Crowds of people in a warehouse-like room where sampling tables have been set up.
If great seafood is what you're after, visiting this festival will let you sample of the best food in the region.
Photo Credit: Harvest on the Harbor

7 of the Most Colorful and Amusing Fall Festivals in the USA

Take in the Fall Ambiance

The air is crisp, fresh and cool on your face in the morning and warm and inviting come afternoon. Leaves have changed from an ardent green to bright red, orange and yellow, spiraling down from trees to be crunched underfoot.

It’s the season of warm drinks, sweet treats and cozy scarves. While some of the best fall vacation destinations are those where fall colors abound, sometimes it all comes down to the seasonal activities.

What better way to enjoy the best that fall has to offer than by going to a fall festival?

This season brings some of the best festivals in the United States, and among this list you’re sure to find at least one event that’s just right for you.

Harvest on the Harbor Festival, Portland, Maine

In recent years, Portland has become a popular foodie destination, offering a lot more than lobster rolls and New England clam chowder. Today, you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the Northeast serving up perfectly prepared local harvest seafood and more.

The Harvest on the Harbor Festival, hosted October 17-20, 2019, brings these artisans together and throws them into competitions like “Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant.” It features local foods, tastings, breweries, distilleries and wineries along with live music.

Covered hay wagon with people sitting on board, being pulled by two horses.A wide array of German beers are the feature of the event.Photo Credit: Columbus Oktoberfest

Columbus Oktoberfest, Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Oktoberfest offers a great way to kick off fall, taking place September 6-8, 2019 at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

While “bier” is the highlight, with a wide array of German brews along with domestics, there are all sorts of German food favorites too, including beer brats, German potato salad, schnitzel, frankfurters and sauerkraut.

Dozens of crafts people sell their wares, there are stages for live music and dance floors for doing the polka too.

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Circular carnival ride with people milling about below.This festival is all about the apples, as its name suggests!Photo Credit: Apple Jack Festival

Apple Jack Festival, Nebraska City, NE

This one doesn’t wait for fall — the historic Apple Jack Festival offers the chance to enjoy an early taste of autumn, held September 20-22, 2019. Of course, this festival is all apple-focused, including just about everything apple you can imagine: caramel apples, apple fritters, apple pie cider, cider donuts, apple salad — the list goes on.

There are glittering parades and street dances, craft fairs, live music and dancing, a classic car show, a flea market and even a dinosaur exhibit where would-be paleontologists can excavate for bones.

Hilly landscape dotted with sage brush. White tend in foreground.Santa Fe is one of the top culinary destinations in the country, making it a perfect place to sample some delicious fall dishes.Photo Credit: Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta

Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta, Santa Fe, NM

A fabulous place to be in the fall, the oldest state capital in the United States has been gaining attention as one of the top small town culinary destinations in the country, and the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta highlights some of its very best offerings.

The 28th annual festival will be held from September 22 to 29, 2019, with main events such as wine seminars, reserve wine tastings and a silent auction taking place at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Cooking demonstrations will be held at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, films shown in the Railyard District, a Grand Tasting event featuring Santa Fe restaurants at the Santa Fe Opera, and a guest chef luncheon and tour taking place at Star York’s ranch studio.

It includes tastings from 75 of the Adobe City’s finest eateries, and drink from 100 world-class wineries. The colorful festival also offers traditional music and dance, mule-drawn wagon rides and an artisan market, providing fun for the entire family.

Chef cutting up ribs on a table as a man wearing white globes waits to taste.The America Royal is considered to be one of the larges barbecue competitions in the world.Photo Credit: Kansas City Star

American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Kansas City, MO

The annual American Royal is considered to be the largest barbecue competition in the world, and one of the biggest barbecue celebrations in the nation.

The four-day extravaganza, hosted September 12-15, 2019, serves as the season finale for the competitive barbecue circuit and includes more than 500 chefs, pitmasters and amateur teams that compete in a variety of categories from best brisket to best sauce.

It also features live entertainment and an awe-inspiring fireworks display.

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Indoor auditorium filled with people and people up on stage.The event generally hosts 800 breweries and more than 3,800 types of beer.Photo Credit: Great American Beer Festival

Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO

The Mile High City is famous for hosting one of the best beer festivals in the country. The celebration that started back in 1982 will be held October 3-5 in 2019 and is expected to include 800 breweries, more than 3,800 types of beers and 60,000 attendees.

In addition to sampling all of those brews, you’ll be able to taste artisan cheeses, enjoy lawn games, purchase brewery merchandise and more. The Farm to Table Pavilion will also host some of the best chefs in America today.

Pair of legs in a barrel with woman crouched down beside filling a bottle.The Grand Harvest showcases world-class wines, award-winning beer and culinary delights.Photo Credit: Sonoma County Harvest Fair

Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Santa Rosa, CA

From October 4-5, 2019, the Sonoma County Harvest Fair showcases the “grand harvest” that includes world-class wines, award-winning beer and a practically endless amount of culinary delights.

There are chef demos, wine seminars and a Harvest Awards Dinner that celebrates the region’s top winemakers, growers, microbrewers and culinary artists.

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