St. Joseph Fall Fest this weekend

Mini numbered pumpkins float in a pool during the Great Pumpkin Race presented by the Benton Harbor Sunshine Rotary during the 2018 Fall Festival held in downtown St. Joseph.

ST. JOSEPH — Favorite fall activities are coming together Sept. 20-21 in downtown St. Joseph. The Fall Fest weekend, planned by St. Joseph Today and sponsored by Spectrum Health Lakeland, includes the following activities:

• Sidewalk Sales from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

• The Great Bed Race, 4 p.m. Friday on Lake Boulevard, presented by the Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary. Onlookers can cheer teams as they race bed frames to the finish line. This fundraiser benefits Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary youth programs and the Slumberland Furniture 40 Winks Foundation that provides mattresses and beds to children who need them.

• The Critter Barn brings rural living to the city featuring goats, rabbits, ducks and more animals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Lake Bluff Park. Families can gather up just-harvested fruits and vegetables, locally raised meats, cider and fall decorations at the downtown Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., along Lake Bluff Park.

• Story Time on the Bluff with Forever Books, 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and the Benton Harbor Public Library, 12:30 p.m., will also be hosted on the bluff along with other activities including a face painter and balloon twisters from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• New for 2019 is Girls on the Run and the YMCA of Southwestern Michigan will host interactive booths for more family fun. Forté Coffee and Dog House Donuts will provide food and beverage for purchase.

• The Great Pumpkin Festival, presented by the Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary, from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Saturday. This event includes pumpkin carving and decorating contests and culminates with the Great Pumpkin Race at 1:45 p.m. Participants will cheer on a flotilla of mini numbered pumpkins dropped in a pool on site. The first five pumpkins to cross the finish line will win $1,000, $300, $200, $100 and $50. A $10 entry fee will benefit Benton Harbor youth programs. All tickets will be sold by 1:45 p.m. and entrants do not need to be present to win.

For information about Fall Fest or upcoming events, visit,, the Welcome Center on State Street, or call 985-1111.