Beauty and History at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival

Michigan lighthouses bring history, beauty, and uniqueness to our coastline. Each year, visitors can take an in-depth tour of some of these lighthouses at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival. This year’s festival will be held October 10th- 13th in Alpena, MI. Guest blogger Peggy Allen of the Michigan Historical Center walks us through what visitors can expect at the upcoming festival. 

Visiting the coastline of Lake Huron, stopping at a Michigan state park, fond memories can be made so easily.

Although modern navigational technology has made lighthouses nearly obsolete, some still do serve as a guiding light for ships on the Great Lakes. More than 115 lighthouses dot Michigan’s Great Lakes coastline providing unique opportunities for visitors to learn about our maritime history.

Tawas Lighthouse Tawas Point State Park and Lighthouse in East Tawas invites you to experience the sights of Michigan.  This fall, Oct. 10-13, brings the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival to the sunrise side of Michigan.  Visitors can explore many lighthouses from short to tall, white to stripes, all found along the great Lake Huron up to the Mighty Mackinac Bridge.

Headquarters for the 18th Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival is in Alpena.  At the APLEX Event Center there will be over 100 maritime vendors, artists, authors and more.  This half-way point allows you to rest up, listen to presenters and talk with other lighthouse enthusiasts.  There is plenty to do and see for every family member.

When traveling north on US-23 your autumn view is spectacular with painted foliage and pristine water guiding your way past several historic lighthouses.

Stopping at Tawas Point is a highlight. The land curves out into the blue water as the lighthouse nestles between Lake Huron and Tawas Bay.  This allows a majestic view of Michigan’s sunrises and sunsets with plenty of wildlife along the way.

This festival is the only time during the year that visitors will be able to tour the Guest Keeper Quarters above the museum.  Guest Keepers themselves will be able to show you around the entire lighthouse and give you the inside scoop on staying in the lighthouse and becoming a guest keeper yourself.

Tawas LighthouseEntering the park, Tawas Point Lighthouse will guide your way.  The gift store is an historical landmark itself and was built in 1906. There you can purchase unique souvenirs to mark your visit, as well as your ticket into the lighthouse.

At the lighthouse itself, you will experience the history that helped make Michigan. You can learn about past keepers, their family life, the trials of keeping the light burning and reasons why there are so many lighthouses on the Great Lakes. You are welcome to walk in and explore the space, where you can touch as well as look as you learn about life at the lighthouse.

Tawas LighthouseYou may also climb the 85 steps up to the lens room and see the original 4th order Fresnel lens that still guides ships today.  The 360-degree view from the top reveals the beauty of this point. The significance of our lighthouses in years past can be discovered over many visits – the importance of keeping lighthouses in our future can be found in just one.

For more information on the Tawas Point Lighthouse, including tours, the lightkeeper program and upcoming events, go to

Peggy Allen of the Michigan Historical Center has been the caregiver to the Tawas Point Lighthouse and grounds for the past decade. She works to renovate, up-keep and introduce many events and opportunities for guests to experience the many facets of Tawas Point Lighthouse and State Park.  

Will you be at this year’s Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival? Let us know!

“Pure Michigan Pink” Recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Pure Michigan PinkTo recognize October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re ‘going pink’! In order to increase awareness of this major cause of cancer deaths in Michigan women and promote available information resources, all official State of Michigan social media accounts will be updating their channels during the month of October to support the cause.

The ‘M’ in the Pure Michigan logo, usually seen in blue or green, will be made pink in social media profile images and platform backgrounds, including Pure Michigan’s Facebook and Twitter channels.

We encourage those interested in raising awareness and joining the fight against breast cancer to check out one of the following events. Please note that this is just a small sample of events happening in communities across Michigan to raise awareness. To find events happening in your local community, please visit the Making Strides website.

