From Benzie County to Zeeland, there are a host of harvest festivals to reap food and seasonal fun for the entire family. Cities roll out the autumn carpet to welcome residents and visitors in September and October. Take home a bushel of apples or pick out the pumpkin of your choice while enjoying festivities. For apple and pumpkin picking be sure to check out the Michigan Farm Market and Agricultural Directory.
Start celebrating with the Harvest Stompede in Traverse City on September 18-19 with a run or walk 7-mile/5K route through the vineyards that begins at the Ciccone Winery & Vineyard. Sample wine, food and take a tour of the 18 Leelanau Peninsula wineries. This event requires advance registration for the run and a separate ticket purchase for the wine events.
In the mitten’s southeastern corner make a date for the Clinton Fall Festival that runs September 24-26, southwest of Ann Arbor. The event features a car and motorcycle show, arts & crafts exhibition, live entertainment and more. Or try out the Fallasburg Fall Festival, September 25-26, with its 1871 covered bridge as the backdrop to this autumn tradition in Lowell southwest of Grand Rapids. More than 100 artisans will be on site for this annual juried art event with activities for kids, entertainment and more. Travel to our western shoreline for the Ludington Autumn Days event October 1-2, and visit the Historic White Pine Village, a collection of 25 buildings filled with colorful gourds, pumpkins and corn stalks. Watch the process of cider pressing and take a hayride. Its two weekends of Fall Festival in Benzie County, October 2-3 and 9-10, where professional pumpkin carver Ed Moody and Lord of the Gourd Pat Harrison demonstrate their artful skills among other activities and for a taste of apple pies and simmering soups.
Celebrate Michigan’s harvest of apples at several local events. Apples are Michigan’s largest and most valuable fruit crop with more than 7.5 million trees growing on 37,000 acres on nearly 1,000 family-run farms in the Lower Peninsula. Most popular varieties include the Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Gala. September and October bring the juicy and sweet Honeycrisp – get them while you can as this popular variety will be gone by mid-November. Here’s a sampling of events but you can search our event directory for many more.
Get ready to ‘fiddle around’ at the Huron Township Applefest in New Boston, southwest of Detroit, October 2-3. The festival is host to the 25th annual Michigan State Championship Old-Time Fiddlers Contest. There is plenty more fun with an apple pie contest, fun run, car show and a parade. The following weekend head north to Charlevoix for the annual Apple Festival & Craft Show and munch on more than 30 types of locally grown apples plus apple cider, apple butter, pumpkins, squash, jam and honey. Pick out your fall bulbs for your spring garden, too. Satisfy your taste for apple and pumpkins October 9-10 at the Appleumpkin Festival in Tecumseh near Frankenmuth. You can make a scarecrow, stroll an antique street fair, and take in midway of rides and more. Zeeland, northeast of Saugatuck, is host of the annual PumpkinFest September 30-October 2 with many contests, games, entertainment, a parade and scarecrow displays.