Fall is one of the best times of the year to get and explore the great state of Michigan. The temperatures are perfect, the leaves are beautiful colors, and there’s nothing quite like a fall day in the Mitten State.
If you love going to festivals, it’s also a great time to attend one (or several) of Michigan’s annual fall celebrations. From harvest festivals to Oktoberfest, Michigan celebrates it all and so much more in the fall.
Chances are good you don’t have to travel far to find great fall festivals in Michigan. Every corner of the state has something to celebrate and you’ll find something to enjoy no matter where you go.
Here are some of our favorite fall festivals in Michigan:
Awesome September Festivals in Michigan
Michigan State Fair | Novi
This annual extravaganza is held on Labor Day weekend and is the perfect way to bring your summer to a close.
One of Michigan’s biggest festivals is perfect for the whole family. The weather is usually perfect and there are all the things you love about summer and festivals, including food, games, live music, rides, and more.
Whether you’re a native Michigander or you’re visiting from out of state, this is one summer event you don’t want to miss.
Frankenmuth Oktoberfest | Frankenmuth
People love a good Oktoberfest, and, believe it or not, this was the first Oktoberfest to get a seal of approval from the Munich Oktoberfest.
The spirit of the Munich Oktoberfest can be felt all around here from the authentic entertainment, authentic Oktoberfest beer, delicious food, dancing, and more.
Michigan’s Little Bavaria is great to visit any time of year, but visiting during Oktoberfest makes it extra special. Soak up the German culture and heritage, nosh on delicious food, and have a good time.
Romeo Peach Festival | Romeo
This is another Labor Day weekend tradition that’s definitely worth attending, especially if you like peaches.
An orchard market at the festival offers visitors a chance to buy peaches, peach pies, and peach cobblers (of course!), but there’s also wine, fudge, and other goodies for sale.
The festival’s other activities include a three-on-three basketball tournament, excellent craft shows, and a chance to pick your own apples and sunflowers.
Michigan Renaissance Festival | Holly
Travel back in time to the age of knights, kings, and maidens at the Michigan Renaissance Festival, which is held every weekend from mid-August through October.
Explore a 16th-century European village, where you can watch full armor jousting, interact with characters and feel what life was like in simpler times.
There are also magicians, jugglers, more than 100 artisans in the festival marketplace, and food that’s good enough to feast on.
If you’re looking for a festival that’s packed full of fun, this is one you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re a frequent renaissance festival-goer or you’ve never been, there’s something here for everyone.
Michigan Chicken Wing Festival | Lansing
This may just be one of the tastiest festivals in all of Michigan. If you’re looking to excite your tastebuds, this Lansing celebration is the place to be.
If you like wings, you’re in luck because the festival is a showcase for vendors to showcase their talents with many wing flavors available.
But the festival is more than wings. There’s also live music, pro wrestling, a kids zone, a festival king and queen, and more.
Posen Potato Festival | Posen
Located west of Alpena, the tiny village of Posen celebrates all things starchy every fall. The festival features a flea market, a 5K, vendors, and a parade through town on the final day of the festival.
Posen is also proud of its Polish heritage, so expect to hear plenty of lively polka music from several bands. If you feel like getting your groove on, there’s a dance floor where dancers young and old can cut a rug.
Paul Bunyan Days | Oscoda
Paul Bunyan has quite a history in Michigan and several towns have statues dedicated to the legendary giant.
You can celebrate Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox, at this annual festival that’s packed with activities. There’s a car show, a corn hole tournament, a beard competition, pie-eating contests, chainsaw carving, and so much more.
Copper Harbor Trails Fest | Copper Harbor
If you’re a running enthusiast, this annual festival celebrates all the things you love about being outside: races, music, food, and beer to name a few.
No matter how much or how little you run, this event is for everyone. There’s room for all runners from cross-country runners to downhill runners to experts in enduro racing.
