverse City. The public is invited to enjoy an evening of art, refreshments, food, and music on a self-guided tour throughout Downtown Traverse City. Walking maps are available at each participating location and the Downtown Traverse City office.

Apple & BBQ Cook-Off Festival
September 11 – 12
Silver Lake Sand Dunes Apple & BBQ Cook-Off Festival highlights the Kansas City BBQ State of Michigan Championship Cook-Off and delicious apples of all varieties. Festival also includes Amateur BBQ Competition, apple pie contest, arts & crafts show, Apple A Day 5K Fun Run/Walk, classic vehicle & dune buggy show, kid’s activities, live music, delicious food and much more.

Frankenmuth Auto Fest 2015
September 11 – 13
Over 2500 classic cars, street rods, and muscle cars are featured. Come and enjoy a weekend of fun and entertainment for all ages. Friday night Big Block Party on Main Street from 5 – 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday view the classic cars in Heritage Park. Oldies fest dance in the Harvey Kern Pavilion on Saturday from 7-midnight.

September 13 -19


Photo courtesy of Jennie Miller

Photo courtesy of Jennie Miller

Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo
September 13
Join thousands of runners and walkers as they lace up their running shoes for the annual Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo on Sunday, September 13, 2015! The event includes 5K and 10K runs, the Too Wild! Walkers follow a course past award-winning animal habitats as they stroll through Zoo grounds.

Paddle Antrim Festival
September 18 – 19
This is a non-competitive two-day sea kayak event. The Paddle Antrim Festival includes a two-day kayak paddle through Northern Michigan’ Chain of Lakes. The first day begins in Ellsworth continuing through Central Lake to Bellaire, meandering through numerous small lakes. The second day will continue from Bellaire, ending in Elk Rapids, passing through Torch Lake, Michigan’s longest inland lake. This 40+ mile paddle event highlights the wonderful natural resources-based activities available in Northern Michigan. Along the route, local communities including Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire, and Elk Rapids will host other events, illustrating what wonderful opportunities the communities have to offer.

Harbor Springs Cycling Classic
September 18 – 20
This classic ride is a favorite of cyclists from all over the state. The semiannual ride, held in spring and fall, has three distance routes to choose from, great refreshment stops, and a great lunch at the finish. Cycle 20-, 45-, or 60-miles. Each route includes one of Michigan’s most scenic roadways known as the “Tunnel of Trees.”

Big Truck Show & Parade of Lights
September 18 – 20
Big Rigs and Detroit’s “Mobsteel” roll into St. Ignace for the 20th Anniversary of the Annual Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show. St. Ignace will become the epicenter for all things truck related all weekend long. Take a closer look at these big rigs, customized cabs, one-of-a-kind paint jobs and neon lighting. This and more surprises are in store for those who like their auto show ramped up and super-sized. New this year — Joining the big rigs in St. Ignace will be the team from Mobsteel – a custom car company that specializes in turning Detroit’s finest vintage cars into modern day street machines. Mobsteel is currently featured on their own Sunday night television series airing on NBCSN sports network. Don’t miss the parade of sheer horsepower on display across the Mackinac Bridge on Sept. 19, 2015, when the 20th Annual Richard Crane Memorial Big Rig Show hosts a twilight convoy of more than 120 semi-trucks. This is a family friendly event. Come out and meet Miss NAST 2015, Erika Lynn, and have your picture taken with her.

Bangor Apple Festival
September 19
Bangor, Michigan, 37th Annual Apple Festival is a family-friendly event including a farmers market, kids’ activities, classic car show, various vendors, live entertainment, and so much more!

Detroit Rockin Hot Fest
September 19
The Detroit Rockin’ Hot Fest will be an all day concert with some of Michigan’s hottest bands, cook off, pin up girl contest, and expo to honor veterans and their families. All ages are welcome at this event. There will be a kid’s area, photo booth, and other activities to keep everyone entertained all day into the night.

September 20 -26

ArtPrize 2015
September 23 – October 11
ArtPrize is an international and the world’s largest art competition open to any artist and decided by public vote. Take 19 days to explore the work of thousands of artists exhibiting at venues throughout downtown Grand Rapids and vote for the entries you think should win.

Photo Courtesy of Michigan Farmers Market Association.

Photo Courtesy of Michigan Farmers Market Association.

Farmers Market at the Capitol
September 24
Experience this one of a kind event held on the East Lawn of the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan. The Michigan Farmers Market Association is celebrating the 10th anniversary of hosting Farmers Markets at the Capitol. The event features over 60 unique vendors from across the state who sell Michigan-grown and produced products. Vendors sell everything from fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, and prepared foods. Shoppers can enjoy entertainment such as music and dancing, physical activities and cooking demos.

Birmingham House Tour
September 24
Event takes place on Thursday, September 24 and features seven unique homes ranging in style from traditional to contemporary. The tour hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 the day of the show. Lunch will be served at The Community House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ($55 in advance/$60 day of- includes lunch and tour).

