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12 Things to Do in Michigan in September

by Lisa Diggs

School is back in session, but fun still abounds across the state as we turn our attention toward cider mills, football games, and trees bursting with color. Here are just a few special ways to enjoy the delights of September and the last whisper of summer. 

September 6-9 Festival of the Pines – Lake City

Michigan produces more than a million Christmas trees each year! The Festival of the Pines is a time-honored celebration of our area Christmas tree growers and lumbering industry. Activities include a dog show, chili cook-off, lumberjack competition, native plant workshop and sale, delicious food, and live music Friday and Saturday nights in the Food & Beverage

eptember 7-9 Wheatland Music Festival – Remus
The Annual Wheatland Music Festival is traditionally held the first weekend after Labor Day in September. You’ll find popular acts on the main stage, along with a juried arts and crafts show, a raffle, children’s activities, teen and young adult activities, instrument and dance workshops, music, food, fellowship and fun.

September 8 Michigan Brewer’s Guild U.P. Fall Beer Festival – Marquette
Folks from both sides of the bridge look forward to this annual beer and ale extravaganza. It overlooks Lake Superior in scenic Mattson Lower Harbor Park, in downtown Marquette. Attendees can choose from over 600 locally-crafted beers from more than 80 Michigan breweries. The $45 ticket includes 15 drink sample tokens. The event runs from 1pm-6pm. 
September 8-9 68th Annual Old Car Festival – Dearborn
America’s longest-running antique car show returns to The Henry Ford this month. If you haven’t been, this is a really unique opportunity to interact with owners and see these classics in a setting that suits them. Hear moving stories of the early automotive era, perfectly set in a unique place where their history comes to life every day.

September 13-15 Michigan Firemen’s Memorial Festival – Roscommon
Now in its 38th year, the Michigan Firemen's Memorial Festival is not just for firefighters, but it’s a great way to show them love and support. This event starts on Thursday afternoon, with fun for the whole family including shows, clowns, and free hot dogs. The weekend also includes a display of new fire trucks, fire apparatus, crafts, and parades. Honor fallen heroes by attending a memorial service, and be sure to visit the memorial while in the area. Firefighting competitions and fire demonstrations are a big part of what makes this event so unique.  
September 15-16 Civil War Muster – Holland
For the tenth year, historic VanRaalte Farm will host an annual Civil War reenactment. The event will be held from 9am to 9:30pm Saturday, and from 9am to 3:30pm on Sunday. It will include battle scenes, portrayals of historical figures, sutler offerings, medical scenarios, as well as a Civil War-era church service. This year’s event features the esteemed Dr. Allen Guelzo, author of the best-selling book, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion.

September 19-October 7 ArtPrize – Grand Rapids

Always one of Michigan’s urban gems, Grand Rapids transforms into an artistic community unlike any other, during this unique autumn event. More than a half million dollars in prizes are awarded each year, which includes a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts during this open, independently-organized art competition. Works are on display inside and outside of venues all over town. Because the art changes each year, so does the experience of attending. 

September 20 Market at the Capitol – Lansing
The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) is hosting its final Farmers Market at the Capitol of the season. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The market will be held on the East Lawn of the Michigan State Capitol Building in Downtown Lansing. More than 70 vendors from across the state will be on hand selling Michigan-grown and produced products ranging from fresh produce to flowers, meat, cheese, baked goods, and prepared foods.   
September 21-22 Festival of the Forks – Albion
The Festival of the Forks in Albion has been around for over half a century! This  celebration of creativity and diversity focuses on cool music, great ethnic food, and inspirational art in a historic setting. You’ll also find a carnival, animals, and even a car show.

September 28-30 Pumpkinfest – South Lyon

Pumpkins begin to take center stage in the agricultural world in September, and South Lyon embraces them in all their orange glory. The town’s annual Pumpkinfest kicks off on Friday, September 28th with a Biergarten and main stage on Wells St. Festivities begin at 10:00am on Saturday with the annual parade. 
September 20-23 Oktoberfest – Frankenmuth
Believe it or not, while there are tons of them throughout the world now, Frankenmuth's Oktoberfest was declared the first Oktoberfest ever to operate with the blessing of the original Oktoberfest in Munich. Maybe that’s not so surprising since the town is, after all, “Michigan’s Little Bavaria.” For the first time in history, the world-famous Hofbrauhaus brewery of Munich exported their beer to the United States. The German tradition continues each September and is always worth the trip.
September 28-30 Elk Festival – Atlanta
There are few animal sightings more thrilling than the towering figures known as Elk. These incredible creatures are commonly seen in and around Atlanta, so why shouldn’t the town host a fest in their honor? Thousands of visitors descend upon the tiny hamlet for a celebration that includes a parade, talent show, live auction, greased pig chase, trike race, games, live entertainment, and a huge array of craft vendors. There’s plenty of great food and beverages, or just soak in the glorious surroundings. 

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