Albuquerque Balloon Festival

Trip Planning

2023 Fall Festivals

Fall of 2023 has some amazing events in store! Across the country, there are so many fall festivals to enjoy. Jeff Crider shares some of these festivals as well as where to camp while attending.

Fall for many Americans is synonymous with apple cider, autumn leaves, Oktoberfest and, of course, Halloween. But depending on where you are, September, October and November also usher in some of America’s most iconic festivals, from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico to the National Apple Harvest Festival in Pennsylvania to Oktoberfest Zincinnati, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the country.

There’s plenty of regional favorites, too, like the Trailing of the Sheep Festival near Sun Valley, Madison County Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset, Iowa, and the two-day Dia de los Muertos event in San Antonio, Texas.

All of this, of course, means there are plenty of fun fall festival that are worthy RVing destinations. Here’s a sampling of 25 fall festivals across the country with more than 50 campgrounds and RV parks that can be used as base camps while enjoying these events:

Adirondack Balloon Festival in Queensbury, New York, September 21-24: This year is the 50th anniversary of this annual hot air balloon event, which is expected to attract over 100,000 people. Attendees include members of the Northeast Hot Air RVers, an RV club for hot air ballooning enthusiasts. Dry camping is possible on a hill overlooking the airport grounds where the balloon festival takes place. Other nearby campgrounds include: 

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 7-15: This annual event is the largest gathering of hot air balloons and balloon pilots in the world. Highlights of this event include the pre-dawn balloon launches when the brightly colored balloons lift off into the still dark sky. Nearby campgrounds include:

Apple Butter Festival in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, October 7-8: This unique festival, now in its 48th year, offers over 150 vendors, a parade, various contests, including a hog calling contest, live music, domestic and craft beers, all with the smell of apple butter wafting through the air. Nearby campgrounds include:

Breckenridge Oktoberfest in Breckenridge, Colorado, September 15-17: This three-day event features plenty of beer, food, music and dancing, including live polka bands, a stein hoisting contest, a baby bjorn stein hosting contest, and a children’s costume contest. There will also be a 5k run. Nearby campgrounds include:

Catoctin Colorfest in Thurmont, Maryland, Oct. 14-15: One of the largest outdoor craft shows on the East Coast, this event features local art, jewelry, crafts, and a variety of delicious foods. Nearby campgrounds include:

Dia de los Muertos Hemisfair in San Antonio, Texas, October 28-29: This event, considered one of best the Dia de los Muertos celebrations, features a procession, over 70 homemade altars with photos, “pan de muerto” sweet bread, candles and flowers that honor the memory of departed family members. There will also be workshops as well as food and art vendors. Nearby campgrounds include:

Duluth Fall Festival in Duluth, Georgia, September 30-October 1: This festival includes a parade with over 3,000 participants, a 5K run, a concert and over 375 food and craft vendors. Nearby campgrounds include:

Elkfest in Estes Park, Colorado, September 30-October 1: This annual event coincides with the elk rut or mating season, so visitors are likely to see elk wandering in and around Estes Park in addition to neighboring Rocky Mountain National Park. The festival itself features a 5k run, bugling contests, food trucks, live music and performances and vendors. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Fall for Greenville in Greenville, South Carolina, October 13-15: This event features food vendors, culinary competitions, beer and wine gardens and live music, among other attractions. Nearby campgrounds include:

Frankenmuth's Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth, Michigan, September 14-17: Frankenmuth's Oktoberfest was the first Oktoberfest to operate with the blessing of the original Oktoberfest in Munich. With this proclamation, the event was moved into September to coincide with the opening of the Munich event. Munich’s Hofbrauhaus became the official beer sponsor of the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest in 1997. With Frankenmuth's unique German heritage and culture, the Frankenmuth Oktoberfest strives to preserve the sights and sounds of the Munich Oktoberfest. The event features authentic entertainment, dancing, Oktoberfest souvenirs, various food selections, and authentic Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest beer. Nearby campgrounds include: 

LaFayette Apple Festival in LaFayette, New York, October 7-8: Held annually in the heart of Upstate New York’s apple-growing region, the festival features an apple pie and scarecrow competitions in addition to featuring crafters and artisans, roaming entertainers and musical performers. The festival is located directly on U.S. Route 20, which is a New York State Scenic Byway ( Nearby campgrounds include: 

