slides: The Best Fall Festivals in New England 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
From Rhode Island to Down East Maine, from apple to pumpkin fests, from beer to oysters, from small regional harvest fests to the grandaddy of them all The Big E, there is a never-ending roadtrip ahead. GoLocalProv has rounded up the 24 best from all over the region, and you'll want to try to hit every one by November. Start planning now.
Old-Fashioned Family Fest
September 12-15, 2013
As a family venue this couldn’t be better – for all ages and interests – tucked away in a charming valley. The 142st Tunbridge World’s Fair is a blend of active livestock shows (including heritage breeds) and a competitive harvest and crafts exhibition.
The Big E
September 13-29, 2013
West Springfield, Massachusetts (Western Massachusetts)
Celebrate the fall season at The Big E, the largest fair in the northeast. For 17 days during New England’s most colorful season, enjoy free top-name entertainment, major exhibits, The Big E Super Circus, rides, shopping, crafts, parades, and foods from around the world. Take a stroll along the Avenue of States and see impressive replicas of each New England state’s original statehouse sitting on land actually owned by that state. Take a step inside and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and tastes and of quintessential New England.
Cape Arts + Music
September 14-15, 2013
Harwich, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)
A two-day music festival along with arts and crafts and a home town parade. The festival marks the beginning of cranberry harvest season. And the Cape in mid-September is simply spectacular.
September 20-22, 2013
Lincoln, New Hampshire
Known as one the most diverse games in the United States, NHHG highlights include the Gathering of the Scottish Clans, with over 60 clans and societies, Massed Bands, Sheepdog Trials, Celtic World Music Concerts, the New England Regional Scottish Fiddle Championship, Scottish Athletics, National Highland Dance Competition, Solo Piping & Drumming, Scottish Harp (Clarsach) and other instrument competitions.
September 20-22, 2013
Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Delicious. This annual event includes famous scallop dinners, a juried craft show, midway of rides and games, entertainment and a food court. Ranked a Top 100 Event by the American Bus Association.
Down East Fare
September 21, 2013
The town of Bethel will come alive with scarecrows and harvest decorations as well as an arts & crafts festival, a farmers’ market, forest-products mill tours, a 50-mile scenic bike tour and the famous Chowdah Cook-off. This is an excellent area to view fall foliage early in leaf-peeping season.
September 26-30, 2013
Acadia National Park - Bar Harbor, Maine
Maine’s spectacular rocky coast is home to Acadia National Park, and some of the last pristine, star-filled night skies in the eastern United States. Located in the communities surrounding Acadia National Park, the Acadia Night Sky Festival features many art, music, science, poetry, and stargazing events. Here the Milky Way shines bright in the largest expanse of naturally dark sky, east of the Mississippi. Discover Downeast Maine’s unique commitment to protecting the quality of its starlit nights. Activities include a Star Party on Cadillac Mountain and a Bioluminescent Night Paddle, an evening paddling about Castine Harbor, a unique ecosystem that creates the perfect environment for glow-in-the-dark water organisms.
September 28, 2013
Who doesn't love a round of Cow Plop Bingo? Head to northern Vermont for brilliant autumn colors and the Northeast Kingdom’s biggest event: the annual Fall Foliage Festival. Shop for local crafts, see the Parade at 10:00am, plus a Rubber Duck Race, Live Music, Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, a Farm Animal Petting Zoo, Cow Plop Bingo, a Beer & Wine Tent and more!
September 28-29, 2013
New Bedford, Massachusetts (South of Boston)
A family friendly event celebrating the history and culture of New England’s commercial fishing industry featuring live music, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, vessel and harbor tours, fisherman’s contests, local seafood, festival bookstore, maritime artisans marketplace & more. The free festival presents all that goes into bringing seafood from the ocean to the table in a way that is hands-on, educational and fun.
Big Ag in Maine
September 29-October 6, 2013
Fryeburg, Maine (close to North Conway, New Hampshire)
Come to the largest agriculture fair in Maine – eight days of entertainment and education for the whole family. See a variety of livestock, draft show horses and ponies, pulling horses and oxen, sheep dog trials and a huge parade on Saturday. There’s a thrilling midway with amusement rides and delicious food, live music all day and nightly entertainment. The Fair attracts upwards of 300,000 visitors each year. There are 3,000 campsites onsite.
Classic Country Fair
October 4-14, 2013
This event is the quintessential country fair – traditional agriculture, big entertainment, rides, games, shopping, and great food… something for everyone! Established in 1818, America’s oldest continuously running agricultural fair opens with the famed New England Giant Pumpkin weigh-off (in 2007, the 1,689-pound heavyweight champion earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records!). Come see horse and dog shows, a circus, crafts and farm animals of all kinds.
October 5 & 6, 2013
Featuring all things cranberry, this two-day event at Edaville offers excitement and education for the whole family. An artists’ marketplace of handmade goods and seasonal delights will beckon you to stroll the grounds. Enjoy live music, dog agility, Irish step dancing, and giant bubble play. Get up close with the cranberry in its natural environment, and then get in depth with its history in our one-of-a-kind Cranberry World Museum. Helicopter rides, pony rides, and much more!
October 5-14, 2013
Head to beautiful mid-coast Maine for a celebration of all things pumpkin. This festival is a fun-packed week of events including a pumpkin paddle boat relay and pumpkin motor boat regatta, pumpkin polo, and the Maine Pumpkin Growers Organization-sanctioned giant pumpkin weigh-off. There’s also pumpkin catapulting, a pumpkin drop, underwater pumpkin carving, a giant pumpkin parade, 60 giant pumpkins lining Damariscotta’s main street, and the first annual pumpkin derby.
