Apples and pumpkins, cranberries and cider—think harvest festivals, and the first image that comes to your mind is food and beverages that speak to the bounty of autumn. If you’re looking for some homegrown produce plus an entertaining experience, check out the following list of upcoming harvest fairs and Oktoberfests taking place throughout the United States.
If you don’t see one near you or are hungry for more, check out a complete list at Funtober’s Fall Festivals 2021 page.
Note: Check each location for updates regarding any COVID-19 restrictions or cancellations.
10/2-3/2021—Eagle River Cranberry Fest, Eagle River, WI
Eat, drink, and play with the more than 40,000 attendees of this annual event held at Vilas County Fairgrounds, plus tours of the cranberry marsh (leaves from the Chamber of Commerce). Taste the world’s largest cranberry cheesecake and other cranberry foods, and shop with hundreds of crafters and artisans.
New to the idea of an event centered on a tiny, tart fruit? Then add the Eagle River Cranberry Fest to your list of fairs to attend. Once you’re there, enjoy a range of events: take a free walking tour at a cranberry marsh, taste the world’s largest cranberry cheesecake and other cranberry foods, and get inspired by hundreds of cranberry-themed recipes. More than 8,000 pounds of cranberries will be sold during the festival. As for the role cranberries play in Wisconsin’s economy, the state fruit provides about 7,200 jobs and contributes approximately $330 million to the state’s economy.
9/19-10/31/2021—Old World Village Oktoberfest, Huntington Beach, CA
If you’re visiting the Huntington Beach area in September or October, you might want to check out Oktoberfest at Old World Village — the self-proclaimed “best Oktoberfest in Orange County.” Old World is a European-themed shopping center that goes all out for Oktoberfest with parades, dachshund races, a Herbmeister, and a Kidsfest. Kinderfest for kids every Sunday, with family friendly (and free) days on Wednesday and Thursday. If you’re looking for a night out without the kiddos, Friday and Saturday are ticketed and 21+. The festival offers authentic German food, imported German beers, competitions, games, and more.
10/9-10/2021—Chalktoberfest, Marietta, GA
At Chalktoberfest, you’ll enjoy a fall day sampling craft beers, listening to live music from local artists, watching professional Chalk Artists chalk the streets, and eating great food at the beautiful downtown square of Marietta. A great day out for all the family, Chalktoberfest attracts more than 100,000 people annually and is free to attend. All proceeds go to the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art. the festival features 86 artists, 40 breweries with more than 120 beer options, and 25 wine options. A chalk competition on Sunday is open to the public and artists of all ages.
10/1-3, 8-10, 15-17/2021—Leavenworth Oktoberfest Markt, Leavenworth, WA
Unlike years past when the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Markt included scheduled entertainment, shuttles, or beer, this year will be more of a street fair, due to COVID-19. But there will still be plenty to see and do, with up to 100 unique local vendors, artists, and crafters, Oktoberfest food, and the official Oktoberfest souvenirs, along with a “Kinderplatz”—a special area designed with kids in mind. Download the festival flyer here and check the site for updates to the fair.
10/1-3/2021—Oktoberfest, Fredericksburg, TX
You don’t need to claim German heritage to enjoy the 40th annual Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, also known as the Polka Capital of Texas! Start with the food: brats and wurst, sausage and sauerkraut, and of course, beer: domestic, imported, and Texas craft beers. Then enjoy the Rotary Kraut Run, Hauptstrasse Chicken Dance, Family Dirndl & Lederhosen Contest and Altstadt Yodel Contest. Into music? Then join the 11th annual OkTubaFest Friday, October 1. Check the FAQ page for more info.
10/9-10, 16-17/2021—Georgia Apple Festival, Ellijay, GA
This year marks the 50th year of the Georgia Apple Festival, where more than 300 vendors bring handmade, hand-crafted items and hold demonstrations illustrating how their items are made. Don’t miss the Georgia Apple Festival Parade on the 8th, and the Apple Classic Auto Show, and the Apple Festival 5K Road Race, both on the 9th. And of course, there are apples—from Ginger Gold, Pristine, and Swiss Gourmet to Yates, Braeburn, and Arkansas Black—grown in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.
10/6-10/2021—Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Hailey, ID
You might not associate sheep with harvest festivals, but don’t let those in Hailey hear you say that. The annual event focuses on preserving the stories and history of sheep ranchers and herders and educating people about the production of local food and fiber that have sustained local economies for generations. Recognized as a unique cultural festival that’s one of the best in the world, the festival has delicious food, a Sheep Folklife Fair, and the Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep parading down Ketchum’s Main Street with sheep ranching family members and herders headed south.
10/20-23/2021—Circleville Pumpkin Show, Circleville, OH
Pumpkins? Did someone say “pumpkins”? If you’re a fan of those big orange vegetables, then the Circleville Pumpkin Show is where you want to be in October. The event dates back to 1903, and since then it has been a major event. About 23,000 pumpkin pies and more than 100,000 pumpkin donuts are sold annually during the four days, along with a range of other foods. Events include Miss Pumpkin and Little Miss Pumpkin shows, the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In, and the Pumpkin Show Community Band Concert, among others.