If you don’t live in the deep south, by mid September there is starting to be a crispness to the air.
Days bring plenty of welcomed mild temperatures without any of summer’s humidity.
There are still butterflies flitting around the flowers, lots of opportunities for eating meals on your porch, deck, or patio, and and it is the perfect time of year for travel.
It’s also a popular time for festivals!
Throughout the country there are festivals celebrating fall harvests, apples, pumpkins, cranberries, and the changing colors of fall leaves.
Festivals always include lots of activities for kids, fabulous foods and beverages, musical entertainment, arts and crafts projects to do or skilled arts and crafts products you can buy.
Even though the fall festival season lasts for only a few weeks before we transition into Halloween mode, those weeks are packed with lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy being outdoors before chillier winter temperatures arrive.
Hopefully its not too late for you to make plans, get in your car, and head out for a fun, fall get-away. Here are some places you should consider going.
Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Oktoberfest from September 15- 18 has been deemed an authentic Oktoberfest by the founders of the original in Munich, Germany. Hofbrau brews and Bavarian and German foods abound. And you can either watch or participate in traditional German dancing. Get out your dirndls and lederhosen!
Cinncinnati, Ohio has their Oktoberfest from September 16-18. They claim its the country’s biggest one. Held on the banks of the Ohio River it includes unique fun such as the Running of the Weiners where dachshunds race in hot dog costumes and the World Brat Eating Championship. Of course there’s lots of beer including local craft breweries, and fabulous sausages, sauerkraut, and strudel.
Santa Fe, New Mexico has a Wine and Chile Fiesta from September 21-25. It’s been going on for more than 30 years and celebrates the famous local crop, the New Mexico Green Chile. The main event here is the Great Tasting where visitors can sample offerings from more than 90 wineries and 60 restaurants.
Estes Park, Colorado holds their Elk Fest on October 1-2. Estes Park is in a beautiful location at the lower eastern entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Elk Fest honors the local Elk which you’ll see plenty of with lots of opportunities for great photos – just don’t get too close. You can also enjoy the music, food truck vendors, local artisans, Native American performances and raptor shows.
Biglerville, Pennsylvania is home to the National Apple Harvest Festival held for two weekends, October 1-2 and 7-8. This is the place for apple lovers as the festival features all things apple. Apple cider abounds, as do all kinds of apple food delights include apple cotton candy, candied apples and even apple pizza. There’s a classic car show, more than 300 arts and craft vendors, and chain saw carving demonstrations.
Ketchum, Idaho’s Trailing of the Sheep Festival is October 5-9. Yep, they promote their ranching roots with their authentic Trailing of the Sheep parade through the downtown and out into the fields. They also celebrate the culinary delights of lamb with the For the Love of Lamb event. Plus there are wool workshops and Sheepdog Trials.
Greenville, South Carolina holds their Fall for Greenville festival on October 14-16. This is a popular Foodies Festival, where you can purchase taste tickets to nosh your way through food tastings and savor southern delights such as fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits cakes. Plus catch cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Stage.
Shakopee, Minnesota’s Severs Fall Festival is October 17-30. About 35 miles south of Minneapolis, it was one of the first to have a corn maze with a different design cut into the corn fields every year. There are live shows and entertainment, pig races, magic shows and lots of fall food favorites from apple fritters to made-on-site wood fired pizzas.
These are just a few of what you can find across the country. To research more on your own, U.S. News publishes lists of top festivals and all kinds of fall travel fun from foliage tours to outdoor adventures.
“Autumn is a season followed immediately by looking forward to spring.”Doug Larson
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