October 4-5, 2013
Harpoon Brewery, South Boston Waterfront
Kick off Octoberfest season at Harpoon Brewery’s annual German-style OctoberFest, which boasts 3 stages with live music, a big selection of Harpoon beers and ales, and lots of German food sold by a local restaurant. Come do some Chicken Dancing, keg bowling and enjoy the German Oompah bands at one of New England’s largest OctoberFests.
Apples For Days
October 4-6 and October 11-13, 2013
This annual festival is a family-oriented community event spanning the first two weekends in October. The event offers six days of spectacular fun, delicious food, live entertainment and crafts. Come see the Apple Fritter and Apple Pie Eating Contest, plus an Apple Harvest Bed Race, road race and more.
A Brewfest To Remember
October 11-12, 2013
Acadia National Park – Southwest Harbor, Maine
The first day of this special weekend will open with an afternoon and early evening “Wine & Cheese Tasting’ accompanied by music. Maine wine distributors will offer wines from around the world and Maine cheese makers will serve exciting pairings of specialty cheeses. This event has been noted as “one of the spots not to miss” and one of the “top ten festivals in New England” by the national RV Magazine and New England brewery magazines, respectively.
October 11-13, 2013
Stowe Events Field - Stowe, Vermont
Color in the mountains, and color on the canvas. Fall is Festival time in Vermont and Stowe celebrates the absolute zenith of foliage color with the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival. 200 juried artisans exhibit and sell a wide range of contemporary and traditional craft work as well as original Art, photography, sculpture, and specialty food products. While having a bite and a beer in the dining tent, enjoy live music on Saturday and Sunday.
Garlic Lovers, Unite
October 12-13, 2013
Bethlehem Fairgrounds – Bethlehem, Connecticut
Garlic lovers unite! Visit garlic cooking demonstrations, stay for a live band performance and learn how to grow garlic at informative lectures. Many garlic dips, spreads, cheeses and oils will be available for purchase from garlic specialty food vendors – most offering FREE samples to try before you buy! Stop by the produce stands for fresh garlic and a variety of other fall produce. When you’re hungry, venture over to the food court. Homemade roasted garlic sausage with peppers and onions, garlic marinated steak sandwiches, garlic roast pork sandwiches, deep fried garlic and garlic ice cream are just some of the items you’ll find! Bring the kids for some fun with rides and games.
Family Getaway in NH
October 12-14, 2013
Waterville Valley Town Square – Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
To complement the brilliant fall foliage, Waterville Valley has scheduled a weekend of family activities, free outdoor concerts, pie-eating contest, 5K road race, tent sales and more!
Calling Apple Pie Lovers
Dummerston, October 13, 2013 - 10am until sold out
Dummerston Congregational Church - Dummerston, Vermont
Come see Vermont at its best – choose from 1,500 pies made in the historic Dummerston Congregational Church, homemade ice cream, fresh donuts, hot cider, Green Mountain Coffee, and Grafton cheese. Or maybe have some of each! Pies available whole or by the slice. Worship at 9 am surrounded by pies. Fire Department Breakfast, Grange Lunch. This is a favorite event of region motorcycle groups who make a day of it…search online for details.
October 19-20, 2013
Wellfleet, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)
This two-day street party celebrates the town’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions and brings together locals and visitors alike for a weekend full of hometown flavor and big time fun. Various events are ongoing in separate locations (many with the beautiful harbor as a backdrop) and showcase all that the village of Wellfleet has to offer: beachcombing and bird walks, cooking demonstrations, tasting seminars, book talks, an Oyster Shuck-Off competition and oyster grant tours.
Seafood in Newport
October 19-20, 2013
Newport, Rhode Island
Honoring the “Harvest of the Sea,” the Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival offers copious amounts of seafood, continuous live music, and family fun, all beneath the Wharf’s colorful tents. Neighboring restaurants and fisherman’s associations serve up their most celebrated seafood dishes (lobster dinners, clam chowder, stuffed quahogs, clam cakes, shrimp, scallops, raw oysters and clams, as well as a few dishes for landlubbers and kids). Spirits and soft drinks are available. Desserts include tempting pies, ciders, and other baked goods. Cafe-style seating is set up throughout the Wharf. As you fill your bellies with fresh dishes, sit back and enjoy the beats from area bands. Under the music tent, live folk, Celtic, sea shanties and blues music are just a taste of what you’ll hear. Bring your dancing shoes, because these bands promise to get your feet moving! Check in September for the 2012 music lineup!
Old-Style Harvest Fest
October 19-20, 2013
South Kingstown, Rhode Island
Make sure you don’t miss this unique harvest celebration with over 75 local vendors including area farms, artisans and restaurants. Savor an abundance of food and beverages including Johnny Cakes (a cornmeal cake that is a local favorite), Clam Cakes, chowder, wine and more. Enjoy tours of Kenyon’s Grist Mill, the oldest manufacturing business in Rhode Island; Kenyon’s is best known for their Stone Ground White Corn Meal or “Johnny Cake Meal”. There will be live music, demonstrations, and a variety of samples along the Queen’s River and waterfall.
October 23-26, 2013
At this three-day event, you’re sure to find more than one event to whet your appetite. There is something for everyone: the Grand Tasting on the Harbor, the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition, seminars and cooking demonstrations, a marketplace with all things food related, and much more. Fees: $35 & up. Many of these events are extremely popular and sell out quickly – be sure to buy tickets early online!
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