15 Local Fall Festivals

1. Columbus Day Parade, 5K Race & Commemoration

Oct. 2; visit promotioncenterforlittleitaly.org for more info

1200 Bank St., Baltimore, MD

The Columbus Day Parade and Commemoration put on by the Italian community in Baltimore is the longest-running parade in the country honoring Christopher Columbus. The festivities begin with a mass at St. Leo the Great Church and continue with a wreath-laying ceremony, bocce tournament, live music, dancing in the street and then the parade.

2. Fairfax Fall Festival

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Free admission

Old Town Square, Fairfax, VA

For more than 35 years, the Fairfax Fall Festival, in historic downtown Fairfax, has provided locals with a lively celebration of community talent and a fun-filled carnival with all the rides and delicious eats you’d expect. Guests can enjoy more than 400 arts and crafts displays, three stages of live music performances, an assortment of food vendors and plenty of activities for younger attendees.

3. All Things Go Fall Classic

Oct. 8; visit allthingsgofallclassic.com

for ticket info

Union Market, 1309 5th St NE,

Washington, D.C.

From the shining sun ‘til the glowing moon, anything goes at this fall festival in Washington D.C. A slew of artists bring their electro-pop sounds to compete with the sound of rustling leaves and enthusiastic fans. Local D.C. chefs will also be there to cook you up some delicious flavor to keep you fueled throughout the festival.

4. Das Best Oktoberfest

Oct. 8, noon-2 p.m. VIP Admission, 2-6 p.m. Regular Admission; visit dasbestoktoberfest.com for ticket info

M&T Bank Stadium Lots, Baltimore, MD

This Oktoberfest boasts 150 international, domestic and local beers, wines and Schnapps, live oompah bands and hilarious competitions. Wear your best German garb and receive a free souvenir bag!

5. Taste of DC

Oct. 8, 1-8 p.m. and Oct. 9, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. visit thetasteofdc.org for ticket info

Pennsylvania Ave., NW & 7th St. NW Washington, D.C.

Taste of DC packs four blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue with area restaurants, great drinks, lively entertainment, engaging corporate partners and fellow Washingtonians and visitors. This culinary festival is a cultural gathering of the best local food in the nation’s capitol. Participating restaurants in the vicinity offer tastings and other in-house specials.

6. Maryland Pumpkin Festival at Summers Farm

Oct. 8-9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

visit summersfarm.com for ticket info

5620 Butterfly Ln., Frederick, MD

Celebrate all things pumpkin at Summers Farm with seasonal activities like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, pig races, jumping pillows, egg hunts, pumpkin painting and more. Live music and delicious food will add to the already-awesome festivities — don’t miss this special two-day celebration for the

whole family.

7. Virginia Fall Races

Oct. 8-9, starting at 9:30 a.m.; visit vafallraces.com/Home for more info

Glenwood Park, 36787 Glenwood Park Ln. Middleburg, VA

Experience an annual fall tradition in the countryside with cheering fans and the storming of thundering hooves. Drawing crowds in excess of 7,000, this equestrian event combines the thrills of steeplechase with the genteel, social atmosphere of a day in the countryside. Spectators sit in the shade of 100-year-old oak trees at the oldest continuously used race course in Virginia. Children can enjoy the petting zoo and pony rides. Food trucks will be onsite, and various vendors will be selling everything from hats to horsey jewelry.

8. Octoberfest Reston

Oct. 8, noon-11 p.m. and Oct. 9,

noon-8 p.m.; Free admission

Reston Town Center,

11900 Market Street, Reston, VA

Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor fall festival featuring seasonal beer and wine, German fare from 17 area restaurants, a family carnival, live entertainment, a chili cook off and the Great Pumpkin 5K race. Live music will include traditional German tunes as well as favorites from a variety of local musicians.

9. Oktoberfest at the Kentlands

Oct. 9, noon to 5 p.m.; Free admission

Kentlands Mansion, 320 Kent Square Rd. Gaithersburg, MD

Enjoy all things fall at the 25th annual Oktoberfest at the Kentlands in Gaithersburg. There’ll be pumpkin carving and apple cider pressing demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting and five stages of entertainment, including the ever-popular Alte Kameraden German Band and Alt-Washingtonia Bavarian Dancers. Enjoy German food, visit with artists and crafters, and stop by our tasting areas featuring local microbreweries and Maryland wines. Admission and shuttle service from Orchard Ridge Drive are free.

10. Westminster Fall Festival & Flea Market

Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Free admission

Westminster School, 3819 Gallows Rd.  Annandale, VA

This family-fun event features dozens of vendors offering antiques, collectibles and gently used must-have items, plus delicious food and drink options. Community representatives will be on hand with a fire truck, ambulance and police cruiser. Kids will love the moonbounce castle, fortune teller, balloon artist, face painting, pumpkin decorating and fall-themed (supervised) movies.

11. VA StrEats Trucktoberfest  

Oct. 15., noon-9 p.m.  

visit trucktoberfest.vastreats.com

for ticket info

Pfitzner Stadium, 7 County Complex Ct. Woodbridge, VA

This Northern Virginia Oktoberfest event is just as big on food as it is on beer. Given the recent boom of local breweries around the DMV, this festival pairs the best food truck offerings with the best breweries from around the world.

12. Oktoberfest at Schifferstadt

Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Oct. 16,

noon-5p.m.; Free admission

Schifferstadt Architectural Museum

1110 Rosemont Ave., Frederick, MD

Held in a Colonial-era German home, this event offers great food, lively music, historic demonstrators and hand-made products from various art and craft vendors.

13. Fall Harvest Family Days

Oct. 22-23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Visit mountvernon.org for ticket info

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.

Mount Vernon, VA

Celebrates the autumn season with Fall Harvest Family Days! The entire family can enjoys autumn activities including wagon rides, wheat treading in the 16-sided barn, 18th-century dancing demonstrations, a straw bale maze, farrier (blacksmithing) demonstrations, corn husk dolls demonstrations and early-American games and music.

14. Germantown Family Fall Festival

Oct. 26, noon-4 p.m.;  Free admission

Safeway Parking Lot, 19718 Germantown Rd., Germantown, MD

Bring the whole family for a day filled with exciting children’s activities, entertainment and fall-themed fun. Dress in your best Halloween costume for a chance to win gift certificates to the Town Center merchants. Families can choose between pumpkin painting, face painting, spin art or jumping in one of our moon bounces. Admission is free, but light snacks will be for sale.

15. Cox Farms Fall Festival

Through Oct. 31

visit coxfarms.com for ticket info

15621 Braddock Rd., Centreville, VA

This annual celebration has something for everyone: giant slides, swings, hayrides, apples and cider, farm animals and a pumpkin patch. For the older kids (and kids at heart) who like a good scare, check out their nighttime Fields of Fear attraction.

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