Fun In ’21: Fall Festival Edition

Check out this list of epic fall festivals in every state

Sept. 14, 2021, / Source: as seen on TODAY

Coastal Bird Fest
Oct. 6-9

Alabama is the fifth most bio-diverse state in America. To celebrate, head down Spanish Fort to relish in the natural flora and fauna that 420 bird species, alligators, dolphins, and wildflowers call home. Birdfest features various workshops, such as bird calls, to become immersed in nature and understand its beauty.

Alaska Day Festival
Oct. 18

The Alaska Day Festival celebrates the transfer of Russian claimed Alaska to the U.S at Sitka on Oct. 18, 1867. Celebrating the diversity of cultures and Alaskan people, activities include the arrival of special guests, interpretive programs at museums and parks, exhibits and displays highlighting the history, pipe band appearances, and dances native to Alaska. Visitors can also compete in pastime races such as road races, kayak races, and croquet games.

Taco Festival
(Postponed to April 9 and 10, 2022)

Indulge in a “taco-topia” where 50+ restaurants dish out various tacos and tequila. Visit the holy hot sauce tent with the most eclectic and fearsome sauces while enjoying live music, DJs, and dancers. Don’t forget to stop by the Chihuahua beauty pageant showcasing 20 Chihuahuas in outrageous outfits.

Oct. 1-2

Let’s chop some wood! Timberfest has been held for more than 30 years to advance the prosperity of Grant County. On Oct. 1 and 2, enjoy lumberjack competitions, a 5k run, bow shoot, and the pinewood derby for participants of all ages, Timberfest attracts visitors from around the country to embrace the cowboy within.

Sonoma’s County Harvest Festival
(Postponed until 2022)

When life gives you grapes, stomp them into wine. Enjoy all things wine-related like award-winning wines, winery competitions, and the world championship Grape Stomp, where participants of all ages can stomp their troubles away from Oct. 8-9.

Sept 24-26

Hosted on the iconic Riverwalk, a Munich-Style street party will occur with live music from The Polkanuts. One can embrace and enjoy German culture with fall-themed beer and cuisine, “oompah” dancers, schnitzel, and a plethora of costumes in fall colors. Entry is limited to those who are 21 or older.

Olde Mistick Village Garlic Festival
Sept. 18-19

There won’t be any vampires here. Visit the Olde Mistick Village Garlic Festival peppered with live music and activities for kids. The real highlight is the local produce, preserves, baked goods, crafts, and concoctions made with garlic.

Sea Witch Festival
Oct. 29-31

Every October, Rehoboth Beach hosts the Sea Witch Festival with sea witch-themed costumed parades, lantern tours, museum exhibits exaggerating the urban legends of the sea-witch, and trick-or-treating for the kids.

Suwannee Hulaween
Oct. 28-30

Have a vibrant, youthful Halloween at Oak Woods notorious Suwannee Hulaween. The annual camping music festival is over Halloween weekend, featuring visual art extravaganzas, and live music. Artists featured this year are The String Cheese Incident, Leon Bridges, and Skrillex.

Duluth Fall Festival
Sept. 25-26

Established to promote fellowship and raise funds for their historical community, the Duluth Fall Festival is a town-wide celebration of its history. Attendance of 100,000, the Duluth Fall Festival is one of the most successful festivals in the southeast with concerts, carnival rides, parades, shopping, and- the real star of the show- the local fare.

Kona Cultural Fest
Nov. 4-7

The oldest food festival in Hawaii celebrates the state’s coffee pioneers, farmers, and artisans with farm tours, art shows and a coffee cupping competition at the Kona Cultural Fest. This year is the festival’s 50th anniversary, marking a unique itinerary with recipe contests, coffee displays, and farm tours.

Trailing of the Sheep
Oct. 6-10

Idaho has turned its annual relocation of livestock from the mountains to the winter pasture into a reason to celebrate. Watch sheep fill the streets in the Trailing of Sheep to preserve the history and culture of sheepherding in the west. For other activities, enjoy fair vendors and The Good Shepherd Monument as a reminder of the sheep industry.

Scarecrow Festival
Oct. 8-10

Handmade scarecrows will be showcased around St. Charles at the Scarecrow Festival for visitors to view and vote for their favorites. There will be a Family Zone with live entertainment, a professional pumpkin carver, and activities such as the Autumn on the Fox Craft Show.

