Fall Festivals: Celebrate Family, History and Heritage

Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer and the start of the fall season is upon us.

What else is upon us? Fall festivals!

What Are Fall Festivals?

Fall festivals are a time for celebrations of family, history, and heritages. Typical festivals are filled with food and drinks, often tasty carnival and fair food. Residents can participate in parades as long as they follow the theme of the event. There are also friendly competitions such as pie eating and a “royal court” of festival kings, queens and princesses.

Some festivals even have rides such as a Ferris wheel, or merry-go-round or one of those tall fun slides that you ride down on a mat to entertain the kids.

These festivals and events all have the goal of entertaining, educating and making memories for families.

Oktoberfests pretzels

Are you German? And, no, that isn’t a misspelling. Oktoberfest is a German festival filled with beer, pretzels, lederhosen, and music.

Oktoberfest started as the wedding celebration of King Ludwig I when he married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12th October 12, 1810.

Maybe you aren’t German? That’s okay! Everyone can join in on Oktoberfest activities.

Check out this list from Funtober.com to find where the closest Oktoberfest to you is.

Fun Fact: Octoberfest started in Munch, Germany with a festival that lasts about two weeks and has roughly six million visitors from around the world each year.

Harvest Festivals parade

Farmers harvest their crops in the fall.  Long hours are spent in the fields. Sometimes before the sun comes up and well after it goes down. There’s a rush to get the fields in before the winter weather hits. Once the fields are harvested, it’s time to kick back and relax and rejoice in the year’s hard work.

  • Pumpkin festivals
  • Corn festivals
  • Potato festivals
  • Melon festivals
  • Apple festivals

Basically, if it grows and is harvested in the fall, there’s probably a town somewhere that has a festival for it.

Check out this list from National Geographic of popular harvest festivals celebrated around the world.

Heritage Festivals heritage

Small, rural towns are a great place to find heritage festivals where you can remember and learn about history. Heritage festivals typically showcase the history of their town and the people who settled there.

Maybe your town is known as a place that made a certain product that put its name on the map?

Was your town established after a pioneer family settled there and made friends with the Native Americans?

Does your town celebrate their ancestors who immigrated there from Europe?

Heritage Festivals are often hidden little gems that you may not hear about too often. Check the newspaper or the internet so you don’t miss out.

Where Can You Find a Festival to Attend?

Fall festivals are held all over the United States starting in July and running through the months of October or November.

Check out these websites for ideas for fall festivals.

  1. Travel Channel
  2. CountryLiving
  3. BedandBreakfast.com

You can also check your local newspapers and the internet for festivals held in your area or state. You’d be surprised at what you might find! Take it as an opportunity to spend time with your family making fun memories and learning about history.

Festivals are typically held on a non-profit status with tight budgets by unpaid volunteers who spend a lot of time planning and coordinating these events every year. Be sure to thank them as if it wasn’t for them, these events would be thing of the past.

Cooler weather, pumpkins, cider, parades, carnival and fair food! Bring it on!