Festivals October: Top Autumn Celebrations!

festivals october

Fall brings relief from months of sweltering heat, as I am eager to don my flannel shirt and sweater to greet the cooler temperatures and crisp air. The season also ushers in plenty of once-a-year activities from apple picking and pumpkin carving to cider sipping and leaf peeping. With autumn traditionally known as a time to celebrate the harvesting of crops – including grapes, cranberries, apples, squash, and pumpkins – people flock to farms and orchards across California to pick their own produce and take family photos with farm animals and scarecrows.

October is the peak month for festivals and events in California, offering a plethora of entertaining fall celebrations, music festivals, cultural extravaganzas, and mouth-watering food festivals. Whether you’re in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, or San Diego, there are numerous options to choose from. From festive music and art festivals to family-friendly outdoor events, October offers something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top autumn festivals in California this October!

Key Takeaways:

  • October in California is a prime time for festivals and events, offering a variety of cultural celebrations, music festivals, and food festivals.
  • Fall is the perfect season to enjoy outdoor festivals, pick your own produce, and engage in family-friendly activities like pumpkin carving and cider sipping.
  • October festivals in California showcase the rich agricultural heritage of the state, celebrating the harvest of crops such as grapes, cranberries, apples, squash, and pumpkins.
  • From the Bay Area to Los Angeles, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to top festivals in October, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
  • Make sure to mark your calendars and don’t miss out on these must-visit October events in California!

Sever’s Fall Festival in Shakopee, Minnesota: Sept. 16 to Oct. 29

Sever’s Fall Festival is an annual event that has been delighting visitors for over 25 years. Located in Shakopee, Minnesota, the festival takes place every Saturday and Sunday throughout the fall season.

The main attraction at Sever’s Fall Festival is the famous corn stalk maze, which features a new and intricate design each year. Participants can challenge themselves by navigating through the twists and turns of the maze, and those who successfully complete the Corn Maze Challenge can enter a draw for cash prizes.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the corn maze! Sever’s Fall Festival offers a wide range of farm attractions and fall activities for visitors of all ages. Kids can enjoy playing in the corn pit playground or marvel at the impressive straw sculptures. Thrill-seekers can zip through the air on the festival’s zip lines, while animal lovers can get up close and personal with friendly creatures at the petting zoo.

Live shows and entertainment are also a highlight of the festival. From music performances to exciting demonstrations, there’s always something happening on the festival grounds. And of course, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to indulge in some delicious harvest-inspired food from the various food concessions available.

Sever's Fall Festival

Sever’s Fall Festival is the perfect destination for a family-friendly day of fun and celebration. Whether you’re getting lost in the corn maze, enjoying live shows, or savoring the flavors of the season, this festival offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Duluth Fall Festival in Duluth, Georgia: Sept. 30 to Oct. 1

The Duluth Fall Festival is a true community affair held annually in downtown Duluth. It’s a weekend filled with vibrant festivities that bring together locals and visitors alike. The festival kicks off with a lively parade that showcases the spirit and diversity of the Duluth community. Participants, dressed in colorful costumes, dance and march along the streets, filling the air with joyous excitement.

Duluth Fall Festival

During the festival, the streets come alive with the presence of over 180 artisan vendors, offering a wide array of unique arts and crafts. From handmade jewelry to beautifully crafted pottery, there is something for everyone to admire and purchase. Strolling through the festival, you’ll also encounter talented street performers who showcase their skills with captivating acts, creating an atmosphere of wonder and entertainment.

Of course, no festival is complete without food, and the Duluth Fall Festival is no exception. Indulge in a variety of Southern specialties and classic fall festival fare that will tantalize your taste buds. From mouthwatering BBQ to delectable fried treats, the festival offers a gastronomic journey that celebrates the flavors of the South.

For those seeking thrills and excitement, the festival features an array of carnival rides and games that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. From classic rides like the Ferris wheel to exciting spinning attractions, there is no shortage of fun and adventure. The laughter and screams of joy fill the air as families create unforgettable memories together.

On Sunday morning, the festival offers a special worship service on the picturesque Duluth Town Green. It’s a time for reflection and gratitude as participants gather in unity to celebrate community and embrace the spirit of the season. The service provides a serene and meaningful experience in the heart of the festival.

