DescriptionPastors in Bavaria, concerned over the religious life of Lutheran immigrants and their Native American neighbors, sent a colony to the United States to demonstrate their faith on a day-to-day basis. Fifteen Franconians from Bavaria arrived in the Saginaw Valley in 1845 and named their settlement Frankenmuth, meaning “courage of the Franconians.”
The tribe soon moved elsewhere, but the Bavarian heritage remained and was reinforced by other arrivals from Germany. For many years after 1900 German remained the principal language of the community. The Old World atmosphere is still evident in the architecture.
The 35-bell automatic carillon in the Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel Tower plays selected melodies followed by a presentation of carved wooden figures depicting the legend of the Pied Piper of Hameln. Nearby is the 19th-century Holz-Brücke—Frankenmuth's wooden covered bridge that spans the Cass River.
Two annual events worth checking out if you are in the area at the right time are Frankenmuth Oktoberfest, held in late September at Heritage Park, and Zehnder's Snowfest, at Zehnder's Restaurant in late January. The former features traditions like dancing, polka music and German food, and the latter has ice carving and snow sculpting as well as entertainment and fireworks.
Visitor InfoFrankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau 635 S. Main St. FRANKENMUTH, MI 48734. Phone:(989)652-6106 or (800)386-8696
ShoppingBetween the downtown business district and Frankenmuth River Place—which is at 925 S. Main St. at the river—more than 100 shops can be found in Frankenmuth.
Things to SeeBronner's Christmas Wonderland