New England Fall Festivals 2018

10 Best Festivals in New England Celebrating Fall

New England celebrates fall foliage season like no other place in the world. Some of the best New England fall festivals feature Octoberfest beer, food from the harvest, arts and crafts, hayrides, and pumpkins. Check to see if you will be around for any of the festivals held in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. There is a whole slate of fall events planned.

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    harpoon brewery boston

     Henry Zbyszynski/Flickr

    On September 28 and September 29, 2018, kickoff Octoberfest at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston's Harpoon Brewery hosts one of New England's largest Octoberfest celebrations of the year. Sample fresh Harpoon beer and German food while you enjoy live performances by German oompah bands and some playful events like the chicken dance contest.

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    The 30th annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival span three days at the Riley Rink at Hunter Park on September 28 through September 30, 2018.

    Combine leaf peeping and shopping. Each year, Manchester, Vermont, hosts this fall craft show featuring works by 200 artists plus live entertainment, local food, beer, and more.

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    Peacham VT - Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage Festival
    Media photo by David P. McMasters, courtesy of Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing

    This seven-day fall festival showcases a different town each day in Vermont's remote and incredibly scenic Northeast Kingdom. The event runs from September 30 through October 6, 2018. The seven participating towns are Marshfield, Walden, Cabot, Plainfield, Peacham, Barnet, and Groton.

    Jump in your car and travel town-to-town meeting local folks as they open the doors of their homes, historic sites, and churches and host a variety of activities ranging from guided tours, cider pressing, giant pumpkin contests, and concerts to lumberjack or pancake breakfasts and chili cookoffs or barbecue suppers.

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    Each year since 1947, Warner, New Hampshire has hosted a fall foliage festival. The town entices visitors with an arts and crafts fair, carnival rides, a farmer's market, food, and a full lineup of free entertainment. Highlights of the weekend event will include two grand parades, a 5-mile road race, a children's run, and a lobster dinner and barbecue chicken. This year, the event runs from October 5 to October 7, 2018. 

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    Savor a taste of Germany at the 26th annual Oktoberfest featuring authentic entertainment including Bavarian bands on October 6, 2018, at Bold Point Park, East Providence, Rhode Island, The waterfront event offers a Biergarten atmosphere and authentic German food.

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    October 6 and October 7, 2018, is Fall Festival Weekend at the Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine. The main event is the 19th annual North American Wife Carrying Championships on October 6. It is truly a unique sporting event in which the winning carrier earns his partner's weight in beer and five times his partner's weight in cash. It is free to spectate. Other events throughout the weekend include scenic chairlift rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, kids' activities, free concerts, and more.

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    USA, Maine, Boothbay Harbor, Granary Way shops on sunny day

     Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

    This 51st annual fall festival at Boothbay Railway Village features crafts, entertainment, food, activities for kids, a pumpkin carving contest, and steam train rides for a nostalgic look at the leaves on Columbus Day Weekend from October 6 through October 8, 2018.

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    Tourists in the Museum of America and the Sea at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, USA

    Aimin Tang/Getty Images 

    Another Columbus Day weekend tradition is the Mystic Seaport Chowder Days Festival from October 6 through October 8, 2018, in Mystic, Connecticut at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Hungry for chowder? Then do not hesitate on your way to the annual festival featuring New England's signature soup. There are several varieties of chowder, apple fritters, mulled cider and other seasonal selections, all of which must be purchased separately from museum admission. While there, enjoy family activities, live music, and all of the sights and experiences of this sprawling maritime museum.

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  • 09 of 10
    Pumpkin Festival New Hampshire

    © 2013 Kim Knox Beckius

    Make plans to help New Hampshire hold onto its title of Pumpkin Capital of the World in 2018 when the Pumpkin Festival is held in Laconia, New Hampshire, for the fourth time in its 28th anniversary year on October 12 and October 13, 2018. Bring a carved pumpkin... or a few. There will kiddie rides, a zip line, a 10K run and 5K walk, and much more.

    The people of New Hampshire recaptured their Guinness World Record for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one place in 2013 by besting the 30,128 glowing gourds Boston assembled in 2006. Watch this video to hear the crowd's reaction when the new record total of 30,851 pumpkins was announced.

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    Wellfleet OysterFest

    Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism/Flickr 

    The annual OysterFest in Wellfleet features opportunities to sample oysters and clams prepared every which way. You can also shop for crafts, cheer for competitors in the Oyster Shuck-Off, participate in family activities, listen to music, and even learn something about the marine environment. The fun takes place on October 13 and October 14, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Enjoy an uncrowded Cape Cod in the fall, the off-season rates, splashes of fall color, mild temperatures, and, of course, the oysters.