Pumpkins, hayrides, cool weather and leaves changing color are all synonymous with fall. Whether taking the kids out for the day or spending an evening with your closest friends, these autumn festivals in New England prove that fun and togetherness are also hallmarks of the season.
Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta (Maine)
This year, the annual Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta takes place from Oct. 5-8, celebrating the symbol of the season in full. Events at this year’s festival include a giant pumpkin parade, pumpkin derby, a giant pumpkin drop and pumpkin regatta. For the four-day festival, local artists transform 60-70 Atlantic Giant pumpkins into unique works of art that must be seen to be believed. You’ll definitely want to refer to the trail guide so you don’t miss any of the pumpkin sculptures. If you’ve got an unparalleled appetite for pumpkin pie and want to test your mettle in a friendly competition, you can sign up to take part in the pumpkin pie-eating contest.
Fallapalooza! transforms downtown Bennington into a kid-friendly fall festival complete with activities, live entertainment and plenty to eat and drink. Kids can get a jump on growing their Halloween candy haul by taking part in store-to-store trick-or-treating at Bennington’s local businesses. For something a bit more archaic, you can sit back and watch live medieval combat demonstrations, then test your technique at carving and decorating pumpkins. Parking and admission are free for the event, though some vendors may charge for activities.
New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival (New Hampshire)
The city of Laconia celebrates fall in a big way during its New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, which boasts a 34-foot high tower of jack-o’-lanterns. More than 40,000 fall enthusiasts will gather together on Oct. 12, from 4-8 p.m. and Oct. 13, from noon to 8 p.m. to celebrate the season with food and frivolity. There is no shortage of things to do during the festival, with activities ranging from a zombie walk to pumpkin bowling to live music. For adult guests, the Pumpkin Festival Beer Garden will offer brews from NH Distributors, 405 Pub and Grill and Shipyard Brewery. If you want to get an early start to the celebration on Oct. 12, you can take part in The Runaway Pumpkin 10K and 5K Run/Walk at Opechee Park at 9 a.m. or fill up at a pumpkin and buttermilk pancake breakfast at Holy Trinity School from 9 a.m. to noon.
Rhode Island’s International Oktoberfest (Rhode Island)
Overlooking the waterfront of East Providence is a spectacular way to celebrate the 26th annual Rhode Island International Oktoberfest. Set for Oct. 6, at Bold Point Park, the festival features local, craft, seasonal and imported beer; traditional German cuisine such as Bavarian pretzels, sausages and brats; live entertainment; and autumn-inspired dishes and treats. Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. Kids under the age of 12 are free when accompanied by an adult who purchases an admission ticket.
If you love the autumn and want to celebrate it in style, make it a point to visit one or more of these fun and exciting festivals around New England.
This article is presented by Colonial Volkswagen of Medford in Medford, Massachusetts.