Pure Michigan September Events Roundup

Bike tours, art fairs, beer festivals and more — in Michigan, there’s always something fun to do! And, there’s always a celebration. Don’t know where to start? We’ve highlighted a number of festive celebrations taking place around the state over the next month.

There are hundreds of events and festivals happening in September all across Michigan. For a complete listing of events in specific cities, view the Interactive Map on michigan.org.

East Central

Dow Gardens Art in the Garden – Sculptures of the Great Lakes Bay
August 13, 2012 – September 30, 2012, Midland
Thirty sculptures by Great Lakes Bay artists are featured throughout Dow Gardens. Enjoy a unique stroll of beauty and art. A printable guide is available at the visitor center. For more information contact (989) 631-2677.

Michigan Bean Festival – 2012
August 31, 2012 – September 3, 2012, Fairgrove
There is something for all ages at the Michigan Bean Festival in Fairgrove from craft and car shows, tractor pulling, casino and entertainment tents with live bands, mud bog, free beans daily, the grand parade and the crowning of the State Bean Queen. For more information, call (989) 691-5227.

Main Street Glow
September 13, 2012, Midland
Join in the fun as the RE/MAX Balloon Festival kicks off with a night GLOW on Main Street in Downtown Midland. Hot air balloons will launch from Chippewassee Park (across the Tridge) starting around 6 pm. Then stroll among tethered hot air balloons on Main Street (between Gordon Street and McDonald Street). Enjoy more fun at the RE/MAX Balloon Festival all weekend long at the Midland County Fairgrounds (morning launches on Friday, Saturday, Sunday mornings at 7:30 am plus evening activities Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 6 pm). All scheduled events are weather permitting. For more information, call (989) 837-3330.

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest 2012
September 20-23, 2012, Frankenmuth
A German festival with a large wooden dance floor. Good food, drinks, and souvenirs. Located in the Harvey Kern Pavilion in Heritage Park. For more information, click on the website link or call (800) FUN-FEST (386-3378).

Celebration of the Horse Festival
September 29, 2012, Metamora
Once a year the streets of Metamora are filled with horses, horse owners and horse lovers. Celebration of the Horse Festival is an annual small town festival celebrating “everything equine”. The celebration is well-known for its wide range of activities and events for all ages. The festival features breed displays, parade, entertainment, training demonstrations, informative speakers and veterinarians, horse drawn trolley, business expo, children’s activities, pony rides, historic carriage tours, great food and more! For more information call (810) 678-8000.


Alpena County Fair
August 29, 2012 – September 3, 2012, Alpena
Please join us for the 138th Annual Alpena County Fair “where old fashioned fun is never out of style!” Entertainment tent, exhibits, grand stand, music, and midway. For more information on this event call (989) 356-1174 or (989) 356-1847.

Hopps of Fun Beer & Wine Festival
September 7- 8, 2012, Mackinaw City
Mackinaw Crossings will host “Historic Depot Happy Hour Hopps of Fun.” This unique event will feature as extensive sampling of 50+ award winning Michigan micro brewed beers and over 40 wines from Michigan’s four internationally recognized wine regions. Plenty of food, wine, beer, entertainment and fun from 5pm till 11pm on Friday and 1pm till 11pm on Saturday. For more information on this event, visit the website link or call (231) 436-5030.

Folk Arts Festival
September 15, 2012, Grayling
This special event will feature artists, musicians, authors and storytellers from all across Northern Michigan. All of the Wellington Farm, USA historic buildings will be in operation during the one-day festival. In addition there will be artists, craftsmen, storytellers and musicians scattered about the park. A food concession will be available so families can plan on spending the entire day at the farm. For more information, call (989) 348-5187.

Big Mac Shoreline Scenic Bike Tour
September 15-16, 2012, Mackinaw City
The “Big Mac” Tour is designed as a recreational tour, it is not a race, but a test of stamina and a chance for families to enjoy this popular sport together at their own pace. These scenic tours will offer 25 mile, 50 mile, 75 mile, and 100 mile routes between Mackinaw City and Harbor Springs. Our scenic tour will take you along the Lake Michigan shoreline…pass sparking water, windswept dunes, through the renown “Tunnel of Trees”, over rolling hills, through quaint resort towns and old Indian villages, and across the Mackinac Bridge. Riders pre-register, meet, and depart from Mackinaw Recreation Complex. For more information on this event, visit the website link or contact the Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce at (888) 455-8100 or (231) 436-5574.

