The crunch of leaves underfoot and the smell of a fresh pie in the oven can mean only one thing: autumn is here! Take a look at some of the fun fall festivals happening this season across the United States.
The Annual Huckleberry Festival in Bingen, Washington, marks the beginning of September in this Pacific Northwest town. Bingen is a small town known for its accessibility to many outdoor activities such as skiing, windsurfing, mountain biking, fishing, hunting. Visitors will find jams, jellies, and pies featuring fresh huckleberries. Bands and other entertainers put on live shows, and activities for families with small children are also available. The Saturday morning parade features local floats made by the festival sponsors. The Huckleberry Festival also offers opportunities to participate in a variety of weekend-long service projects benefitting local charities.
The California Mandarin can be traced back to Europe, where they have grown since the time of the Greeks and Romans. Auburn, California, is home to a three-day festival celebrating mandarin oranges and other locally grown citrus. Each year, over 25,000 people head to northern California to stock up on mandarins and sample an impressive variety of foods featuring mandarins. The festival also features the Mandarin Recipe Contest, which is open to all visitors. The festival is held the weekend before Thanksgiving (November 21–23, 2014).
Tontitown Grape Festival
Held mid-August in Tontitown, Arkansas, the Grape Festival celebrates the prominence and history of the grape in this community. Tontitown was settled by Italian immigrants, who initially grew apples as their main crop. Eventually, the apple market collapsed, forcing residents into farming grapes full time. This year marks the 116th year of the festival. In addition to touring the local museum and church, festival-goers can enjoy the free live performances each evening, participate in the Run for the Grapes 5K, experience a grape stomp, and see the crowning of Queen Concordia—the queen of the festival.
Bayfield Apple Festival
This year, the shores of Lake Superior in Bayfield, Wisconsin, will host the 53rd Annual Bayfield Apple Festival. It will take place September 26 and October 3–5. The festival celebrates apples through a parade, as well as a large pie and dessert contest. Bayfield has over 14 local orchards, where attendants can pick produce straight off the tree or vine. The carnival-like celebration culminates in a grand parade with a “Mass Band” finale you won’t want to miss.
Marshall County Blueberry Festival
This festival, held on Labor Day weekend in Marshall County, Indiana, is Indiana’s largest four-day festival. Vendors gather from across the United States to sell their products (especially food) at the massive fair. In addition, the festival provides several activities, including volleyball, tennis, horse pulls, hot air balloon rides, and a popular Blueberry Stomp 5K/15K race. The fair also provides live entertainment all weekend on multiple stages, as well as fireworks, a pageant, and a parade. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of treats highlighting fresh blueberries, such as pies, cheesecakes, ice cream, and even doughnuts.
Chatsworth Cranberry Festival
The Annual Chatsworth Cranberry Festival is held in Chatsworth, New Jersey, in mid-October. Chatsworth was settled in the 1700s, but the farming of cranberries didn’t begin until the late 1800s. Since then, the town has expanded to an area of over 73,000 acres and is the home of the third largest cranberry harvest in the United States. The festival also showcases live music and an antique automobile show that included more than 100 automobiles last year.