Funny How the Night Moves, With Autumn Closing In….

Saying goodbye to Summer at Old Mission Point
Saying goodbye to Summer at Old Mission Point


TRAVERSE CITY – Suddenly, all the radio stations seem to be playing nostalgia songs.

I heard Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” yesterday as Liz and I were driving home from the Traverse City Shorts Festival, and it made the two of us wonder why September seems to be such a nostalgic month. Maybe it’s the final goodbye to summer, the reminder that we all grown up sooner or later and have to leave things behind. Maybe it’s the shorter days and the knowledge that a more austere landscape awaits us.

Who knows? Darn good song, though.

Still, there’s no getting around it Tree by tree and leaf by leaf, the annual display of autumn color is making its way across northern Michigan. I’d been worried that the summer had been too hot and dry for good color, but I shouldn’t have bothered. It always works out.

On the hillsides overlooking Grand Traverse Bay, we could already see a sudden burst of orange or scarlet among the green stands of oak, maple and pine. Here and there, the mounds of sumac are touched with deep smoldering crimson, while the orchards and vineyards of the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas are filled with brightly colored apples and thick clusters of dark purple grapes. In a matter of weeks, the entire region will be aflame with sheets of red, orange and gold.

Since fall colors can “peak” fairly quickly, we at the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau will be providing you with up-to-date information about autumn colors. You can check in on this blog for regular updates, or go to the Traverse City CVB’s Fall Foliage Web Page to receive updated reports on the progress of the annual fall color display – including areas where the best colors can be found.

Of course, fall doesn’t mean the fun comes to an abrupt halt here in The Teece. Au contraire!  I was just noticing that this is the week when the Traverse City History Center puts on its 15th Annual Heritage Days celebration (speaking of nostalgia). It’s being held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday down at Hannah Park, along the south bank of the Boardman River.

Learning to Cut Wood the Old-Fashioned way at Hannah Park
Learning to Cut Wood the Old-Fashioned way at Hannah Park

There’ll be historical re-enactors demonstrating life in pioneer times, plus quilters, weavers & wood turners in the Heritage Center, a pre-war vintage car show on Sixth Street covering the period from 1900 to 1942, historical walking tours, a frontier barbecue, carriage rides, a display of early 20th century “talking machines”, free viewing of the film “Fruit of Dreams” in the Museum Theatre, and the world premier of “Re-inventing The Wheel” by Rich Brauer & Brauer Productions, Inc.

Lots of schoolkids will be coming to Heritage Days on field trips, but everybody is welcome. (And let’s face it, most of us could use a few reminders that we weren’t the first people to live here – or even visit here!) All Proceed will benefit the Grand Traverse Heritage Center, located at 322 Sixth Street in Traverse City.

On Friday and Saturday, another event that’s dear to my heart will be taking place up at the Timber Ridge Resort on Hammond Road – its their annual Leaves & Libations Fall Brew Fest – a way to enjoy local fall colors up in the high country while tasting some of our best local microbrews from places like Bellaire’s Short’s Brewing Company and Traverse City’s Right Brain Brewery.  A mix of local wines will also be available.

The entry fee includes live music by My Trivia Live and a pulled pork plate.  Beer will be available for purchase. It’ll be held rain or shine – they’re setting up in a tent and indoors), so bring your beer-drinkin’ shoes! You can click the link above or call them at (231) 947-2770.

Do not fear the autumn. She’s a sweet friend. She just never hangs around very long.


About mikelovestc

These days, I’m the media relations guy for the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau, but before that I spent 25 years as a reporter and columnist at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, a job that frequently took me out into the most remote backroads, forests, beaches and islands of the beautiful Grand Traverse Region. My strategy was pretty simple — just drive, paddle, ski or walk until you’re certain you’re lost, and then find somebody to talk to. It was a great job! I never intended to live in Traverse City. I grew up in Grand Rapids, spent four years in the Coast Guard in places like Miami Beach, Monterey and San Francisco, and when I finally graduated from college I took a summer job at the Miami Herald. To my surprise, I discovered I didn’t like the tropics nearly as much as I thought I would — and when the Record-Eagle offered me a job I took it, figuring I’d put in a year or two and head off to someplace like Seattle or Portland. What I discovered very quickly is that this place gets to you in a variety of unexpected ways. The beaches here are as lovely as anyplace else I’ve ever been, the weather is mild all year round — warm enough for swimming in September and cold enough for skiing in December — and just about the time you’re getting tired of one season you get another one every bit as pleasant. The people are laid-back and friendly, the music and arts scene is awesome, and the place still hasn’t gotten so sophisticated that a guy like me feels out of place.
This entry was posted in arts & culture, Fall, Festivals, Food & Drink, history and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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