As summer comes to a close and fall gets into full swing, Door County celebrates the end of yet another successful season and the start of a quieter one. Sister Bay’s Fall Fest is a great tradition that seems to grow each year. This year’s is a three-day event, held October 13th through the 15th. Arrive Thursday night to take in the classic car show and arts and crafts fair all day Friday, or come for the excitement of Saturday’s parade.
On Saturday morning, plan to arrive early—really early if you want to indulge in the pancake breakfast at the Village Hall—or by mid-morning to find a parking spot within short walking distance. Then, make your way through the arts and crafts fair on Mill Road, where you can find handmade sweaters, unique tools and everything in between. Before staking a claim on a curb seat for the parade, find a hot cocoa or even a brew. If it’s chilly, head to Al Johnson’s for a to-go cup of glögg—sweet, spiced wine served warm. Think holiday in a cup. Beverage in hand, find a viewing place. The parade, which proceeds north on Bay Shore Drive from near the Sister Bay Bowl, presents the talents of local and regional marching bands, and the floats are sponsored by area businesses. Families and friends turn out in droves, creating an atmosphere both enthusiastic and supportively ridiculous.
Post-parade, find something to nosh at one of the many food vendors, or duck inside a local restaurant and try to get a table. Chat up one of the classic car show exhibitors for a chance to sit in a car for a photo. Follow the buzz of a chainsaw to the ongoing wood carving demonstration near the arts and crafts fair. Try your luck in the 50/50 raffle. Enjoy outdoor live music at several establishments throughout the day and into the evening. The more rowdy fest-goers make the climb up the hill to keep the party going.
Fall fest quiets down considerably, but fun festival activities still go on into Sunday, including the arts and crafts fair, car show, raffle and live music.
Distance from Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in about 15 minutes (8.8 miles north on Highway 57)
Pre-registration required: No
Cost: Fall Fest is free; bring cash for food, beverages and vendors