Across the country, temperatures are dropping, leaves are changing colors, and fall festivals are in full swing. With events and attractions like baking competitions, corn mazes, and live music, fall festivals are a great way to enjoy a region’s local crops and unique culture. Here are some of the best harvest festivals in the country.
1. Madison County Covered Bridge Festival
If you’re near Winterset, Iowa, you won’t want to miss the parade, games and live entertainment found at the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival. The festival showcases the cultural heritage of the counties six covered bridges, five of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
2. Scarecrow Festival
St. Charles, Illinois is home to the Scarecrow Festival, where visitors get to vote for their favorite home-crafted scarecrow while enjoying a petting zoo, live entertainment, and food from local vendors.
3. North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival
This annual fall festival, which is hosted in Whiteville, North Carolina, features a pecan parade, a pecan cooking contest, and a 5k run. Visitors can also check out arts and craft displays while enjoying music from local rhythm and blues bands.
4. Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
Situated on the Columbia River in Hood River, Oregon, the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest treats visitors to a wide variety of fresh local produce, wine and beer tastings, homemade jams, and chocolate-covered cherries. Event goers can also enjoy all-day live entertainment and other family-friendly games and events.
5. National Apple Harvest Festival
Featuring more than 300 arts and crafts vendors, hayrides, and apple bobbing contests, the National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville, Pennsylvania is one of the best harvest festivals in the country. It’s especially enjoyed by history buffs, offering traditional Native American dancing demonstrations and displays with antique cars and farm equipment.
6. Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello
For tastings and chef demos, workshops and garden tours, and an abundance of kids’ activities look no further than the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. This Monticello, Virginia festival pays tribute to Thomas Jefferson’s agricultural and epicurean legacy.
7. Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival
For a one-of-a-kind experience, you won’t want to miss the Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival in Stowe, Vermont. This festival features three rounds of “pumpkin chuckin'” for people of all ages. Contestants build their own trebuchets to see who can hurl their pumpkin the farthest.
8. Acadia Night Sky Festival
Celebrate the starry night sky at the Acadia Night Sky Festival at the Acadia National Park in Maine. This unique festival offers events like kayaking tours, photography workshops, and star parties, giving star-lovers of all ages a fantastic array of events from which to choose.
9. Apple Butter Festival In Kimmswick
Drawing over 100,000 visitors to this small town, The Apple Butter Festival in Kimmswick, MO is filled with hundreds of vendors and lots of live entertainment throughout the town. Of course, The Kimmswick Historical Society will be making and selling their famous Apple Butter so be sure to pick some up!
10. Maine Harvest Festival
Get your holiday shopping knocked out early at the Maine Harvest Festival in Bangor, Maine. The festival features the arts and crafts, produce, and baked goods for dozens of vendors, offering something for everyone. Visitors can also learn about alpacas in the Alpaca 101 seminar or sample local specialties like whoopie pie and smoked salmon.
Fall festivals are the perfect excuse for taking a break from the mundane and enjoying great food and fun activities. If you live near any of these show-stopping festivals, pack up the car and create a new family tradition.