From Our Fans: 18 Favorite Fall Traditions in Pure Michigan

Happy first day of fall! Brisk autumn air and vibrant fall foliage have arrived in Pure Michigan. The changing of the seasons holds a special meaning to everyone, and many Michiganders have created unique traditions to help them welcome and celebrate fall. We asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter to share theirs.

Here’s a roundup of just some the fantastic fall traditions our fans hold near and dear. 

Making apple butter, eating hot foods like chili, stew, soup again, wearing hoodies, decorating inside and outside with autumn things, smelling and feeling the crisp fall air. - Cathleen Lechowicz
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Picking fresh Michigan apples, taking one last camping trip and eating hot soup. - Donna M. Tardiff

Going to the cider mill to get cinnamon doughnuts. Yummy! - Deborah Buoncompagno

A trip to the farmers market, a stay on Mackinac Island, bonfires with marshmallows and fall color drives on the back roads. - Kerri Tang

Cider and donuts, pumpkins, fall color tours, trips up north, bonfires, hikes, farm days at Greenfield Village, first pot of chili, apple pie with apples from the orchard. - Shelly Bahr

My husband and I go camping with our son, daughter in law and two grandsons. The whole family goes to the cider mill together. Cider, doughnuts, hiking. It’s great. I love fall! - Lori Sikora

Pumpkin and apple pies, orange pumpkins and yellow mums on the porch, soups, stews, flannel shirts, down vests, boots, jeans and the smell of fallen leaves in the cool dusky evenings. - Lisa Hadden

Opening duck season with family. - Kyle Ransom

Photo by Dine Clark near Verona Township

Photo by Dine Clark near Verona Township

Crunching leaves on the trails.  Thanksgiving with my family – When the turkey is finished, we all watch the Lions vs. Packers game. - CaSondra Maass

Going to Treetops in Gaylord and taking in almost 360 degree view of Autumns splendor. - Kathy Brisbin Wagner

Canoeing down the river and fishing while the leaves float by! - Phillip Olt

I can’t forget Historic Bowens Mills for caramel apples, hot apple dumplings, and other treats. A great place to relax and enjoy a peaceful afternoon. - Ken Blum

Taking a trip down the Dowagiac River to see the fall colors. - Steph Bliss

Apple picking at Crane Orchards with my grandchildren, then making applesauce for the freezer. - Cinde Heston

Photo courtesy of Johnson's Giant Pumpkin Farm

Photo courtesy of Johnson’s Giant Pumpkins

Bell’s Brewery’s Best Brown Ale, Johnson’s Giant Pumpkin Farm, and Southern Michigan Railroad’s Fall Color Tour! - Paul McKellip

Visiting BlakeFarms is a must. #Fall. – Twitter user @DonnaMargara84

Evening walks in the crisp fall air, bonfires, decorating for Halloween, Witches Brew wine from Leelanau cellars. – Twitter user @JaimieMae1222

Taking friends up to Tahquamenon Falls. Can’t wait to be up north! – Twitter user @JandiPrich

What are your favorite ways to celebrate the fall season in Pure Michigan? 

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”.

Skitoberfest
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? 

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Making of Traverse City’s New Music Video “Take Me There”

Today, guest blogger Mary Winowiecki, Marketing Manager for Traverse City Tourism, takes us behind the scenes of the making of Traverse City’s new music video, “Take Me There.” Plus, check out what’s on deck for fall in the Traverse City area. 

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism captured while filming "Take Me There"

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism captured while filming “Take Me There”

It started out like so many great ideas, with an innocent, late-afternoon brainstorming session:

“I know! We should have a Traverse City theme song!”

“Yeah! And we could make it into a contest! Of course the winner would have to be from the Traverse City area …”

“… and we could unveil it during the Cherry Festival! The winning band could play it during the Cherry Royale Parade right down Front Street! How cool would that be?”

“Oh, and we could turn it into a music video! Much better than a traditional destination video!”

And thus the Traverse City Song Search idea was born. There was only one problem with this seemingly flawless plan. Well, OK, there actually numerous challenges, but let’s stick with the main one: Time. Or, to be specific, the lack thereof. The now-infamous brainstorming session of the Traverse City Tourism marketing team took place the last week in March, and if this thing was going to be show-ready by early July’s Cherry Fest, the song entries would need to be received by mid-May … just 6 weeks away.

Photo courtesy of Traverse CIty Tourism - Filming "Take  Me There" in TC

Photo courtesy of Traverse CIty Tourism – Filming “Take Me There” in TC

No problem, said the Marketing team. Traverse City has more musical talent in its pinky finger (no pun intended) than most cities three-times its size! No doubt we would find a fresh sound that exactly captured the almost indescribable feeling that Northern Michigan imparts.

Miraculously, that is exactly what happened. And we have a Traverse City senior with a keen eye for breaking news to thank for it.

“We actually didn’t know anything about the contest until my grandpa sent me the newspaper clipping about it at school,” explains Marc Kanitz, lead singer of the contest-winning Hacky Turtles and a senior at Michigan State University. A self-described “funk/reggae fusion band with strong folk roots,” the Hacky Turtles include four Traverse City natives: Kanitz on vocals, Austin Spencer on guitar and banjo, Alex Rushlow on guitar and Erik Krueger on drums. They were among 18 musical groups who entered the contest, three of whom were chosen as finalists to appear before a local celebrity panel of judges.

