I have a confession: I am a true blue lover of all things PEACH! I am lucky enough to have grown up in Romeo, where we host the annual Michigan Peach Festival. Peach Fest runs every Labor Day weekend, which butts right up to National Peach Month in August!
The Peach Festival has long been an important part of my family. My great grandparents chaperoned the Romeo Peach Queen in the 1940s, and both my grandfather and father drove fire trucks in the parades as members of the Romeo Fire Department. I was the Romeo Peach Queen in 2005 and, now I am the Director of the Romeo Peach Queen Pageant. You could say I have peaches in my soul!
The very first Michigan Peach Festival of Romeo kicked off in September of 1931. This is often noted as the event that put the small town of Romeo on the map. This Labor Day weekend marks the 87th anniversary of the festival, and there is no shortage of events in store. There are is also no shortage of all things peach. At local stores and orchards, you can find peach versions of candy, donuts, cider, wine, and a number of desserts. The chocolate covered peaches are my favorite!
The festival kicks off on Thursday, August 30th and runs through Monday, September 3th. There are multiple events taking place each day including a carnival, a large craft show. You will also find lots of great places to eat, and tons of family fun! There is also adult-only fun with two refreshment tents located on the fairgrounds.
Here are a few highlights:
Peach Festival 25th Annual 5K and 10K Run and 5K Walk, Thursday, August 30th
This annual tradition is an event for all ages and continues to grow each year. Awards are given in each gender and age group for each different race option. Not only is a great chance to get some exercise, but the event route shows the beautiful scenery that makes Romeo great. There is a small registration fee for the race that includes a commemorative shirt.
Peach Festival Fireworks, Friday, August 31st
New this year to Peach Festival is the fireworks being hosted at Crystal Diamonds. Entry is free, and the fireworks will set off around 9:30 PM/dusk.
Mid-Michigan Mini-Tractor Pull Competition, Friday, August 31st, and Saturday, September 1st
This free event takes place at Westview Orchards and Winery. Furthermore, local residents bring their tractors and test their pulling strength using a sled provided by the Mid-Michigan Mini Tractor Pulling Association. It’s an entertaining family event at a wonderful location.
KIDSFEST, Saturday, September 1st
Located in Romeo Village Park, KIDSFEST is a totally free event for kids 14 and under. There are several different games and relays that children can participate in, including the water balloon toss, and a peach pie eating contest. Kids can also take a ride on a choo-choo train, visit with a clown, and listen to entertainment from two local show choirs.
Peach Festival Classic Car Show and Charity Car Cruise, Sunday, September 2nd
The Classic Car show kicks off at 8 AM at the Romeo Ford Engine Plant. Cars from all over will line the parking lot for what can be hours of fun checking them all out! The cars from the show leave the plant and head into downtown Romeo for the Charity Car Cruise that rolls out at 7:30 PM.
Bed Races and Night Parade, Sunday, September 2nd
The Bed Races roll right through downtown Romeo prior to the Charity Car Cruise. Teams of four bring their ‘bed’ that they built and race in heats, completing obstacles along the way. It is very entertaining, and with a cash prize at stake, the teams really get into it! Following the cruise, is the night parade (formally know as Mummers Parade). During this event, local organizations and groups have fun dressing up and getting into the theme, which this year is “Board Games.”
Children’s Parade, Monday, September 3rd
The Children’s Parade kicks off at 10 AM and heads through downtown Romeo. Additionally, local businesses and organizations dress up and prepare their vehicles to match this year’s theme of “On The Farm.” There are fire trucks, dance troops, Boy and Girl Scout organizations, and of course, the Romeo Peach Queen on hand.
Labor Day Floral Parade, Monday, September 3rd
The Floral Parade is somewhat of a symbol for the closure of the festival each year. The parade steps off at 1:30 PM and spans almost two full miles. Businesses, organizations, and individuals come from all over to participate in this long-standing tradition. The parade kicks off with the Grand Marshall, which is an honor given to a local individual who has made a big impact on the community. There are lots of smiles, and even more, candy to catch as the floats roll by!
For a full list of events by day, be sure to check out the daily schedule. Grab a peach doughnut or peach wine, and head into Romeo for a great weekend!