Sat., August 22- Sun., October 4
The Michigan Renaissance Festival
@ The Village of Hollygrove
Do what your mother told you not to do: Devour a Turkey leg, throw knives and drink mead simultaneous. Buy a suit of armor, a longsword and a halberd. If armor's not your thing, experience the medieval reality of class division and wear rags. The 2015 Michigan Renaissance Festival in Hollygrove is the place to be for lords and ladies. This year will be the 37th annual. Complete with 17-acres of land and 17 themed stages, the Renaissance Festival has live jousting, comedy shows, theater shows, medieval music, people powered machines and hearty authentic food. There will be 300 artisans on display in booths and galleries. A must see event is the human combat chess match. To see fighters bound by their chess equivalent movements makes it a fascinating fight. Aside from old time entertainment, there is a mural competition and a fairy house competition for visitors. Also, you can bring your hound along with a dog registration form. Extensive journalistic research shows the quickest way to immerse yourself into 16th century reality is to take a swig of mead every time you hear a Monty Python joke. So, ride a horse or relax in the gutter. Be a knight or a serf. Be a lady or a wench. The Renaissance Festival accepts all.
Starts at 10 a.m.; 12600 Dixie Highway, Holly; 248-634-7590; michrenfest.com; $12.95 child (5-12) /$21.95 adult. Season passes range from $50 to $89.95; all ages.
Thurs., September 3-Mon., September 7
Romeo Peach Festival
@ Downtown Romeo
There is much more to Romeo Peach Festival than peaches. It is a homespun celebration that encompasses small-town traditions and community. And it's been going on since 1931! To open the festival on September 3, there are 5k/10k Fun Runs. A 5k walk is also available. Carnival rides also start on this day running 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The carnival will be open through the festival's entirety. A "Paint and Pour" wine tasting and painting will start 7-10 p.m at the Lion's Den with all supplies included (especially the wine) for $45 registration. Running September 4-6, the Croswell Craft Show and Business Expo will take place at Croswell Elementary School, supporting local businesses and artists. On September 6, there is a classic car show charity cruise and a special event called bed races, where mattresses are jerry rigged with wheels and raced through Downtown Romeo starting at 6 p.m. On Labor Day, the prime attraction, the Floral Parade will take place at 1:30 p.m. with peach themed floats. So, put on The Allman Brothers' Eat a Peach album and cruise up to Romeo for Labor Day weekend.
35 Mile and Gould Rd, Romeo, MI; michiganpeachfest.com; Free, $25 wristband for carnival rides.
Fri., September 11-Sun., September 13
Arts and Apples
@ Pinter Creek Center for the Arts, Rochester
Though some may celebrate the encroaching fall season with a sob, others celebrate fall in style. And Arts and Apples Festival is the way to do so. The 30 acre Rochester Park has been home to the Arts and Apples Festival for 50 years. Each year, the park hosts over 290 artists that exhibit throughout the country. Put on by Paint Creek Center for the Arts, the Arts and Apples Festival is the flagship event of this non-profit that fights for "enhancing life in the region by promoting, encouraging and creating opportunities to participate in and appreciate the arts," according to their site. There will also be music performances in the wood shell main stage with "regional performers, choreographed dance, marching bands and more." Aside from the art and entertainment, the apple pairing makes the festival shine. With fresh cider, donuts and apple pie, Paint Creek Cider Mill will supply the goods for all. Embrace the fall season with art and apples in Rochester. Be crisp and cultured in one fell swoop.
400 6th St Rochester, MI; 248-651-4110; pccart.org/art-apples-festival; Admission is free.
Fri., September 11-Sun., September 13
Plymouth Fall Festival
@ Downtown Plymouth
There are three shows at the Plymouth Fall Festival: a car show, a craft show and a dog show. With free admission, you better show up as well. The Plymouth Fall Festival is steeped in tradition. In 1956, resident Don Lightfoot thought that a family barbecue could benefit the Youth Activities Community. He proposed that the Plymouth Rotary Club sponsor a chicken barbecue to pay for new playground equipment. Attracting 500, the barbecue was a success and they decided to continue this tradition ever since. The Plymouth Fall Festival blossomed. With a carnival, barbeque and art vendors, the event attracts thousands of metro Detroiters each year. And the Plymouth Rotary Club still maintains its old school entrée with half a chicken, corn on the cob, buttered roll, water and a cookie. The chickens are cooked above hot coals in a huge cinderblock pit as was in 1956.But catch them quick because it only runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Another tradition is the all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner. This year they are serving mostaccioli for those with bottomless pits. Catch the spaghetti dinner September 12, 4 to 8 p.m. only. Participate in this 60 year long tradition in Kellogg Park in Plymouth.
