Let me just preface this blog by saying I love fall. I really do. It’s the best season, it’s not too warm, not too cold, and I can wear a cute coat without wet mushy snow ruining it. I’m sorry, Andy Williams, but autumn is the most wonderful time of the year.
Yeah, I know it’s the middle of the season, but I still can’t get enough of corn mazes, apple picking, pumpkins, and autumn wreaths. You know where all those things happen, right? Yep, those magical autumn harvest festivals you keep hearing about. If you haven’t celebrated the essence of fall yet, get your Uggs on and let our list of ongoing fall festivals in the US be your guide!
Georgia Apple Festival
Ellijay, Georgia (Oct 8-9; 15-16, 2022)
The Georgia Apple Festival puts the spotlight on the nationally acclaimed Ellijay apples and the orchards that painstakingly raise them. Grown in the Appalachian Mountains, these apples are renowned for their taste and sweet/tart aroma. The festival is held over two weekends full of fun and excitement fit for families and groups of friends. It features events for arts and crafts, an auto show, a 5k road race, and the most awaited apple parade around downtown historic Ellijay.
The fairgrounds host hundreds of vendors that cater to your every need for crafts, delicious food, and much more! You can purchase from a farm-to-table food truck to a shop specializing in traditional bows and longbows. Admissions for adults are $10.00 per person, while children 12 and under get in for free. Parking is available, although donations may be requested to benefit the local civic and school groups. For more information, visit their website at https://www.georgiaapplefestival.org/.
The Great Pumpkin Farm
Clarence, New York (September 17-October 31, 2022)
The Great Pumpkin Farm’s month-long festival celebrates all things pumpkin, which started in 1996 to commemorate the fall harvest. Twenty-six years later, it has become one of the country’s most impressive autumn festivals, with various activities, contests, rides, and attractions. It opens from 10 am to 7 pm on weekdays. With free admission, you can: enjoy the petting zoo, find your way around a hay maze, sip a refreshing glass of craft beer in the Witches Brew Bar, or satisfy the munchies in the bakery.
The Great Pumpkin Farm’s trademark Zillions of Pumpkins display is the best if you want some light pumpkin shopping. During the festival weekends, the fun is magnified ten times over as the list of attractions is further expanded. A different theme is adopted every weekend, with the last three featuring the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, Zombies in the Cornmaze, and the Costume Contest.
Tickets vary from $12.00 for regular admission and $10.00 for Senior Admission for 65 and over. At the same time, children 2 and under are free to enter. Your ticket includes $25.00 worth of freebies for exciting events like a magic show, a cow train ride, a tractor-drawn hayride, a mummy wrapping contest, and entry to the Boo Barn. You also get discounted prices on other attractions like the Cornmaze, Zombie Train, Jumbo Pillows, and the Apple and Pumpkin Cannons. For tickets and more information, you can visit their website here https://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/.
Alpharetta Scarecrow Harvest
Alpharetta, Georgia (October 3-November 1, 2022)
Another Georgia fall staple, the Alpharetta Scarecrow Harvest festival, showcases the creativity of the city’s locals. In its 17th year, the downtown area will be once more dotted with around 150 scarecrows crafted by participants from the city’s schools, organizations, neighborhoods, businesses, and even families. Like what you see? You can vote for your favorite scarecrow by taking a selfie and posting it on Instagram or Facebook. The month-long celebration also features fall essentials like hay rides, festival food, and a dash of country music.
Here’s a video from the Awesome Alpharetta, Georgia Facebook Page showing the atmosphere during the 2018 festival!
Sever’s Fall Festival
Shakopee, Minnesota (weekends of September 17-October 30, 2022)
Sever’s Fall Festival is a juggernaut in our array of festivities. Touted as the Midwest’s original fall festival, the magic started in 1977 when Peterson Farms cut the second corn maze ever in the country. Today, it hosts the largest maze in Minnesota, drawing in thousands of crowds. Admission grants you access to all thirty attractions, such as zip lines, live music, pig races, jumping pillows, a straw bale maze, a petting zoo, an obstacle course, a corn pit, and for the hardcore, the extreme corn pit. Tickets can be availed on-site or online with prices ranging from $19.00 to $23.00, with discounts for seniors, veterans, and groups of 25+. Children 3 and under get in for free. As a tip, a season pass may be more economical for return visits. For added fun, you can also participate in the Corn Maze Challenge and get the chance to take home $500! To book your tickets online, you may visit https://seversfestivals.com/.
Harvest on the Harbor
Portland, Maine (October 27-29, 2022)
Oyster Town’s fall festival was officially unveiled in 2007 to put Portland’s thriving gastronomic scene on the map. Since then, they have successfully organized events enticing food and drink enthusiasts and tourists from all over the country to Maine. Over three days, the Harvest on the Harbor organizers prepared a variety of culinary experiences that will delight your palate.
I think the 2022 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition is one you shouldn’t miss! You can go from one station to another and taste each competing dish. With this concept, you have the opportunity to meet the chefs and restaurants vying for the title. If mouthwatering lobster isn’t your thing, fear not! You can sip spirits and meet premier distilleries at the Make Your Maker event or slurp oysters and enjoy drinks and live music at the Maine OysterFest. You can even learn to mix it up in a cocktail class at the Learn to Concoct the Zombie event and participate in a sophisticated Maine cheese and wine-tasting party.
As you may have already worked out, the organizers stress that all events in the festival are for 21+ only. Tickets are to be purchased in advance at https://harvestontheharbor.com/. All food and drinks are inclusive of the price. For inquiries, you may also contact them at [email protected]
North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival
Whiteville, North Carolina (November 3-5, 2022)
For a nutty good time (their words, not mine), the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival is the best place to be. You get the standard fare of fall festivities but with the pecan as the main attraction. You get live music, fantastic food vendors, and meet the fabulous Pecan Festival Queen and her posse of Pecan Belles, a car show, and the Pecan Parade. Or if you’re someone like me who loves spending hours on Zillow, the tour of homes in beautiful Whiteville must be the most exciting thing. If you’re planning on going, you may visit their Facebook page @NCPecanHarvestFestival or their website https://www.ncpecanfestival.com/ for more information.