The Duluth Fall Festival truly embodies the essence of community and the joy of coming together. It’s a celebration that showcases the best of Georgia and invites everyone to share in the festivities. Mark your calendars for this unforgettable event that will leave you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the vibrant Duluth community.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati: Sept. 14-17

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the largest Oktoberfest in the country, attracting over 700,000 people to downtown Cincinnati each year. This vibrant festival captures the spirit of the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, with a unique twist.

One of the most anticipated events at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the “Running of the Wieners,” where adorable dachshunds race in hot dog costumes. It’s a sight that will surely bring a smile to your face. Another highlight is the bratwurst eating championship, where contestants compete to devour the most delicious sausages.

But Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is not just about the quirky events. Live music fills the air throughout the festival, with a diverse lineup of genres ranging from traditional polka to energetic rock. It’s the perfect backdrop for dancing, singing, and enjoying the lively atmosphere.

No Oktoberfest celebration would be complete without indulging in German specialties, and this festival delivers. From pretzels and sauerkraut to schnitzel and strudel, there’s a mouthwatering array of authentic and delicious treats for every taste bud. And don’t forget to pair your food with a cold and refreshing beer from one of the many local breweries.

Oh, and before I forget, take a moment to feast your eyes on this captivating image of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati:

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Make sure to mark your calendar for September 14th to 17th, so you don’t miss out on this extraordinary celebration of German culture and the joy of Oktoberfest in the heart of Cincinnati.

Elk Fest in Estes Park, Colorado: Sept. 30 to Oct. 1

Elk Fest is an exciting event that takes place in Estes Park, Colorado, during the elk mating season, also known as the elk rut. This festival celebrates the natural beauty and wildlife of the area, providing visitors with a unique experience.

During Elk Fest, you can enjoy live music performances that create a vibrant atmosphere filled with energy and excitement. Sit back, relax, and let the melodies enhance your festival experience.

Food trucks are a highlight of Elk Fest, offering a wide range of delicious and satisfying meals. From local favorites to international cuisines, there’s something to satisfy every taste bud. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes and fuel up for all the festivities.

A bugling contest is a must-see event where festivalgoers can try to imitate the distinct sounds of elk. Watch as participants showcase their talent and mimic the bugling calls in an attempt to impress the judges and earn the coveted title of Bugling Champion.

In addition to the festival activities, Elk Fest is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of fall foliage. Take a leisurely stroll and indulge in leaf peeping, admiring the vibrant colors that paint the landscape with hues of red, orange, and gold.

Estes Park is also known for its proximity to the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park, offering ample opportunities to spot elk in their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled as you explore the park, and you might catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures up close.

No visit to Elk Fest is complete without experiencing the iconic Stanley Hotel. Steeped in history and charm, this grand hotel offers a unique and unforgettable stay. Immerse yourself in the stories and ambiance of this renowned establishment and create lasting memories.

Elk Fest in Estes Park, Colorado, promises an extraordinary celebration of the elk mating season, complemented by live music, delicious food, bugling contests, leaf peeping, and the allure of the Stanley Hotel. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience!

The National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville, Pennsylvania: Oct. 7-8 and 14-15

The National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville, Pennsylvania is an exciting event dedicated to celebrating fall’s favorite fruit – apples! This festival, held on October 7-8 and 14-15, brings together apple enthusiasts from all over to indulge in an array of apple-inspired activities and treats.

At the National Apple Harvest Festival, visitors can explore the arts and crafts vendors, showcasing the creativity and talent of local artisans. From handmade jewelry to intricate woodwork, there’s something for everyone to admire and purchase.

One of the highlights of the festival is the chainsaw carving demonstrations, where skilled artisans transform blocks of wood into beautiful works of art right before your eyes. It’s a mesmerizing experience that showcases the talent and precision of these artists.

The festival also features collections of classic cars for automobile enthusiasts to admire. Whether you appreciate vintage vehicles or modern classics, you’ll find an impressive display that will transport you back in time.

Live entertainment is another aspect of the festival, with Native American dancers captivating the crowd with their traditional performances. The rhythmic movements and vibrant costumes create a mesmerizing experience for all attendees.

Of course, no apple festival would be complete without a variety of apple-inspired snacks. From caramel apples to apple cider donuts, there’s something to satisfy every craving. And for those with a competitive spirit, there’s even a pie-eating contest where participants can indulge in delicious apple pies!

If you’re visiting the National Apple Harvest Festival, consider staying at the nearby historic Gettysburg Hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This charming hotel offers comfortable accommodations and is a short drive away from the festival grounds. It’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of apple-filled fun.

