Art, Entertainment & Exquisite Eats: Local Fall Festivals are Here

By: Toni Cunningham | September 3, 2014
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While it’s not officially fall for another few weeks, we more or less said sayonara to summer as soon as Labor Day weekend came to a close. Buh bye flip-flops and tube tops, hello boots and comfy, cozy sweaters.

If, like me, you enjoyed attending summer fairs and festivals, don’t shed a tear because autumn is just around the corner. There are still plenty of festivals to attend throughout the fall months! Some of them might even prove to be a better time than the ones you spent time at during the summer months. Grab a pal, your favorite summer-to-fall transitional scarf and get ready for the following festivities:

The Plymouth Fall Festival will be held in downtown Plymouth on Friday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 7. The weekend long event includes a car show, craft show, pancake breakfast, pet show and spaghetti dinner, in addition to booths, entertainment and carnival games.

Head to Station 885, located at 885 Starkweather St., Plymouth, on Friday for a Taste Fest between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. There, you can sample food from the likes of Bahama Breeze, Plymouth ROC, The Cupcake Station and more. There will be a cash bar!


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Brighton’s Smokin’ Jazz & Barbecue Blues Festival will be held on Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6. Between the hours of 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the tastiest ribs, pulled pork and brisket around.

As for the music, performers will take the stage on Mill Pond Lane, and if you’re there before 6 p.m., you’ll get in for free (afterward, it costs $5). After 9 p.m., the music scene becomes 21 and up only, and you can grab an ice-cold beer for $5 or less.

The 49th Annual Arts & Apples Festival takes place in Rochester on Friday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 7. Sponsored by the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, the festival is held in Rochester Park and includes nearly 300 exhibiting artists from all around the country.

You won’t want to miss out on the 8th Annual Apple Pie and Dessert Contest, which will be held on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. If there’s one thing that screams “fall,” it’s apple pie. The 200,000 or so people who attend Arts & Apples every year can’t be wrong.

HomeGrown Festival will be held at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This festival is short and sweet, but one that you don’t want to miss. At this grassroots community event, you’ll find some of the area’s best locally grown and sourced food and beverages, along with live entertainment.

You’ll be able to sample food from San Street, Arbor Brewing Company, The Lunch Room and more. A beer and wine tent will keep the 21 and up crowd happy, while your kids will enjoy the HomeGrown Scavenger Hunt. Admission is free, and so is parking!

Chill on the Hill will be held at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Pkwy., Sterling Heights, on Saturday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 7. Presented by 89X, both days will feature music by artists including A Day to Remember, The Offspring, Taking Back Sunday and Rise Against.

Tickets can be purchased online and include two day tickets, four packs and single day passes, ranging in price from $19.89 (lawn single day) to $199.89 (upper pavilion general admission two day four pack).

The 4th Annual Blues, Brews & Barbecue festival will be held at Westland’s City Hall Grounds, 36601 Ford Rd., on Friday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept. 13. Don’t miss out on craft beer, locally made barbecue and music! Both days feature musical entertainment by acts like The Soul Men with the Paradise Band, Motor City Kings and Big Bill Harwell Band.

The festival is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday.

The Harvest Moon Celebration returns to Farmington on Thursday, Sept. 18 and goes through Saturday, Sept. 20. A Beer and Wine Tasting will be held on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m., where those 21 and up can taste test local beer and wine, as well as those from around the world. Tickets cost just $6 in advance or $8 at the door.

Additional festival highlights include a Harvest Moon Dance on Friday at 6 p.m. and Harvest Day on Saturday, which wraps up the festival with a day of family friendly activities.

The 17th Annual Pumpkin Festival will be held in Romulus on Friday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 21. The three-day event is packed with music, food, crafts, games, a pumpkin pie eating contest and a Classic Car Show. These fun-filled events will be held at the Romulus Historical Park unless otherwise noted.

Don’t miss out on the “Parade of Lights,” which kicks off the festival on Friday at 8 p.m.

The Detroit Design Festival will be held from Tuesday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 28. One of the longest fall festivals in Metro Detroit, it allows participants and attendees to share and explore some of the greatest designers and design work the Motor City has to offer.

If you appreciate creative talent, this is one event you won’t want to miss. Keep your eyes glued to the Detroit Design Festival’s Facebook page for updates like information on Friday evening’s Design Crawl and more.

DlectiCITY takes place on Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27 and wins the award for most creative festival name around. A nighttime exhibition of art and light, it runs from 7 p.m. to midnight both nights and highlights nearly 40 artists from around the world.

The festival takes place in Detroit’s Midtown, and Saturday night features a Light Bike Parade, where participants will bike a four-mile journey past landmarks like the Detroit Institute of Arts and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Pumpkinfest will be held on Friday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 28 in downtown South Lyon. Activities include a Pumpkinfest Parade, food and beverage vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, a craft show and Ultimate Air Dogs.

This year marks Pumpkinfest’s 30th anniversary, and last year nearly 55,000 people attended the festivities. Make sure you’re one of them this year!

The 13th Annual Scarecrow Festival will once again be held in Trenton on Friday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 5. This family (and pet) friendly festival is free to attend, and there is no fee for parking. Don’t miss out on arts and crafts, carnival games, a scarecrow-building contest and more.

Friday will feature a Scarecrow Idol singing competition at 6 p.m., and Sunday includes a dog costume contest. Dress your pup in his or her best!

The 35th Annual Applefest will be held in Huron Township on Saturday, Oct. 4 and Sunday, Oct. 5. The festival features vendor booths, a parade, a fiddlers contest and, of course, an apple pie contest.

The Old-Time Fiddlers contest is serious business. It begins on Saturday at noon, and each contestant will be judged on a waltz, schottische, jig and reel performance. The first prize winner will walk away $200 richer!

The Fall Fair Artisan Market, held at Northville’s Community Center on Friday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Oct. 12, will make those of you summer art fair fans burst with joy. The market will include handcrafted items by 75 different artisans, including paintings, furniture, jewelry, photography, ceramics, home décor and more.

Admission costs $3 per person, and those under 12 are admitted for free.

The 6th Annual Glass Pumpkin Fest will be held at Glass Academy in Dearborn on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 19. Throughout the day, you can watch glassblowing demonstrations, then commission your own piece.

If you’d rather purchase a pumpkin on the spot, you can do so for about $35 to $300. The fest is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

Pumpkins, apples and scarecrows: it’s beginning to look a lot like fall, Metro Detroiters! Take advantage of these fall festivals in southeast Michigan while you can.