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Scarecrow Fest 2017

12 Oct


Food Truck Festival, August 10, 2017

2 Aug

Frankenmuth River Place Shops presents this special event….

Join us on Thursday, August 10th for the first Food Truck Festival at Frankenmuth River Place Shops!  Enjoy food options from 10 unique trucks as well as a beer & wine station.  There will be a live radio remote, children’s play zone, yard games, and more.  This event is also pet friendly!

Food Truck Post


Cass River Colonial Encampment 2017

3 Jul


History Comes to Life at Frankenmuth’s Cass River Colonial Encampment

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. June 20, 2017 — Visitors to Frankenmuth River Place Shops will have a chance to experience history like never before on July 15 and 16, during the annual Colonial Encampment.

This all-day event will feature tactical battle reenactments, a flag raising, musket firing, period concerts, games, a fashion show and many other events. Visitors will be able to tour military camps and shop at historical vendors.

With more than 250 actors, the annual event, which is free to attend, reenacts troops from the Revolutionary and French and Indian wars battling each other with everything from cannons to bare hands. Lighter moments are also featured, with historical actors playing voyageurs exploring the vast American wilderness from those times.

Frankenmuth’s Cass River property features a historic wooden bridge, which provides a perfect backdrop for this event.

“This event is a fun learning experience for the whole family,” said Michael Keller Zehnder, Cass River Encampment Event Coordinator and General Manager of the Bavarian Inn Lodge, who is thrilled to see history come to life.

If you are interested in participating in this family-fun event, reenactors can contact Brent Kemmer at Voyagers can contact Merlyn Hodge at


About Frankenmuth River Place Shops

Frankenmuth River Place Shops ( is an authentic re-creation of a Bavarian village located just minutes from the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge. The outdoor mall features more than 40 shops and attractions at one location. In addition to great shopping opportunities, visitors can enjoy historic architecture, floral gardens, streams, waterfalls, a full-service day spa, video arcade, tons of fudge, candies, popcorn and ice cream.

2017 Bavarian Festival

1 Jun

Make plans to attend the 2017 Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival!

The finishing touches are in the works for the 2017 Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival, which will take place Thursday, June 8 through Sunday, June 11, 2017. The festival, which is Michigan’s largest celebration of Bavarian heritage, has been a Frankenmuth tradition for over 50 years.

The event, created by William “Tiny” Zehnder and his wife Dorothy, started in 1959. The initial event was planned to celebrate the grand opening of the Bavarian addition of Fischer’s Hotel (now the Bavarian Inn Restaurant).

The first Bavarian Festival Parade in 1961 was attended by an estimated 10,000 people. Today, this festival in “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” has grown even bigger and was named one of the state’s “Top 5 Festivals” by AAA’s Michigan Living Magazine. This year continues the tradition with a new twist.

(Tiny & Dorothy Zehnder were the original Grand Marshals of the Bavarian Festival)

Visitors to this year’s festival will be greeted by a different format from years past, according to Frankenmuth Civic Events Council President Russ Uphold. “This year’s Bavarian Festival will be a ‘strassenfest,’ – a street festival, which will be taking place along Main Street near the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and the Zehnder Park. We expect to have three main stages, with a different form of entertainment at each venue, such as polka music, Top 40 tunes, and more,” Uphold said. He noted the new location will include a Sommergarten, where festivalgoers can feast on traditional German fare and enjoy a frosty beverage. Children’s activities will be nearby.

(Bill Zehnder drives a group of guests in the Folkswagen tour Trolley in 1968)

The festival will be held in downtown Frankenmuth, with the main tent in Zehnder Park hosting a number of traditional German entertainers. There will also be a “rock” tent behind Tiffany’s, which will feature the Sinclairs and Bromantics on Friday and Saturday night. But that’s not even scratching the surface of what visitors can enjoy. The festival will start off on Thursday with a Princess Coronation and Keg Tapping. On Friday, guests can take part in a Chicken BBQ and Maypole Raising Ceremony. There will also be Festival Olympics at 7 p.m.

