Only in South Haven

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Events & Festivals

Your Guide to South Haven's Haven Harvest Festival

Published: 10/15/2019 by Amanda Peet

Cooler temperatures, hats and scarves, donuts and cider, pumpkins and hayrides. South Haven's Haven Harvest festival includes many traditions of the fall season. Bundle up and enjoy this charming fall festival!


Haven Harvest begins on Friday, October 18 and ends Sunday, October 20.



South Haven’s community theatre group Our Town Players are performing their “Harvest Horror” play at the historic Masonic Temple on Center Street. This performance will provide an evening of horror designed to "ruin many nights of your peaceful slumber". A collection of four short psychological thrillers, these stories will be reminiscent of the classic “Twilight Zone” television program. Tickets are available at the door: $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens. This aims to be an adult-only program, so children under the age of 16 are not allowed. What a fun, and spooky, start to the festival!


If you aren’t able to make the Friday program, “Harvest Horror” will be performed on Saturday night as well. 



Once you are up and around on Saturday, two separate events will begin to take place at 10 AM. Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of South Haven, or wanting to get a few extra steps in a beautiful neighborhood, join in on a walking tour of historic North Shore Drive with host Joe Ashen. The tour starts at the northeast corner of Dyckman and North Shore Drive, lasts approximately 90 minutes, and ends at Bunde’s Bakery Cafe. You are welcome to join in or opt out at any point along the tour. Bring your walking shoes!


Also beginning at 10 AM is the Mitten Made Makers Market, organized by the South Haven Center for the Arts. You are invited to downtown Dyckman Park (the usual host of the annual South Haven Farm Market) to come see artists put on a fantastic display of unique jewelry, trinkets and artwork, all custom-made by Southwest Michigan artisans. Michigan made cuisine will be among the choices!

Photo courtesy of Dylan Nelson


Beginning at noon, there will also be a pie sampling station located at Dyckman Park, provided by St. Basil Catholic Church. You can buy a whole pie, or just a slice for $2! Yum!


Attending Haven Harvest is a fantastic opportunity to experience South Haven during the fall. When you arrive in South Haven, you’ll be greeted by a large majority of the summertime shops, open and ready for your business. Make sure to enjoy shopping, food and drinks by our locally owned shops and eateries. In addition, visit a nearby orchard or farm market for u-pick apples, pumpkins, and other seasonal amusement. Bumbleberry Acres, Overhiser Orchards, Dutch Farm Market and Barden’s Farm Market are fantastic local choices.


While you are strolling around the downtown area, take note of the scarecrows in front of the different businesses. Merchants and restaurateurs are participating in a Best Scarecrow contest. The winning categories are: Cutest, Funniest, and Scariest. See one you think should win? Stop into the store or restaurant that has your favorite scarecrow, ask for a ballot under the category you think the scarecrow should win, and place it into the ballot box, located in front of Chemical Bank in the center of the town (corner of Phoenix Street and Center Street).



Let’s move onto Riverfront Park, (arguably) one of the most scenic areas in South Haven. Riverfront Park is your hub for exciting games and activities for the whole family, beginning at noon and lasting until 4 PM. Join in on the free games, balloon artists, face painting, and of course, prizes for all who take part.  


Horse-drawn hayrides will run for the same amount of time, beginning at Riverfront Park and travelling down to South Beach. Rides are free and last about 15 minutes.


Michigan Theatre will host pumpkin painting from 1 PM to 4 PM at the Park. They’ll provide the pumpkins, all you need are your brilliant ideas and skills! Of course, special prizes will be awarded to the best decorated pumpkins!


Photo courtesy of Dylan Nelson


Speaking of pumpkins, you won’t want to miss this next event running from 2 PM to 4 PM. Have you ever wanted to throw a pumpkin? We have something like that happening on the riverfront: Pumpkin Chuckin’ in the River! Watch pumpkins fly as kids and kids at heart slingshot them (using a giant slingshot, of course) into the water! Take your turn at chuckin’ a pumpkin and earn a prize!


Photo courtesy of Dylan Nelson


At this point, you’ll probably be ready to recharge and refuel for the upcoming evening events. Head back over to Dyckman Park and the Huron Street Pavilion for a bite to eat and a sip of wine, or beer (or water!) hosted by the South Haven Rotary Club. Live music will begin at 5 PM and end at 10 PM. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes, there will be plenty of room to show off your moves!



You’ll know it’s time for the evening events when the headless horseman rides throughout the downtown streets of South Haven. Keep your eyes peeled, it will be a sight to see.



Once you have spotted the horseman, headless and all, head over to the Michigan Maritime Museum to listen to legendary Great Lakes balladeer Lee Murdock, who will be performing a narrated concert full of supernatural legends and spooky tales, titled: “Great Lakes Ghosts”.


If you weren’t able to catch the Our Town Players performance of “Harvest Horror”, Saturday is your last chance to view the play at 7:30 PM at the Masonic Temple.


Or, keep dancing under the lights of the Huron Street Pavilion. There are options for people of all tastes. Let loose, relax, and enjoy yourself as the sun goes down over this perfect Saturday filled with fall delights.


Photo courtesy of Dylan Nelson



Sunday is set to be a relaxing day. Catch the pet costume parade, or walk in it, from 11 AM to noon down Phoenix Street to the Huron Street Pavilion, hosted by Decadent Dogs. Prizes will be awarded to the scariest costume, the funniest costume, and the best matching owner and pup costumes!



Once the pet excitement has ended, the annual BOO on Your Bike event at the Kal-Haven Trail will take place. Riders of all ages are invited to dress up in costume and get out for a scenic fall bicycle ride on the Kal-Haven trail. Prizes, candy, apple cider, donuts and free helmets for children will all be given out. Also, there will be a bike rodeo, supported by the South Haven Police Department. Expect to see fairies, witches, goblins and ghouls along your ride during BOO on Your Bike!


We hope to see you there!


About the Author

Amanda Owens is a resident of South Haven, MI and is the Guest Services and Social Media Coordinator for the South Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in Public History, and is delighted to help visitors with their trips to South Haven. 

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South Haven/Van Buren County Convention and Visitors Bureau
546 Phoenix Street
South Haven, MI 49090
Phone: 269 637-5252