Ann Arbor, MI

Making Strides of Ann Arbor – October 26, 2013
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Ann Arbor takes place on Saturday, October 26th this year at Washtenaw Community College. Learn more at the organization’s website.

University of Michigan Athletic Events in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness  - October 12, 2013 & October 19,2013.
Different teams from the University of Michigan will be wearing pink as part of their uniforms.

  • October 12th 2013 : U of M Volleyball Game against Iowa, 7:00 p.m.
  • October 19th 2013:  U of M Football Game against Indiana, 3:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the website.

Big Rapids, MI

Paint Big Rapids Pink- October 1, 2013 – October 31, 2013

The Big Rapids Hospital Foundation is increasing awareness of breast health and the free services offered at the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Center located at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital by hosting its month-long “Paint Big Rapids Pink” celebration. Events include:

  • October 7, 2013:  Stiletto Sprint, 5:30 p.m. - Downtown Big Rapids
  • October 7th 2013: “Girls Night Out – Shades of Pink,”  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Natural Beauty Salon and Day Spa
  • October 7, 2013: “Boys Night Out,”  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Cranker’s Brewery
  • October 9th and 16th 2013: Wheatlake Center Open Houses, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital
  • October 12, 2013: “Night of Wine for Days of Hope” Wine and Craft Beer Tasting, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Big Rapids Elks
  • October 18, 2013: “Rolling for Pink – Experience Vegas at Tullymore,” 7:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. – Tullymore Golf Resort
  • October 19, 2013: General Federation of Women’s Club Home Tour, 10:00 a.m. – Big Rapids
  • October 19. 2013: “Pink in the Rink” FSU Hockey, 7:07 p.m. -  Ewigleben Ice Arena
  • October 20, 2013: Tuba Bach – Bluegrass Jubilee – Raymond and Ruth McLain and Mike Stevens, 4:00 p.m. – Big Rapids High School Auditorium
  • October 29, 2013: Wheatlake Education Series, 6:00 p.m. – Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center Auditorium – Kim Sorrelle, author of Cry Until You Laugh, shares her cancer journey.

For event details and ticket information, please visit  the website or search “Paint Big Rapids Pink” on Facebook.

Detroit, MI

Maize and Blue Go Pink - October 18, 2013
Come see your favorite Wolverines and Detroiters walk the runway to support breast cancer research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center – Cadillac Square, 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit the website.

Lansing, MI

Making Strides of Lansing – October 26, 2013
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Lansing takes place on Saturday, October 26th at 11:00 a.m. this year at the Michigan State Capitol. Learn more at the organization’s website.

Newberry, MI

Dig Pink! Competing for a Cause! – October 24, 2013
The Engadine High School Volleyball team will face the Newberry Girls Volleyball Games to raise money for Breast Cancer Research on Thursday, October 254h at 6pm in the Engadine School Gym. There will be raffles, food, and fun! Last year’s Dig Pink! Event at Engadine High School raised $5,000! For more information call Kathy Miller, Engadine Girls Volleyball coach at 906-477-8090.

Traverse City, MI

Remembrance Run – October 5, 1013
The Remembrance Run, organized by the women of the Traverse City Track Club, will be held at Timber Ridge RV Recreation Resort on October 5, 2013. In 2012, the event raised $25,200 for the Women’s Cancer Fund. For more information, visit the event website.

Saginaw, MI

Saginaw Spirit vs. Barrie Colts PINK OUT Game – October 26, 2013
The Saginaw Spirit will be playing their annual PINK OUT game on October 26, 2013 at 7:11 p.m. Five dollars from each fundraising ticket supports the St. Mary’s of Michigan Breast Care Fund. For more information, visit the website.

