Press Room

Welcome to the Bavarian Inn Lodge Press Room



Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn Lodge, America’s largest Bavarian-themed resort, has, since its opening, embarked on and completed seven major property project investments totaling $40 million at the lodge, as well as its Family Fun Center.

We invite you to download the press releases, photos and captions here. And check back often for updates featuring new announcements, photos and videos.

Fact Sheet

Questions and media interview requests contact:
Sue Voyles
sue@logos-communications.com
734-667-2005



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Artwork: Concept of expansion rendering

Video of Michael Keller Zehnder, Lodge President, making announcement: https://logoscommunications-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/sue_logos-communications_com/ERC-jbuchxxJqEC3RDJmKKABAsP_cN78Ng6_YAZylwEq3w?e=HJEXCS 

Major indoor water park expansion planned at Bavarian Inn Lodge

December 13 groundbreaking planned

$80 million project will add 20-plus new attractions, including many water slides, wave pool and adult swim up bar

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – November 21, 2022 – A major expansion of the Bavarian Inn Lodge, one of Frankenmuth’s major attractions, is planned to begin soon as the Lodge seeks to dramatically expand its water park amenities and Family Entertainment offerings.

A groundbreaking ceremony is planned to take place on Tuesday, December 13 at 10 a.m., for the $80 million project. When completed, the new amenities will make the Bavarian Inn Lodge Michigan’s largest indoor water park and family entertainment center, at more than 140,000 square feet of family fun.

The new expansion will open to guests in the spring of 2024, with some of the new family fun center areas opening in late fall of 2023. The General Contractor for the expansion is R.C. Hendrick & Son, Inc., who have built all previous six phases of the Lodge.

“We are truly raising the bar on fun at the Lodge, creating unique attractions and new types of experiences within our resort,” said Michael Keller Zehnder, President of the Bavarian Inn Lodge. “This expansion will help us to advance our goal of creating fun and enjoyable experiences for all ages. We are reimagining family fun and see this as an exciting project for all of Frankenmuth.”

The current Family Fun Center will remain in operation throughout the project, said Zehnder, with no disruptions to the Lodge’s conference and banquet center, guest rooms and all of the hotel amenities already in place, including current family water slides, pools and restaurants. More exciting details will be released throughout the stages of construction.

About Bavarian Inn Resort:  The Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Resort is a Midwest Resort destination for families and groups alike, who seek enjoyable experiences in lodging, dining, shopping, special events, and conference/meeting services. The resort includes Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth River Place Shops, the ResidenZ at Bavarian Inn, and more.

About Bavarian Inn Lodge: For over 36 years, nestled along the banks of the Cass River in Frankenmuth, is one of the state’s largest indoor water park hotels. The Lodge, currently managed by the 3rd and 4th generation Bavarian Inn family members, has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square foot Family Fun Center houses two thrilling water slides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. Banquet facilities can accommodate events for 2-500 guests to enjoy Old World Charm with modern technology and delicious meals. In over 36 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 2.5 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn Lodge online press room: https://bavarianinnlodge.logos-communications.com

Bavarian Inn matriarch, Dorothy Zehnder, celebrating 101st birthday December 1

Wishing Dorothy a Happy Birthday this year

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – Nov. 18, 2022 – Dorothy Zehnder, beloved co-founder of the family-owned Bavarian Inn Resort that includes the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth Gift Shops Inc. and Frankenmuth River Place Shops, will celebrate her 101st birthday on Thursday, Dec. 1.

At 101 years young, Dorothy still maintains close contact with her family and her favorite places, like the kitchens at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.

“Even at 101, Dorothy still loves what she does,” says granddaughter Amy Zehnder Grossi. “She loves good food, being with people, and playing card games — and she’s still great at it, too.”

For more than 85 years, Dorothy has been instrumental with the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn and the many operations under that name. Besides the restaurant, the diverse array of businesses include the Bavarian Inn Castle Shops, the Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth River Place Shops, Covered Bridge Shop, Frank’s Muth retail store, a specialty line of food products, a family foundation and an online store.

A Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and recipient of the Saginaw Lifetime Achievement Award, Dorothy is also the author of three cookbooks, “Cookies and Bars” published in 1986, “Come Cook with Me,” published in 2011, and the follow-up “From My Kitchen to Yours,” published in 2014. Her most recent cookbook “From My Kitchen to Yours” is filled with stories about Dorothy, cooking, her family and the German-themed restaurant they created.

