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9 Fantastic Fall Festivals

Weird and Wonderful Fall Festivals


Summer is pretty much over, which means the end of leaving work early on Fridays and the beginning of cold commutes and long school days. But on the bright side (yes, there is a bright side), there are some incredible festivals coming up this fall around the country.

We’ve put together a list of some of the coolest and strangest festivals taking place during the next three months. So if you have some vacation days left or just feel like going away to some place interesting for the weekend, consider one of these options.

Photo Credit: Ezra S F

Oktoberfest by the Bay


Just because we don’t live in Germany doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Oktoberfest in the states. The Oktoberfest by the Bay festival in San Francisco features four days of German beers and food, plus tons of music and dancing.

When: Sept. 23-26

Photo Credit: Augie Schwer

The Avocado Festival


This may be a controversial statement, but I’ll say it anyway: Avocados are the most delicious health food that exists on this planet. And few places offer better avocados than Santa Barbara County, Calif., which is one of the largest producers of the fruit (yes, avocados are a fruit) in North America. Each year, this region celebrates its avocado abundance with a festival full of musicians, arts and crafts and, of course, a guacamole-making contest.

When: Oct. 1-3

Photo Credit: avofest.com

Foothills Fall Festival


Next month, head over to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for the Foothills Fall Festival. You’ll find dozens of arts and crafts vendors, fun rides and best of all, some big name musicians including 38 Special and Mickey Thomas from Jefferson Starship.

When: Oct. 8-10

Photo Credit: foothillsfallfestival.com

The Wooly Worm Festival


Every year, thousands of people show up in the town of Banner Elk, N.C., to celebrate an unlikely creature: a breed of caterpillar known as the wooly worm.

Last year, there were 140 vendors selling food and crafts alongside the rides and dancing events. But the main highlight of this festival is the race: About 1,000 people take a worm on a string and race it.

When: Oct. 16– 17

Photo Credit: David Reber’s Hammer

Circleville Pumpkin Show


Nothing says Halloween like an old-fashioned pumpkin contest. Make your way to the city of Circleville, Ohio, (a truly great name for a community) for the annual pumpkin show which features concerts, street vendors and of course, a contest to find the biggest and the prettiest pumpkins.

Last year, the winner set a record with a pumpkin that clocked in at 1,635 pounds. That’s a lotta pumpkin.

When: Oct. 20-23

Photo Credit: mriggen

Halloween Balloon Festival and Parade


If you’re not so into pumpkins, but still want to celebrate Halloween in some way, you should try out the balloon festival in Galena, Ill. In total, about two dozen hot air balloons will take flight during this two-day festival. It’s a sight to behold.

When: Oct. 27-29

Photo Credit: ronnie44052

Giant Omelette Celebration


This is one festival that really has something for the whole family. The Giant Omelette Celebration, held in the small city of Abbeville, La., offers two days of antique car shows, walks for charity, kids’ activities and an egg cracking competition.Plus, at the end of the second day, a bunch of chefs will gather around a massive 12-foot skillet and prepare a “5,000 egg omelette.”

When: Nov. 6-7

Photo Credit: giantomelette.org

Bald Eagle Festival


If there’s one complaint I have about living in New York City, it’s that I don’t really get to see enough bald eagles. That’s why I’m particularly interested in the Bald Eagle Festival held in Haines, Alaska, a small town also known as the Valley of the Eagles.

According to the festival’s website, there are about 3,000 bald eagles that congregate in the area in mid-November, which is why they choose to hold the event. Those who come get to “attend wildlife workshops, meet for tours, classes and live raptor presentations.” What could be more exciting than that?

When: Nov. 10-14

Photo Credit: nophun201

Film Festivals


The Cannes film festival may have come and gone, but there are plenty of other great film festivals coming up this season all around the country, including one in Chicago (Oct. 7-21), Austin (Oct. 21-28) and Hollywood (Oct. 22-25). Take your pick!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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