Hit the trails and experience the beauty of the U.P. in the fall. Once you’re done racing, you can grab food and beer from a local brewery and jam to some live music.
Chase Pickle Festival | Chase
Michigan has its fair share of fun, yet quirky festivals and this is a great one for the whole family to attend. It honors Chase’s history of having a pickle operation in the mid-1900s.
The festivities begin with a pickle pageant and kids can compete to be crowned Pickle king and queen. There’s also a pickle dressing contest, where competitors dress pickles in fun costumes.
If you’ve been itching to try a new pickle-themed recipe, there’s also a pickle cook-off, as well as many other activities.
Detroit Jazz Festival | Detroit
This festival has been going strong for nearly 40 years and is a great celebration of Detroit’s history of jazz music.
The festival draws world-class talent to the Motor City over Labor Day weekend. Jazz enthusiasts can get more than their fill with more than 60 performances, late-night jams, improvisation, and more.
If you love live music and jazz, this is a great way to spend a weekend as you listen to nationally known artists as well as talented up-and-comers.
U.P. Fall Beer Festival | Marquette
Michigan hosts lots of great beer festivals during the year. If you love beer, head up to the Upper Peninsula and prepare to enjoy.
Held at a park overlooking Lake Superior, festival attendees can buy tickets to sample a selection that includes hundreds of beers from nearly a hundred Michigan breweries.
There’s also lots of great food and live entertainment, so you’ll have all the elements you need for a great time.
Exciting October Events in Michigan
Apple Festival | Charlevoix
Nothing says fall has arrived in Michigan than many varieties of crisp, fresh, delicious apples. In Northwest Michigan, you’ll be able to enjoy freshly harvested apples and so much more.
The Apple Festival is a great time to shop locally, especially for food. You’ll find vendors selling everything from cider to crepes to bagels to maple syrup, and it’s all locally made.
While you shop, be sure to stop and get some festival food, including Irish apple cake, kielbasa, and even chili.
Be sure to stop at the arts and crafts show too, where you can buy one-of-a-kind items for family and friends just before the holidays.
Boathouse Beer Festival | Detroit
The Boathouse on Detroit’s Belle Isle is iconic and this festival’s proceeds go toward restoring it to its former glory.
Spend the day sipping on an ice-cold brew right by the river as you listen to live music and soak up the good vibes. Take time to explore the boathouse too, where you can see impressive architecture and rooms that overlook the Detroit River.
International Festival of Holland | Holland
Holland is well known for its spring Tulip Festival, but this fall festival is great too.
Travel to West Michigan where you can learn about cultures from all over the world. As you visit local vendors and nosh on fair food, you can listen to and watch live performances from artists from a variety of countries, including Japan, Cuba, Ireland, and India.
This is a great festival you can bring the whole to. Local restaurants offer different ethnic foods, you can see and buy different international arts and crafts, and, more than likely, learn something new about different world cultures.
Growler Brewfest | Brighton
Festivals are all about having fun, but any festival-goer will tell you that good food and drink are a must at any celebration.
This event makes plenty of eats available as local breweries and food trucks team up to put on a heck of a festival. What’s even better is that it’s also a dog-friendly event, so bring your furry friends with you.
To accommodate all the dogs, there’s a dog obstacle course, puppy pools, and plenty of photo ops for dogs and their owners. So bring your dog and prepare for a fun day with great grub, cold beer, and live music.
American Speed Festival | Pontiac
Michigan has a well-known history with cars and this festival takes place near Detroit, Michigan’s famed Motor City.
The festival brings together all things people love about cars. If you love speed, prepare to buckle up. You’ll see vintage race cars, Indy cars, and modern-day cars perform on the M1 Concourse Speed Ring, a 1.5-mile track. With vintage cars, new cars, and plenty of speed, is there anything better?
Festival-goers will have plenty of chances to see cars on the speed ring, but there’s also an art expo and a checkered flag ball. Visitors can also experience the speed of these cars for themselves with on-track events with professional drivers.