Festival of the Turning Leaves
Sept. 24-26

It’s time to turn over a new leaf and attend the Festival of the Turning Leaves. With a plethora of activities and events for the whole family, such as a corn hole tournament and classic car show, the festival represents a time of rebuilding and self-love.

The Bridge Festival
Oct. 9-10

The Bridge Festival celebrates the seven covered bridges that have attracted visitors from all over the United States, people who came to see and admire or capture on canvas or film the bridge’s rustic charm. The bridge lends a note of nostalgia and is now memorialized in a festival. Enjoy a bridge tour, quilt shows on Saturday and Sunday, and a car show on Sunday, Oct. 10.

Renaissance and Scottish Fall Festival
Sept. 25

Come one, come all to the 21st annual Great Plains Renaissance and Scottish Festival. Enjoy a trip to the past with jests and jousts, aerial acrobatics, fire breathing daredevils, bagpipes, Celtic music, Vikings, fairy tales, and merchants.

World Chicken Festival
Sept. 23-25

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Laurel County, home of the original KFC restaurant, celebrates the life of Colonel Sanders through the World Chicken Festival. As a tribute to his heritage, the world chicken festival includes vendors from across the country showcasing their fried chicken and viewership to the world’s largest Stainless Steel Skillet!

Rice Festival
Oct. 14-17

Louisiana’s oldest agricultural festival is the International Rice Festival in Crowley. A poker rice run, classic car shows, carnival, a rice creole and cookery contest, and a rice-eating competition are perfect ways to pay homage to this cultural grain. Live music and a parade are also on par to celebrate the backbone of Cajun cooking.

Acadia National Park
Sept. 29-Oct. 3

This unique festival celebrates Acadia National Park’s starry skies with evening events such as kayaking tours and photography workshops to capture the beauty witnessed under the stars. Along the rocky coast, Acadia National Park is home to some of the last pristine, star-filled night skies where the Milky Way shines bright in the largest expanse of naturally dark sky. Cuddle up under the stars with your partner or family from Sept. 29-Oct. 3

Oct. 1-2 and 8-10

The beach season doesn’t end when summer does! O.C.-toberfest is Ocean City’s two-weekend celebration to kick off the fall. Enjoy a beach maze, the pet parade, a great pumpkin race in the ocean, and a Halloween costume party for the kids.

The Big E
Sept. 17- Oct. 3

The Big E has nearly 1.5 million people attending annually. Featuring a circus, mardi gras parade, agricultural competitions, food contests, and live music, the celebration highlights the community. This year, enjoy musical performances from Pat Benatar and Flo Rida and competitions such as the sheepdog trials and the ESE horse show.

Grand Ledge Fall Festival
Oct. 9

Leaf-peep from a riverboat as the towering hardwood trees reflect fall colors on the river at the color cruise. Enjoy Mother Nature’s captivating beauty on the water. Become one with the traditions on the mainland by drinking old-fashioned cider press, trading fur, watching woodcarvers, quilting and diamond digging. This old-time festival is coupled with American classics such as chili, caramel corn, root beer floats, and folk music, mixing past and modern-day Michigan.

Shakopee’s Fall Festival
Sept 10-Oct. 1

Home to the largest corn maze in the state, Shakopee’s Fall Festival has something for the whole family. The kids can enjoy pillow jumping, pumpkin blasting, and rides down the giant slide, while parents can relish the pumpkin sculptures, art installations, and live music. On Oct. 1, the fall lights appear to mark the end of the festival, creating an beautiful stoll under the lights.

Natchez Balloon Festival
Oct. 15-17

“I’m flying, Jack,” is what you’ll scream as you soar through the air in a hot air balloon above the Mississippi River at the Natchez Balloon festival. Heights aren’t your thing? Don’t worry. The family-friendly festival offers live music, arts and crafts from local artists, and carnival rides.

National Crafts and Cowboy Festival
Sept. 8-26

Giddy up! The National Harvest Festival brings back the salute to the Great American Cowboy, promoting the lore of the American West. The festival features more than 125 visiting craftsmen, professional stuntmen, and women performing extraordinary feats, a barn dance, Buck Taylor’s Cowboy Emporium, and a Wild West Show inspired by Buffalo Bill.

