Throughout the country, as leaves change colors and the temperatures drop, farmers prepare for fall harvest and its bounty of apples, pumpkins, grapes corn, pecans, and cranberries. Meanwhile, day-trippers pack up their cars make their way to celebratory harvest festivals where the attractions include wandering through corn mazes, participating in baking competitions, and picking pumpkins. Some of the best festivals even feature live music, wine and beer tastings, and their very own parades. These are our top picks for the harvest festivals to attend this fall.
Sun Valley Harvest Festival
Where: Sun Valley, ID When: September 19-22, 2013 Otherwise known as “Foodie Heaven,” the Sun Valley Harvest Festival offers the best of Sun Valley food and wine. The festival features demonstrations from celebrated chefs, a marketplace with products from regional farmers, tasting sessions with seasonal, local food. Visitors can also participate in the festival’s “Restaurant Walk,” which showcases local restaurants, wines and regional fare.
Nebraska City AppleJack FestivalWhere: Nebraska City, NE When: September 20-22, 2013 Traditionally held the third weekend of September, the Nebraska City AppleJack Festival celebrates the city’s apple harvest. Visitors can pick their own apples at local orchards, sample apple treats, or stop by the AppleJam Carnival for rides, games, face painting and food. The festival also features a parade with over 30 marching bands, arts and crafts exhibits and a pie-baking contest.
Sonoma Harvest Fair
Where: Santa Rosa, CA When: October 4-6, 2013 Every October, visitors flock to the heart of California wine country to visit the Sonoma Harvest Fair. The festival features three days of wine tasting from more than 150 local wineries, artisanal products and delicious food pairings. Don’t miss the World Championship Grape Stomp, where teams go head-to-head to produce record numbers of juice.
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