Autumn is a fantastic time of year in the U.S. for unique and fun festivals. Almost anywhere in the country you may want to go, you probably won’t be far from some local celebration. You may want to plan your fall vacation around showing up in a town in time for one of these fall festivals. On the other hand, you may just be planning on being near one of these locations and want to know what kind of excitement is going on. Either way, here are just a few of the fall festivals across the U.S. you may want to visit.
Wilmington’s Riverfest in Wilmington, North Carolina. This event draws more than a quarter of a million people. Riverfest has about 200 craft and food vendors plus fireworks, entertainment on two stages, the Great Waiters Wine Race, Run the River 8K Race, various exhibits and a children’s area. This year Wilmington’s Riverfest will take place October 6th-8th.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair in Sonoma, California. This festival is considered to be one of the best festivals in the country. There’s so much for children and adults to do. The World Championship Grape Stomp takes place here. At the fair you can find everything from cow-milking contests to animal shows. Kids can also enjoy an Easy Bake Oven cooking contest and carnival rides. Adults can sip wine while they listen to jazz or view some of the area’s pieces of artwork. The Sonoma Country Harvest Fair will be taking place on October 6th-8th this year.
Keene Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire. There will be around 30,000 pumpkins at the Keene Pumpkin Festival. Last year Keene earned the Guinness World Record for the ninth time for having the most amount of jack-o-lanterns that were lit at one time. In addition to pumpkins there are hayrides, parades, crafts, seed spitting contests and music. This event is taking place on October 29th.
National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This wonderful festival is held every year on the second full weekend of October. Over a quarter of a million attend it each year. There will be over 250 vendors as well as a lot of shrimp to eat. This year the shrimp festival is taking place from October 12th-15th.
Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Hudson, Valley New York. Although this isn’t a festival, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is one of those must see sights if you are near the Hudson Valley River during the month of October. There are more than 5,000 pumpkins that are hand carved and lit up. Visitors can see them displayed as they walk through Van Cortlandt Manor in the evenings. This event will be taking place on October 10th and 11th and in November on the 1st and 8th and 16th
Lexington Barbeque Festival in Lexington, North Carolina: More than 100,000 people attend this event each year. This is home of the Annual North Carolina Championship Pork Cook-Off where an estimated 13,000 pounds of barbecue will be served. There’s a sand sculpting contest where visitors can see some of the most in-depth sand art in the south. For the kids, there is a family fun area that has rides, clowns and of course, racing pigs! In addition to all this there is a car show, bicycle stunt shows and lots of other activities for the whole family to enjoy. The 31st annual Lexington Barbeque Festival will take place on October 28th from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Apple Festivals: It’s the season for picking apples and you can catch some wonderful festivals with lots of activities for families. Many of these festivals have arts & crafts, wagon rides, live entertainment, and of course all things apple…like apple cider, apple donuts and apple pies. Some of the more popular festivals include The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina on October 7th; Unicoi County Apple Festival, Erwin, Tennessee on October 6th & 7th, Apple Harvest Festival at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, Virginia during every weekend in October and The National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville, Pennsylvania on October 7 – 8th, and 14-15th. From Maine to Georgia you will find many similar events this time of year.