Main St and W Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, MI; 734-335-0199; plymouthfallfestival.com; Admission is free, $13 chicken dinner, $9 spaghetti dinner.
Sat., September 12
Farm to Table Block Party Food Fest
@ The Community House, Birmingham
Michigan lovers rejoice. The Farm to Table Block Party Food Fest shows that we could be isolationist and eat our own food all the time but we accept the others out of our kind hearts. Treat yourself to a special cuisine of a 100 percent local palate. There will be farm fresh jams, cheese, baked goods and coffee. With local craft beers and wines in cahoots with the food, it will be a match for the mitten. One vendor, The Stand Gastro Bistro will come out in force. Their chef, Paul Grosz, trained in French cuisine and Michelin-starred restaurants before a stay with The Whitney and Cuisine in Detroit. The Stand, opened in 2013, is his latest culinary hit and people will be salivating to see what he comes up with for this festival. It will all go to a good cause as well. Event organizer The Community House is a non-profit serving the Birmingham community since 1923. According to tchserves.org, "The Community House offers over 1000 yearly class options including everything from cooking and art history classes to yoga and fitness." And throughout its nearly 100 year history, The Community House became known as "a place for people to bond, get food, education, and help." Tickets include chef's tasting and a drink ticket.
380 South Bates Street, Birmingham, MI; 248-644-583; tchserves.org/events/farm-to-table-strolling-block-party-food-fest; Admission is $25 adults, $5 kids.
Fri., September 18-Sun., September 20
Northville Victorian Festival
@ Downtown Northville
Feel like you were born in the wrong generation? Have a desire for simpler times? Head on down to Northville to experience the annual Victorian Festival, where the downtown decorates itself in 16th century décor. Now in its 27th year, the festival closes its streets to traffic and allows visitors to enjoy old board games, street performers and vintage fashion. See horse drawn carriages, men on stilts, old big wheel bikes and a vintage baseball game. Also, there will be a carnival at the Northville Downs horserace track and a petting zoo. There is plenty of shopping too. Victorian teas will be for sale, Victorian food and Victorian outfits. Mill Race Village, a historical society dedicated to preserving Victorian homes, will also host educational exhibits. All this adds up to a big parade 6:30 p.m. on September 18. Whether you go for the craft fair or to the beer garden, the Victorian Festival delivers.
215 W Main St, Northville, MI.; 248-349-7640; downtownnorthville.com/1/163/victorian_festival_.asp; Free.
Thurs., September 24-Sun., September 27
@ Rochester Mills
Rochester Mills serves a wicked selection of craft beers from their brewery. From thick porters to light ales, it will be your pleasure to see the return of their German lager for Oktoberfest. According to their beer guide, the Oktoberfest is "a malty, German-style Lager with low to moderate hop bitterness featuring a medium body and brilliant orange-ish amber color. Due to its popularity, Oktoberfest is consistently Rochester Mills best-selling seasonal beer." However, the Oktoberfest event isn't just for adults. The event is kid friendly too. Expect to see moonwalks, a petting zoo and live entertainment from Big Ray and The Motor City Kings. Last year, the proceeds to Oktoberfest were donated to Make-A-Wish, Friends of Jacob and North Oakland Waves. The German cuisine for Oktoberfest is another staple to the event. According to Rochester Mills' site, 9,000 16 ounce pints (72 kegs) went out as well as 2,400 potato pancakes and 200 pounds of sauerkraut. Don't forget to have pretzels and sausage before having a round of these German lagers. All festivities will be located under a big top tent east of the building in a parking lot. The ceremonial keg tapping starts 7 p.m. on September 24— and how could you possibly miss that?