Southwest Michigan

Paint Our Towns Pink – September 222013 – October 182013
 The Southwest Michigan affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is partnering with several area organizations to host a series of events in late September and throughout October called “Paint Our Towns Pink.” Some “Paint Our Towns Pink” events include:

  • October 3, 2013: Give Back Dinner, 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. – Bistro on the Boulevard, St. Joseph, will serve up its signature appetizers, entrees and desserts and donate a portion of the evening earnings to Komen for the Cure. Learn more at their website.
  • October 5, 2013: Ride for the Cure, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Many of the Carousel’s 48 figures and two chariots will be decorated in pink as they spin under thousands of pink lights, but the featured figure to ride will be the hot pink flamingo. A portion of today’s ride earnings will go to the local Komen organization. Visit the website for details.
  • October 10, 2013: Night Out in Your Little Black Dress, 6:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m. - Silver Beach Shadowland Ballroom, St. Joseph. This fun-filled evening includes guest speaker, Elissa Ashwood, entertainment by Sunset Coast Dancers, photo booth, silent auction and wine pull ($10 minimum value of bottle). For information, call 269-235-9120 or visit the website.
  • October 18, 2013: Art Hop, Arts District, Benton Harbor, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Artists and galleries will serve pink cocktails, pink punch, pink cookies and offer plenty of opportunities to contribute to the local Komen for the Cure affiliate. For more information, visit thew website.
  • October 18,2013: Pink Football Game, Dickinson Stadium, St. Joseph High School, St. Joseph, 7:00 p.m. The St. Joe Bears will wear pink when they take on Portage Central. Donations will be taken to help support area women seeking a cure for breast cancer. For directions and more information, visit the website.
  • October 20, 2013: Mother/Daughter Princess Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 a. m. - The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, St. Joseph. This is a lovely time for mothers, grandmothers and aunts to spend time with their favorite princesses. Dress up in pink and enjoy royal foods and entertainment. Tickets are available at The Heritage Museum, Silver Beach Center and The Coast radio station.

For more information about each event or to make a donation, call 269-341-4209, email or visit the website.

South Haven, MI

Something to Talk About: Celebrate Women – October 24, 2013
Shoreline Wellness & Rehabilitation Center – 950 S Bailey Ave, South Haven, 6:30 p.mIn honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, join us as we celebrate women at our Health & Wellness Seminar on October 24 at 6:30pm. This event will include an informal discussion on Women’s Health with Dr. Pamela Sanchez, a healthy cooking class with Registered Dietitian Nicole Morrissey, a raffle prize, and other fun activities to increase awareness! For more information, visit the website.

St. Clair County, MI

Making Strides of St. Clair County – October 12, 2013
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in St. Clair County takes place on Saturday, October 12th this year at St. Clair Community College. Learn more at the organization’s website.

These are just some of the events happening around the state. What events are happening in your neighborhood? 

Learn more about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month here. To find events happening in your local community, please visit the Making Strides website.

We encourage you to use the #puremipink hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share your story and photos throughout the month for a chance to appear on the website.

Have you been affected by breast cancer? Share your story with us below, or let us know how you’re working to help spread awareness in your community.

Pure Michigan October 2013 Events Roundup

The fall season will be in full swing as October arrives in Pure Michigan. With crisp fall air and spectacular changing colors, October is a perfect time to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and explore some of the exciting events happening around the state. From Halloween fun to harvest festivals, there is plenty to do and see! 

Below is a roundup of a few of the many events taking place in Pure Michigan throughout October. For a complete listing of events, visit

Week of September 30 

Fall Flavor Weekends
September 28 – October 6, 2013, Dearborn
Greenfield Village kicks things into high cooking gear during Fall Flavor Weekends. Get the full flavor during daily cooking demonstrations at the village farmhouses, family homes and plantation. Celebrate the glories of American food with us, and savor the aroma of soups simmering, beer brewing, peas stewing and chicken frying. Be sure to stop in our Village Store for FREE tastings of our Greenfield Village specialty foods. Fall Flavor Weekends are free to members and free with Greenfield Village admission. For more information, visit the website.