(Tiny & Dorothy Zehnder along with friends at one of the early Bavarian Festivals)

The fun starts early on Saturday, with a pancake breakfast and Bloody Mary bar starting at 8 a.m. There will be events for all ages – from Kinder Platz kids’ activities, a children’s/kids parade at 10 a.m., an Instagram Scavenger Hunt, to a brat, snacks and beer meal! Click here to view the fesitval’s schedule of events.

(Matriarchs Dorothy Zehnder & Irene Bronner pose at a recent Bavarian Festival Parade)

Everything is wrapped up with the big Bavarian Festival parade on Sunday, June 11, with more than 100 marching units making their merry way along Main Street.

Sounds like fun? Mark your calendar and celebrate the heritage of Frankenmuth. Start planning your visit by making reservations at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and the Bavarian Inn Lodge because bookings fill up quickly as the festival dates grow nearer. Hope to see you here!

Frankenmuth River Place Shops to host Dog Bowl 2016

14 May


The Dog Bowl at the Frankenmuth River Place Shops will take place on May 28th and 29th, 2016 and include a number of exciting events like dock diving and disc competitions, a costume contest and obstacle courses! 

Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, there’s now a mobile app that translates what your dog says into English. The following monologue (or “dogologue,” if you will) was provided by Gracie, my Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen:

I’ve been trying to tell you for a couple of years now that I want to try out for the Olympics! I’m young. I have enormous energy, as you keep telling me. There isn’t a squirrel in the neighborhood that isn’t terrified of me! (They run away from me, don’t they?)

Well, I heard about an amazing event called the Dog Bowl at the end of May! It is held at the River Place Shops in Frankenmuth, and it’s supposed to be the world’s largest dog Olympics! We really have to go! It happens on Memorial Day weekend. Oh, can we? Please? [Gracie was jumping up and down at this point.]

While you were out running, I went on YouTube and found the channel for the Bavarian Inn Lodge, one of Michigan’s top rated family hotels. There was a video of the Dog Bowl at the Frankenmuth River Place Shops, and in it were all these dogs having fun running, doing tricks, and chasing flying discs up in the air! There were big dogs, little—dare I say yappie—dogs, and dogs that look like frankfurters, and they were all having so much fun! There were dogs jumping into a pool after a toy; I think it was called a DockDog Competition. There were also dogs jumping obstacles and dogs in costumes, some of them even matching their humans!  LOL, imagine that!

Although I’m a very special breed, that doesn’t matter! You just have to be a dog! And I’m a dog, even though I’m special.

I almost forgot to tell you; there were balloons there at the same time—big hot air balloons! I would want to go in one so I can look down on everyone! They were racing balloons, and they race in packs, just like dogs do. The humans high up in the balloons must have a lot of wind in their faces, just like when I stick my head out the car window. At night, the balloons parked right by the Frankenmuth River Place Shops and just glowed in the night sky. How cool is that?

Oh, I’m so excited! Please take me to Dog Bowl, please! Please! Please! I can’t think of anything I’d rather—uh oh, there’s a squirrel!

This is Gracie’s person again. You can find out more about what Gracie was barking about by going to You’ll find details about the event, photos from past years, and a link to the little movies Gracie mentioned on YouTube. You can go for the day and bring your dog along, but I’d recommend staying the whole weekend. In 2016, the event will be held May 28th and 29th. Look into one of the best family hotels, the Bavarian Inn Lodge, and book a room (sorry, pets not allowed overnight).  I’d tell you how to get the dog-to-human translation app, but Gracie took my phone in her mouth when she went after that squirrel.

For more information on this event, visit the website at, contact us at 1-800-600-0105, or visit the River Place Shops at 925 South Main Street D-2, Frankenmuth, MI, 48734.

Snowfest 2016

27 Jan

January 27- February 1, 2016

World Class Double & Single Block Snow Sculpting Championships

State of Michigan Snow Sculpting Competition

High School Snow Sculpting Competition

100-Block Ice Carving Exhibition

U.S. National Collegiate Ice Carving Competition

Michigan Apple Recipe Competitions

Snowfest Battle of the DJ’s

WNEM-TV5 Live Broadcasts





Wein & Stein coming this Thursday!

29 Sep