Northern Michigan Lamb & Wool Festival
September 29–30, 2012, West Branch
We’re about the friendliest little fiber festival around. We work to bring together small producers of fiber products and fiber fan(atic)s and we have a great time doing so. Fiber and food vendors, fiber classes, sheep and pasture management sessions and a pasture tour. For more information contact (989) 345-0947.


Taste of Michigan at Crystal Mountain
September 1, 2012, Thompsonville
Head to Crystal Mountain and celebrate all that makes Michigan a haven for great food and great music. September 1, 2012, 4-8pm. Sample a wide array of Michigan wines, craft beers, local foods and signature products, along with live entertainment by Jimmy Olsen, Levi Britton and Blake Elliot (4-10pm). Admission is $6 per person; food & beverage tickets available for purchase separately. For more information, call (231) 378-2000 x2506

Harvest Stompede
September 8-9, 2012, Suttons Bay
This annual weekend features a spectacular race through Leelanau’s vineyards followed by a self guided wine tour of LPVA member wineries featuring world class wines and culinary delights that reflect the season’s bounty. In 2012 we are once again highlighting local foods, and each winery’s food pairing will feature locally sourced items. Race & Wine Tour are SEPARATE EVENTS!! You DO NOT have to do the race to participate in the wine tour! Check out the website link or call (231) 421-1172 for member wineries or for additional event information.

Leland Heritage Celebration
September 15, 2012, Leland
The annual Leland Heritage Celebration takes place September 15th, 2012. This annual event is free and open to the public. Highlights include the Leelanau Historical Museum’s “Wooden Boats on the Wall”, Van’s Garage antique car show, and music and festivities in Fishtown. There will also be an exhibit at the Old Art Building. For more information, click on the website link or call the Chamber of Commerce at (877) LELAND1 or (231) 256-0079.

Civil War Muster Days
September 21-22, 2012, Ludington
The Civil War Muster is an event paying tribute to those who have served in military action throughout our history. The two-day event will feature the Civil War this year. Visitors will experience cannon firings, weapons interpretation, 19th century fashion show, Civil War handcrafts as well as camp life. Memorabilia from the Civil War era will be on display and re-enactors and veterans will be available to give visitors a firsthand account of this important period of our history. For more information, call (231) 843-4808.

Fall Fever Festival in Cadillac
September 22-23, 2012, Cadillac
A full festive weekend of events in Cadillac. Starting Saturday with activities in the City Park, events include Cadillac’s 3rd Annual Craft Beer Festival, 4th Annual Classic Car Show, 4th Annual NasDog Races (Nascar Theme Pee Wee Dog races), Fall Fever Parade, Cemetery Historic Tours, Family activities with Bounce Houses. New in 2012 a Craft Soda Pop Tent with local ice cream. Sunday morning breakfast with Criss Cakes – performing their fantastic flying pancakes under the tent. Located in the City Park, in Downtown Cadillac. For details, call (231) 920-5189.


Michigan Renaissance Festival
August 18, 2012- September 30, 2012, Holly
Music, sword-swallowing, comedy, fire-juggling and, of course, the costumes of a bygone era all fantastically on display. Fun and excitement for all ages. Address is 12500 Dixie Highway, Holly, MI 48442. For more information, visit the website link or call (800) 601-4848 or (248) 634-5552.

Great Lakes State Fair
August 31, 2012 – September 3, 2012, Novi
It’s happening! After a three-year hiatus, the State Fair is returning to Michigan as the Great Lakes State Fair. The Great Lakes State Fair will feature Michigan- made, grown or produced products. Livestock and agriculture areas with large indoor arena. Local Americana/Country live entertainment. Beer garden featuring Michigan Breweries. Large Midway with tons of games and rides. Local and national merchandise and concessions vendors. Shriners small scale circus and circus attractions. For additional information, visit the website link or call (248) 348-5600.

Arts, Beats & Eats
August 31, 2012 – September 3, 2012, Royal Oak
Oakland County’s premier entertainment festival which draws nearly 400,000 people to experience more than 200 art exhibitors, 50 restaurants and 150 bands on five stages downtown Royal Oak. For more information call (248) 334-4600.

Bicentennial of the War of 1812 & The Star Spangled Banner
September 4-10, 2012, Detroit
A key moment in American history is coming to life in Detroit this September. The U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guards are joining with civilian groups to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” in a series of special events in Detroit September 4-10, 2012. Navy war ships and an exact replica of the Brig Niagara will moor along the Detroit riverfront and be available for civilians to tour. Come and view these ships to celebrate and learn more about American history and the role Detroit played in this significant battle. All events take place on the riverfront unless noted. For a daily schedule of events, visit the website link. For additional information, call (734) 223-6968.

