October Along the Lakeshore: Pumpkinfests, Fall Color Tour, festivals, parades, and more

For many, October is the highlight of fall — when we celebrate Halloween and the glory of autumn colors with visits to pumpkin patches and cider mills. Fortunately, the Lakeshore is brimming with active and exciting October events. From parades to festivals, and from a goose-calling challenge to a pet costume contest, there are lots of ways to enjoy the month with family and friends in Allegan, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest. 

Zeeland is hosting a two-day Zeeland PumpkinFest.
Zeeland Pumpkinfest
Throughout Zeeland
Oct. 1-2
Fun-for-all festival. Yard games, pumpkin roll, pie-eating contest, parade, 5K run/walk, outdoor movie, pet costume contest, and more. Check out the website below for times and a full listing of events.
Details at www.zeelandfestivals.com/event-details

17th Annual Depot to Depot Fall Color Tour
Muskegon South Pierhead Light to the White River Light Station, Muskegon to Whitehall
Oct. 2-23
Hop on your bike or jump in your car to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of fall color. Submit photos or selfies you take along the way and enter the photo contest. Enjoy refreshments and discounts at shops and stops along the way. Check out the website below for details.
Details at https://bit.ly/D2D21Info

Fennville Goose Festival
Throughout greater downtown Fennville
Oct. 7-10, event times vary
Fun for the whole family. Goose-calling contest, 5K run, parade, classic car show, petting zoo, carnival, arts and crafts, live music, and more. Check out the website for a complete schedule.
Details at www.fennvillegoosefestival.com

Fall Fest will be held in downtown Holland.

Fall Fest
Downtown Holland & Holland Farmers Market
Oct. 8, 3-10 p.m. and Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Pack up the family and head to downtown Holland for pumpkin carversstreet performers, pumpkin painting, a pumpkin toss contest, and even a candy-in-the-haystack hunt. The fest also includes downtown walking tours, and a Fall Artisan Market. Don’t feel like walking to the Farmers Market from downtown? Hop on a hay wagon that will take you there. (Fall Fest coincides with the Annual Tulip Planting Days, so you can try your hand at getting the bulbs in the ground. Info included on the website below).
Details at www.hollandfallfest.com

The 25th annual White Lake Area PumkinFest will take place in downtown Montague.

25th Annual White Lake Area PumpkinFest
Downtown Montague (registration at Ferry and Dowling streets)
Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Enjoy a full day of family-friendly pumpkin-inspired events and contests: pumpkin roll, pumpkin painting, pumpkin carving, pumpkin seed-spitting contest, pumpkin weigh-ins, and pet costume contest. Other events include hayrides, bake sale, apple cider mill, face painting, food vendors, farmers market, and an arts and crafts fair.
Details at www.whitelake.org/event/pumpkinfest-2/2021-10-09/

Merchant & Makers X Chow-Down in Centertown
519 Washington St., Grand Haven 49417
Oct. 16, 1-7 p.m.
Join in the fun at this first-ever event in downtown Grand Haven. It will feature food trucks, live music, and a Makers Market.
Details at https://visitgrandhaven.com /event/merchants-makers-x-chow-down-centertown/

Other October events include:

Waterfront Walk for Hospice
Lyn Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, 101 N. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven
Oct. 2, 9 -11 a.m.
Cost: $10 - $25
Details at https://visitgrandhaven.com/event/waterfront-walk-for-hospice-

Herrick District Library Genealogy Event
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland
Oct. 2, 10 a.m. to noon
Cost: Free
Details at bit.ly/HDLGenealogy

Pumpkin Train Ride
Coopersville & Marne Railway Station, 311 E. Danforth St., Coopersville
Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 9-30 (please pre-register)
Cost: $18-$22
Details at https://www.facebook.com/CoopersvilleandMarneRailway/

Grand Valley Renaissance Festival
Grand Valley State University Campus, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale
Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
Details at https://visitgrandhaven.com/event/grand-valley-renaissance-festival/

Fall Gallery Stroll
Downtown Saugatuck and Douglas
Oct. 9, Noon to 5 p.m.
Details at https://saugatuck.com/events-listings/fall-gallery-stroll/

Trick or Treat on Main Street, Zeeland
Main Street, Downtown Zeeland
Oct. 29, 3-5 p.m.
Details at bit.ly/3kEEUI6
231 River Run (10K and 4-mile)
Connor Bayou County Park, 12945 N. Cedar Drive, Grand Haven
Oct. 30, 8:30 a.m. (Registration closes Oct. 27)
Details at https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/GrandHaven/M231K

Downtown Holland will host trick or treating on Oct. 30.

Downtown Holland Trick or Treating
Eighth Street, Downtown Holland
Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to noon
Details at www.downtownholland.com/events/2021/trick-or-treating-in-downtown-holland/

Family & Pet Halloween Contest and Parade (and trick-or-treating)
Downtown Saugatuck (see website below for details)
Oct. 30, Noon to 4 p.m. Parade line-up begins at 11:30 a.m. at Wicks Park
Details at www.saugatuck.com/events-listings/family-pet-halloween-costume-contest-and-parade/

Adult Halloween Parade
Downtown Douglas
Oct. 30, 10 p.m. (Line up at 9:30 p.m. at Berry Field)
Details at www.saugatuck.com/events-listings/adult-halloween-parade/

Hauntings and History Nights at the Felt Estate
6597 138th Ave., Holland
Oct. 31, 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Cost: $25
Details: https://www.saugatuck.com/events-listings/hauntings-history-nights-at-the-felt-estate-2/

If you are looking for more information on specific destinations or activities, check out these tourism resources:

Allegan County Parks & Recreation
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation


Read more articles by Sally Laukitis.