Madison County Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset, Iowa, October 14-15: This event includes a parade, an antique tractor ride through several covered bridges of Madison County, a 5K run/walk, a horseshoe tournament, arts and craft vendors, food and live music. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Medina Lake Cajun Festival in Lakehills, Texas, September 23: This festival brings the music, food and culture of Louisiana to the Texas Hill Country for fun the whole family can enjoy. Visitors can listen and dance to topnotch Louisiana Cajun and Zydeco music on two stages with bands from the heart of Louisiana, and sample gumbo from the Great Gumbo Cook-off.  Delicious Cajun food is cooked on site. Dishes include crawfish pies, jambalaya, fried fish and shrimp, red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, boudin jalapeno pepper poppers, bread pudding with whiskey sauce, and pecan pralines. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Natchez Balloon Festival in Natchez, Mississippi, October 20-21: This event complements the balloon festival with arts and crafts, live music and carnival rides and games for the kids. Nearby campgrounds include:

National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, October 7-8 and 14-15: This annual family-friendly event, held in Pennsylvania’s apple country, features everything from apple pie to apple guacamole as well as hundreds of arts and craft vendors. There will also be ax throwing, chainsaw carving, Native American dancers, a petting zoo, a caricature artist, and a puppet show.
Nearby campgrounds include: 

North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival in Whiteville, North Carolina, November 3-4: This event includes a parade, a homemade pecan pie competition, a first responders “burger brawl” barbecue competition, beer and wine gardens, live music, as well as a car and truck show. There will also be arts and crafts and food vendors. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Oktoberfest Zincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 14-17: Fifth Street in downtown Cincinnati is transformed into a vibrant Bavarian village with German cuisine, entertainment, and beer for this event, which is considered to be the largest Oktoberfest celebration the country. Nearby campgrounds include:

Salem Haunted Happenings in Salem, Massachusetts, October 1-31: Famed as the site of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, this city celebrates Halloween throughout October with scores of special events, including a Haunted Happenings Parade, a Howl-o-Ween Pet Parade, a Haunted Happenings Marketplace and many other similarly-themed events and attractions. Nearby campgrounds include:

Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta in Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 27-October 1: This tasty event, now in its 32nd year, features over 60 participating restaurants and 90 wineries. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Scarecrow Weekend in St. Charles, Illinois, October 6-8: This event features a scarecrow making contest, a craft show, a professional pumpkin carver, and live entertainment, including a magic show. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Sea Witch Festival in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, October 27-29: Activities include a sea witch hunt, a costume parade, a costumed pet parade, hayrides and pony rides on the beach, live music and other beach activities. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Sever's Fall Festival in Shakopee, Minnesota, September 16 to October 29: Attractions at this festival include the largest corn maze in Minnesota and many other attractions, including jumping pillows, petting zoos, zip lines, pumpkin patches, live entertainment, local artisans and food vendors. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Trailing of the Sheep Festival near Sun Valley, Idaho, October 4-8: This unique festival features multiple events, activities and classes in Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho. In addition to a Big Sheep Parade and championship sheepdog trials there will be several farm to table dinners and classes on cooking lamb, cheese making, Navajo wool spinning, basic weaving, wool fiber preparation, a sheep ranching Q & A, and many other sessions. There will also be a sheepherders hike with stories. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Warrens Cranberry Festival in Warrens, Wisconsin, September 22-24: This annual event, now in its 50th year, has grown from 75 booths and 3,500 attendees in 1973 to over 1,300 booths and over 120,000 visitors each year. Activities include a parade, tours of local cranberry marshes, and numerous contests, including a biggest cranberry contest, a recipe contest, a quilt and needlework contest, and a cranberry chiffon pie eating contest, among other events. Nearby campgrounds include: 

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, Oregon, October 22: This regatta features contestants who lower themselves into giant, hollowed out pumpkins and race across the water, ever so slowly. Some will capsize. But that’s all part of the part. Other events include a 5K run/walk and a medallion hunt. Nearby campgrounds include: 

Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas, November 3-12:  

This is a 10-day German-themed food and craft beer event at the Wurstfest grounds in New Braunfels. Nearby Campgrounds include: 

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.