Art & Apples Festival
September 7-9, 2012, Rochester
The Art & Apples Festival is Michigan’s second largest juried fine art festival with an average attendance of over 125,000 festival-goers and 285+ artists from across the country. The festival showcases artists from across the country, local entertainment acts, a free Kids Art Zone, three food courts and more. The Art & Apples Festival ranks the #29 art festival in the nation as determined by Sunshine Artist Magazine. Visit Rochester Park at Sixth and Pine Streets. For more information on this event, click on the website link or call (248) 651-4110.

HomeGrown Festival 2012
September 8, 2012, Ann Arbor
The Annual HomeGrown Festival is a grassroots community event showcasing the best of our region’s locally grown food, drink, music and fun. Held under the historic Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market pavilion, the fifth annual HomeGrown Festival will take place on Saturday, September 8th, 2012, from 6-10pm at 315 Detroit Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Thousands attended in 2011. Chefs committed to cooking with seasonal, local food will offer small-plate portions ($1-$7) of creative dishes sourced from area farms. For adults over age 21, tasting portions of dozens of Michigan’s small producer beer, wine, mead, and hard-ciders will be available for purchase. In addition, the Festival hosts a line-up of popular bands (with dancing), special activities for kids, an artisan market, tastings and chef demonstrations, and many opportunities for learning about the people and places that make up this region’s diverse and productive food shed. For more information, call (734) 707-8488.

Romulus Pumpkin Festival
September 14-16, 2012, Romulus
Downtown Romulus is the home of our annual Romulus Pumpkin Festival and Parade of Lights. Each year, on the third full weekend in September, our festival begins with a night parade where everything is lighted from bicycles to cement trucks. Thousands of people line Goddard Road to wait for the fun. Our street festival offers wonderful music, food, crafts and games for all ages. For more information, call (734) 955-4577.

Boating & Outdoor Festival
September 20-23, 2012, Harrison Township
In-water boat show featuring boats in-water and on-land from 10- to 60-feet in length for sale at great end-of-season prices. Also featuring many other outdoor recreation exhibits and products like ATVs, paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, electric bikes, four wheelers and more. Product demonstrations, interactive exhibits, special attractions and features, make this event a must see for everyone. Special attractions to be announced at the event website. For more information call (800) 932-2628 or (586) 463-4581.


St. Joseph Wine Festival
September 2, 2012, St. Joseph
The St. Joseph Wine Festival is a festival of music food and fun at the Silver Beach Shadowland Pavilion in St. Joseph. It will feature seven wineries both local and State of Michigan based, reds, whites, roses and sparkling varieties of wine will be featured. All tickets include a commemorative wine glass and one glass of wine. 6-10pm. For more information visit the website or call (269) 985-1111.

Frontier Days – Charlotte
September 5-9, 2012, Charlotte
Pioneer spirited guests will enjoy this annual event featuring one of mid-Michigan’s largest parades, a championship rodeo, flea market, fireworks, more than 250 arts and crafts exhibits, an old-fashioned saloon and much more! For more information call (517) 543-3325.

Paw Paw Wine & Harvest Festival
September 7-9, 2012, Paw Paw
Enjoy wine tasting, tours at area wineries and vineyards and a grape stomping competition. There will also be a classic car show, craft fair, polka and jazz music, a bicycle tour and fireworks. For more information contact (269) 655-1111.

NSRA Street Rod Nationals North Plus
September 14-16, 2012, Kalamazoo
See more than 2600 street rods, muscle cars, custom and specialty vehicles all thirty years old and older. Plus manufacturer exhibits, arts & crafts, vintage parts, swap meet, live entertainment, good food and a whole lot more! Produced by the National Street Rod Association. Admission is adults $14, children ages 6-12 $5, and children 5 & under are free. For more information, call (303) 776-7851.

Apple Fest
September 15, 2012, Coldwater
The AppleFest is always the third Saturday in September from 9am to 4pm. This event features over 150 vendors presenting a wonderful array of arts and crafts, live entertainment, special children’s programs, games, great food and several orchards on site selling their best apples and cider. Phone (517)279-6902 for more information.

Festival of the Forks
September 21, 2012 Albion
The festival of the Forks is a joyous community celebration with art, music, food and fun in downtown Albion. The festival celebrates the founding of Albion, located at the Fork in the Kalamazoo River. Throughout the event, enjoy a classic car show, bands, a parade and more! 6pm-9pm. For more information on this event, click on the website link or call (517) 629-5533.

