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12 Things to Do Around Michigan in September

by Lisa Diggs

When the kids go back to school it feels like summer is over, but we actually have several weeks of the season left to enjoy warm weather and cool events. Here are just a few special ways to bask in the end of summer and the start of fall.

September 5-10 Mackinac Bright Walls – Jackson
For the second year in a row, muralists from around the world are returning to downtown Jackson for this highly-anticipated event. Watch the artists transform ordinary walls into extraordinary works of art. There will also be food trucks, live entertainment, contests, and children’s activities. Bring your camera (or these days your phone) to capture the colorful developments along the way.


September 6-8 Wine and Harvest Festival
– Paw Paw
Home to Michigan’s two oldest wineries, St. Julian and Warner, we'd be hard pressed to find a town more ideally suited to host a celebration of the grape harvest than Paw Paw.  From the all-ages grape stomp to the wine and beer tastings to the craft show and parade, there’s certain to be something for everyone. 
 
September 6-8 Potato Festival – Posen
Potatoes and polkas seem to go hand in hand, at least in Posen. In its 68th year, this spud celebration features nine different polka bands along with a 5k run, arts n crafts, a cornhole tournament, a parade, and even a demolition derby. Posen is located between Alpena and Rogers City, not far from the Lake Huron shoreline.
 
September 7 Michigan Brewer’s Guild U.P. Fall Beer Festival – Marquette
Whether you live in da Yoop, or just love an excuse to visit, this party is worth the trip. Set in scenic Mattson Lower Harbor Park, overlooking Lake Superior, in downtown Marquette, the views are almost as tasty as the brews. Attendees can choose from over 600 locally-crafted beers from more than 80 Michigan breweries. Tickets are $45 in advance, or $50 at the door, if available, and include 15 tokens to sample 3-oz pours. The event runs from 1pm-6pm.

September 7-October 27 Project 1
– Grand Rapids
After a ten-year run as an annual competition, ArtPrize switched to a biennial event. The off year, 2019 being the first, will feature a new concept, currently known as Project 1. The theme this year is Crossed Lines. The exhibition will feature five international, national and local artists, who will create multifaceted installations, urban interventions and community-oriented projects, exploring the lines that unite and divide a city, and what it means to belong.

September 13 Brewed in Michigan
– Milford
Bakers of Milford will be playing host to a tasting of scrumptious local brews and food. Tickets are $40 in advance price or $45 at the door, based on availability. Your ticket includes: a souvenir mini tasting mug, 12 pours from on-site brewers, 6 food taste tickets from local restaurants, and 1 door prize raffle ticket. The beer tasting is from 7pm-10pm, but the party continues in the Outdoor Beer Tent with live entertainment by Moxie Blitz. If beer doesn’t wet your whistle, you’ll find local cider and wines available for tasting too.
 
September 14-15 Fallasburg Arts Festival – Lowell
If you’re less into the crafting of beer than you are the crafting of art, then head to picturesque Fallasburg Park, located approximately 20 miles east of Grand Rapids in Lowell, MI.  A tradition for more than 50 years, this 2-day event features over 100 unique fine art and craft booths, food vendors, a children's craft area, craft demonstrations, and live music.

September 14-21 Murals in the Market
– Detroit
Detroit has become a city filled with original art. Perhaps nowhere is that more prevalent than in the city’s famed Eastern Market. The abundance of colorful transformations to once bland buildings is due in no small part to this celebration, which is in its fifth year. This highly acclaimed event was recently named by the Smithsonian as one of the top 4 mural festivals in the world. This year’s fest features 11 events over the course of 8 days. Visitors can see live painting from over 50 local and international muralists, as well as participate in artist talks, lectures, cultural events and concerts. 
 
September 19-21 Michigan Fireman’s Memorial Festival – Roscommon
There is probably no more honorable fest to attend than this one. Celebrating its 40th year, the Michigan Firemen Memorial Festival honors those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of others. It’s also a lot of fun. It starts with family night on Thursday, featuring craft projects for the children, a fire safety trailer, and free hot dogs and pop. Friday is topped off with a Bright Light Vehicle Showdown followed by a Light Parade. Saturday at 9:00am, the public is invited to join the Michigan State Firemen's Association at the Memorial site to pay tribute to all firefighters. If you can’t make it at that time, be sure to top by the memorial while in town. This unique weekend also includes a display of new fire trucks, fire apparatus, crafts, and parades, firefighting competitions and fire demonstrations.

September 19-22 Oktoberfest
– Frankenmuth
Michiganders and visitors to our great state, have a rare opportunity to experience a genuine Oktoberfest, without making the flight to Germany. In fact, Frankenmuth's celebration was declared the first Oktoberfest ever to operate with the blessing of  organizers of the original in Munich. For the first time in history, the world-famous Hofbrauhaus brewery of Munich exported their beer to the United States, a tradition that has continued for thirty years. Michigan’s Little Bavaria strives to preserve the sights and sounds of the Munich Oktoberfest with authentic entertainment, dancing, Oktoberfest souvenirs, German food, and authentic Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest beer.
 
September 21 Buy Michigan Now Fall Fest – Jackson
Scheduled in September for the first time this year, the BMN Fall Fest is the perfect way to kick off autumn. The American 1 Event Center at the Jackson County Fairgrounds will be chock full of Michigan-based businesses. You’ll find art, beauty products, candles, consumer services, home furnishings, food, gift ideas and more. While in town, check out the new murals painted during Bright Walls. Local favorites Randy’s BBQ and Ann Arbor’s Ray’s Red Hots will be serving up delectable eats, alongside games and activities for the kids. Live music and a  few surprizes round out the fun. Make it a family outing, or gather friends for a girls day out, while helping revitalize the local economy.    
 
September 26-29 Festival of the Pines – Lake City
Our state is the third largest producer of Christmas trees, so surely they, and the lumberjacks that tend to them, merit a celebration of their own. That’s exactly how the folks in Lake City have felt for more than forty years. The Festival kicks off on Thursday evening with The Prince & Princess of the Pines Pageant. Weekend frivolity includes a dog show, chili cook-off, lumberjack competition, live music, and a food & beverage tent.   
 

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