Rockford Harvest Festival
September 28 – October 6, 2013, Rockford
A two-weekend event featuring fun, food and entertainment, including hay rides, scarecrow building, tractor parade, costume contest, petting zoo and more. For more information, call (616) 866-2000.

Nascar Driving Experience
October 4 – October 5, 2013, Brooklyn (Michigan International Speedway)
While enjoying your next trip to the “Irish Hills” of Michigan, fulfill your dreams of being a stock car driver with Richard Petty Driving Experience at Michigan International Speedway. Experience the fastest form of white-knuckle entertainment in Detroit by getting behind the wheel of a 600HP NASCAR race car at speeds of up to 160 MPH. Select the Ride-Along Experience or a Rookie Experience. The Ride-Along will let you experience real life racing thrills by riding shotgun in a 2-seat NASCAR race car driven by one of our professional instructors for a 3-lap qualifying run at speeds up to 160mph! Rookie Experience is for those who want the experience of driving a race car. Your hands are on the wheel, your foot is on the gas, and you’re in the driver’s seat for eight laps over one session around the track in a 600 horsepower NASCAR race car. Rate for Ride-Along is $109, Rookie Experience is $499. Reservations are not required for Ride-Alongs. Rookie Experience requires reservations. Want to know more about this event, visit the website link.

Midwest Space Fest
October 5, 2013, Traverse City
Explore your outer space in Traverse City, Michigan, at a two-day festival offering a fresh perspective of the Universe through engaging space and astronomy presentations, hands-on learning opportunities and inspiring exhibits. For more information, call (231) 714-4925 or visit the website.

Great Lakes Regional Chili Cook-off
October 6, 2013, Plymouth
18th Annual Great Lakes Regional Chili Cook-off will be held in Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth, Michigan (S Main Street & W Ann Arbor Trail), on Sunday, October 6, 2013, along with a motorcycle show, live bands, kids activities, food and vendor booths. For more information, call (734) 776-9669 or visit the website.


Week of October 7 

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival
October 10 – October 13, 2013, Alpena
Tour 11 lighthouses a whole new way. Zoom overhead in a helicopter or glide over waves for a sailor’s sight. Back on land climb many of the lighthouses, enjoy live entertainment and lighthouse exhibits, and nautical vendors round out the weekend. For more information, call (586) 566-1603 or visit the website.

Flint Film Festival
October 11 – October 12, 2013, Flint
Join the Flint Film Festival Committee as they celebrate and honor independent filmmakers, writers, actors and technicians during the 10th annual Flint Film Festival. Discover a unique and varied spectrum of films – long, short, fiction, documentary and animation – and filmmakers from around the world. Get the opportunity to meet some of these filmmakers and learn all about the experience of film making. Films run Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. The Flint Film Festival is being presented at the Riverfront Banquet Center; 1 Riverfront Ctr W.; Flint, Michigan 48502. For more information, call (810) 600-1454 or visit the website.

Charlevoix Apple Festival
October 11 – October 13, 2013, Charlevoix
Experience the magic of autumn in Northern Michigan at the 35th 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 festival’s 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! For more information on this event, click on the website link or call (231) 547-2101.

Ludington Oktoberfest
October 12, 2013, Downtown Ludington
Downtown Ludington and Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo, presenting sponsor, present the Oktoberfest Music & Craft Beer Festival scheduled for Saturday, October 12, 2013, in Downtown Ludington. The event will feature Ludington’s first annual MITTCRIT Bike Race, BBQ Cook Off and Chili Walk. The event will kickoff with the MITTCRIT criterium bike race, followed by a Chili walk at participating locations and BBQ Cook Off lot throughout the day. The day then cultivates with a craft beer and entertainment tent on Loomis Street with Bells Brewery products, Oktoberfest style fair, and an incredible music line up. Further event details, can be found at the website link. 

Mackinac Island Music Festival
October 12 – October 19, 2013, Mackinac Island
Local and national touring musicians join forces for a weekend of musical genres including folk, country, rock, blues and jazz. In it’s ninth year, the music festival’s theme, The Heart of a Woman, celebrates some of the best female musicians. For more information, visit the website.


