Falling in Love
Fall means shorter days, crisp nights, back to school for kids and college students, and all of those beautiful colors. For many, especially retired boomers and DINCs (Double Income, No Children), autumn also means traveling to your favorite fall festival.
Crafts, art, music; many places hold fall festivals through the end of October. MainStreet compiled a list of 10 of the biggest (and best) fall festivals in the country.
Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley
So many cities seek to recreate the famous German Oktoberfest held in Munich each year, but Columbus seems to have one of the biggest and best. Held this year from Sept. 23-25 at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds in Columbus, this Oktoberfest boasts 100,000 square feet of pavilions for entertainment and dancing, as well as a 233-acre recreation of a German village.
Photo Credit: 24oranges.nl
Fall Foliage Festival
Who doesn’t love seeing the fall foliage in all of its magnificent glory? It gives us something to remember when the dead of winter settles in. With pumpkins, crafts, antique cars, music, food, covered bridges and fall colors, the Fall Foliage Festival in Bedford, Pa,. has it all during the first two weekends in October.
Photo Credit: thisisbossi
Leave it up to the people of San Francisco to combine a music festival with a parade. LovEvolution is the biggest parade in San Francisco behind the Pride Parade and is one of the largest dance music events in North America. The cost is $25 per person and will be held this year September 24 at the Oakland Coliseum grounds.
Photo Credit: discoscience
If your community canceled its Independent Day fireworks due to budget shortfalls, you still have the opportunity to see the largest fireworks show in the Southeastern U.S. at Boomsday. Beginning at 1 p.m. Sept. 4 in Knoxville, Tenn., an estimated 400,000 festival attendees can enjoy games, rides and browse through the booths of 30 vendors. Hang out until 9:30 p.m. and be treated to that fireworks show.
Photo Credit: cryogenic666
Autumn Craft Festival
Nothing says down home New England autumn festivals like this large, 100-artist craft festival held in Meredith, N.H. Each year, approximately 8,000 people gather to see the wares of Northeastern artists, as well as sample food, listen to music and participate in the chowder fest. Just in time for great fall foliage, this year's 13th Annual Autumn Craft Festival happens Oct. 1-2.
Photo Credit: alby headrick
Madison County Covered Bridge Festival
Who wouldn’t have wanted to have an affair with sexy Clint Eastwood if he had happened upon your lonely farm existence as he did in the movie Bridges of Madison County? Well, you might not see a glimpse of Clint Eastwood, but you can take in the covered bridges, as well as the crafts, food and fall foliage at the festival this year at the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival from Oct. 7-9.
Photo Credit: SeriouslyPhotographic (Jim)
Marshall County Blueberry Festival
Sometimes, the best fall festivals celebrate the prized local fruits and vegetables, and Plymouth, Ind., holds one of the biggest in celebration of blueberries. Beside the tasty treats blueberries make, attendees at the Marshall County Blueberry Festival enjoy browsing the 400 craft booths and the variety of entertainment, including gospel music.
Photo Credit: TheatricAL 03
Walnut Valley (Bluegrass) Festival
If you love Bluegrass, chances are you’ve heard of Winfield, Kan., where one of the largest and longest-running bluegrass events takes place each year in September. Home of the National Flatpicking Championships, the Walnut Valley (Bluegrass) Festival always has a strong lineup of bluegrass performers. The event will be held this year Sept. 14-18.
Photo Credit: N1NJ4
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Every fall – this year from Oct. 1-9 – Albuquerque, New Mexico’s skies brighten up with every color imaginable when hundreds of balloons take to the skies at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. People who want to ride in balloons, people who want to photograph them and people who just admire them come from all over the world to catch this wonderful festival.
Photo Credit: Randy Pertiet