Upper Peninsula

Art on the Lake Art & Music Festival
September 1, 2012, Curtis
Join in the fun for all ages including food, music, art vendors, children’s art project (10 am-3 pm) and children’s parade. Vote for the People’s Choice Award in the 4th Annual Photo Contest. Live entertainment throughout the day. $1.00 admission at the gate. No pets other than service animals will be allowed on the grounds. For additional information, call (906) 586-9974.

Bell’s Beer Copper Harbor Trails Festival
September 1-2, 2012, Copper Harbor
17 & 29 mile mountain bike races, Jr. Fat Tire races, Enduro races, awards, food & beverages and live music following the races. For more information, visit the website link or call (906) 289-4788.

UP Fall Beer Festival
September 8, 2012, Marquette
Please join us for the 4th Annual UP Fall Festival in Marquette. The event has been slightly re-named after the inaugural year when it was the UP Oktoberfest and we think the name now better fits with our other events. We are expecting more than 30 Michigan craft brewers to participate and there will be nearly 200 different beers available to sample. Fee. Adult event. Pets are not allowed. For more information on this event, visit the website link or call (517) 327 5004.

Celtic Festival & Copper Hammer Highland Games
September 15, 2012, Marquette
The Celtic Festival will feature the Copper Hammer Highland Games, a rugby tournament, Celtic foods, period clothing, Scottish Highland dancing, Celtic music, Celtic animals, kids’ games, bouncy house/slide, a shortbread bake off and a haggis eating competition. For additional information visit the website link or call (906) 395-6803.

Haunted Weekend on Mackinac Island
September 28-30, 2012, Mackinac Island
See the island like you’ve never seen it before. A weekend of history and ghost hunting! Award winning authors, Kat Tedsen and Bev Rydel (Haunted Travels of Michigan book series) will take you on an extended journey into the mystery, haunting, and ghosts of Mackinac Island. Weekend includes day and night time ghost hunting adventures, historic walking tour. Plus this year, there will be two of Michigan’s most respected psychic/mediums on hand for private readings. See website for details or call (586) 228-8780.

West Central

Muskegon Shoreline Spectacular
August 31, 2012 – September 3, 2012, Muskegon
Celebrate Summer Some More! Labor Day Weekend festival with activities for all ages, music, car show and arts and crafts. For more information contact (231) 724-3100.

Celebration on the Grand
September 7-8, 2012, Grand Rapids
A premiere end-of-a-summer festival that attracts over 200,000 people to the downtown area for great free entertainment. All events are held in the downtown area. A typical Celebration on the Grand schedule includes national level and local favorite country rock, alternative rock and blues bands. Friday night is capped off by the areas best fireworks show. On Saturday, cultural institutions such as area museums and zoos are open for free to the public in what has been dubbed the “Tour the Grand”. For more information contact (616) 752-8257.

Michigan Irish Music Festival 2012
September 14-16, 2012, Muskegon
The Michigan Irish Music Festival returns to Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon, with a weekend of live music, activities, and culture. The Festival features Irish & Celtic music on three covered stages. In addition to continuous live music, the Celtic Kitchen and Bob and Bernie’s Pub serve up authentic Irish food and beverages including Irish Fest Stout, Irish Cream, and other products. Other festival activities include the Irish Marketplace, children’s activities, a cultural center, and a session tent. General admission tickets for the festival are $8 on Friday (5-11pm), $15 on Saturday (11am to 11pm) and $10 on Sunday (8:30am to 6pm). For more information call (231) 739-2028.

Fallasburg Fall Festival 2012
September 15-16, 2012, Lowell
One hundred artists are selected each year to sell their artworks in this juried arts festival which is held in and around Fallasburg Park. The festival is from 10am – 5pm both Saturday and Sunday. The Festival’s appealing combination of fine arts, traditional craft demonstrations, musical entertainment and food, all in a historical park setting, make it a unique “arts event” and one of many favorite festivals in the state of Michigan. For more information contact the Chamber at (616) 897-8545.

ArtPrize 2012
September 19, 2012 – October 7, 2012
ArtPrize, the radically open art competition, will have 1,517 confirmed entries from 56 countries and 45 states when the fourth annual exhibition opens on September 19, 2012. Open to any Artist in the world who can find space. Open to anybody in Grand Rapids, MI, who wants to create a venue. Open to a vote from anyone who attends. For more information, visit the website link or call (616) 459-8287.

Don’t miss your chance to see what else is happening in cities across Michigan. Visit michigan.org for a complete listing. What event or festival are you most looking forward to in September?