Albion is a city in Calhoun County in the south central region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 9,144 at the 2000 census and is part of the Battle Creek Metropolitan Statistical Area. From the time that the earliest English-speaking settlers arrived, the area has also been known as The Forks, because it is situated at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Kalamazoo River. The Festival of the Forks has been held annually since 1967 to celebrate Albion's ethnic heritage. The presence of several major manufacturers since the 19th century has given Albion the reputation of a factory town. Albion College is a private liberal arts college with a student population of about 1,950. Albion is a sister city with Noisy-le-Roi, France. Albion is the birthplace of food writer M. F. K. Fisher.