Fall Festival Season Starts Early

Fall Festival season is right around the corner as we close the books on summer and head into September. Oktoberfest is one of the more popular events that starts in late September, but fans of fall festivals and events don’t have to wait that long. In northern areas and higher elevations, leaves are turning and fall festival events are starting in the next couple of weeks.

Oktoberfest in Breckenridge– Breckenridge, Colorado, starts September 14
At the 18th annual Oktoberfest, the largest Oktoberfest in the Rocky Mountains, visitors will find a fun-filled weekend of fall foliage, parties, genuine German cuisine, collectable steins and special accommodation packages. During the event, Main Street becomes a street party with traditional costumes, German food, Oompah and polka music, Bavarian dancers, children’s activities, a keg-tapping ceremony, 5K run and Paulaner bier.

Old World Village Oktoberfest– Huntington Beach, California, starts September 9
Centered on Bratwurst and Beer, this adds bands, a parade, dachshund races and more on an 8-acre site with 50 buildings, where the 1st floor is commercial and living quarters are on top. Within the Old World village is the Old World German Restaurant & the Euro Market, Bakery & German Deli, all part of a family-owned and operated business since 1978.

Snohomish Festival of Pumpkins– Snohomish, Washington, starts September 15
Boasting their annual Pumpkin Hurl and Medieval Faire, Snohomish, Washington, has Trebuchets launching pumpkins in a competition, mounted knights battling on horseback, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and a brewfest during the day. At night they have bonfires, fire pits, a haunted swamp cornfield, a field of screams, a hunt for zombies and more.

Let’s take a look at that pumpkin hurl:

[Flickr photo by Zach Dischner]

Celebrate fall with Cider Week in New York

What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with a week full of cider-related events. From October 16-October 24, 2011, New York will host it’s first ever Cider Week, which will include tastings, demonstrations, pairings, classes and more. Here are some of the events to check out (for the full schedule, click here):

October 16– A Cider Revival, 11AM-4PM
New Amsterdam Market

This celebration of hard cider will include cider tastings paired with tapas, sampling of both common and rare varieties of apples, cider purchasing opportunities, and the chance to buy delicious apple pies and desserts. Admission into the market is free, although you will have to purchase a ticket if you want to do the tastings.October 17– Mele and Maiale in the Meatpacking, 6PM-8PM

The event will include cider and porchetta tasting, with special guest Ezra Sherman from Eve’s Cidery. The cost is $10 and reservations should be made in advance to secure a spot. If interested in attending, click here.

October 18– Meet the Cider Maker: Original Sin, 6:30PM-9PM
Good Beer

Want to learn more about cider as well as sample new varieties? Come to this event to speak with Gidon Coll from Original Sin Cider, learn the history of Newtown Pippin apple, and taste some new Heirloom ciders. Price is $10.

October 19– Prix Fixe Dinner Menu with Cider Pairings, 7PM-10PM
Jimmy’s No.43

Enjoy a 3-course meal, each paired with a different cider. There will also be live music in the back room from 8:30PM-11PM. The menu includes:

  • A caramelized apple, walnut, and blue cheese salad paired with Dupont “Cidre Bouche Brut” sparkling cider
  • 24-hour pork braised in cider vinegar and molasses, with roasted parsnips paired with Dupont “Triple” sparkling wine cider
  • Apple cobbler paired with Dupont “Pommeau”

There will also be rare French cider products from New York, Vermont, New Hamshire and France being served all night long. The cost of the event is $45 per person.

October 20– A Cider and Cheese Tour of the Northeast, 6:30PM
Brooklyn Kitchen

Enjoy a guided tasting of regional hard and ice ciders, each paired with artisanal cheeses. Expect at least 5 pairings, as well as science, recipes, and history. The cost for the event is $50.

October 21– Cider Pairing and Cooking Demonstration, 11AM-1PM
Union Square Greenmarket

Learn how to cook with hard cider as well as how to cook dishes that pair well with the drink. This is a free event.

October 22– Tasting of Basque Ciders, 4PM-7PM
Tinto Vino

Sample ciders from North Spain as well as the moutainous region of Asturias. This is a free event.

October 23– Cider Pairing Dinner, 7PM
The Queens Kickshaw

While the specifics for this event are still being determined, attendees can expect delicious cuisine paired with unique ciders. There will be a special guest, as well. The price of this event has not yet been announced.

October 24– Cider Party, 6PM-8:15PM

This closing event will celebrate the winners of the Glywood’s Harvest Awards as they talk about their success supporting local food efforts in their community. A reception with appetizers and Hudson Valley ciders will follow. While this is a free event, RSVP is required.

Alabama celebrates its haunted past with an entire month of events

Throughout October, the state of Alabama in the United States will celebrate its haunted past with a variety of events, including ghost walks, story-telling festivals, and a moonlit tour of Old Cahawba, a historic ghost town.

Here are some of the scheduled events:

7th Annual “Historic Haunts Walk”
Athens, Alabama (Oct 4, 12, 14, 19)

This spooky walk will begin at the Houston Library and includes stories about paranormal activity at twelve local structures. For instance, hear about the girl who fell to her death at Athens University and is still said to wander the halls. Each walk lasts about 90 minutes, with tickets costing $5. For more information, contact Limestone County Tourism at 1-256-232-5411 or Jeanette@visitathensal.com.

Storytellin’ Campfire Talk: Spooks in the Valley
Fort Payne, Alabama (Oct 22)

This free event takes place at the large pavilion in DeSoto State Park. Sit around a campfire and listen to ghostly tales and scary stories. For more information, call 1-256-782-5697.

Ghost Walk & Fall Festival
Thomasville, Alabama (Oct 23)

The Thomasville Arts Council will be acting out some of renowned storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham‘s famous scary stories. There will also be haunted tours, street dancing, a motorcycle poker ride, a car show, and a haunted house. For more information, call the Thomasville Chamber of Commerce at 1-334-636-1542.

To view the complete list of scary events for the month of October, click here.