Week of October 14 

Masters Walleye Circuit World Walleye Championship
October 17 – 19, 2013, Escanaba
World Walleye Championship on the beautiful Bays de Noc, considered the walleye capitol of the world! For more information, call (906) 789 7862.

Fall into the Arts
October 18, 2013, Battle Creek
For one evening, local artists display their art pieces throughout Downtown Battle Creek. From painters to sculptures, to musicians and more, the evening is full of art and entertainment! Art pieces are available for sale and a sampling of food and beverages are available from location to location. For more information, call (269) 968-1622 or visit the website.

Haunted Hayrides
October 18 – 19, 2013, Suttons Bay
October 18 & 19 and 25 & 26. Miles of wooded trails, old barns and a bonfire area make the farm in Suttons Bay a perfect venue for haunted hayrides. Participants board a wagon that takes them into the dark woods and old orchards on the farm. The trail rides are approximately 10-15 minutes long and are $10 per person. Due to the subject matter of the scenes and the surprises lurking in the woods the rides are recommended for those 12 years and older as well as individuals who appreciates a good scream. Rides begin (7pm) and end (9:30pm) at the Hearth & Vine Café where ghostly refreshments, warm cider and wine will be served. For more information, call (231) 944-1251 or visit the website.

Blues & Brews Festival
October 19, 2013, Adrian
Quickly becoming one of southeast Michigan’s premiere fall festivals, the Blues & Brews Festival is back with a full line up of great live music and award-winning craft beers. True to its name, the Blues & Brews Festival combines two Michigan legends – rhythm and blues music and hand-crafted beer – into one unforgettable event. The second Annual Blues & Brews Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2013, at The Pavilion, 115 Toledo Street, in beautiful downtown Adrian, Michigan. Doors open at 3pm, with live musical entertainment running, continuously. Come enjoy the festival and make it a weekend of fun! 3-9pm. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door. For more information, call (517) 260-0934 or visit the website.

October 19, 2013, Holland
There’s a reason GrooveWalk is known as the coolest night in town! Just purchase a wristband in advance for $15 or at the door for $20 to experience the greatest night of live music Downtown Holland has ever seen on Saturday, October 19 from 9pm – 1am! Your wristband gets you into all 12 venues to see 12 different bands performing live! Take a “groove walk” or ride the GrooveXpress bus…with on board entertainment. Visit the website link for a list of participating venues.


Week of October 21 

Frankfort Film Festival 2013
October 24 – 27, 2013, Frankfort
The fifth annual Frankfort Film Festival, slated for October 24-27, 2013, will feature the “best of show” titles from worldwide film festivals. For more information on this event, call us at (231) 352-7561 or visit the website link. 

Food, Wine & All that Jazz
October 25, 2013, Grand Rapids
Soothing sounds of brassy jazz music fills the Public Museum while guests sip from 300 wine and beer selections and nibble on gourmet food samples. Admission Fee. Must be at least 21. For more information, visit the website.

Mackinac Island Halloween Weekend
October 25– 26, 2013, Mackinac Island
The whole island gets into spooky spirit with downtown trick-or-treating, slashed prices in all downtown shops, the Haunts of Mackinac Tour and nighttime Halloween pub parties with live music. For more information, please visit the website or call (800) 454-5227.

Trick-or-Trail Fun Run/Walk
October 26, 2013, Kalamazoo
Lace up your sneakers, put on your costume and hit the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail for a morning of Halloween fun! We’ll kick things off with a 5K Fun Run/Walk, followed by a 1-mile, family-friendly, trick-or-treating run/walk, providing amusement for the whole family! Free parking is available at Markin Glen County Park. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call (269) 373-5071 visit the website.

