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12 Things To Do During September in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

September is such a glorious time in Michigan. The harvest brings an abundance of fresh flavors that are well complimented by the many new brews and wines that come to life at this time. Plus, we get to enjoy it all amidst crisp air and the beginning of the autumnal color transformation. Here are just a few special ways to enjoy the month.


Sept 11-13 Arts & Apples Festival – Rochester

Celebrating its 50th year this season, this event truly combines fruit and flair. While this is the state's second largest juried fine art festival, for many it’s the apples that are the real stars. Set in the serene 30-acre Rochester Park, you can stroll around and take in the work of nearly three hundred talented artists from across the country, while partaking in some spectacular, homemade apple pie.


Sept 11-13 Wine & Harvest Festival – Paw Paw

Harvest time means plenty of opportunities to sample and enjoy Michigan wine, and Paw Paw is a great place to do it. Home to St. Julian, one of the state’s oldest wineries (among others), this sleepy town comes to life during this season. 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.

Sept 11-13 Posen Potato Festival – Posen

How can anyone not enjoy an event built around the potato--one of the world’s most universal foods? This particular celebration of the spud has a decidedly Polish feel to it. Polka dances, potato displays, contests, and plenty of potato pancakes will bring out the Polish in anyone. The event also includes arts and crafts, a flea market, and a grand parade.


Sept 12 150th Anniversary Celebration – Holly

The charm of this 19th century village located at the crossroads of the CSX and Grand Trunk Railways will be celebrated as Holly enters its 150th year of being established as a village. Festivities include a parade to kick things off and plenty of food, kids games, entertainment, music, and contests. Cap the day off with colorful fireworks at dusk.

Sept 18-20 Salmon Festival – Grand Haven

This multi-faceted festival that pays tribute to the area’s bountiful waterways as a natural resource, while coinciding with the region’s annual Salmon migration. For those old enough to imbibe there’s a Michigan tasting pavilion featuring top local wineries and grape stomping; gourmet salmon cook-off contest; fall harvest beer & entertainment pavilion; downtown merchant market; fine art fair on the waterfront; Big King Salmon fishing contest with weigh-in/awards ceremony; mouth-watering food and beverage treats at the Fresh Catch Fish Boil; Grand Haven historic displays through the Tri-Cities Museum; hands-on children’s nature-themed arts & crafts activities; and educational, environment-focused exhibits, displays, workshops.


Sept 18-27 Detroit Restaurant Week – Detroit

Food takes center stage in Motown during the annual restaurant week, and this year has more options than ever before. Guests can opt to indulge in either a $25 or $35 three-course dinner featuring fall-themed taste sensations. Participating establishments range from the casual feel of Jolly Pumpkin to the elegance of the Whitney, and from old classics like Sinbads to enticing newcomers like Townhouse. It’s a great week to explore the comeback city.


Sept 19 Porcupine Mountains Trail Run – Silver City

If you love to run, you can hardly find a more picturesque place to do it than in the Porcupine Mountains, one of the largest tracts of wilderness east of the Mississippi River. They overlook Lake Superior and the coastline is remote and rugged. The marathon course includes some of the most remarkable single track in the Midwest and takes runners past tranquil and remote Mirror Lake and along the classic Escarpment Trail where you can almost reach out and touch soaring hawks as you overlook Lake of the Clouds. If you’re not quite ready for the long run, the event also features a 5k option.

Sept 19-20 Civil War Muster – Holland

Historic VanRaalte Farm again hosts its annual reenactment extravaganza. This year’s event features two days of music, impressions of historical figures, performances, medical scenarios, period-style vendors, a Civil War-era church service and, of course, battle. Go back in time for a glimpse of one of our nation’s most significant moments.

Sept 25-27 Pumpkinfest – South Lyon

You know that fall is about to be upon us when pumpkin starts appearing in and on everything from street corners to spiced lattes. For over thirty years, South Lyon has been celebrating this versatile, culinary delight with a fest of its own. Over the years the event has grown from a craft and antique show to a weekend-long celebration of crafts, music, community, and of course, everyone's favorite fall product--the pumpkin.

Sept 26 Cadillac’s Craft Beer Festival – Cadillac

Established in 2009, the Cadillac Craft Beer Festival has grown by leaps and bounds to include a fun array of local libations, food, and music. This year is expected to be the best yet including products from Atwater, Beards, Greenbush, Oddside, Petoskey, Shorts, and more. You’ll find yard games, a home brewer competition, live music, and plenty of delicious eatables.   


Sept 26 Mighty Mac Bridge Race/Oktoberfest – St Ignace

The ultimate thrill for avid Michigan runners may be this chance to trot across the stunning Mackinac Bridge. The 11k-course begins on a paved road crossing Mighty Mac, continues through the Straits State Park on a hard-packed trail, and finishes on paved streets in downtown St. Ignace. Note that due to safety concerns, absolutely no roller blades, pets, wagons, baby joggers, etc., are allowed. Parties and prizes follow the race in lovely St. Ignace so plan to spend the day.

Sept 25-27 Elk Fest – Atlanta

Yes, there’s an Atlanta, Michigan, and since 1986 it has been known as the Elk Capital of the state in celebration of some of the area’s most popular residents. This is a family oriented event with vendors, an auction, games, a petting zoo, a beer tent, live bands, a bump ‘n’ run, breakfast, parade, and fun activities for the whole crew. Go back annually and collect each Elk Fest button, which is sold as entrance to the festival.  

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