Oktoberfest to Baconfest: October’s Essential Eight Events in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | October 1, 2014
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Ahh, October. As I write this article, it’s the first day of my very favorite month of the year. Not only is Halloween this month, but October is also prime time for watching the leaves change colors, heading to a cider mill and carving a jack-o-lantern. Who doesn’t love October, really?

To add to the numerous October festivities and rituals, there are tons (I repeat, tons) of fun things going on in the Metro Detroit area this month. So many, in fact, I had to pare down this list with a furrowed brow, making sure not to leave out anything of major importance. I was feeling more than up to the task, so I have compiled for you a list of “Eight Essential Events Happening in Southeast Michigan During October.” Feel free to add just one or all to your calendar, but trust me, you don’t want to miss a single one. Let’s get started!

Greektown Harvest Festival takes place this weekend on Saturday, Oct. 4. Held at the corner of Monroe Street and Brush Street, the special fall tasting event will include a selection of spirits, dozens of beers and offerings from Greek wineries. Several Greektown restaurants will provide the food, while Dan Tillery and DJ Chris B will keep you entertained for the evening.

Tickets to the 21+ event cost $25 in advance, $35 at the door, and each ticket includes admission as well as 10 tasting tickets (additional tasting tickets can be purchased at the event). Be there right when it starts at 5 p.m.!

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Zoo Boo is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with the family. The “merry, not scary” event takes place at the Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, several times throughout the month, including Friday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Oct. 12; Friday, Oct. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 19; and Friday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Oct. 26.

Bring your children to trick-or-treat through the park, take in live entertainment at the Zoo Boo Revue Tent, play at the Ghouly Games Tent and Zombie Zone, and of course visit the Haunted Reptile House. Tickets to Zoo Boo cost $8 for those ages two and up, and parking costs $6 per car. Be there from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the aforementioned dates or be square!

Oktoberfest will be held at the Royal Oak Farmers Market, 316 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, on Saturday, Oct. 11 as part of the Royal Oak Beer Fest series. If you’re a seasonal fall beer and/or cider fan, you won’t want to miss this event. There will be over 60 breweries on hand from across the mitten and the whole world, offering up over 125 beers. Additionally, there will be 30 different types of cider to try, 12 different wines, two spirits, and several food vendors.

No Oktoberfest event would be complete without a little hammerschlagen, cornhole, birdy golf and washers, now would it? Two live bands, Kaleido and Cosmic Groove, will provide the evening’s live entertainment. General admission tickets cost $45, while VIP tickets cost $65 and designated driver tickets cost $15. The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. for general admission, 6:30 p.m. for VIP. Make sure you have a designated driver lined up to take you home!

Zombie Walk Detroit is great fun for a great cause. The 7th Annual World Zombie celebration takes place in Greektown on Sunday, Oct. 12. You might want to brush up on some old zombie flicks first, then put together your goriest outfit and practice that zombie stroll.

The Zombie Walk is a yearly event that benefits Gleaners Food Bank. While the walk is free, participants are encouraged to bring a monetary donation and/or non-perishable food donations. Last year, the event raised $3,223.10 and collected 1,879 pounds of food! Location details are still being worked out, but the walk will begin around 3 p.m. in downtown Detroit. Keep your zombie eyes glued on the Facebook page for more updates.

Baconfest 2014 is not an event for vegetarians, surprisingly enough. However, those of you who love pork products, read on! The strolling food event will take place at the Royal Oak Farmers Market on Friday, Oct. 17. From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to sample bacon-centric dishes from local restaurants including Blackfinn, Green Lantern Pizzeria, Hamlin Pub, Jet’s Pizza, Lazybones Smokehouse, Treat Dreams and Vinsetta Garage.

You can take a peek at the menu of offerings here, but I’ll just give you a teaser: Smokehouse Chicken and Bacon Mac n’ Cheese and Michigan Maple Pudding.

Tickets to the 21+ event cost $75, which gets you admission as well as food and drink samples.

The Michigan Craft Beer Stroll will take place in Downtown Royal Oak on Saturday, Oct. 18. From noon to 5 p.m., participants will be able to “stroll” along the downtown area, sampling food items and beverages from over 20 different participating restaurants and bars.

Some of those participating eateries include Fifth Avenue, Hamlin Corner, Bastone Brewery, O’Toole’s, Tom’s Oyster Bar and Town Tavern. A full list can be found here.

Tickets cost $40 in advance or $50 the day of the event. Those lucky ducks participating will be required to check in on Fifth Street between Center Street and Washington Street before noon in order to pick up wristbands and lanyards.

Masquerade of the Red Death is an event perfect for anyone who has ever dreamt of attending a masquerade ball, aka everyone. Held at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac, the party will recreate Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death.”

Those who attend will be put into the story, and can enjoy other aspects of the evening including music and dance numbers, magic, aerial performances, fire performers, burlesque and more. There are two very important rules at this masquerade party: you must dress up in masquerade clothing, and no matter what you do, do not wear red.

Doors to the event open at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $35 for general admission, $75 for VIP.

The 6th Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival will take place on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 at Eastern Market, 2934 Russell St., Detroit. The all-Michigan beer fest will feature over 450 varieties of craft beer from 60 different breweries throughout Michigan. There will, of course, be food available for purchase as well as live entertainment.

The festival runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets cost $40 both days. A designated driver ticket is also available for $5. Good news for you Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast members—you get early admission by one hour each day!

There you have it, Metro Detroiters. A complete, super fun list of events for the month of October. Whether you’re looking for some family fun time, an excuse to go out for a drink, or some spooky celebrations, your social calendar will be completely packed this month. Don’t forget to invite all your friends!