Salem Haunted Happenings in Salem, Massachusetts: Oct. 1-31

Salem Haunted Happenings takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, a town with a spooky history associated with witch trials. The festival offers a wide range of family-friendly events, providing a perfect blend of fun and eeriness. From costume parties and magic shows to movie nights and psychic readings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during this month-long celebration.

For those looking to explore the town’s haunted past, ghost tours are available, taking visitors to the most notorious locations and sharing spine-chilling tales. Immerse yourself in the paranormal atmosphere and discover the secrets of Salem’s dark history.

A highlight of the festival is the Halloween costume ball held at the historic Hawthorne Hotel. This exquisite event allows guests to step back in time and experience the opulent elegance of the Salem witch trials era. Attendees dress in elaborate costumes, dance the night away, and create unforgettable memories.


As October arrives, so do a plethora of festivals that celebrate the vibrant spirit of autumn. These festivals offer a wide range of activities and entertainment, making them the perfect way to embrace the season. Whether you’re wandering through corn mazes, enjoying live music, or indulging in delicious food, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From family-friendly events to cultural celebrations, these top festivals in October bring communities together for unforgettable experiences.

During these festivals, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the season while enjoying the numerous attractions on offer. Take a stroll through a corn maze, challenge yourself with farm attractions, or simply sit back and savor the melodies of live music. Cultural performances add a unique touch, giving you the opportunity to appreciate diverse traditions and art forms. And let’s not forget about the food! Treat yourself to seasonal favorites, indulge in local specialties, and savor the flavors of autumn.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of spooky fun, October festivals offer just that. From ghost tours to costume parties, you can dive into the eerie atmosphere of the season. Explore haunted histories, be entertained by magic shows, or get your fortunes told with psychic readings. With a touch of spookiness and a lot of excitement, these festivals ensure a one-of-a-kind experience for all.

So, don’t miss out on the top festivals happening in October. Celebrate the season, connect with your community, and create lasting memories at these autumn celebrations. With a wide range of fall events and seasonal festivities, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Embrace the spirit of the season and make the most of the vibrant and festive atmosphere that October brings.


What are some popular festivals in October?

Some popular festivals in October include Sever’s Fall Festival in Shakopee, Minnesota, Duluth Fall Festival in Duluth, Georgia, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, Elk Fest in Estes Park, Colorado, The National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, and Salem Haunted Happenings in Salem, Massachusetts.

What can I expect at Sever’s Fall Festival?

Sever’s Fall Festival features a famous corn stalk maze, unique attractions like a corn pit playground and straw sculptures, live shows, entertainment options, and plenty of harvest-inspired food concessions.

What is the Duluth Fall Festival all about?

The Duluth Fall Festival is a community affair held annually in downtown Duluth, Georgia. It features a parade, over 180 artisan vendors selling arts and crafts, street performers, Southern specialties and classic fall festival fare, carnival rides and games, and a Sunday worship service on the Duluth Town Green.

What makes Oktoberfest Zinzinnati special?

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the largest Oktoberfest in the country, attracting over 700,000 visitors to downtown Cincinnati. It offers unique events such as the Running of the Wieners and a bratwurst eating championship, along with live music, German specialties, and local brewery samples.

What can I enjoy at Elk Fest in Estes Park, Colorado?

Elk Fest is held in Estes Park to celebrate the arrival of the elk mating season. It features live music, food trucks, a bugling contest, vibrant fall foliage, and the opportunity to see elk in the national park or around town. A stay at the iconic Stanley Hotel is also highly recommended.

What happens at The National Apple Harvest Festival?

The National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, is dedicated to celebrating fall’s favorite fruit. It showcases arts and crafts vendors, chainsaw carving demonstrations, classic cars, live entertainment, apple-inspired snacks, and the crowning of the Pennsylvania Apple Queen.

What can I expect at Salem Haunted Happenings?

Salem Haunted Happenings takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, a town with a spooky history associated with witch trials. The festival offers a wide range of family-friendly events including costume parties, magic shows, movie nights, psychic readings, ghost tours, and a coveted costume ball at the historic Hawthorne Hotel.

Why should I attend fall festivals in October?

Fall festivals in October offer a variety of autumn celebrations, including corn mazes, farm attractions, live music, cultural performances, delicious food, and family-friendly fun. They are a perfect way to embrace the season and create lasting memories.