400 Water St, Rochester, MI; 248-650-5080; beercos.com; $5 adults, children free.
Fri., September 18-Sat., September 19
@ Dakota Inn
The Dakota Inn Rathskeller is one of the oldest and coolest bars in the city. Opened in 1933, original owner Karl Kurz renovated an old Chinese hand laundry building into a German rathskeller like the ones he remembered from his native Wiekersheim, Germany. 82 years on, it is one of the best places in Detroit to celebrate Oktoberfest. For a cheap $3.00 admission, you can't beat it. For Oktoberfest they will be importing German lagers and they expect you to wear a chicken hat. If you don't happen to have one around, they will be selling them at the door. A must try is the Rathskeller Reuben soup topped with Swiss cheese and croutons. It is a house specialty. So, check out the beer tent and the cuisine from a Detroit classic bar. It will be the most authentic Oktoberfest in the city.
17324 John R Street, Detroit; 313-867-9722; dakota-inn.com; $3 admission.
Fri., September 25- Sun., September 27
DIY Street Fair
@ Ferndale (behind WAB and the Emory)
Ferndale's beloved DIY Street Fair boasts food, live music, and buyable goodies created around town. In addition to providing a festive, exciting atmosphere for all, the fair is largely focused on spotlighting 125 local artists and their work. This summer, fair-goers can peruse stands of paintings, clothing, one-of-a-kind knick-knacks, and much more. "DIYSF celebrates those with a passion and drive to get their art out there to be seen. We're proud to offer an avenue to display works and wares of the area's most creative people," the fair's website reads. Providing the soundtrack to the artisanal experience are about 65 top regional bands, who will be performing on two stages. Electric 6 will return as headliners, and other acts like Mustard Plug are sure to rock the house. Folks can also expect to sample unique cuisine from 12 local restaurants, and beer aficionados can slosh their grub down with the near 28 Michigan microbrews that will be on tap. For others, a cocktail or some wine will do. The DIY Street Fair emphasizes and promotes a united spirit, too. Without it, the success of the "do-it-yourself" mentality isn't as strong. The fair's website asks, "Why DIY? Because it's our passion. We have a vision and we're the only ones that know how to achieve it. Although we can do it ourselves, we welcome collaboration of ideas and shared creativity and are inspired by our contemporaries."
The festival is located on the east side of Woodward, between 9 Mile and East Troy (behind WAB and the Emory) in Ferndale; ferndalediy.com; Admission is free.
Fri., September 25 to Sun., September 27
Funky Ferndale Art Fair
@ Nine Mile at Woodward
Ferndale gives us the funk at the Ferndale Funky Art Fair. It will also give you quite a scare from the statuette street performers. But persevere and you will be rewarded with local crafts and goods that brim with personality. There will be locally made ceramics, sculptures and furniture on display as well as hats, jewelry and purses. The diversity is funktastic: Artist and art fair vendor Chichi Rose makes frilled handbags adorned with stitched patterns that emulate Native American designs. Vendor Studio Medford specializes in wood wall art recycled from old wood pallets. And vendor Chris Cumbie does oddball wood figurines in shoe boxes with quirky messages written above them. Also, be sure to stop in at the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale, which is running at the same time, and kill two birds with one stone. They have craft beers, cocktails and local music to supplement. The Funky Ferndale Art Fair is unpretentious and odd. Pick up something no one else could get and support the community while doing so. But be sure to get there quick with some spare change for the meters. Parking will fill up with both festivals running at the same time.
9 Mile and Woodward, Ferndale; integrityshows.wix.com/ferndale; Free.
Sat., October 10th
Fall Beer Fest
@ Royal Oak Farmers Market
Rounding out our list of essential festivals to check out is the Fall Beer Fest, presented by the Michigan Metro Times, in association with many local craft brewers and purveyors of the majestic brew. Dozens are slated to participate in this glorious event, with more beers available to sample than you ever could drink (drive responsibly). The event will go one regardless of the weather, and is flat out going to rule. Festival attendees must be 21 years of age or older and have ID to enter. Children are not allowed in the festival with the exception of very small, immobile children who remain in a carrier or stroller. Sorry, but this is an adult event.
The Royal Oak Farmers Market is located at 316 E 11 Mile Rd, Royal Oak. For full information on the fest, including how to obtain tickets and attendance cost, simply check back with us at metrotimes.com closer to the event.