While all of the entries covered the myriad of things to do and see in the Traverse City area (Beaches! Wineries! Shopping! Biking! Festivals! Sleeping Bear Dunes!), the judges agreed that the Hacky Turtles best conveyed the emotion of the region:

Sunrise paints these cherry-colored clouds

Wakes the earth, shining rays out on the ground

Brings to life our town below the bays

Great food, better people, everyone’s a friend

All are welcome where the compass ends

So raise a toast to one more day

I feel it calling me, it’s drawing me in …

Take me there, take me where it’s pushing, pulling me along

Days move slow, my heart is full, everything to right from wrong

Smiles, dancing, sun or snow, nothing ever looked so pretty

Oh my, my No. MI, take me there to Traverse City

–The Hacky Turtles

So now we had the winning song, but where to record it? Enter Grant Floering, former TC native and musician extraordinaire who happily agreed to drive up from Grand Rapids to help us out. (We love our small town!) Grant nailed it.

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism - The Hacky Turtles on set of the new video!

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism – The Hacky Turtles on set of the new video!

But what about the parade? Could we pull it off? How would the masses of tourists and locals on Front and Union streets react? Let’s just say at one point the Marketing team had tears in its collective eyes … That’s how good it was!

Homestretch time … we needed to turn this gem into a music video — and fast! The clock was ticking since we had announced the video would be released in early September. Keeping with the Traverse City local theme (hey, it had worked well so far!) we turned to Traverse City photographer/videographer Andy Wakeman. Andy started with a sunset shoot and bonfire with the band at Lake Michigan in late July, on what might just have been the most beautiful night of the summer. Over the rest of the summer he captured teens, families, couples, and seniors enjoying all that’s great about Northern Michigan. Well, everything that he could fit into a two-and-a-half minute video.

And so now here we are, just past Labor Day Weekend and heading into yet another spectacular season Up North … fall. While in many ways it seems like the summer raced by with deadlines and to-do lists having to do with the Traverse City Song Search, we can’t say we’re sorry we came up with that overly ambitions idea last spring. Along the way we got to know four awesome young musicians who love their hometown and were able to translate that into something that makes the rest of us smile every time we hear it. We also met real people enjoying what our little slice of heaven has to offer to so many.

Let’s raise a toast to one more day!

Fall in Traverse City

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

The days might be getting shorter, but Northern Michigan is definitely not short on fun during the fall. Smaller crowds and discounted pricing makes this the perfect time of year to head north and enjoy take a color tour, go wine tasting, enjoy a round of fall golf, bike along the Sleeping Bear Dunes trails, or stroll along Traverse City’s tree-lined downtown. Visit our website for special Fab Fall savings from now through December 19. Here’s a look at what’s happening around Traverse City this fall.

 

Fall Happenings

Leelanau Peninsula Wineries
Discover breathtaking views and sample award-winning wines along the largest and oldest wine trail in Michigan.  The peninsula is home to 25 wineries located within diverse microclimates uniquely suited for a variety of wine grapes. There are three mini-trails for easy touring: the Sleeping Bear Loop, the Northern Loop and the Grand Traverse Bay Loop. Visit for a day or make it a weekend and taste the quality of Traverse City wines.

Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula
Eight distinct wineries are sprinkled along the beautiful Old Mission Peninsula. Relish in the sights and flavors while touring this wine trail featuring dynamic tasting rooms and award-winning wines. Be sure to stop at one of the scenic overlooks for a stunning display of fall colors and magnificent views of Grand Traverse Bay.

Jacob’s Corn Maze
This world class 10 acre Corn Maze is unlike any other in Northern Michigan. Jacob’s Secret Agent Adventure is an exciting and fully interactive farm experience that will captivate and entertain your family for hours with its twists and turns. Visit the website for hours and information.

Hoxsie’s Farm Market
Autumn splendor at its best at this local favorite market and farm.  Stock up on apples, pumpkins, squash, and delicious baked goods. Take a wagon ride to pick the perfect pumpkin, find your way through the corn maze, and finish off the adventure with playtime and snacks in the big red barn.

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

Hiking and Biking
Immerse yourself in shades of orange, yellow, and red while exploring one of the area’s many scenic trails. There’s miles of woodland forests rich in color and perfect for spending an afternoon of outdoor recreation.

Driving Color Tours
Choose a route and enjoy the fall season! Take a look at our suggested areas and be sure to bring along a map of the area to help find your way.

Fall Festivals & Events

Sept. 27 – Acme Fall Festival
Sept. 27 – Harvest Festival & Scarecrow Extravaganza
Oct. 4 – Happy Apple Days
Oct. 25 – Zombie Run
Oct. 31 – Downtown Halloween Walk
Nov. 1 – Iceman Cometh Challenge
Nov. 7 – 14 – Traverse City Beer Week
Nov. 1 & 2 and 8 & 9 – Toast the Season 

 What do you think of Traverse City’s new music video?