Frankenmuth is a beautiful small town in central Michigan, famous for being the home of the world’s largest Christmas store and serving up internationally recognized chicken dinners (in Venice, Italy we told someone we were chatting with we were from Michigan and they asked if we’d ever eaten chicken in Frankenmuth -what a small world!). This past weekend my husband and I had the pleasure of attending the annual Bavarian Festival, which celebrates the German heritage that many residents share. Frankenmuth seemingly always has some sort of festival going on, so there’s always something unique to do (see the hot air balloon festival here!)!
We took the opportunity to dress in traditional outfits, which you can read about here! Personally, I think dressing festively is half the fun of events such as this one! Aside from getting dressed up, there is SO much to do in Frankenmuth during the Bavarian Festival for guests of all ages, and any time of the year.
Music & Dancing:
There was never a shortage of singing & dancing at the Bavarian Festival. There were several designated dancing & drinking tents and areas around town for festival goers to celebrate in, and all of them were packed to the brim with people singing along, clapping & dancing. Street musicians lined the sidewalks, and inside several restaurants there live bands as well performing anything from traditional German songs to their own renditions of modern music. Inside the Bavarian Inn restaurant, they even have accordion players who will come to your table and sing to you while you eat! The Bavarian Princess court, pictured above, joined in a few songs and dances as well!
Food & Drinks:
As vegetarians, we sometimes worry that we won’t be able to find somewhere to eat, but Frankenmuth has so many options that it’s never an issue! Whenever we visit, we make sure to stop at Prost (read my review of them here!) because their wine & charcuteries boards are not only unique, they’re out of this world delicious! Like I said above, Frankenmuth is famous for its chicken dinners, so if you’re a meat eater, definitely give those a try while you’re in town at either Zehnder’s or the Bavarian Inn! That glorious, gigantic pretzel you see above with the two dips inside it, was one of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten in my life. We had dinner at the Frankenmuth Brewery and I was blown away by this, and the salad I had. My husband enjoyed a black bean burger and a jalapeno beer, both of which he found exquisite as well.
The festival itself offers lots of unique foods in the beer tents and from street vendors, so whatever you’re in the mood for, you’re likely to find it here! Small shops & fudge stores line the main street, and the River Place mall is filled unique small businesses (including an amazing crêpe shop I highly recommend!), where you can find all sorts of things to eat like international cheeses at the cheese house and beers from around the world.
In addition to the food, drinking, dancing, and live bands all around town, there’s no shortage of things to do while in town for the festival. For children, there was face painting, free movies, and bouncy castles. We were enchanted by the sand sculpting competition that took place across the street from the main festival tent – they were incredible! The river boat takes passengers up and down the Cass River on a tour of the wildlife & sites up the stream, and there are several museums in town to explore, in addition to lots and lots of shopping!
This multi-rider bar on wheels was called the Ped-Ale, and all weekend long it took participants all around town while they drank. Every time it rode past us, we could hear people singing and laughing, and it seemed like a great time!
Fireworks & Parade:
The fireworks display was held on Saturday evening as soon as the sun went down, and it was spectacular! It lasted about 20-25 minutes and was absolutely gorgeous. I think it’s worth a visit just for the fireworks displays, personally. We sat in the Zehnder’s restaraunt parking lot and had a perfect, unobstructed view of the show. The following day, there was a parade that made its way through the city featuring bands, musicians, floats, dancers, and groups from all over the city.
Stay tuned for a video recap of the weekends festivities!
Thank you so much for reading! Have you ever attended this festival? Which festival should we visit next?
For questions or comments, please leave a reply down below!