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!

Stretch Your Summer Celebrations Well Into Fall With These 7 Festivals

 

As summer begins to wind down, you might think that it’s time to hang up your dancing shoes. Think again! Festivals in the Great Lakes Bay Region are ample into autumn, too! Lace up your shoes, gather your friends, and go have some fun.  After all, that’s what festivals are for, and opportunities to enjoy yourself can be found all season long.

Blues, Brews & BBQ – (Birch Run) 
August 21-22, 2015

Blues Brews BBQ 1

Bring your appetite (and book your hotel now), because the 4th Annual Blues, Brews & Barbecue is a 2-day, finger-lickin’ Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition for the best chicken, ribs, pork and brisket flavors in the nation! Toss in carnival rides, local Michigan beer tasting tents, and live blues artists – and you’ve got some big plans come August 21 and 22, from noon til midnight!

  • Even though the fun doesn’t officially start ’til noon, the public is welcome ahead of time to watch the grillmasters in full swing.  Get there early for the first taste; BBQ teams hand out samples a’plenty. (Oh, and don’t miss the Saturday morning tradition – a shot of Jim Beam at 9:22 a.m.!)
  • Be sure to search down Bavarian Smoke and iBQ’n (the 2013 and 2014 competition winners, respectively) and check out the full list of competitors here.

Frankenmuth Auto Fest – (Frankenmuth)
 September 11-13, 2015

Auto Fest 1

 

Over 2,000 classic cars, street rods and muscle cars roll into Frankenmuth September 11 to 13, marking the start of the 32nd Annual Frankenmuth Auto Fest.  And we promise you won’t want to miss the kickoff —  locals and visitors rave about the Friday Night Big Block Party year after year.

  • Fuel up for long days of drooling over hot rods with daily 8 a.m. pancake breakfasts at Heritage Park Lions Haus (it’s a good chance to chat with fellow car enthusiasts, too!)
  • Catch the free shuttle buses (Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.)!
  • Snag a 3-day pass; For just $10, it’ll get you access to all the action for all 3 days of festivities

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest – (Frankenmuth)
 September 17-20, 2015

Oktoberfest 1 - Copy

Prepare for all-things-authentically German at the 26th Annual Frankenmuth Oktoberfest, September 17 – 20: Mugs and steins of authentic German Hofbräu beer; brats with kraut; live music by the Schuhplatters and many more; even traditional dancing on the wooden floor in the Harvey Kern Pavilion! Admission is $10 Thursday – Saturday, free on Sunday.

Michigan Antique & Collectibles Festival – (Midland)
 September 19-20, 2015

Does 80 acres and 1,000 antique dealers sound too good to be true? Then prepare to pinch yourself September 19-20 in Midland at the Michigan Antique & Collectibles Festival, named one of the Top 5 Favorite Summer Flea Markets by Kovels.com! Festival hours are 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 per person. Parking is free!

  • Beat the crowds from 11am-5pm on Saturday (Early Bird Day).  Admission is $15, but the pass will last you all weekend.
  • Be sure to fuel up at the Taste of Michigan so you can sample some of the best local flavors, then swing by the Shabby Experience & Industrial Way to find even more on-trend, timeless treasures

Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Fest – (Bay City)
 September 24-27, 2015

This September 24-27, you’ll not only get a sneak-peek at first-time showings of independent films alongside live, original music performances, but you’ll also get to connect with the filmmakers and musicians themselves! It all comes together during the low-key, 4-day grassroots indie celebration known as Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival. Sample artisan foods, visit historic theatres and other venues dripping with architectural eye candy, and enjoy a casual dip into the Bay City arts scene.

  • With four days and dozens of venues, showings, and performances throughout Bay City, you’re probably wondering where to go and when.  Research who’s playing and what’s showing, and base your routes around your favorite must-see musicians and films.
  • Another option is to base your Hell’s Half Mile experience around the hosted receptions — they’re a great way to get in extra time with the filmmakers and artists.

Northwood International Auto Show – (Midland)
 October 2-4, 2015

Northwood IAS 1

View more than 500 vehicles on display from over 65 manufacturers at the Northwood University International Auto Show in Midland, October 2 – 4! The student-run event is the largest outdoor new car show on the entire continent, so it’s no wonder that over 60,000 enthusiasts attend each year!  Show hours: Friday, 12 – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • 2014 Best in Division teams were Cadillac, Audi, Honda, AEV, RV. You might want to find out what they’re up to for 2015!
  • Be sure to stick around ’til 3:30 on Sunday (when the People’s Choice winner will be announced!)

