Fall festival, wine festival, art auction on agenda

Published 8:18 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Today

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Today

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Everyone’s favorite fall activities are coming together Sept. 25-26 in downtown St. Joseph.

The weekend, planned by St. Joseph Today, includes a Fall Fesitval, Wine Festival and the City of St. Joseph’s Public Art Auction of its giant bathtub toy sculptures. There is so much autumn fun planned in this Lake Michigan resort community visitors will want to spend the night so they won’t miss any of the sunrise-to-sunset entertainment.

For lodging information, visit www.stjoetoday.com/sleep.


Activities include:

Slumberland Great Bed Race

The Third Annual Rotary and Slumberland Great Bed Race will get rolling at 4:30 p.m. on Lake Blvd. Onlookers can cheer teams as they race bed frames to the finish line. This fundraiser benefits Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary youth programs and the Slumberland Furniture 40 Winks Foundation that provides mattresses and beds to children who need them.

“It’s Finally Friday” Block Party festivities will entice visitors to stay downtown from 5 to 8 p.m. for fall sales, harvest menus and entertainment.


Day on the Farm

Day on the Farm brings rural living to the city. Families can gather up just-harvested fruits and vegetables, locally raised meats, cider and fall decorations at the downtown Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., along Lake Bluff Park. A Musical Instrument Petting Zoo from the Benton Harbor Citadel Dance & Music Center’s collection will also be along the bluff from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as the Critter Barn petting farm, featuring goats, rabbits, ducks and more animals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Other activities include face painting at State and Broad Streets., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and live music with Leonardo at Ship and Pleasant Streets., noon to 2 p.m.

The Great Pumpkin Festival, sponsored by the Benton Harbor Sunshine Rotary, runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This fun-filled event includes pumpkin carving and decorating contests and culminates with the Great Pumpkin Race at 2 p.m. Participants will cheer on a flotilla of mini numbered pumpkins dropped in a pool on site. The first five pumpkins to cross the finish line will win $1,000, $300, $200, $100 and $50. A $10 entry fee will benefit Benton Harbor youth programs. All tickets will be sold by 1:45 p.m. and entrants do not need to be present to win.


St. Joseph Wine Festival: Sept. 26

One of the finest backdrops to taste Michigan wines is Whirlpool Centennial Park overlooking Lake Michigan’s Silver Beach. This 4 to 9 p.m. event presented by Lake Michigan College’s Great Lakes Wine Institute features vintages from state wineries, local cuisine, live music and front row views of the sunset. Admission is free. Wine tasting starts at $10 and includes five drink tickets and a souvenir wine glass. A small selection of craft beer and cider will also be available. Music will be provided by South Bend, Ind. cover band Vyagra Falls, a rocking group of medical professionals, at 4 p.m. and Laura Rain and the Caesars, a groove, funk and blues band from Detroit, at 5 p.m. For an updated list of participating wineries and restaurants, visit the events page at Facebook.com/stjoetoday.

Sponsors for the Fall and Wine Festivals include United Federal Credit Union, Beaudoin Electrical Construction, the City of St. Joseph, Lake Michigan College’s Great Lakes Wine Institute, 98.3 The Coast and 94.9 WSJM.


City of St. Joseph Live Public Art Auction: Sept. 26

Since mid-May, the City of St. Joseph has been splishin’ and a splashin’ with its annual public art display of sculptures painted by regional artists. This year’s theme has been bathtub toys featuring ducks, frogs, whales and bathtubs. A new opportunity this year will be for bidders who are unable to attend the live event to participate in a silent auction. To participate, bidders are asked to submit their contact information, the name of the art piece and the bid amount to ssolon@sjcity.com. All silent auction bids start at $500 and a bid of $1,500 guarantees ownership to the bidder. The Silent Auction will end at 11:59 p.m. September 24th. A live auction will be held on Sept. 26 at Whirlpool Centennial Park on Wine Festival grounds at 5:45 p.m. Professional auctioneer Jerry Glassman will manage the auction for these original works. Bids will start at $500. Registration for paddle numbers runs from 4 to 5:45 p.m. For more information, contact: Susan Solon, ssolon@sjcity.com or 269.983.5541.

To learn more about these and other fall events, contact St. Joseph Today, a 501(c)(3) membership-based organization dedicated to developing and promoting events and business in St. Joseph. Visit www.stjoetoday.com, facebook.com/stjoetoday or call 269-985-1111.