Located about 90 miles north of Detroit, Frankenmuth, Michigan is known as “Little Bavaria” because it resembles a small Bavarian village. As Cleveland Christmas lovers know, Frankenmuth is home to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas store in the world (the size of 5.5 football fields).
On Thursday, June 6, Friday, June 7, Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, Frankenmuth will play host to more than 100,000 visitors who come to attend Frankenmuth’s 55th annual Bavarian Festival. It is approximately a 4 hour drive from Cleveland to Frankenmuth.
Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival Named one of the Top 5 Festivals in the state of Michigan, the Bavarian Festival has a multitude of activities, live music, a big parade complete with decorated floats and plenty of German food for all to enjoy. The Festival will take place at Harvey Kern Pavilion at Frankenmuth’s Heritage Park.
Among some of the activities and entertainment will be Bavarian music played by authentically dressed German bands, amusement rides and games, a craft area, a puppet show, a polka band jam and various performances by the Maibaum (Maypole) dancers.
Be sure you see the raising of the Maibaum on Friday at 6 p.m. A maibaum is a tall wooden decorated pole. In Bavaria it is usually painted in the traditional Bavarian colors of blue and white. While the true meaning has never been established, today the maibaum is looked upon as a symbol of celebration. The raising of Frankenmuth’s maibaum will be followed by a dance performance.
Food items available for purchase include bratwurst, barbecued chicken, homemade pretzels, barbecued pork sandwiches, German potato salad, hot dogs, sauerkraut, Jagerschnitzel and various German desserts. There will also be plenty of domestic and imported German beer.
The big parade will be held on Sunday, June 9 at 1 p.m. on Main Street. It will feature over 100 entries such as decorated floats (including one from Bronner’s), marching bands, dance clubs, entertainers, visiting dignitaries and the newly crowned Bavarian Princess and her court.
The theme of the parade this year is “Our Family Serving Your Family —Celebrating 125 years of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant”.
Admission to the Bavarian Festival on Thursday, June 6 is $2. Admission on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 is $7. Admission on Sunday is free. Hours for the Bavarian Festival are 5 p.m.- midnight on Thursday, 4 p.m. – midnight on Friday, 11 a.m. – midnight on Saturday and 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information about the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival call 800-386-3378 or get online at www.bavarianfestival.org.
It is approximately a 4 hour drive from Cleveland to Frankenmuth, Michigan. Take the Ohio Turnpike (I-80 West) to I-75 North (Exit 136).