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Metro Detroit Events and Things to Do in September, 2013

Events, Festivals, Attractions, Shows, Walks and Marathons


The weather in Detroit can blow hot or cold in September, but one thing is true regardless of whether the city experiences an Indian summer: the kids go back to school! September is also rife with festivals and marks the beginning of cider mill season. To help you schedule your activities, here is a list of Metro-Detroit Events and Things to Do in September.

If you are looking ahead to October and beyond, check out the Yearly Calendar of Events for Metro Detroit.

Festivals and Events Over Labor Day Weekend

Pontiac's Arts, Beats & Eats, 2007
Photo © Martinpon

When: Labor Day Weekend (8/30/13 through 9/2/13)
Where: Across the Metro-Detroit area

There are several events unique to Labor Day Weekend in Detroit, including:

  • The Detroit International Jazz Festival
  • Arts, Beats & Eats Festival
  • Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
  • Michigan State Fair

Cider Mills

Plymouth Orchards Cider Mill
Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to About.com

When: September through Thanksgiving Weekend
Where: Throughout the Metro-Detroit area and beyond

The Metro-Detroit area is rife with cider mills. In fact, fresh cider, apple pies and piping-hot donuts mark the beginning of fall in the area. Of course the hayrides, pumpkin picking and petting farms will help you work off the extra calories.

Michigan Renaissance Festival

Renaissance Festival in Holly, 2007
Photo © Wigwam Jones
When: Weekends from 8/17/13 through 9/29/13
Where: Holly

At Michigan's Renaissance Festival, you get to eat an enormous turkey leg, let loose a cat call to passing crowds, watch a joust, and generally get saucy as you go back in time to the Elizabethan era -- more or less -- and experience life among the peasantry. Permanent buildings help create the illusion of 16th century England; and jugglers, comedians and sword swallowers help set the mood by providing their own unique brand of entertainment. Of course, theme weekends might reflect a slightly different era or culture, such as the Royal Pet & Ale Feast (8/17-18), Highland Fling (8/24-25), High Seas Adventure (8/31-9/2), Wonders of the World (9/7-8), Shamrocks & Shenanigans (9/14-15), Harvest Huzzah (9/21-22), Festival Friday (9/27), and Sweet Endings (9/28-29). Admission is $20.95 an adult / $11.95 a child.

Michigan State Fair

Michigan State Fair
Photo © Sam Sefton
When: 8/30/13 through 9/2/13
Where: Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi

The Michigan State Fair is the second oldest state fair in the nation. It began its long run in 1849 and closed in 2009 after a 161-year run. In the beginning, the fair traveled around the state; but Lansing was chosen as its permanent host in 1889. In 1905, community leaders, including Joseph L. Hudson, moved it to the 135-acre site off of Eight Mile in Detroit, where it remained until 2009...Read more about the history of The Michigan State Fair.

New for 2013: A new incarnation of the Michigan State Fair, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi over Labor Day Weekend. Like days of old, the fair will include livestock exhibits, circus performers, entertainment tents, a beer garden, and midway. Tickets start at $6 an adult.

Plymouth Community Fall Festival

Plymouth Fall Festival 2006
Photo © Michael A. Krot

When: 9/6/13 through 9/8/13
Where: Downtown Plymouth

In its 58th year, Plymouth's Fall Festival just keeps getting bigger. In addition to carnival rides, which in some cases swing and/or twirl between two-and-three-story buildings, the festival has a car show, craft show, pancake breakfast, rotary BBQ, spaghetti dinner, and two stages of entertainment, as well as food and community booths. There is also a Taste Fest.

Smokin' Jazz & Barbeque Blues Festival in Brighton

When: 9/6/13 through 9/7/13
Where: Downtown Brighton

In its seventh year, the Smokin' Jazz & Barbeque Blues Festival is a celebration of Jazz and Blues and is catered by all things barbequed. Some of the acts scheduled to grace the stage include Laura Rains & the Caesars, Rusty Wright Band, Mike Morgan & the Crawl, and Bettye LaVette. The festival coincides with a 9-11 Memorial 5K Run-Walk on September 7th.

Art & Apples Festival in Rochester

When: 9/6/13 through 9/8/13
Where: Rochester Park, Rochester

Sponsored by the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, the art part of the Art & Apples Festival includes over 290 artists and artwork in several different mediums, including 2-D mixed, 3-D mixed, clay, digital art, drawing, fibers, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, toys and wood. The festival also has three food courts, as well as the festival's signature apple pie contest on September 7th. Two stages of entertainment include local bands, dancers and acts.

Dally in the Alley

Dally in the Alley, 2007
Photo © W. Reed

When: 9/7/13
Where: Alley at Second and Forest, Cass Corridor, Detroit

In its 36th year, Dally in the Alley was originally an art fair but evolved into a music festival. In addition to several stages of entertainment, Dally in the Alley has art vendors, food, weird acts and beer.

Funky Ferndale Art Show & DIY Street Fair

Ferndale "Do It Yourself" Street Fair
Photo © NoTramstoLime Street / Flickr

When: 9/13/13 through 9/15/13
Where: E. Troy Street, Downtown Ferndale

Providing a venue for local bands is the highlight of the DIY Street Fair. Of course, the DIY Street Fair also includes more than 100 entrepreneurs with Do-It-Yourself exhibits. For instance, The Record Shop is filled with self-produced CDs, The Beer Garden is showcasing local beers, and Restaurant Row includes food from local chefs. There is also a Kids Zone.

Meanwhile, the Funky Ferndale Art Show runs from 9/13/13 through 9/15/13 on Nine Mile Road. Ferndale's funky reputation helps to attract over 120 innovative artists from across the nation who work in several mediums, including sculpture, metal, wood, jewelry, fiber and glass.

Victorian Festival

When: 9/13/13 through 9/15/13
Where: Downtown Northville

Northville's Victorian architecture provides the perfect backdrop for a festival that aims to transport you back to the 1800s. Of course, the costumed characters help to make the illusion complete. The 25th annual Victorian Festival begins with a parade and continues with vintage baseball, mobile history museum, music, magic, carnival, crafts, food, and a Victorian Saloon (adults only).

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