Fresh Hop Festival
Oct. 16

As the harvest comes to an end, celebrate with fresh-hopped beer styles from 30+ breweries, bluegrass music, and tasty eats from local food trucks. The Fresh Hope style is a seasonal brew by adding straight-out-of-the-field hop cones to a brew to create a unique floral flavor.

Autumn Festival
Nov. 4-7

Hundreds of the nation’s finest artists and crafters display and sell their handcrafted work at the annual Autumn Festival- An Arts and Crafts Affair. Featuring hourly gift certificate winners, entry to special exhibits across the city, and delicious food for the whole family to enjoy.

RiSE Festival
Oct. 1 and 2

The RiSE Lantern Festival in the Mojave Desert is designed to create memories and ignite dreams- we need it now more than ever. Gathering around with loved ones, people make lanterns, write wishes or affirmations, then release thousands of lanterns into the sky, lighting up the world with their feelings of hope.

New Hampshire
Hay Day
Oct. 3

Celebrate Hay day by browsing through the Farmer’s Marker to pick up pumpkins and local goods, creating a fairy house in Fairy Village, and taking a hayride through the beautiful Newbury scenery.

New Jersey
Allentown Fall Festival
Oct. 9-10

Bring the whole family to the Allentown Fall Festival to start the Halloween season right. Enjoy live music, a craft beer garden, civil war encampment, 100% local crafters and artisans, and specialty shops eateries offering Fall specials.

New Mexico
Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta
Sept. 22-26

Santa Fe isn’t just known for natural beauty. Visitors can relish in the products of the land with a four-glass tasting set of Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, a cooking demo of tapas and Sherry Pairing with James Campbell Caruso, champagne brunches, and a grand tasting at the Aspen Vista Terrace at the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta. No one under 21 is admitted, and each event is exclusive.

New York
Jack O’ Lantern Blaze
Sept. 17- Oct. 31

Wander the historic Van Cortlandt Manor grounds to explore the intricate designs created from more than 7,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns. Highlights include the immersive river display and the always-impressive New York skyline.

North Carolina
Autumn Leaves Festival
Oct. 8-10

The Autumn Leaves Festival showcases Mount Airy’s rich musical heritage of Old-Time, Blue Grass, and Gospel performed by local musicians. Engage with the 170 craftsmen lining the streets with unique arts and crafts demonstrating talent along with generations and enjoy “Food for the Soul” such as ham biscuits, cornbread, barbeque, and ground steak.

North Dakota
Fall Fargo
Sept. 18-19 and Sept. 25-26

Celebrate Fall at this free family-friendly event at Rheault Farm. Stop by the Pumpkin Patch for a family photo op, add leaves to the Gratitude Tree, stroll through the straw blaze maze, and play carnival games such as Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe.

Great Pumpkin Glow
Oct 16-17 and 23-24

The Great Pumpkin Glow will light up the night sky with more than 1,000 pumpkins to walk through and enjoy. Featuring gourds, mums, hay bales, corn stalks, and holiday lights, the glowing decorations will illuminate Westerville and make you feel like you’re walking through an autumn wonderland. Each design is intricate and immersive. Food, face painting, and live professional pumpkin carving will also be available.

Sept. 21-24

Oktoberfest has been a Tulsa trademark for 30 years. It is ranked one of the top Oktoberfest celebrations in the country, hosting authentic German Gemütlickeit, bier barrel races, a 5K, and a stein carrying and holding contest. Oktoberfest is the perfect way to kick off your fall season with live dancing, costumes, and endless beer.

Giant Pumpkin Regatta
UPDATE: This event has been canceled.

Want to take Halloween to the next level? On Oct. 16, put on your best costume and paddle on Lake at Tualatin Commons in a hollowed-out thousand-pound pumpkin to compete in wacky water events. Founded in 2004, the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta attracts thousands of competitors and spectators to enhance their Halloween spirit.

Apple Harvest Festival
Oct. 2-3 and 9-10

You know what they say: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But how about hundreds? Relish in booth after booth of apple treats such as candy apples, apple pies, and apple fritters at the Apple Harvest festival. For a more natural flavor, explore the orchards and pick a variety of 100+ apples to take home. Take a road trip with the kids to Arendtsville, and enjoy autumnal traditions of hayrides, puppet shows, a petting zoo, and a corn maze.