Michigan’s Big Country Fest – (Frankenmuth) 
October 17-18, 2015

Line-dance it up amidst flannels, boots, and cowboy hats as Brian Gallagher of Bullhonky Deluxe and Mandi Layne & The Lost Highway belt out tunes at Michigan’s Big Country Fest in Frankenmuth, October 17 – 18 (6 p.m. – midnight both nights, admission $5)!

  • Between the mechanical bull rides, free line-dancing lessons, Bloody Mary bar, That Guy’s BBQ and more, the Harvey Kern Community Pavilion will be country-rockin’ rain or shine (don’t worry – the pavilion is enclosed).
  • Look for the Cowboy & Cowgirl Contests, where the winners are judged on best attire, bull riding, corn-hole toss and pong toss. It’s free to enter, and memorable to witness!

Guest Blogger - Jen Wainwright - CopyJen Wainwright is a freelance writer in Bridgeport, Michigan. She specializes in marketing communications copy, feature articles and compelling content/blog posts. Jen enjoys experiencing multicultural opportunities in the Great Lakes Bay Region with her family, camping and laughing. You can find her at www.jenwainwright.com.

Walking With Nature: Destination Traverse City

The spectacular landscape that embraces the Traverse City area is an ever-changing masterpiece created over centuries by the earth-moving power of ice, wind and water. No matter what the season, nature lovers will find trails and natural areas to fuel their passions. Read more on the beauty of TC, as shared by guest blogger Jonathan Schechter.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  — John Muir

Spring is the gateway to wildflowers and migratory birds at places like the Grass River Natural Area. Summer allows explorers to roam the Manitou Islands in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Autumn is perfect for a paddling trip down the Platte River, and in the stillness of winter, the multitude of cross-country ski pathways and snowshoe trails is proof that the outdoor lure of Traverse City is strong and growing.

Look Out

Why wait? Today is the perfect day to walk with nature.

The Grass River Natural Area is a hidden treasure of Antrim County encompassing 1,433 acres. Spring is the perfect season to view the moss-covered hummocks of land along the clear waters of Finch Creek. Sit silently on a bench under the sweetly scented cedars; nature will share her secrets. During my last visit I watched a mink bound over the boardwalk, heard a hidden grouse drumming from behind lush vegetation and found fresh bobcat tracks – all in a matter of five minutes.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with its 70 miles of shoreline, magnificent sand dunes and trails for every taste, lures millions of outdoor enthusiasts.  Two of its beautiful treasures are the Manitou Islands – and a visit to these isolated spots makes a rewarding summer adventure.

Lighthouse

South Manitou Island is a perfect destination for a day hiker with its lighthouse – a stark reminder of the stormy seas and shipwrecks of the Manitou Passage – and the wreck of the Francisco Morazan, a favorite haunt for cormorants. For a more rugged adventure, North Manitou offers opportunities for backpacking treks – just remember that your visit might be extended an extra day or two if the waters are too rough for the ferry to return.

The crystal-clear Platte River is well known among anglers for steelhead, salmon and trout, but it can get busy on summer days as kayakers and canoeists paddle downstream. A much better option is to go in the autumn, when the wildlife returns and the fall foliage puts on a brilliant show. Bring your own craft or rent at Riverside Canoe Trips. Seekers of solitude and wildlife may want to paddle during the morning mist; dawn is an unforgettable moment to embrace this landscape, which defines the essence of Pure Michigan.

Kayak

In winter Traverse City has miles and miles of woodland trails for skiers and snowshoers to explore. In the Brown Bridge Quiet Area you can even witness the rebirth of Traverse City’s Boardman River, whose system of dams is being removed, returning this beautiful stream to a time when she was wild and free.  You can get a close-up look at this process at Brown Bridge, a 1300-acre nature preserve just south of town. This broad river meadow, surrounded by high hills, was once the site of a wide forest pond, but today you can hike along its former shoreline and see how nature (with lots of human help) has been healing and renewing the valley.

On my last visit it was winter, and I made my way through deep snow, warmed by the sweet scent of cedar and balsam fir and invigorated by the bounding tracks of a river otter.  It’s a wonderful wild place in the shadows of Traverse City!

bioJonathan Schechter is a Nature Education Writer for Oakland County Parks, a member of the Wilderness Medical Society and an avid hiker and trail-explorer at Sleeping Bear Dunes.  JonathanSchechter@Frontier.com