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12 Things To Do During October in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

The trees are really beginning to change color, football season is heating up, and cider is flowing everywhere. Here are just a dozen unique ways to make the most of fall.

October 4-9 Bright Walls – Jackson
Jackson is about to take on a whole new look. Thirteen renown mural artists from around the world have been invited to the town for a unique celebration in which several walls will become works of art. For six days, the city will be filled with live mural painting, musical performances, food trucks and artistic workshops of all kinds.   
October 6 Hops and Harvest Festival – Empire
Hops may be bitter, but this fest is anything but. In a celebration of the product that is driving much of the uniqueness in our state’s craft beers, locally-grown hops, Empire is throwing a party filled with food, fun, and of course great beer. The revelry begins with a Friday night fish fry from 6-10pm. Saturday is an all-day affair. Admission is $20 and includes a commemorative glass and drink ticket. Children under 16 may enter at no cost.
October 6 Red Flannel Festival – Cedar Springs
It started out as a simple letter to an editor in 1936, stating that flannel may not be available in New York City’s big department stores anymore, but it was still an integral part of life in Cedar Springs. Folks from around the country started turning to the small town for their flannel needs and all these years later, it’s a huge part of the community’s identity. Hence, a festival of flannel including a parade and the requisite queen pageant. Dress “appropriately,” and you’re sure to receive a warm welcome.
October 6 Pumpkinpolooza – Marine City
Join the fun in Marine City as they attempt to set the WORLD record for the most people carving pumpkins simultaneously. Head to Nautical Mile Park for your chance to be part of local history. Check-in begins at 1:00pm with carving beginning promptly at 4:00pm. All people must carve for 5 minutes without stopping. Once the 5 minutes are up, carvers must have completed a jack-o-lantern with two eyes, a nose and a mouth.
October 12-14 Apple Festival – Charlevoix
Aside from cherries, of course, there is probably no fruit more deserving of a Michigan festival than the apple. This is good old fashioned fall fun with an arts & crafts show, petting zoo, balloon-twisting, face-painting, and more than 30 types of apples available for sale in a variety of forms.
October 13-14 25th Annual Appleumpkin Festival – Tecumseh
Can’t decide which is more symbolic of the season, apples or pumpkins? Neither can the folks in Tecumseh. So twenty five years ago they stopped trying, and instead created their “appleumpkin fest.  It features midway rides, carnival games, inflatables, a bungee, and a rock-climbing wall. There will also be make-it-take-it crafts, corn box and kid's miniature golf. Plus, helicopter rides for just $35.00 per person or monster truck rides for $10.00 each. 
October 13-14 Michigan International Alpaca Fest – Dimondale
Alpacas are native to South America. They are similar to, but generally slightly smaller than llamas, but equally adorable. In recent years, alpaca farming has become increasingly common, even here in Michigan.  Alpaca fleece is a lustrous and silky natural fiber that is similar to sheep’s wool, but warmer, and less prickly. This unique event is where the best of the best are seen and judged. Think Westminster Dog Show, but imagine alpacas instead.
October 15-21 Boyne Appétit! – Boyne City
When your town is named Boyne and sits in an area filled with locally-grown agricultural products and amazing restaurants, you almost have to create an event called Boyne Appétit, don’t you? Eateries in town and the surrounding hamlets of Advance, Boyne Falls, Horton Bay and Walloon Lake will be participating in this restaurant week featuring a variety of delectable foods at delicious prices.
October 18-21 Fresh Coast Film Festival – Marquette
The Great Lakes State is the perfect locale for a film festival that is all about water. This documentary-only fest, is designed to celebrate the outdoor lifestyle, water-rich environment, and resilient spirit of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. Attendees can purchase day or weekend passes to catch as many flicks as possible. Organizers are quick to point out that the films are only part of the experience though. Food, beverages, and conversation are equally important.
October 26 YpsiGLOW – Ypsilanti
Get your glow on in Ypsilanti on Friday October 26th from 7-10pm. Downtown Ypsi will shine brightly with hundreds of community and artist creations, a night of dancing, DJ’s raised into the air, interactive art activities, black-lit stations, street performances, and glowing window displays. Expect to see video projections, giant luminaries, performance art, live painting, shadow puppets, chalk muralists, and laser shows.
October 26-27 Fall Beer Festival – Detroit
Head to Eastern Market for Detroit’s biggest “brewhaha” of the year. Attendees can enjoy some incredible food from Detroit area restaurants and listen to a talented line-up of local musicians while sipping any of more than 800+ craft beers from nearly 120 Michigan breweries. Tickets for the Fri 5-9pm tasting are $40 in advance and $45 at the gate, if available. Saturday tickets for the 1-6pm event are $45 in advance, and $50 at the gate, if available. Fifteen drink tokens are included with admission and each drink token is redeemable for a 3 oz. sample of beer. Additional tokens will be available inside the festival for 50 cents each.
October 27 Buy Michigan Now Fall Fest – Jackson
We may be biased, but one of the most economically fruitful events you can attend in October is the Buy Michigan Now Fall Fest. Chalk full of family fun with games, music, and magic by Chris Clark, this event is also a shopper’s paradise. Get a jumpstart on your holiday gifting and feel great about your choices by buying unique items that are made in Michigan. Compete in the cornhole tournament and take your shot at winning $200 or chill with a Michigan brew on a crisp fall day while chowing down on pretzels and Frankenmuth chicken from Bavarian Inn’s Cluck Truck. 

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