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Asparagus Festival

May 18 - May 20


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Join us every third weekend in May for our annual celebration of asparagus!

— Updated 2018 schedule coming soon! —


Live Music & Pig Roast | 7–10pm
Entry fee is $5 per person, 16 and under is free!
Pig Roast is $11 per person
Dance, drink and be merry with us under the big tent! Strobelite Honey will be performing live and we’ll be serving up a delicious pig roast. It’s the perfect way to kick off the 2017 Asparagus Festival weekend!


Kick Yer Ass-paragus 5K Fun Run
Race starts at 10am, registration is at 9am at the Empire Public Beach.

Food & Beer Tent | 12pm – 10pm
Entry Fee is $5, 16 & under free entry!

Arts Fair | 10am – 4pm
The Empire United Methodist Church is hosting an Arts Fair featuring local artisans. Stop by the church anytime from 10 to 4 that day and support local artists!

Asparagus Cook-Off Recipe Contest | 12pm
Due to the popularity of this event, the audience will be limited to the first 80 people in line. 2017 Recipe Entry Form

Empire Area Museum | 1-4pm

Asparagus Parade | 1:30pm
A parade in Empire “is so nice, it goes around twice!” Anyone is welcome to participate, but must salute asparagus! We welcome the eccentric!
Just call Ashlea to be involved at 231-883-8297 or email besquirrely@gmail.com. Parade participants can begin to line up on Lake Street near the old Storm Orchard Barn at 1:15pm.

Ode to Asparagus Poetry Competition | 2pm
The poetry contest is open to all ages from the young to the more senior. Please send entries to info@glenlakelibrary.net with the following info:
– Name
– Age
– Contact info

Children’s Magic Show with Gordon Russ | 3:30pm
Located under the big tent on Front Street.


1–3pm Andre Villoch & Friends
5–7pm Benjaman James
7:30–9pm The Benzie Playboys


Acoustic Mead
Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery
Hearth & Vine Black Star Farms
Black Star Farms
Lake Ann Brewery
Laurentide Winery
Right Brain Brewery
St. Ambrose Cellars


Art’s Tavern
Deering’s Market
Kontiki Foods
MI Grill (Baytown Kitchen)
Norconk’s Fresh Asparagus
Pleva’s Meats
NJ’s India Kitchen
Rocco’s Old World Pizzeria
Scalawags Fish & Chips


The Zonta Club of Leelanau County is putting on a breakfast at the Township Hall from 9am–1pm.
Entry fee is $10 per person, children under 12 are $5. All proceeds go towards women and education in Leelanau County. Menu includes:
Scrambled eggs with cheese and asparagus
Regular scrambled eggs
Homemade asparagus muffins with butter
Home fried potatoes

This is a certified zero waste event thanks to Bay Area Recycling.


May 18
May 20


Empire Chamber of Commerce


Downtown Empire