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Harvest Fun Abounds September 23-24 in St. Joseph, Mich.

Everyone’s favorite fall activities are coming together Sept. 23-24 in downtown St. Joseph, Mich. The weekend planned by St. Joseph Today includes a Fall Festival, Wine Festival and the City of St. Joseph’s Public Art Auction of its giant beach bug 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.

Activities include:

Fall Festival: September 23rd to 24th

Friday

The Fourth Annual Rotary and Slumberland Great Bed Race will get rolling at 4:30pm 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.

Saturday

Day on the Farm sponsored by United Federal Credit Union 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, 9am to 2pm, 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 10am to 4pm as well as the Critter Barn petting farm, featuring goats, rabbits, ducks and more animals from 11am to 3pm. Other activities include face painting at State and Broad Streets., 11am to 3pm.

The Great Pumpkin Festival, sponsored by the Benton Harbor Sunshine Rotary, runs 10am to 1:45pm. This fun-filled event includes pumpkin carving and decorating contests and culminates with the Great Pumpkin Race at 1:45pm. 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 1:45pm and entrants do not need to be present to win.

St. Joseph Wine Festival: September 24th

One of the finest backdrops to taste Michigan wines is Whirlpool Centennial Park overlooking Lake Michigan’s Silver Beach. This 4pm to 9pm event presented by Lake Michigan College’s Wine and Viticulture Technology program 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 Traverse City based, Medicinal Groove

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, and Lake Michigan College’s Wine and Viticulture Technology program.

City of St. Joseph Live Public Art Auction: September 24th

Since mid-May, the City of St. Joseph has been abuzz with its annual public art display of sculptures painted by regional artists. This year’s theme has beach bugs featuring bumble bees, caterpillars, snails and ladybugs. Returning this year for bidders who are unable to attend the live event to participate is 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 at11:59 p.m. September 23rd. A live auction will be held on Sept. 24 at Whirlpool Centennial Park on Wine Festival grounds at 6:00 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 4pm to 5:45pm. 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.