Rochester area is the place to be Sept. 25-26

One community that has a bustling suburban lifestyle going on these days is Rochester/Rochester Hills. Just two weeks after the Art & Apples Festival brings thousands of art lovers to town, and one week before the Brooksie Way half-marathon returns, the weekend of Sept. 25-26 will be a great example of the many thriving activities in this residential, northern Oakland County community: a fall festival, historic home tour, lobster boil, farmers market, cider mill—the list goes on.

“One sign of a vibrant community is a calendar packed with events, and Rochester and Rochester Hills is no exception,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett. “Each year, annual festivals and events attract guests from all four corners of Oakland County and truly enrich our lives as we welcome the signs of fall.”

Visitors will also notice that despite Michigan’s continuing economic doldrums, Rochester has a thriving downtown. Kristi Trevarrow, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority, recently announced that the retail vacancy rate stands at just 3.6 percent.

Many of these special events will benefit worthy local charities:

The Rochester Area Heritage Festival is Sept. 25-26 at Rochester College. The campus includes portions of the Clinton River and Clinton River Trail and a historic farmstead. The festival will offer hiking, kayaking, a Native American flute gathering, arts and crafts, food and two full days of live entertainment. Best of all, admission and parking are free.

The Rochester Mills Beer Company will host its immensely popular, 12th annual Oktoberfest Sept. 24-25 featuring German-style beers, food and music in a tent behind the brewery.

The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm will host a historic homes tour in downtown Rochester Saturday from noon-4 p.m.

Fieldstone Winery will hold its second annual Crush Festival Sunday.

The Rochester Junior Woman’s Club hosts its 12th annual Lobster Boil on Saturday. Lobsters are flown in fresh that morning from New England and can be ordered live or cooked to order for pick up at the Rochester Older Persons Commission.

The downtown Rochester Farmers Market season continues Saturday morning, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the corner of East Third and Water streets.

Yates Cider Mill dates back to 1863. Family owned and operated, this authentic, picturesque mill on the Clinton River offers home-pressed cider, doughnuts, fudge and ice cream. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. weekends.