Pulaski Days | Grand Rapids
Mark your calendar for the 50th annual celebration of Grand Rapids’ Pulaski Days. This festival dates back to 1973 as a way to bring Polish culture to the Grand Rapids community.
Now it’s a week-long celebration packed with great events. Polish culture oozes from every fiber of this festival with a flag raising, a polka mass, a grand parade, a kielbasa eating contest, and much more.
Michigan has many great festivals that celebrate culture and heritage and this is a great Polish celebration you don’t want to miss.
Ichabod Crane Days | Laingsburg
Ichabod Crane, Sleepy Hollow, and the Headless Horseman are all a part of October Festivities, especially around Halloween.
Head to Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg where you can celebrate with all sorts of fun activities. It should be noted that the event is open to campers and visitors only. Campers are advised to bring decorations, costumes, and candy to help foster a Halloween-like spirit.
Frankfort Film Festival | Frankfort
Frankfort’s historic Garden Theater plays host to this annual film festival, which features a variety of different films from up-and-coming filmmakers.
If you’re a big independent film fan, this is the perfect festival for you. You’ll be able to see incredible documentaries, gripping dramas, period films, and much more.
So grab your popcorn, candy, and soda and prepare for several days of fun. Not only can you see some great films, but you can also experience them in a more intimate setting at the Garden Theater.
Fall Festival | Beulah
Travel just west of Frankfort to this one-day celebration that’s got a little something for everyone.
If you love cars, there’s a classic car and motorcycle show. If you love rides, there are horse-drawn wagon rides. If you’re looking for kids’ activities, there are kids’ games, face painting, sidewalk chalk art, and more.
Past festivals have included sidewalk art contests as well as an annual soup contest, so come hungry because the contest entries are quite tasty.
Oktoberfest | Pentwater
October is a great time to get out and explore Michigan, so head to the Lake Michigan shoreline and the tiny town of Pentwater for this annual fall bash.
There are plenty of activities for attendees of all ages, including a classic car and hot rod show and cruise, a 5K race, live polka music, yard games, and much more.
If you enjoy exploring Michigan’s small towns, this is the perfect chance to do that while having some festival fun.
Goose Festival | Fennville
That’s right, a goose festival. What started as a gimmick to get an Amtrak train to stop in Fennville on the way to Grand Rapids (or goosing, a term for startling someone) has now become an annual event in West Michigan.
You won’t find flocks of geese here, but what you will find is a car show, a corn hole tournament, a goose market with local artisans, a parade, and much more.
It’s a great event for the whole family. Kids can take part in a gosling run and a dance party, while adult attendees grab a beer and listen to live music.
Entertaining November Fall Festivals in Michigan
International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival | Grand Rapids
For more than a decade, this has been one of the best annual tasting events in the state. There are more than 1,000 cider, spirits, wines, and beers available from around the world and it’s a perfect event for anyone.
Whether you’re a food and drink newbie or a connoisseur of spirits and wines, there’s something for everyone here and you’re sure to find a drink or two to please your palate.
Black Out | Niles
If you thought the thrills and chills of Halloween were over, think again.
Niles Scream Park is well-known for its massive haunted house, a field of screams, and other spooky attractions. This event kicks the spookiness up a notch or two by turning off the lights.
If you think you’re brave enough, come visit this spooky park. The lights aren’t totally out — groups get a glow stick — but you may not be ready for what’s waiting for you around the corner. The Field of Screams is lit up in strobes too, so it makes it hard to see what’s coming at you.
If the scares are too much, there are games and food you can enjoy away from all the excitement.
Holiday Glow Christmas Market | Brighton
This free, one-day is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. Every year, downtown Brighton is the place to get into the spirit with lights and plenty of fun.
