16th annual Empire Asparagus Festival – May 17 & 18, 2019

16th annual Empire Asparagus Festival - May 17 & 18, 2019The 16th annual Empire Asparagus Festival takes place TODAY & Saturday (May 17 & 18) in the village of Empire. The annual celebration of Empire & asparagus is presented by the Empire Chamber of Commerce and features a whole lot of food & fun for every age! Some highlights:


Dance and Pig Roast Friday night on Front Street from 7pm to 10pm featuring the music of Jack Pine and a traditional pig roast! Entrance is $5 and the Pig Roast Price is TBA.


5k Kick Yer Ass-paragus Fun Run/Walk is a scenic run by the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan with registration at Empire public beach beginning at 9am and the race starting at 10. Prizes are awarded and all runners get free entry to festival, a free drink ticket, refreshments after the race and a customized t-shirt! Entry fee is $25 for standard runners and $15 for walkers and juniors up to 17 years old. All entry fees include t-shirt.

You’ll want to warm up your skillet for the Asparagus Recipe Contest and Cook-Off at noon at Empire Township Hall. The competition is open to all and participants create asparagus dishes for the public to sample while competing for cash prizes. This year, food vendors can also participate in the a professional category.

The Empire Area Museum (one of Leelanau’s finest museums) will be having an Open House from 1pm to 4pm.

The “Ode To The Asparagus” Poetry Contest happens at 2 PM at the Glen Lake Community Library which is in Empire at 10115 W Front St! Listen to or share your asparagus-themed poetry. All styles of poems are acceptable and prizes will be awarded. You can also check out the Glen Lake Library expansion plans!

16th annual Empire Asparagus Festival - May 17 & 18, 2019And of course, from noon to 10pm you can enjoy their Asparagus Eats + Wine and Beer Tasting under the Big Tent which is absolutely PACKED with great local food, drink & music!!


  • Art’s Tavern Glen Arbor (they posted the pickup truck full of asparagus!)
  • Pleva’s Meats
  • Nepalese Have Another
  • Scalawags Whitefish I Fresh Great Lakes Fish | Downtown…
  • The Empire Village Inn

The Festival is a Certified Local Food Event by Taste The Local Difference, who works to promote local farmers and food producers, as well as the businesses who support and stock them.


  • St. Ambrose Cellars
  • Right Brain Brewery
  • Lake Ann Brewing Co.
  • Northwoods Soda Children’s Soda Bar (Noon to 5pm)
  • …plus a selection of local wines!
16th annual Empire Asparagus Festival - May 17 & 18, 2019

K Jones & the Benzie Playboys by Liam Kaiser Creative


  • Amelia Vanderberg Piano Recital Noon to 1:30pm
  • Keith Scott Blues 1:30pm to 3:00pm
  • Stellar Association 4:00pm to 6:00pm
  • 5th GEAR Band 6:00pm to 8:00pm
  • K.Jones & the Benzie Playboys 8:00pm to 10:30pm


Children’s Magic Show with Gordon Russ – 3:00pm to 4:00pm

“Miss Asparagus on Stilts” Presented by Cherry Life Productions – 2pm to 4pm