Southwest Michigan Train Show & Sale
October 27, 2013, Kalamazoo
Presented by the Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society, the largest train show in southwest Michigan. Adult admission is $6, children 10 & under are free when accompanied by an adult. Hours: 10am-3pm in Main Expo. For more information, visit the website.


Week of October 28 & Ongoing Halloween Events

Dracula – Ballet Performance
October 31 – November 2, 2013, Grand Rapids
Dracula returns just in time for Halloween with updated scenery, projections, and a re-orchestrated score! A tale of hypnotic power, boundless love, and mesmerizing horror accompanied by dramatic lights, ghoulish props, and haunting projections – this Halloween ballet promises to entertain and impress. Treat yourself on Halloween and spend the night with Grand Rapids Ballet at Peter Martin Wege Theatre, October 25-27 & October 31-November 2, 2013. For more information, visit the website.

Amazing Acres Corn Maze
September 14 – October 31, 2013, Edwardsburg
If you’re looking for fun, family entertainment in Cass County, Michigan, make plans to visit the Amazing Acres Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch this Fall! The farm is over 90 acres and is packed with events for every member of the family, young or old. Explore the 14 acre corn maze with over 3.5 miles of paths. Keep a watchful eye for the 12 hidden check points. The Maze is available both day and night. In addition to the corn maze itself, there are many other fun activities for the entire family at Amazing Acres that includes hayrides with horse-drawn and tractor-pulled, pumpkin patch, child-sized haybale maze, thousands of pumpkins and holiday decorations, a goat walk and farms animals. Picnic area, snacks and refreshment stand, campfires available by reservation, face painting, hay jump, two straw mazes and two corn boxes. Located at 18430 US 12 East; Edwardsburg, MI 49112. Open Tuesday thru Friday 4pm to 9pm and Saturday & Sunday noon to 9pm. For more information, click the website link or call (574) 370-3403.

Niles Haunted House
September 13 – November 2, 2013, Niles
The Niles Haunted House Scream Park has 44 acres of multiple haunted attractions, hayrides, games and concessions. It’s guaranteed to scare the YELL out of you. Visit the web site for dates, times, coupon, and admission prices. Niles Haunted House Scream Park is located at 855 Mayflower Road; Niles, MI 49120. Phone for details at (269) 687-FEAR or visit the website. 

Corn Maze at BestMaze
September 13 – October 27, 2013, Williamston
The Corn Maze at BestMaze is great fun for the entire family on weekends from September 13th to October 27. Nineteen acre Corn Maze hours are Fri. 6-10pm; Saturdays 1-10pm, and Sundays 1-9pm. Tickets $8. The BestMaze Corn Maze is located at 3803 Noble Rd; Williamston, Michigan 48895.

The Bone Yard Scream Park
September 21 – November 2, 2013, Stockbridge
Extreme haunted house, haunted woods, haunted corn maze, and haunted hayride. This attraction takes over an hour to enjoy and have the fear put into you. This is an indoor and outdoor event, please dress accordingly. Scream Park located at 5010 Green Road; Stockbridge, Michigan 49285, just west of Hell. Friday and Saturday, open at 8pm. For more information, visit the website.

Tee Lake Halloween
September 27 – November 2, 2013, Lewiston
Northern Michigan Haunted House & Halloween Attraction, Tee Lake Halloween, offers three unique treats for Halloween fans & families. First, the Drive-Thru Haunt is a FREE, family friendly, self-guided tour through haunted displays. Tune your car radio to our spooky station to hear creepy music. No monsters will jump out at you. Nightly September 27 – November 2, dusk – 10pm. Admission is free. Second, Terror at Tee Lake is a terrifying walk-through haunted house open October 19, 25, 26, and November 1 from 7-10pm, with an admission of $5. Third, stay over in a haunted cabin – The Witch’s Cottage or Igor’s Hideaway. For more information, visit the website.

These are just a few of the many events happening next month in Pure Michigan. Please visit for a complete listing.