Dorothy, growing up on a farm in nearby Reese, Michigan, founded the Bavarian Inn with her late husband, William “Tiny” Zehnder. At full employment the Bavarian Inn Corporation has approximately 1,000 employees, serves thousands of people in a day and more than 900,000 meals annually, and ranks in the top 50 largest family-run restaurants in the USA.

Dorothy’s children and their spouses, along with 4 of her grandchildren – a total of 8 family members – work every day to continue the success story of the Bavarian Inn. Dorothy loves spending time with her children, 10 grandchildren, and 23 great grandchildren.

Fans of Dorothy are invited to send her birthday greetings by email: events@bavarianinn.com. Dorothy and her immediate family will celebrate her 101st birthday with a 101 Dalmatian themed party. At 101, Dorothy still loves a good party!

About Bavarian Inn Resort:  The Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Resort is a Midwest Resort destination for families and groups alike, who seek enjoyable experiences in lodging, dining, shopping, special events, and conference/meeting services. The resort includes Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth Gift Shops Inc., and Frankenmuth River Place Shops.

About Bavarian Inn Lodge: For over 36 years, nestled along the banks of the Cass River in Frankenmuth, is one of the state’s largest indoor water park hotels. The Lodge, currently managed by the 4th generation Bavarian Inn family members, has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square foot Family Fun Center houses two thrilling water slides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. Banquet facilities can accommodate events for 2-500 guests to enjoy Old World Charm with modern technology and delicious meals. In over 36 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 2.5 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn Lodge online press room: https://bavarianinnlodge.logos-communications.com

About Bavarian Inn Restaurant: Celebrating over 134 years of service, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant has become a Michigan landmark. Generations of diners, lodgers and tourists from around the globe have discovered true Bavarian hospitality in this 1,200 seat restaurant thanks to Dorothy and her late husband William “Tiny” Zehnder. Guests experience the old-world European charm of the Bavarian Inn – whether it’s the famous chicken dinners, fresh baked goods or Michigan’s greatest selection of German beer. Bavarian Inn also prides itself on being one of the top consumers of Pure Michigan agricultural products, striving to serve more Michigan-grown and produced foods and Michigan-produced beverages than any other restaurant. Nestled within the backdrop of authentic German architecture, a variety of shops and other fun activities, a trip to Frankenmuth would not be complete without a visit to the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn Restaurant online press room: https://bavarianinn.logos-communications.com/

New Year’s Eve celebrations to take over Bavarian Inn Resort

  • Dueling Pianos offer a night of entertainment
  • Gala party for grown-ups with food, music and fun
  • Family-themed party offers wide array of food and fun activities

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – Nov. 15, 2022 – Those looking for a fun way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Frankenmuth this year can ring in 2023 at the Bavarian Inn Resort where plans are underway for a big night of parties for hotel and restaurant guests alike.

At the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, guests can enjoy the New Year’s Eve Dueling Pianos Dinner Show, starting at 6 p.m. Piano group Cool 2 Duel will be returning to the restaurant to play a musical repertoire ranging from Country to Today’s Hits. Audiences will be able to enjoy the entertainment along with hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet meal, delicious desert and a champagne toast to ring in the new year. A full cash bar will be available all evening.

Tickets for this event are $100 and can be purchased through https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ring-in-2023-with-cool-2-duel-at-the-bavarian-inn-restaurant-tickets-429736201547.

In addition, the Bavarian Inn Lodge is offering two special parties for hotel guests.

Adults who partake in the annual New Year’s Eve Gala will enjoy the Lodge’s signature all-star gourmet buffet, which includes passed hors d’oeuvres, stations for soup and salad, appetizers, seafood, “chef created” items and a hot buffet and desserts. There will be a cherries jubilee station as well as a midnight soup buffet with lobster bisque, chili, and more. Other highlights include carved prime rib, smoked salmon, Frankenmuth® chicken, Vietnamese pork lettuce rolls, shrimp cocktail ceviche and whitefish remoulade.

The evening includes a cash bar from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. with the gourmet dinner from 6:45-8:30 p.m. and entertainment from “Ceyx,” performing everyone’s favorite dance tunes, from the 50s up to today’s contemporary hits from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Reservations are required and the cost is $129 per person, which also includes other activities throughout the hotel, a champagne toast at midnight, plus a New Year’s Day breakfast buffet beginning at 9:30 a.m. and all taxes and gratuities. The other parties will be in the Lodge courtyard and the Ratskeller between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

The NYE Family Celebration at the Lodge offers kids and grown-ups music, party favors, a global countdown and an expansive dinner buffet with a cash bar and breakfast buffet the next morning. The buffet includes soup and salad stations and features carved prime rib, Frankenmuth® chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, buttered corn and Bavarian Inn Blue Hubbard squash. The dessert buffet includes build-your-own-sundae station, Rice Krispie squares and chocolate mousse and includes coffee, tea, milk and sodas.

The family dinner runs from 5-8 p.m. with the breakfast buffet seating between 9:30-11 a.m. Guests can also enjoy after-dinner entertainment in the Ratskeller between 4:30 p.m. (karaoke and music) and 12:30 a.m., as well as DJ Jengel in the courtyard after 8:30 p.m.

The family package, which includes all taxes and gratuities, is priced at $89 for adults, $49 for children ages 2-12, and free for children under age 2.

And, to make the experience even better for late-night revelers, hotel guests are just steps away from their comfy European-themed guest room, ready to wake up and greet 2023.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (989) 652-7200. Add either of these fun-filled party options to your guest room reservation by calling or visiting www.bavarianinn.com  for more information and to book reservations.

About Bavarian Inn Resort:  The Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Resort is a Midwest Resort destination for families and groups alike, who seek enjoyable experiences in lodging, dining, shopping, special events, and conference/meeting services. The resort includes Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Bavarian Inn Lodge, and Frankenmuth River Place Shops.

About Bavarian Inn Lodge: For over 36 years, nestled along the banks of the Cass River in Frankenmuth, is one of the state’s largest indoor water park hotels. The Lodge, currently managed by the 3rd and 4th generation Bavarian Inn family members, has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square foot Family Fun Center houses two thrilling water slides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. Banquet facilities can accommodate events for 2-500 guests to enjoy Old World Charm with modern technology and delicious meals. In over 36 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 2.5 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn Lodge online press room: https://bavarianinnlodge.logos-communications.com

About Bavarian Inn Restaurant: Celebrating over 134 years of service, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant has become a Michigan landmark. Generations of diners, lodgers and tourists from around the globe have discovered true Bavarian hospitality thanks to Dorothy and her late husband William “Tiny” Zehnder. Guests experience the old-world European charm of the Bavarian Inn – whether it’s the famous chicken dinners, fresh baked goods or Michigan’s greatest selection of German beer. Bavarian Inn also prides itself on being one of the top consumers of Pure Michigan agricultural products, striving to serve more Michigan-grown and produced foods and Michigan-produced beverages than any other restaurant. Nestled within the backdrop of authentic German architecture, a variety of shops and other fun activities, a trip to Frankenmuth would not be complete without a visit to the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Frankenmuth Dog Bowl wins national awards 

Event honored with Pinnacle Awards for best event/program, best event website

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – November 8, 2022 – The world’s largest Olympic-style festival for dogs and their people has been honored by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) through its Pinnacle Awards program.

The 65th annual awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments and creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.

Awards were handed out in 73 different categories, and the Frankenmuth Dog Bowl received a gold award for Best Event Website (budget under $100,000) and a silver award for Best Event/Program Within an Event to Benefit a Cause (budget under $100,000). Awards were presented during the IFEA convention in September.

The Frankenmuth Dog Bowl festival, in May at the River Place Shops, draws more than 100,000 visitors for competitions, border collie sheep herding demonstrations, a pet parade and costume contest, trick competitions and doggie fun run races. It is free to the public and will celebrate 17 years in 2023.

The festival is part of Frankenmuth Dog Bowl, Inc. – a nonprofit organization that advocates for responsible pet ownership through educational programs and world-class events like the annual Dog Bowl!.

“Our entire team works very hard to create great experiences for all of our guests, whether they are humans or canines,” said Michael Zehnder, owner of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Inc., which owns and operates River Place Shops. “We are proud to be honored by the IFEA.”

Thanksgiving Day is a delicious celebration with family dinner options from the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge 

Enjoy Restaurant take home dinner or take in the Lodge’s annual Harvest Buffet

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – Nov. 3, 2022 – The culinary team at Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn Resort have created an array of wonderful choices for families who want to celebrate Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 24) at home or in Michigan’s “Little Bavaria.”

This year the Bavarian Inn Restaurant is offering a take-home dinner option, while the Bavarian Inn Lodge’s sumptuous annual Thanksgiving Harvest Buffet takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

The Bavarian Inn Restaurant offering a complete take home roasted turkey dinner that serves four people. The menu includes a whole roasted (10-14 lb.) turkey and quarts of mashed potatoes (with a pint of gravy), baked dressing, buttered noodles, Blue Hubbard squash, coleslaw and cranberry relish. It also includes Bavarian Inn chicken seasoning and a loaf of Bavarian Inn house made bread. Guests can also add a large apple or pumpkin pie for $15. There are options for adding Frankenmuth chicken as well, but no substitutions are available for the meal package.

The cost of the take home dinner is $149 (plus taxes) and needs to be pre-ordered by 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20. Pickup dates will be Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Thursday, Nov. 24 at designated times in the Castle Shop Bakery’s north entrance. For those who have more mouths to feed, orders can be doubled for only $100 more. To order the dinner, call (989) 652-9941.

Preparations are underway for the annual Thanksgiving Harvest Buffet at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. During the buffet, guests will enjoy piano music and dozens of savory dishes, ranging from starters and salads like cherry pecan salad, creamy coleslaw, German mustard potato salad and more, to traditional holiday fare like Frankenmuth Chicken, carved turkey, prime rib.  Many favorite side dish options will be included, Frankenmuth dressing, buttered noodles, whipped potatoes, dressing, mac and cheese, and much more!  Traditional desserts will make the meal complete featuring apfel strudel, pumpkin pie, bread pudding and chocolate mousse.

Seating times are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the cost is $41.95 for adults, $19.99 for children 8-12, $14.99 for children 3-7, and free for children two and under. Prices include sales tax and 16% gratuity. Reservations are required by calling (989) 652-7200.

About Bavarian Inn Resort:  The Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn is a Midwest Resort destination for families and groups alike, who seek enjoyable experiences in lodging, dining, shopping, special events, and conference/meeting services. The resort experience includes Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth River Place Shops, and the ResidenZ at Bavarian Inn.

About Bavarian Inn Restaurant: Celebrating over 134 years of service, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant has become a Michigan landmark. Generations of diners, lodgers and tourists from around the globe have discovered true Bavarian hospitality thanks to Dorothy and her late husband William “Tiny” Zehnder. Guests experience the old-world European charm of the Bavarian Inn – whether it’s the famous chicken dinners, fresh baked goods or Michigan’s greatest selection of German beer. Bavarian Inn also prides itself on being one of the top consumers of Pure Michigan agricultural products, striving to serve more Michigan-grown and produced foods and Michigan-produced beverages than any other restaurant. Nestled within the backdrop of authentic German architecture, a variety of shops and other fun activities, a trip to Frankenmuth would not be complete without a visit to the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn Restaurant online press room: https://bavarianinn.logos-communications.com/

About Bavarian Inn Lodge: For over 36 years, nestled along the banks of the Cass River in Frankenmuth, is one of the state’s largest indoor water park hotels. The Lodge, currently managed by the 3rd and 4th generation Bavarian Inn family members, has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square foot Family Fun Center houses two thrilling water slides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. Banquet facilities can accommodate events for 2-500 guests to enjoy Old World Charm with modern technology and delicious meals. In over 36 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 2.5 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn Lodge online press room: https://bavarianinnlodge.logos-communications.com

Prominent business leader, Judy Zehnder Keller, has died

Legacy includes Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn Restaurant & Lodge, Cheese Haus & multiple retail stores.

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – October 19, 2022 – One of Frankenmuth’s legendary businesswomen, Judy Zehnder Keller, died peacefully at her home in Frankenmuth on October 19, 2022 with members of her family by her side.

A long-time entrepreneur, community leader, women’s advocate, working mother, wife and grandmother, Zehnder Keller was the eldest daughter of the Bavarian Inn Zehnder family founders Tiny and Dorothy Zehnder. She was 77.

Zehnder Keller, a Frankenmuth native, would always say she, “fries chicken and makes beds for a living.” We all know she has done so much more over the last 60-plus years when she officially started working at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant in 1960 with her parents. Founder and president of the Bavarian Inn Lodge, she built the resort in 1986 and led it through six expansions. She helped develop and manage other family businesses in the community such as the Schnitzelbank Shop, Covered Bridge Shop, Frank’s Muth, and numerous retail stores within Frankenmuth River Place Shops. She was also the owner of the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus and in 2018 led its expansion to a new location on Main Street. In June 2022, she designed and donated Frankenmuth’s “Sister City Chair” in recognition of the 60th Anniversary relationship between Frankenmuth, Michigan and Gunzenhausen, Germany.

Public funeral services will be held at Cederberg Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Underground Railroad, CAN Council, and the German Heritage Fund at the Frankenmuth Community Foundation. She will be interned at St. Lorenz Lutheran Church.

Zehnder Keller is survived by her husband of 53 years, Don Keller, along with her children, Michael Keller Zehnder (Kimberly), Martha Zehnder Kaczynski (John), and William Zehnder Keller and 5 grandchildren.

The family released the following statement:

“Today we mourn the passing of our beloved wife, mother and grandmother and thank the entire community for its support during this time. Judy Zehnder Keller was a true pioneering businesswoman in our community and her legacy will be long remembered by those who love the Bavarian Inn and our family’s commitment to this community.”

Following her graduation from Frankenmuth High School in 1963, Zehnder Keller attended Michigan State University where she earned her BA in Hotel and Restaurant Management, her master’s degree in Educational Psychology, and according to her, a doctorate in the card game pinochle.

After working 25 years at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Zehnder Keller decided to take the family business in a new direction and develop a piece of property on the east side of the Covered Bridge that is the present site of the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Today the Lodge is a top hospitality resort in all of Michigan with 360 guest rooms, indoor waterpark, family fun center, restaurants and conference space.

Throughout her career, Zehnder Keller was honored with many awards, a few of them including:

National Restaurant Association “Outstanding Women in Food Service Round Table Award,” the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association’s “Hotelier of the Year,” Michigan State University’s “Industry LEADER of the Year” and “Alumna of the Year,” both from The School of Hospitality Business. She also earned additional recognition as “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and ranked 10th out of 200 national finalists in Start Up Nation’s “Leading Moms in Business.” She was also recipient of the local Jaycees’ top honor, the Herbert L. Keinath Distinguished Service Award, for selfless local community contributions.

Though she was honored by many recognitions, Zehnder Keller was a true servant leader and didn’t care who received credit as she was interested in positive change for her community. Zehnder Keller was the first female Frankenmuth City Council Member (12 years). She was the first female Rotary Club member (1991) and first female president (2007-08). She was also chairperson for the Frankenmuth Sister City Committee for 22 years and served on the Frankenmuth Downtown Development Authority for 23 years. Appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm, Zehnder Keller served two terms on the Michigan Travel Commission and on the Michigan Hotel/Motel Board of Directors.

A unique opportunity arose when she was appointed by President Ronald Reagan for the Presidential Commission for the German-American Tri-Centennial, joining the delegation in Germany with then Vice President George H.W. Bush. She has had many leadership positions and assisted numerous organizations, ranging from CAN Council, Underground Railroad, American Red Cross, United Way, Convention & Visitor Bureaus, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission, Concordia University, and more. One of her favorite opportunities was being a coach for her son and daughter’s Little League games. Usually, she would wear her baseball hat and the team’s T-shirt over her German work uniform.

Today the William (Tiny) and Dorothy Zehnder family’s diverse array of businesses includes the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Castle Shops, Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth River Place Shops, Covered Bridge Shop, Frank’s Muth, Frankenmuth Cheese Haus, Frankenmuth Gift Shops Inc., a specialty line of food products, and an online store. The family also runs the William and Dorothy Zehnder Foundation.

When asked, Zehnder Keller would say she “believes that life’s journey is not to arrive at the gravesite safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, totally worn out, shouting…. HOLY MOSES….WHAT A RIDE!!!”

Well, Judy Zehnder Keller did just that and lived her life to the fullest in all aspects!

Scarecrow Fest offers pumpkin-themed activities at Frankenmuth River Place Shops 

Frankenmuth, Michigan – Celebrate autumn with two themed weekends of Scarecrow Fest at Frankenmuth River Place Shops in October.

Scarecrow Fest takes place from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16 and October 22 and 23 at River Place Shops, 925 S. Main Street in Frankenmuth. Activities include pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, arts and crafts, barrel train rides and the always-popular pumpkin catapult along with free family entertainment for each themed weekend. Some activities require a small fee – the event is free to attend.

Scarecrow Fest will feature traditional trick-or-treating from the stores. The schedule for each weekend includes dog or child costume parades around the outdoor shopping complex.

October 15 and 16 is Dog Weekend! Free entertainment will include high-energy shows by the Rock N Roll K9s Performance Team featuring tricks, relay racing, choreographed obedience routines and agility contests. Performances are at 11:00 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the Festival Platz near the Cass River Bar and Grill.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, guests can enter their four-legged friends in the Pet Costume Contest at 5 p.m. in the Fest Platz. Pre-registration is required for the contest from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Hello Cats and Dogs located at River Place Shops.

October 22 and 23 is Kids Weekend! Free family entertainment options include a Halloween-themed music,  yard games, magician, arts and crafts, along with a costume parade on Sunday, October 23 with traditional trick-or-treating around the complex.

For a full schedule, visit the Frankenmuth River Place Shops website.

Scarecrow Fest also includes a community-wide scarecrow-decorating contest. The public can view and vote for their favorite displays located throughout Frankenmuth and River Place Shops.

CONTACT:

Monika Sedik

Director of Events

Frankenmuth River Place Shops

989-652-6613, ext. 4

msedik@bavarianinn.com

Savor the end of summer at the Funtown Chowdown Food Truck Festival September 8

August 24, 2022 – FRANKENMUTH, MICH. – Head to Frankenmuth River Place Shops for the last Funtown Chowdown Food Truck Festival of 2022, taking place September 8 with approximately 25 food trucks from across Michigan and family-friendly activities.

The food truck festival is from 2 to 9 PM on Thursday, September 8 at Frankenmuth River Place Shops, 925 S. Main St. in Michigan’s Little Bavaria. Festival admission and parking is free.

Each food truck festival will showcase special activities and entertainment along with a variety of food. This month celebrates Oktoberfest! In addition to food trucks from across Michigan, guests will enjoy music entertainment, and a beer tent. There will also be plenty of shaded seating, and additional activities for families like face painting and inflatables. The event is pet-friendly; animals must be on a 6-foot leash at all times.

The food truck festival takes place on the east side of River Place Shops, Frankenmuth’s Bavarian-themed outdoor shopping complex with more than 40 shops and attractions. A variety of cuisine is available for purchase. Food trucks accept both cash and credit or debit cards; an ATM is also available onsite.

“We are excited to continue to offer a family-friendly environment and a community dinner like no other,” said Michael Keller Zehnder, owner of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn, Inc., which owns and operates River Place Shops.

The September 8 food truck lineup includes:

  • All City Dogs Street Cuisine
  • Bad Wolf BBQ
  • Batter Up Waffle Co.
  • Cheese Trap
  • Cluck Truck
  • Clyde’s Pit BBQ
  • Crazy Asian Yum Yum
  • From Scratch
  • Grand Traverse Pie Co.
  • Heaven on a Roll
  • J’ American Soul
  • Jay’s Dogs, LLC
  • Kona Ice of Saginaw
  • LumberJill Concessions
  • MI- strEATS
  • Nom Nom Ninja
  • Northern Smoke BBQ
  • Olvera’s BBQ
  • Scalici’s Wood Fired Pizza
  • Sweet Spinners
  • The Cruisin’ Chef
  • The Patty Wagon
  • Underground Cookie Club
  • Weezie’s Funnel Cakes
  • Whole Enchilada Mobile Kitchen
  • Wonder Burger
  • YaEatYet?

This lineup is subject to change according to food truck availability. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/464856338674908 .

 

 

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