9:25 PM / Wednesday September 27, 2023

15 Sep 2017

Audacious autumn: Squirrel cook off, Elktober, purple feet

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
September 15, 2017 Category: Travel Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  PA Bacon Fest–Easton, Pennsylvania


By Beth J. Harpaz

associated press

Looking for something more exciting than pumpkin spice, Oktoberfests and leaf-peeping to shake up your plans this fall?

Consider adding one of these audacious autumnal experiences to your calendar: a squirrel cook off in Arkansas, ukulele festival in Florida, caterpillar races in North Carolina or the annual wife-carrying contest in Maine. For the month of Elktober, you’ll find randy elks bugling their mating calls in Colorado. Or perhaps you’d like to turn your feet purple at a winery grape-stomping event.

Here’s a random sample of fall fun around the country from classics to events that are just a little bit wacky.


World Championship Squirrel Cook Off, 8th Street Market, Bentonville, Arkansas, Sept. 16,

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Sept. 27-Oct. 1,

Wild Mushroom Celebration, Long Beach Peninsula, Washington, Oct. 1-Nov. 15,

Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown, Kentucky, Sept. 11-17,

World Chicken Festival, London, Kentucky, Sept. 21-24, (celebrates Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders, featuring chicken fried in the world’s largest skillet)

Pumpkin Nights, in Twin Cities–Minnesota; Auburn, California; and Salt Lake City

National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores, Alabama, Oct. 12-15,

Truck Stop Food Truck Rally, Welton Street, Denver, Sept. 30,

PA Bacon Fest, Easton, Pennsylvania, Nov. 4-5,


Woolly Worm Festival, Banner Elk, North Carolina, Oct. 21-22, (two days of races featuring more than 2,000 woolly bear caterpillars)

Narrowsburg Honey Bee Fest, Narrowsburg, New York, Sept. 23,

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Estes Park Elk Fest, Estes Park, Colorado, Sept. 30-Oct. 1,

Alpaca Festival, Buck Brook Alpaca Farm, Roscoe, New York, Sept. 23,

Buffalo Roundup, Custer State Park, South Dakota, Sept. 29,

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, Springfield, Missouri, opening Sept. 21,

Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho, Oct. 4-8, (includes parade of 1,500 sheep)

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati


American Wife Carrying Championship, Sunday River Resort, Newry, Maine, Oct. 7,

Strummin’ Man Ukulele Festival, Panama City, Florida, Oct. 13-15,

Purple Foot Festival, Casa Larga Vineyards, Fairport, New York, Sept. 17, (grape stomping)

Susan B. Anthony corn maze, Stokoe Farms, Scottsville, New York, opening Sept. 23, (maze depicts Anthony, the women’s rights activist who lived in nearby Rochester, honoring 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in New York)

Return of the Pumpkin People, Jackson, New Hampshire, throughout October, (displays of pumpkins dressed as people)

Pumpkin Nights, in Twin Cities, Minnesota; Auburn, California, and Salt Lake City, Oct. 13-Oct. 29 , / (walking trail featuring hundreds of hand-carved, lit-up pumpkins)

Appalachian Mural Trail, towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia, (murals tell stories of communities along the parkway)


Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Cincinnati, Sept. 15-17,

Great Vermont Corn Maze, Danville, Vermont, open through Oct. 15. (recommended arrival before 1 p.m. to get through massive, complex maze)

Cranberry festivals: Warrens, Wisconsin, Sept. 22-24, , and Wareham, Massachusetts, Oct. 7-8,

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Oct. 7-15,

National Crafts & Cowboy Festival, Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri, Sept. 13-Oct. 28,

Circleville Pumpkin Show, Circleville, Ohio, Oct. 18-21,

Bridge Day, New River Gorge, West Virginia, Oct. 21, (participants leap, float and rappel from bridge)

Cruisin’ the Coast, Mississippi Gulf Coast, Oct. 1- 8, (antique and classic cars)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


It’s easier than ever to improve your hearing

September 21, 2023

Tweet Email BPT Imagine this: You’re having dinner with friends. You know that someone just said something...

Food And Beverage

Put a plant-based spin on the taco night menu

September 21, 2023

Tweet Email ABOVE PHOTO: Smoky Chipotle Pecan Burrito Bowls FAMILY FEATURES Mealtime traditions are common among many...


Cannabis can increase risk during surgery, affect pain afterwards

September 21, 2023

Tweet Email BPT Marijuana is the most common drug in the United States, used by more than...


Delta Air Lines will restrict access to its Sky Club airport lounges as it faces overcrowding

September 14, 2023

Tweet Email By Ken Sweet Delta Air Lines passengers who have long enjoyed access to free meals,...


Chaos or community reexamined

September 1, 2023

Tweet Email Around 250,000 people showed up on the National Mall in Washington DC last Saturday to...


The iPhone 12 emits too much radiation and Apple must take it off the market, a French agency says

September 13, 2023

Tweet Email PARIS (AP) — A government watchdog agency in France has ordered Apple to withdraw the iPhone 12...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff