Autumn Outings: Harvest Festivals Across the Region
By Rachel Louchen
Oh summer, we hardly knew ye. After our never-ending winter, it felt like things finally were getting warm again. But if there’s one positive that comes with the return of cooler temps, it’s the abundance of harvest festivals and autumn activities in our region. Whether you want to go the traditional route with hay rides and apple pressing, or mix it up with some garlic ice cream, you have the best of three states to chose from.
Hancock Shaker Village County Fair, Pittsfield
September 27 – 28, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A bountiful festival featuring a farmers’ market, local and regional arts and crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides and agricultural demonstrations set against the perfect backdrop of the grounds at Hancock Shaker Village.
Lenox Apple Squeeze
September 27 – 28, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The two-day festival celebrates autumn in the Berkshires with a memorable street fair featuring food, rides, music and shopping, plus there will be crafts, artists and vendors all down Main Street.
Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Parade, North Adams
October 3 – 5, parade begins at 1 p.m.
A full weekend of events, culminating with the sizable Fall Foliage Parade. This year’s theme, “100th Anniversary of the Mohawk Trail,” celebrates the adventures people have experienced while hiking the trail over the last century, and pays homage to the culture it brings to our region. Other events over the weekend include a 5K race, children and dog parades and an all-you-can-eat breakfast.
Berkshire Botanical Harvest Fest, Stockbridge
October 11 – 12, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Celebrate the bounty at this annual festival that usually draws a huge turnout (up to 10,000) and offers events for all ages. Showcasing local arts and crafters and artisan food producers, the festival also brings in food trucks, runs a silent auction, entertainment, tag sale, country bazaar, used book sale, jewelry boutique, plant and bulb sale and farmers’ market. All proceeds support the educational programs at the Garden.
Berkshire Coaching Festival, Stockbridge and Lenox
October 11 – 13, times vary
This festival takes advantage of the beautiful foliage scenes in the Berkshires via horse-drawn carriages that pass through Stockbridge and Lenox. Departure locations are Shakespeare & Company on Saturday, October 11; the Norman Rockwell Museum on Sunday, October 12; and The Mount on Monday, October 13. The Gilded Age experience is further heightened by formal attire; men are encouraged to wear suits, and women can take the opportunity to try on the era in dresses and long skirts.
Chatham Farm and Art Tour
September 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Chatham Agricultural Partnership offers a glimpse into the life of a farmer with a full (free) day of local farm tours. The sixth annual event will have products available for purchase from farm stands; horses, alpacas, sheep and cattle will be present for children to enjoy; and some farms will offer special activities. New this year, the featured farms will exhibit artwork inspired by the beauty and vitality of farming life in Chatham. Farm locations vary.
FarmOn! Friends of the Farmer Hudson Valley Food Lovers Festival 2014, Copake
September 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The unique, experimental event (which also features a live performance from a Disney music artist) introduces attendees to food businesses from throughout the Hudson Valley. Celebrate local farms and food producers and take advantage of the best seasonal fruits and vegetables available. Eat, drink, enjoy a picnic, pet farm animals, try free samples and sign up for CSAs.
The Sylvia Center’s Fall Harvest Day And Community Potluck, Kinderhook
September 27, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Activities include pressing fresh cider, helping with garden projects, visiting with animals and horsing around on hay rides. Bring a dish for the potluck lunch or participate in the 11 a.m. cooking class and help the chefs prepare the meal on the farm using a wood-fired oven.
Hawthorne Valley Fall Festival, Ghent
October 12, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Celebrating its 20th year, the festival features events that are synonymous with the season: hay mazes and rides, apple cider pressing, pie baking, scarecrow making, pumpkin carving. There will also be a large selection of local foods, live music and an open house at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School.
Autumn in Austerlitz
October 12, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The day serves as a living history museum depicting the town of Austerlitz as it would’ve been in the 1830s. The 18th annual event features volunteers dressed in early 19th-century costumes, as well as antiques, live music, food, activities for children and craft vendors.
Salisbury Fall Festival
October 10 – 12, Salisbury and Lakeville; times vary
In the twin villages of Salisbury and Lakeville, churches, local businesses and merchants participate in this harvest festival, which includes rummage sales, book sales, bread-making classes, a scarecrow contest, live music and hay rides for the kids. A highlight of the busy weekend is the pancake breakfast on Sunday morning at Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service.
Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival, Bethlehem
October 11 – 12, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Bethlehem Fairgrounds will hold this event that features garlic-centric cooking demonstrations, garlic-growing lectures, free samples and produce stands. The food court will have a huge variety of garlic dips, spreads, cheeses, oils, sausage, sandwiches – even deep-fried garlic and garlic ice cream.
Harvest Bounty Wine & Brew Fest, Litchfield
October 18, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Attendees can sample local and domestic craft beer and wine from more than a dozen vendors. There will also be food, indoor and outdoor settings with firepits, raffles, two live bands and free tasting glasses to the first 300 people.
Kent Pumpkin Run
October 26, 12 p.m.
The spectator-friendly five-mile race starts and finishes at the Kent Green and has offers music, refreshments, face painting and Halloween-themed fun. Everyone is invited to attend the post-race party along with the runners.