Rhode Island
Ocean State Oyster Fest
Oct. 9

Still, holding on to summer? Head to the Ocean State Oyster Fest to celebrate the fine Rhode Island oysters, music, and craft beer. One ticket gets you a half-dozen locally sourced oysters from an array of RI-based growers, a local micro-brewed beer, and a glass of wine or ginger beer. An oyster binge never hurt anybody.

South Carolina
Callaham Orchards
Sept. 1- Oct. 30

Take a stroll with the entire family at the family-owned farm Callaham Orchards. Visit the farm animals and learn how to ride a horse, or enjoy the pumpkin patch and seasonal sweets while taking a wagon ride. Pick the best pumpkin to take home and carve, or learn how to carve it right on the spot by professional artisans.

South Dakota
Sept. 25

Take the midnight train, and celebrate Oktoberfest. In Hill City, this year’s 1880 express will have live polka music, a costume contest, your favorite German foods, and tasty seasonal beers to enjoy as you travel from Hill City to Keystone.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival
Sept. 24- Oct. 30

Experience a smoky mountain Fall during Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, America’s number 1 Fall Family Event. Enjoy mountain majesty as the hills are vibrant with vivid colors, the taste of apple and pumpkin treats, and fun rides. At night, the park transforms into a stunning display of illuminated carved pumpkins and shimmering pumpkin icons, like Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton.

Autumn at the Arboretum
Sept. 19- Nov. 1

Autumn at the Arboretum showcases a Pumpkin Village featuring 20-foot-tall decorated pumpkin houses and creative displays from more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash. Held at the Dallas Arboretum, the festival opens from Sept. 19 through Nov. 1. Autumn at the Arboretum features breathtaking colors of fall, including 150,000 autumn flowers accented by pumpkins.

Fall Festival and Draft Horse Show
Sept. 24-26

Yeehaw! There’s something for the whole family at the Fall Festival and Draft Horse Show. In the Last Chance Rodeo, see the top cowboys and cowgirls in the nation competing for spots in the National Rodeo. Relish in the festival fun with wagon rides, petting zoos, live jousting, and fun new rides beforehand, and see the top prizes horses paraded around the arena, worth $120,000.

Pumpkin Chuckin
Sept. 26

The Pritchett from Modern Family would be disappointed to see Cam’s story become a reality. In Stowe, Vermont, on Sept. 26, people of all ages sign up to see who can chuck their pumpkin the farthest in the Pumpkin Chuckin. Three rounds of competitive “pumpkin chucking” with a trebuchet determine who is the grand pumpkin chucker.

Fall at Mount Vernon

Oct. 23-24

Celebrate an 18th-century fall at Mount Vernon. Explore General Washington’s farm and learn about his fisheries and upkeep of the land. Implement spinning exercises and hear about how 18th-century textiles were dyed for clothes. Ride horses across the vast green space and learn how to cook a classic meal from the past.

Boo Seattle

Oct. 29-30

Need a scarier Halloween? Gather your friends to enter a world of horror. At Boo in Seattle, beware of sinister sights and rattling sounds that will shock, amaze and entrance through live performances on three stages. Dance among skeletons and goblins to monstrous beats that will slay the soul.

West Virginia
Roadkill Cook-Off
Update: This event has been canceled.

The townsfolk of Marlinton celebrate the arrival of fall by cooking the most exotic dishes from animals found dead on the side of the road at the RoadKill Festival. All meat products are inspected before the cook-off begins to ensure they do not contain any diseases or gravel. Cooks can fry, bake, stew, or sauté their roadkill and provide recipes for visitors to recreate at home.

Cranberry Fest

Sept. 24-26

The world’s largest Cranberry Fest has become international, with over 100,000 yearly visitors. Each enjoys marsh tours, local shopping, seasonal treats, a parade made up of local school marching bands, and various contests such as best costume, biggest cranberry, and best button design.

Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival

Sept. 8-19

The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival draws thousands of art lovers to the Rocky Mountain West’s premier cultural festivals. The festival promotes western landscapes, wildlife, and art. Enjoy artwork from artists such as Gary Lynn Roberts, who painted The Wort Hotel as if it was in the wild west, or the western design conference showcasing all western wear.TODAY

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