Harvest Fun Abounds September 22nd & 23rd in St. Joseph

Everyone’s favorite fall activities are coming together Sept. 22-23 in downtown St. Joseph, Mich. The weekend planned by St. Joseph Today includes a Fall Fest, Wine Festival and the City of St. Joseph’s Public Art Auction of its giant fish and shark 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: Sept. 22-23 Friday The Fifth 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.

Saturday The Critter Barn brings rural living to the city featuring goats, rabbits, ducks and more animals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lake Bluff Park. 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. Additional activities include a face painter and balloon twisters from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Great Pumpkin Festival, sponsored by the Benton Harbor Sunshine Rotary, runs 10 a.m. to 1:45p.m. This fun-filled event includes pumpkin carving and decorating contests and culminates with the Great Pumpkin Race at 1:45 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. 23 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 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 tasting cup. A small selection of craft beer and cider will also be available. Music will be provided by Boyne City based, Galactic Sherpas.

For an updated list of participating wineries and restaurants, visit the events page at

Sponsors for the Fall and Wine Festivals include MedExpress Urgent Care, Beaudoin Electrical Construction, the City of St. Joseph, and Lake Michigan College’s Wine and Viticulture Technology program and Vail Rubber Works.

City of St. Joseph Live Public Art Auction: Sept. 23 Since mid-May, the City of St. Joseph has been reeling with its annual public art displays of sculptures painted by regional artists. This year’s theme features fish and sharks. 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 The Silent Auction will end at 11:59 p.m. September 22nd. To hook a fish instantly, be the first to email an offer of $2,000 for the art you want to by 11:59 p.m. September 22nd. Include the name of the sculpture which can be found online at A live auction will be held on Sept. 23 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. Registration for paddle numbers runs from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact: Susan Solon, or 269.983.5541.

St. Joseph Today is a 501(c)(3) membership-based organization dedicated to developing and promoting events and businesses in St. Joseph, Mich. and its surrounding communities. For more information about Fall Fest or upcoming events, visit,, the Welcome Center or call 269-985-1111.