Celebrate New England’s colorful fall season at one of these harvest festivals

BOSTON – September 16, 2013 – For New Englanders and visitors alike, the changing colors of the leaves to vibrant oranges, reds and browns in the fall are the highlight of the year. Celebrate this visually striking season at the many harvest festivals throughout Massachusetts. These annual celebrations highlight nostalgic activities like pumpkin picking, hayrides and savoring the tasty fall flavors.

For more information on fall activities and happenings, visit massvacation.com or check out the “MassFinds” blog at massvacation.com/blog.

Greater Boston

Harpoon Octoberfest ~ Boston, MA
Friday, October 4, 2013, 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. and October 5, 2013 ~ 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Boston-based brewery, Harpoon, threw their very first Octoberfest in Boston in 1990. Now it has become a beloved New England fall celebration. Nibble on bratwursts, marvel at a German chocolate cake-eating contest and toast your favorite beers while lederhosen-clad musicians waltz. This year marks the 23rd Anniversary of the original New England-style Octoberfest. For more information, visit HarpoonBrewery.com.

Boston Local Food Festival ~ Boston, MA
October 6, 2013, 11a.m. – 5 p.m.
For one day only, Boston’s Greenway transforms into the nation’s largest local and sustainable food hub. Local food growers, producers, educators and supporters, gather to taste the artisan foods of Boston. Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to learn creative ways to grow food, take home food from local farmers and producers, taste beer, mead and wine and more. For more information, visit BostonLocalFoodFestival.com.

Cape Cod and the Islands

The Milestone Cranberry Bog and the Nantucket Foundation’s 11th Annual Cranberry Festival ~ Nantucket, MA
October 12, 2013, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Watch this plump red fruit being harvested, learn about the history of cranberry farming on Nantucket and enjoy live music and autumn scenery. Take a self-guided tour of the bogs to learn about their historic role in Nantucket agriculture and then snack on fresh cranberries from the bogs, chocolate covered cranberries or cranberry bread.

Wellfleet Oysterfest ~ Wellfleet, Cape Cod, MA
October 19 – 20, 2013, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
One of the oldest oyster guidelines instructs to only eat oysters during the months that include the letter “r.” Seeing as October fits the bill, what better month to celebrate an oysterfest? Once you are full on these little bivalves, visit the booths of more than 75 artisans, enjoy live music and kids activities like face painting and moonbounces. Continue onto an oyster reef tour, a nature walk or act as a spectator at the Annual Oyster Shuck-off Competition. Then it’s back to more oysters at the 12 raw bars at the festival. For more information, visit WellfleetOysterFest.org.

North of Boston and Greater Merrimack Valley

Newburyport Fall Harvest Festival ~ Newburyport, MA
October 13 – 14, 2013, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A Newburyport tradition for more than 3 decades, Fall Harvest Festival features skilled artists offering handmade crafts, live music and food from Newburyport’s best restaurants. Catch this festival at the tale end of Columbus Day weekend and don’t miss the scarecrow contest showcasing a gallery of inventive scarecrows throughout Market Square.

South of Boston

Silverbrook Farm Fall Harvest Festival ~ Acushnet, MA
September 21, 2013 – October 27, 2013, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Every Saturday and Sunday from the end of September to the end of October, Silverbrook Farm hosts their Fall Harvest Festival. Travel through the farm aboard a horse drawn hayride or go exploring in a corn maze. Try your hand at pumpkin painting and don’t forget your free sugar pumpkin at the end of the day to take home. For more information, visit TheSilverBrookFarm.com.

Central Massachusetts

Applefest ~ Princeton, MA

October 19 – 20, 2013, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
More than 75 craft and farmers’ market booths unite on Wachusett Mountain to pay homage to the fall season and its most popular fruit. Enjoy a mountainside BBQ, pony and hayrides and chainsaw carving demonstrations. After cruising the market, head to the beer garden for live music, German cuisine and a tasty beer in true Oktoberfest fashion. For more information, visit wachusett.com.

The Big E ~ Springfield, MA
September 13 – 29, 2013
The Eastern States Exposition very much resembles a state fair complete with a colossal Ferris wheel, novelty carnival foods, and livestock. The Big E, however, is the only fair in the country with multiple states participating. Take a stroll along the Avenue of States to see replicas of each New England state’s original statehouse sitting on the land actually owned by that state. Finish the day with The Big E Cream Puff, the fair’s signature dessert that debuted in 2002. For more information, visit TheBigE.com.

North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival ~ Orange, MA
October 5 – 6, 2013
Self-named “the festival that stinks,” the 15th annual garlic festival is a celebration of the artistic, agricultural and cultural bounty of the region, emphasizing what is homegrown, handmade and high quality, as well as what helps preserve and support the environment and the community. Events range from the more eccentric garlic-themed type like a garlic and egg toss or tug of garlic to lessons on growing garlic and the more artistic lesson on making wooden bowls.  For more information, visit GarlicandArts.org.

Western Massachusetts

Fall Foliage Festival and Parade ~ North Adams, MA
October 6, 2013, 1 p.m.
This annual festival embraces the rich history of folklore in Western Massachusetts. This year’s theme is “Haunts, Legends, and Ghost Stories,” will carry into all of the festival’s activities from a craft fair to a children’s fair, road race, leaf hunt and live performances. Don’t miss the Fall Foliage Parade that marches through downtown North Adams. Dozens of businesses and organizations take part in the parade, forming a collection of people who showcase the heart of the Berkshires. For more information, visit FoliageParade.com.

Shaker Suppers ~ Hancock, MA
October 19, 2013 or November 30, 2013
Dine in a brick dwelling from 1830 at the Hancock Shaker Village, formerly an actual Shaker village and now museum. A 4 p.m. guided tour occurs before supper where interpreters in period attire present an introduction to Shaker life as you explore the Village’s collection of Shaker furniture and artifacts. After a cider and cheese reception, dinner is served by candle light with recipes from The Best of Shaker Cooking by Amy Bess Miller. For more information, visit HancockShakerVillage.org.

About MOTT:
The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1 billion in state and local taxes and $16.9 billion in travel related expenditures, supporting 124,700 in-state jobs. massvacation.com