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Top 16 Ways to Fall for Fall in Alpena: Sancutary of the Great Lakes

Posted on September 21st, 2017

Fall colors will be here before you know it! Photo by Paul Gerow

The Autumnal Equinox arrives on Friday, and it’s that time for pumpkin spice everything! Don’t begin your hibernation just yet…the Alpena area has so much to offer during the fall season and this first weekend of fall is said to be a particularly warm one! Here are just a few events to spice up your autumn this year: 

  1. Thunder Bay Folk FestivalSeptember 22-24. Join the fun at the Alpena Antique Tractor and Steam Engine Club for 3 days of live music, music and art workshops, a drum kiva, food and art vendors, and much, much more! Check out the complete music lineup, as well as festival pass prices at
  2. Sunrise Suds Tap TakeoverSeptember 30. Northeast Michigan’s first craft brewery beer festival! This annual event will be hosted in charming downtown Alpena and will feature a fine selection of craft beers for you to try from over 30 breweries. Live entertainment with music from Rootstand, Gun, The Tosspints, and The Erie Bros, as well as games and activities for a one-of-a-kind brew-fest experience! 3pm-9pm.
  3. 11th Annual Farmer’s Market Kid’s DaySeptember 30. Bring the kids to the Alpena Farmers Market behind City Hall from 10am-2pm for fun fall-themed events such as FFA hayrides, petting zoo, pumpkin painting, cider making, games, and veggie tasting! Live music provided and free for all ages.
  4. Harvest Moon Dark Sky CruiseOctober 6. Northeast Michigan has some of the best dark sky viewing in the country with three state-designated Dark Sky Preserves along the shores of Lake Huron. Ticket holders should be at the NOAA Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center boarding area along the Thunder Bay River side by 6:45 p.m. to board the Lady Michigan. Passengers will be able to watch the sunset at 7:04 p.m. and shortly after watch the October Harvest moon rise. Visit the event page here for more information
  5. Discovery Tour: Discover U.S. 23 Heritage RouteOctober 6-9. Chart your own course on a voyage of discovery! Hiking, biking, ARTrail gallery tours, bird watching, color tours, the Wine & Hops Trail, history, maritime, lighthouses, and many other things! Discover over 1,500 things to see and do along the Lake Huron coast. 
  6. 12th Annual Applefest Arts & Crafts ShowOctober 7. Come on down to Brush Creek Mill in Hillman for a fall arts and crafts show to remember! Featuring famous Brush Creek Mill apple dumplings and vendors skilled varieties of crafts, this is prime time to find one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts made in Michigan. 10am-4pm.
  7. The Great Donut RollOctober 7. Do you like cycling? Do you like doughnuts? Do you like helping out our local community? This is the perfect event for you! This 50-mile ride will end at a local favorite, Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm and proceeds from this event will benefit the Thunder Bay Trails Association. See registration and time details at the sign up page here. 
  8. The Black Sheep Pub’s OktoberfestOctober 7. Join the fun celebrating traditions of Oktoberfest at the authentic English pub, Black Sheep, in downtown Alpena. Seasonal beers on tap and entertainment starting at 3 pm with Donny Hartman headlining. 
  9. 6th Annual Fall Harvest Fossil FestOctober 7. Rock and Roll with Paleo Joe at the Besser Museum Fall Harvest. Hunt for Devonian fossils with fossil hunter, Paleo Joe, take a Bus Tour to local limestone quarries, experience digital planetarium presentations, move to the music of KOPYKATZ, and enjoy traditional fall harvest activities! $1 admission per person – $1 planetarium admission per person. 12pm-4pm. 12pm.
  10. Downtown Alpena’s 4th Annual Chowder & Chili Cook-offOctober 14. The Alpena Downtown

    Last year’s Chowder Cook-off was a huge success! Don’t miss out this year! Photo courtesy of Downtown Alpena

    Development Authority presents the FOURTH Annual Chowder & Chili Cook-off! Live entertainment, Michigan beers, and wines, and the finest chowders & chili’s from pros and amateurs alike– the Promotions Committee has been listening to your feedback to make this year’s event bigger and better than ever. This year, Second Avenue from Chisholm to River Street will be closed with the event happening in the street. Tickets are $10 for 10 tastings. Beer and wine will be available at the event. 12pm-5pm.

  11. Apple Pumpkin Fun DayOctober 14. Held at the Alpena Antique Tractor and Steam Engine Club, this event is fun for all ages with pumpkin painting, petting zoo, apple cider pressing, games, entertainment, and much more! Visit for more information.
  12. Fright Lights Alpena Contest- October 17-31. Do you have the scariest Halloween display in the Alpena area? Fright Lights Alpena will be awarding prizes (and bragging rights) to the most terrifying, spooky and thrilling spaces that Alpena has ever seen! 3 ways to be involved: 1. Be a contestant ($10 minimum donation) 2. Be a supporter ($5 minimum donation) 3. Donate a prize or be a sponsor! *All proceeds to will go to local food pantries to help feed those in need this holiday season. Each contestant, supporter, and sponsor will receive a “Fright Lights” sign or poster to display at their home/business/organization. Find out more about rules and guidelines by clicking here.
  13. 6th Annual Halloween Egg HuntOctober 21. After the Mmmunchy Krunchy Mile and Twisted Roots 5k, Join Knaebe’s for an afternoon of Halloween fun! Dig into the pumpkin patch to find thousands of treat-filled Halloween-themed eggs ($1/child 3-11 years). The egg hunt starts at “egg-actly” 11 a.m. in the pumpkin graveyard…don’t be late, the treat-filled eggs go fast!
  14. Downtown Alpena Fall Fest and Trunk or TreatOctober 27. Downtown stores will be passing out candy and there will be a trunk or treat in the parking lot behind City Hall. Trunk or Treat in the Farmers Market Parking Lot from 5:30p.m.-7p.m. Call WATZ if you’d like to bring a trunk, 989-354-8400. Don’t forget to walk through the indoor “storm” and show off your costumes as you stop for treats throughout the exhibits at the Haunted Ship at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary from 5p.m.-8p.m.
  15. Fall Colors TourSeptember-October. Drive around the countryside and explore northern Michigan’s scenic fall colors; the maples and oaks are wrapped in a blanket of beautiful orange, red, and yellow. Visit our blog here for best places to view fall colors

    Fresh apples from Knaebe’s

  16. Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple FarmAugust 31-November 12. Open Thursday-Sunday and located in Rogers City, Knaebe’s offers delicious donuts and hot cider, fun things to do for kids, and a unique little gift shop inside. Last year they opened up a brand new Twisted Cider tasting room for those who want a little kick to their homemade apple cider experience! Visit their site at

Did we miss your fall harvest or Halloween themed event? Be sure to list your event on or email to have your event added by us. 

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