If you’ve got young kids who love Christmas, their eyes will light up at this celebration. They can get their picture taken with reindeer, visit animals at a petting farm and enjoy the popular Jollie Choo-Choo Train. Be sure to stop and visit Santa and Mrs. Claus too.
Arts and crafts and tasty holiday treats only enhance the holiday atmosphere, so come prepared to ring in the holiday season.
Fantasy of Lights & Fantasy Festival | Howell
This annual event serves as the traditional start to the holiday season and for good reason.
The 5K is a sight to behold and runners are encouraged to dress up in their favorite holiday costumes. Come for the day to enjoy shopping with local vendors and grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to stay warm.
Make sure you stay for the holiday parade too. It’s one of the area’s longest-running parades and is the perfect event to get visitors in the holiday mood.
Luminary Festival | St. Joe
Take a leisurely stroll through downtown St. Joe and kick off the holiday season with this wonderful one-night event.
Luminaries will light your way as you pass shops, restaurants, and other local businesses. Stop in for a meal, grab a drink, and do some shopping under the soft glow of comforting lights.
Festival of Trees | Rochester
Michigan has lots of events around the holidays, but this one is unlike any other.
The two-day event is open to the public and the event is free, so come and see stunning themed trees, wreaths, centerpieces, and more.
There’s also food, a silent auction, and a cash bar, so grab a drink, get some food and get into the holiday spirit at this marvelous festival.
Women in the Arts Festival | East Lansing
Each year, WITA festival-goers gather to celebrate regional women artists. For many of them, it’s a commitment to renewing their support for women musicians and artists.
The festival typically begins with a dinner, a shopping event with local vendors, and a concert. The fun continues the next day with even more music, more shopping, poetry, workshops, and plenty of socializing.
If you want to support women in creative pursuits like art and music and allow them the space to showcase those talents, this is a great festival to attend.
Flapjack and Flannel Festival | Traverse City
The premise for this festival is pretty simple really: show up to the festival in your flannel and prepare to drink craft beer and eat flapjacks.
So come bundled up (weather is usually no match for the festival), come hungry, and come prepared to have fun. There’s also live music, so you can get your groove on while you get your fill of freshly-made flapjacks and tasty craft beer.
Kerstmarkt | Holland
There are lots of things that help ring in the holidays from lights to trees to music. Another thing that announces the arrival of the holidays is shopping.
Kerstmarkt, which means “Christmas market”, is held over three weekends between November and December in Holland. It transports visitors to a European-style market that’s filled with artisan demonstrations, delicious food, holiday items and so much more.
This has become a yearly tradition for many attendees and is a great way to stock up on great holiday gifts for friends and loved ones.
Holly Dickens Festival | Holly
A Christmas Carol is one of the most beloved Christmas stories of all time and this festival celebrates that and all things Charles Dickens.
Over three weekends, visitors can come and see different renditions of the holiday classic performed, including a holiday musical and an interactive play. But the festival features so much more including, chimney sweep street performers, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, and a pub tent.
For at least one day, you might feel like you’re back in Victorian-era England as you watch a holiday classic and soak up the spirit of Christmas.
Celebrate the Season by Attending a Fall Festival in Michigan
Whether you want to experience a Michigan fall festival in a big city or a small town, make time to do it all this upcoming season. Fall in Michigan is wonderful to experience by itself and festivals can only add to that enjoyment.
With good food, live music, local vendors, and good vibes, Michigan’s fall festivals can help you make the most of fall by getting out and exploring your state. Who knows, you may just find a new favorite Michigan festival that becomes an annual event on your social calendar.
Looking for More Festivals in Michigan?
- Gettin’ Weird in the Mitten: Obscure Michigan Festivals
- Awesome Summer Festivals in Michigan
- Michigan Spring Festivals & Events for All Ages
- Michigan Winter Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss
Wanting More Ideas for Fall Things to Do in Michigan?
Don’t miss our annual fall Michigan bucket list – full of unique fall things to do in Michigan!