From apples and pumpkins to music and foliage, the season of fall festivals will arrive this weekend with the 36th annual M&T Bank Harvest of the Arts in downtown Carlisle.
After the arts and crafts festival returns, the season will continue every weekend through Halloween across the Midstate. Here is a look at some of the upcoming fall festivals this year:
New Cumberland Apple Festival
The New Cumberland Apple Festival, sponsored by the New Cumberland Olde Towne Association, is one of the next fall festivals to arrive, the weekend after Harvest of the Arts.
The apple festival is held annually on the Saturday of September in New Cumberland Borough Park, and a trolley will transport visitors to the festival from several points along Bridge Street and Brandt Avenue.
The festival features more than 70 food vendors and 350 craft vendors, as well as live entertainment and activities for children and adults.
The event will also include an apple pie contest, whose winner will be announced at 11:30 a.m. that day. Pie tasting for the public will start at noon with a cost of $2 per slice.
To register for the contest, call Mary Landis at 717-774-5385, and give your name, category and phone number. Entry forms are located online at http://applefestivalnewcumberlandpa.com and can be turned in with the pies between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. the morning of the festival.
The festival itself will run from 9 a.m. with opening remarks from Mayor DJ Landis to 3 p.m.
Garden Harvest Day
There are three events at Kings Gap to celebrate the fall, organized by the Friends of Kings Gap.
There will be a Garden Harvest Dinner and silent auction at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 that will include a full-course dinner at the Kings Gap Cameron-Masland Mansion. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at Village Artisans Gallery in Boiling Springs and The ClothesVine in Carlisle.
The free Garden Harvest Day will be that same weekend from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1. The festival features kettle-cooked chicken corn soup, apple cider pressing, apple butter making, pumpkin painting, bird feeder building, children’s games and hay rides. All activities will be held in and around the mansion area.
Later in the month, Kings Gap will also be home to the Ghoulish Gallop 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. The run/walk starts in the parking area of the education center and proceeds along a winding trail where ghouls and zombies will haunt the route. Participants completing the walk will be welcomed with hot dogs, drinks and s’mores. The entry fee is $5 per person, and to pre-register, go to www.friendsofkingsgap.com.
There are a number of festivals the following weekend, and the Carlisle Barracks’ Oktoberfest kicks it all of early with its four days of activities.
The tentative times for the event are 4 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5 and 6, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 7 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 8. The festival will be held on the grounds of the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle.
Oktoberfest features a carnival, live music and some unique contests, including the stein holding contest, doggie costume contest, keg toss contest and wife carrying contest. Oktoberfest also features a children’s apple pie eating contest, hot dog eating contest and sauerkraut eating contest on Oct. 7.
For more information and the schedule, go to http://carlisleoktoberfest.com.
Pennsboro Pumpkin Fest
The two-day Pennsboro Pumpkin Fest also starts that weekend, running from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 7 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 at Adams-Ricci Park, 110 E. Penn Drive, Enola.
This year marks the 19th year for the festival that features activities, entertainers, craft vendors and plenty of pumpkins. There will be a pumpkin whoopie pie eating contest at 3 p.m. Oct. 7, and participants should register 15 minutes before the start of judging. There will be a pumpkin pie baking contest the next day, and a paint a pumpkin activity for children 12 and younger.
There will also be the OSS Health Zombie-Run For Your Life 5K Run/Walk. A Kids Golbin Fun Run for children 9 and younger will be at 6 p.m., the 5K Zombie Run/Walk will be at 7 p.m., and the 1-Mile Spooky Run/Walk will start at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.pennsboropumpkinfest.com.
National Apple Harvest Festival
Another multi-day festival also returns that weekend, with the National Apple Harvest Festival running from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 7 and 8, and again on Oct. 14 and 15 at the festival fairgrounds at 615 Narrows Road, Biglerville, Adams County. Parking is available at nearby fields, with free transportation to the fairgrounds.
The festival features live music, face painting, craft and food demonstrations, a petting zoo, children’s activities and plenty of food.
For more information and a schedule of entertainment, go to www.appleharvest.com.
Little Buffalo Festival
Going north to Perry County, the 34th annual Little Buffalo Festival will return to Little Buffalo State Park in Newport from noon to dusk on Oct. 7, rain or shine.
The festival features plenty of music, as well as children’s arts and crafts and craft vendors.
For more information and for a schedule of live music, go to http://littlebuffalofestival.com.
Fall Furnace Fest
With the second weekend of National Apple Harvest Festival taking up the Oct. 14-15 weekend, a number of other fall festivals will return to the area for the weekend of Oct. 21 and 22.
Among them is 9th annual Fall Furnace Festival at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The festival features live entertainment, craft and food vendors, environmental education, historical demonstrations, hikes, hay rides, pumpkin carving, children’s crafts and a silent auction.
One of the main features of the festivals is the Hairy Hand Pumpkin Float Program at Fuller Beach at 7 p.m. Oct. 21. The festival itself runs both days starting at 11 a.m.
Treats for children
Businesses in Mechanicsburg and Carlisle will host activities for children on Saturday, Oct. 21 in two separate events.
Spooky Saturday in downtown Carlisle runs from noon to 3 p.m., and children can trick-or-treat at area businesses, as well as make crafts and play games. A map or participating locations is available at Georgie Lou’s Retro Candy, 56 W. High St., Carlisle.
Streets of Treats in downtown Mechanicsburg will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and likewise features trick-or-treating at local businesses. Trick-or-treat bags and a map of participating businesses can be picked up at the square at 2 E. Main St., Mechanicsburg.
Events in both boroughs are free.
Stony Ridge Fall Fest
The last festival in Cumberland County before Halloween will be in Silver Spring Township. Stony Ridge Fall Fest will return to Stony Ridge Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.
The event is hosted by the township parks and recreation department and includes hay rides, seasonal foods and baked goods, pumpkins, inflatables, a stunt show, life music, martial arts demonstrations, face painting and more than 50 arts and crafts vendors.
Admission and parking is free. For more information, call the recreation office at 717-766-1657.