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Fall festivals are a great opportunity to explore new cultures and foods, and get a taste for some of the U.S.’s most diverse local communities. Take a road trip or plan a weekend getaway to enjoy the cool fall breeze as you dive into the rich history found in some of the country’s best seasonal celebrations. There’s not doubt that you’ll want to add these outrageous and fun festivals to your bucket list this season!
Circleville Pumpkin Show
Circleville, OH: October 18-21, 2017
Thirty miles south of Columbus, OH, a 12,000-person town called Circleville is home to the biggest festival in the U.S. dedicated to the pumpkin. Held annually since 1903, the Circleville Pumpkin Show is also dubbed as “The Greatest Free Show On Earth,” with attendance topping over 400,000 for the four-day event. The festival kicks off with a legendary pumpkin-weighing contest and filled with amusement rides, food and craft vendors galore. While there, be sure to check out the World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie (which is 6 feet in diameter and weighs more than 400 pounds)! http://www.pumpkinshow.com/pdf/factsheet.pdf
Cranberry Harvest Fest
Wareham, MA: October 7-8, 2017
Experience the beauty of a cranberry harvest, a New England tradition and old-fashion family festival. Offering attractions from relaxing paddleboat rides on the scenic Tihonet Pond to live music, cooking demonstrations and more, the Harvest Fest is both fun and educational. Learn about the differences between wet and dry cranberry harvesting during bogside displays while speaking to experienced growers. http://www.seeplymouth.com/events/14th-annual-cranberry-harvest-celebration
Trailing of the Sheep Festival
Sun Valley, Ketchum, and Hailey, ID: October 4-8, 2017
Every year, the popular Trailing of the Sheep festival celebrates the 150+ year tradition of moving the sheep from mountain summer pastures south through the valley to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas. The authentic experience will transport you to a real slice of the American West, highlighting the people, arts, traditions and cultures of ranching in Idaho and the mountain west. Sheep are at the heart of the festival, highlighting everything from lamb cooking events to knitting, spinning, and felting of wool activities. http://www.trailingofthesheep.org
National Apple Harvest Festival
Biglerville, PA: October 7-8 & October 14-15, 2017
Enjoy everything Apple at the National Apple Harvest Festival in south-central Pennsylvania! With attractions including apple art, candied apples, apple jellies, and even visits from Johnny Appleseed Characters, the harvest festival is an event the whole family will love. Other special attractions include the Apple Auditorium and antique cars, steam engine displays, orchard tours, craftsman demonstrations and appearances by the Pennsylvania Apple Queen! http://www.appleharvest.com
Autumn at the Arboretum
Dallas, TX: September 23-November 22, 2017
Explore the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village, featuring houses made of pumpkins and other creative displays using more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. While each year’s theme is different, the 2017 pumpkin village will take the visitors on a journey through The Wizard of Oz. Guests will travel on an actual yellow-brick road, following Dorothy’s adventures from the “Enchanted Forest” to “Emerald City.” Beyond the village, there are beer tastings, live music, historical tours, and more. http://www.dallasarboretum.org
Kona Coffee Cultural Fest
Kona, HI: November 3-12, 2017
Hawaii’s Oldest Food Festival takes place each fall, celebrating the 200-year-old heritage behind Kona’s world-famous coffee. This 10-day festival features a first-hand look at growing the world-recognized crop, as the art scene fills with coffee inspiration and cultural presentations in music and dance. For a more hands-on experience, visitors can enjoy Kona coffee tastings, barista training and more, all taking place in the beautiful travel destination, Hawaii. http://konacoffeefest.com
Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa
Tulsa, OK: October 19-22, 2017
The next best thing to Oktoberfest in Bavaria is spending it in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Linde Oktoberfest celebrates authentic Bavarian culture with nationally known German bands, European foods, arts and crafts and fun activities for all ages. Stroll through over 40,000 square feet of new tents, enjoying a variety of authentic cuisine, German beers and local favorites. Play and compete in traditional games such as the Masskrug Carry, as well as some not-so-traditional contests like the Dachshund Dash Race. https://tulsaoktoberfest.org
Whether you’re interested in any –or all– of the country’s best fall festivities, this is the season to act! With AARP Member Advantages you can save on car rentals, hotels, and more, making planning a last-minute trip easy! Learn more here.
These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.