September brings beautiful fall weather and fun festivals to Michigan. From food and music celebrations to arts and cultural events, there are many exciting things happening across the state this month. Here are the top 10 September festivals in Michigan that you won’t want to miss!
ArtPrize is one of my favorite September events in Michigan! This massive art competition takes over downtown Grand Rapids as artists from around the world showcase their work.
You’ll find incredible art installations ranging from large outdoor sculptures to paintings, photographs, and more displayed at venues throughout the city. The best part is that anyone can vote for their favorite pieces and help determine the winners!
As you walk around viewing the art, you can vote using the ArtPrize app. There are juried and public vote prizes up for grabs. I enjoy exploring the different exhibits and discovering new artists I haven’t seen before. Don’t forget to grab some delicious food in Grand Rapids too!
Make sure to see the outdoor art at Rosa Parks Circle, stop by the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and check out ArtPrize in the evening when venues are lit up.
2. Michigan Renaissance Festival
Travel back in time to the 16th century at the Michigan Renaissance Festival! This beloved festival transports you to an English village marketplace with extravagant costumes, unique shops, shows, food and drink.
Some of my favorite activities here are watching the jousting matches, listening to music and comedy acts, and shopping for handmade goods. The festival has so many sights and sounds that make you feel fully immersed in the Renaissance period.
Make sure to try a huge turkey leg and a frothy pint of mead! Catch the Birds of Prey show, take a stained glass making class, and explore the marketplace. Arrive early as it gets busy!
3. Detroit Jazz Festival
Celebrate jazz music and history at this free festival held in downtown Detroit over Labor Day weekend. The Detroit Jazz Festival features incredible live performances from acclaimed jazz artists on multiple stages.
Past lineups have included Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea and many more legends. In addition to the concerts, there are education and conversation stages, food vendors, artwork and more to enjoy.
Spend the day immersed in the sights and sounds of jazz! Bring a blanket and picnic while enjoying the music. Check the schedule ahead of time to see your favorite performers.
4. Romeo Peach Festival
Located north of Detroit, Romeo hosts its annual Peach Festival over Labor Day weekend. This small-town festival celebrates everything peach related!
In addition to peach pie eating contests and peachy foods, you’ll find live music, a classic car show, craft vendors, parade and other entertainment. Stop by some of the food booths featuring freshly made donuts, elephant ears and more.
Don’t miss the peach orchard tours and peach themed arts and crafts too. The Romeo Peach Festival perfectly captures small-town charm. Time your visit for the Festival Parade on Saturday morning. It’s a highlight!
Centered around pristine Sterling State Park, the Islandfest in Monroe provides a beautiful backdrop for this classic music festival. It takes place on three stages set along the shores of Lake Erie. Country music stars like Uncle Kracker and Joe Diffie have headlined Islandfest.
In addition to lively concerts, you can enjoy carnival rides, sand sculptures, a car show, 5K run, food trucks and more family fun. I like taking a stroll along the sandy beach between music sets.
An awesome lake breeze blows through the festival grounds all weekend long. Bring sunscreen and beach towels to relax on the sand. Feel free to bring chairs and blankets too.
6. Frankenmuth Oktoberfest
Frankenmuth puts on a classic Bavarian-style Oktoberfest celebration each September. The little Bavarian village draws big crowds hungry for German food, drinks and music. Traditional polka bands, dancing and lederhosen set the festive mood.
In addition to live music, kids can enjoy inflatable rides, face painting and balloon artists. Don’t miss the nightly keg tapping ceremony under the Festzelt tent. And of course, sample a fresh German beer and schnitzel! Prost!
Time your visit for the Electric Light Parade on Saturday night. It’s quite a spectacle!
7. Clinton Fall Festival
Located between Ann Arbor and Jackson, the quaint village of Clinton hosts a delightful fall festival in mid-September. Families will love the carnival rides, games, tractor parade, classic car show and other small-town entertainment.
The festival has a little something for everyone. Browse local craft booths, listen to live music, watch the sidewalk chalk art contest, or enter the pie eating and cornhole tournaments! Of course, you have to sample some festival favorites like elephant ears and corn on the cob too.
Take a free hayride through town. Check the schedule for your favorite music and entertainment.
8. Fall Beer Festival
Craft beer lovers rejoice at West Michigan’s biggest beer festival held at the ballpark in Comstock Park. Enjoy unlimited sampling of over 100 breweries and 500 craft beers!
The festival has everything a beer enthusiast could want from seasonal pumpkin ales to IPAs, lagers, stouts and more. Grab some grub from food trucks on site.
Listen to live music between brews and take part in beer games and contests. With huge crowds, the energy and good times keep flowing all weekend long.
Ride the free shuttle from downtown Grand Rapids hotels. Check online for specially priced tickets. Come thirsty!
9. Saginaw Eddy Concert Series
Throughout the month of September, downtown Saginaw hosts free live concerts along the riverfront as part of their Eddy Concert Series. It provides an awesome opportunity to hear top bands perform in an outdoor setting.
Previous acts have included the likes of REO Speedwagon, Styx, and Big & Rich. Concerts start at 6:00pm with local opening acts.
Pack a picnic dinner or grab food from on-site vendors and settle in for an evening of live tunes under the stars. Arrive a bit early to get a spot up close to the stage or sit further back on the hill.
10. Heritage Festival
Families will have a blast at Canton’s Heritage Festival held at Heritage Park each September. This four-day event includes carnival rides, a petting zoo, pig races, chainsaw carving demos, monster trucks and more entertainment.
Kids can enjoy inflatables, face painting, magic shows, a kids zone and carrot racing. There are also several music stages with live performances, cultural exhibits, a classic car show and fireworks on Saturday night. Affordable family fun awaits in Canton!
Check the schedule for your favorite bands and shows. Arrive early for the best carnival rides before the crowds.
And there you have it – the top 10 can’t-miss September festivals across Michigan! From food and music celebrations to cultural events, there is so much excitement happening across the state.
These lively festivals let you enjoy the beautiful fall weather, support local communities, discover talented artists and performers, and make lasting memories with family and friends. I hope you’re able to check out some of these great Michigan September festivals!