Alpena Book Festival
September 26
Downtown Alpena will come alive with book lovers of all ages. The first ever Alpena Book Festival will delight readers and benefit READ, the library’s adult literacy program. More than 20 authors are slated to attend the Festival, and they will join readers in celebrating, discussing, and promoting books and reading. Children’s events will be hosted by the library in the morning and events for young adult readers will take place in the afternoon. There are lots of freebies and prizes, some for the clever and others for those who are just plain lucky.

Great Lakes Bat Festival
September 26
Come celebrate the unique role that bats play throughout Michigan! Discover why bats are important to the Great Lakes and learn how they keep us healthy. Explore techniques you can use in your own backyard to help the environment and bats at the same time. You will look at bats in a way like never before!

September 27 – 30

Harvest Fest
September 27
Join us at Castle Farms as we celebrate nature’s bounty and autumn’s glory at our annual Harvest Festival! Visit the Mini Farmer’s Market’, with vendors exhibiting and selling homemade items, including maple syrup and caramel popcorn. Take home a snapshot from the photo booth!

Armed Forces Open Disc Golf Tournament
September 27
Disc golf tournament hosted by Black Ace Disc Golf, focused on active, reserve and veteran military personnel.


26th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show
September 30-October 4
If experiencing a Pure Michigan fall adventure in the comfort of your own RV sounds awesome, attending the26th Annual Fall Detroit Camper and RV Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, September 30-October 4, should definitely be your first stop. With multiple Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) RV dealers and campgrounds represented at the show, attendees can peruse hundreds of new 2016 makes and models and take advantage of big savings on 2015 models.

Which events do you plan to check out in September? Leave your favorite events in September below in the comments!

Six Things You Didn’t Know about Hydroplane Racing in Detroit

Summertime in Pure Michigan is unlike anything else. Today, we take a look at the popular UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest, taking place on the Detroit River August 22 and 23. With three classes of boats—Unlimited and Grand Prix hydroplanes and Formula 2 tunnel boats—the event promises two days of action-packed racing on the river. Here are six things you didn’t know about the annual race, as outlined by Mark Weber, president of Detroit Riverfront Events, Inc.

Thanks to the sponsorship by UAW-GM, all general admission parks are free and open to the public; people are encouraged to bring picnic baskets, chairs and blankets to enjoy the races in this relaxed atmosphere. 

Photo Courtesy of Detroit Riverfront Events Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Detroit Riverfront Events Inc.

1. A long-standing tradition: Since 1904, the Gold Cup has run annually with the exception of five years.  In 1928 and 1960 the races could not be completed due to inclement weather; because of gas rationing during World War II, the races were cancelled from 1942 – 1944.

2. The Roostertail Turn: You might be familiar with the Roostertail restaurant in Detroit, but do you know the meaning behind its name? The restaurant, owned by the iconic boat-racing Schoenith family, sits at the northeast end of the racecourse. The spray created by the boats, as they enter the turn at  200 MPH, looks reminiscent of a rooster’s tail.  The race’s grandstands—located just steps from the Roostertail—offer a front-row view of the tightest turn on the H1 Unlimited circuit.

3. Belle Isle Bridge Turn: The Detroit River holds not one, but two titles when it comes to turns.  Opposite the Roostertail turn, the southwest end of the course, alongside the MacArthur Bridge (more commonly known as the Belle Isle Bridge), features the biggest turn on the H1 Unlimited circuit.

Photo Courtesy of Detroit Riverfront Events Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Detroit Riverfront Events Inc.

4. Most Gold Cup wins: With his name appearing on the APBA Gold Cup a staggering 11 times, Chip Hanauer holds the honor of winning the coveted trophy the most times; Hanauer secured his first Gold Cup win in 1982, while driving for Atlas Van Lines, and his most recent win in 1999, while driving the ‘Miss Pico’. Hanauer won three of his Gold Cup titles while driving the legendary ‘Miss Budweiser’.

5. Serious horsepower to behold: All but one of this year’s H1 Unlimited hydroplanes are powered by a single Lycoming T-55 L-7 turbine engine that once powered the US Military’s Chinook helicopters from as far back as the Vietnam War. These turbine engines are capable of outputs of around 3000 horsepower and are powered by Jet-A (kerosene) fuel. The one exception is the U-3 Go3 Racing, which joins the H1 Unlimited lineup after a four-year absence. The Indiana-based U-3 is the only piston-powered boat in the fleet, powered by a dual turbocharged Allison V-12. Listen for this boat’s distinctive roar as it rips around the river.

6. 100 years of hydroplane history: 2016 will mark the 100th anniversary of the inaugural APBA Gold Cup race on the Detroit River.  Bernard Smith, driver of the ‘Miss Minneapolis’, won the right to have his named etched on the Gold Cup in 1916; only time will tell who will earn the honor next summer.

WeberMarkAbout the author: Mark Weber is the president of Detroit Riverfront Events, Inc., the organizing body for the UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest.  In addition to organizing races, Weber also has competed in them; his hydroplane racing accomplishments include winning fourteen National Hydroplane Driving Championships. In 1997, Weber piloted ‘Miss Budweiser’ to the Unlimited Hydroplane High Point National Championship.  He was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.