Top 10 things to do at Lansing Autumn Fest
By Kristen Bonk published October 09, 2015
Downtown Lansing at Fox Pointe & Park Plaza
Ridge Road and Henry Street, Lansing
The 4th Annual Lansing Autumn Fest offers three days of family fun in the heart of downtown Lansing at Fox Pointe and Park Plaza. Enjoy a KidZone area with games, activities and entertainment for families, a Market Place vendor and crafter area, local food vendors, chili cook-off, tailgate party, vintage baseball, beer garden and more.
Make certain to take pictures and tag them with #LansingAutumnFest in #ChicagoSouthland!
Click below to watch the Lansing Autumn Fest Video
At Lansing Autumn Fest, they have live entertainment for every musical interest. Love dancing to German Polka? Put on your best lederhosen and dance to the tunes of the German Band Happy Wanderers on Friday from 5-7PM. If you want to escape to “Margaritaville” check out the Jimmy Buffett Tribute band Gone 2 Paradise featuring Frank Paul on Friday between 8-10:30PM. Gone 2 Paradise has been featured on WGN and NBC TV as well as big venues like Navy Pier, US Cellular Field and more. On Saturday, come out to see the local talent perform with the Thornton Fractional High School choir, dance team and Rebel Theatre from 12-1:30PM. Rock out to the Classic and Friends at 2-4PM with some of your favorite classic rock hits. Keep the head-banging going with RockZilla, who’s performing from 5-7PM on Saturday. Then you’ll definitely want to dance to the Retro-inspired insanity that spans five decades with the Dick Diamond and the Dusters from 8-10:30PM. On Sunday, you’ll love what Visible Music College brings to the stage from 11AM-12PM. The goal of Visible Music College is to train the next generation of artists in music, discipleship, worship and ministry. Then if you prefer modern country, Hillbilly Rockstarz have you covered on Sunday from 3-5PM. It’s always a rockin’ good time when you visit Chicago Southland.
The Midwest is truly one of the best places to travel during Autumn and the Lansing Autumn Fest is the place to be to capture a Midwest Moment with the kids building scarecrows or decorating pumpkins. There will be a coloring contest, balloon artist and inflatable obstacle course. The weather is supposed to be beautiful and perfect to enjoy Hot Cider from the local Boy Scouts Troop. There’s even a kids stage for age appropriate entertainment like Traveling World of Reptiles, Magician presented by Just for Fun Productions, Karaoke, an interactive DJ and more. Lansing Autumn Fest even has a designated diaper changing area that is maintained by local church volunteers. The event coordinators have thought of everything to ensure you and your little ones have an unforgettable time!
Military support is very big in the Village of Lansing. This can be seen anytime of the year by visiting the Veterans Memorial located at the Lansing Municipal Airport. Saturday has been dedicated as the Military Morning with a tribute on Dr. Michael Wood’s “Sole Man Bandstand” Stage at 10:30AM by the Lansing Veterans Memorial Ceremonial Honor Guard. Be there to honor our vets and bring a veteran for a free breakfast by the Copper Muggers from 7-11AM.
One of the ways Lansing Autumn Fest is unique to other Fall festivals is the strong community focus. They have about a dozen food vendors selling typical fest food, but the Pancake Breakfast is a must to experience the true Lansing Autumn fun. The pancakes are prepared by a Lansing non-profit group called the Lansing Copper Muggers and they’ve been doing this for years. They have a system down and it’s all to help local communities and make certain everyone starts off the day right with delicious pancakes. They will serve pancakes from 7-11AM on Saturday, October 10th.
Beginning Saturday morning at Winterhoff Park in Lansing, this 5K Run/Walk honors Lansing’s fallen hero LCPL Philip Martini and all of our Military heroes. As NWI Times Correspondent and assistant coordinator to Lansing Autumn Fest Carrie Steinweg says in this article about Martini, “He was a son, a brother and a friend to many. He's not the only person from Lansing to serve his country in the Iraq War, but he's the only one who has died in doing so.” Steinweg explained that his family started the LCPL Philip Martini Memorial Foundation a couple years ago and has raised funds for military charities like the Heart of the Marine. Participating in the Martini Hero Run Walk 5K isn’t just great for you, it’s also a great help to military veterans and their families. All runners/walkers receive a Martini Hero Run 5K T-Shirt. Registration opens at 6:30AM on Saturday, October 10th and the race start time is 8:00AM.
"Baseball, because of its continuity over the space of America and the time of America, is a place where memory gathers," said American poet and writer Donald Hall. On Saturday, October 10th at 2PM, step back in time to the beginning of baseball when the Lansing Brickmen play Vintage Baseball against the Munster Centennials at Winterhoff Park. If you ever watched Ken Burns documentary "Baseball" and loved the poetic stories about baseball back in the day, then you'll love watching Vintage Baseball at Lansing Autumn Fest. As Robert Frost is quoted in the documentary, "I never feel more at home than at a ballgame," and you'll definitely feel that way while watching old fashioned baseball and eating old-time refreshments and Cracker Jack. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy baseball with rules written by Alexander Cartwright, the "Father of Baseball." That means underhand pitching with no gloves and it will be a gentleman's game! This is free admission!
Sample the season at the Lansing Autumn Fest Chili Cook Off on Sunday, October 11th. The set-up for the competition begins at 12PM at Fox Pointe and the public tasting kicks off at 1PM. Pets are not allowed in the chili cook off area. Coinciding with the chili cook off is the tailgate party at Fox Pointe. The crisp Fall air, football and chili make for a perfect Fall day!
This is the best time of year to shop at craft fairs and the Lansing Autumn Fest Market Place will not disappoint. Shop for Fall or holiday decorations or buy a one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family. Shop local vendors who take pride in their work! The Market Place Vendor Dates and Times are Saturday, October 10th from 10AM-7PM and Sunday, October 11th from 10AM-5PM.
Don't you just love pumpkins this time of year? Don't you love winning money even more? They both come together at the Lansing Autumn Fest Annual Pumpkin raffle, where first prize is $10,000 cash! Tickets are only $20 each and can be purchased until the last day of Autumn Fest. The drawing will occur at Sunday, October 11th at 4PM.
The tagline for Lansing Autumn Fest is, "Bringing the hometown back to Lansing." Although Lansing isn't a small town and the fest has really grown, it maintains that small town feel where you're sure to see lots of people you know while strolling the grounds and enjoying the fun. Also, everyone involved in coordinating this great event work hard to get as many community groups to participate. It's just a great collaboration of so many different groups and individuals. They'll make certain you receive a warm Midwest welcome when you visit Lansing Autumn Fest in Chicago Southland.
Click here for a previous article from NWI Times Columnist Carrie Steinweg: 50 things you’ll love about Lansing Autumn Fest.
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