The 7 Best Fall Festivals & Events in America

The 7 Best Fall Festivals & Halloween Events in America

There’s nothing quite like that bittersweet transition between summer and autumn. While we’re sorry to see the lazy days of summer fall behind us, there’s a uniquely nostalgic feeling that comes with the onset of fall and the incredible autumnal celebrations that come with the changing of the season.

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Whether you celebrate fall at a small local event, you’re planning a fall festival of your own, or you travel to one of the major falls festivals in the United States, there is no shortage of fall festivity to choose from. Depending on where you live in the country, you might already be familiar with some of these fantastic fall events:

1. FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD

Salem, Massachusetts

The hometown of the famous witch-trial legacy hosts the Festival of the Dead. 500,000 visitors descend on Salem each October for the event that also includes The Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo. Festivities culminate in the heralded Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball at Hawthorne Hotel. Hundreds of ghost seekers gather to “summon the spirits” of Halloween. The macabre activities make Salem’s Festival of the Dead a one-of-a-kind experience.

2. NEBRASKA CITY APPLEJACK FESTIVAL

Nebraska City, Nebraska

If apples are your thing, the Nebraska City AppleJack Festival celebrates the city’s apple harvest. Visit local orchards to pick your own apples, enjoy an abundance of apple treats, and hit up the AppleJam Carnival. Don’t forget the pie-baking contest!

3. SLEEPY HOLLOW HALLOWEEN

Sleepy Hollow, New York

This is the famed ground of Washington Irving’s timeless legend of the Headless Horseman. The Sleepy Hollow Halloween festival is a month-long event. The New York town is taken over by haunted hayrides, street fairs, parades, and live music. You can take a guided lantern tour through the dark, haunted Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It’s also Washington Irving’s final resting place and there’s even a crypt for vampire Barnabas Collins. If spooky is your thing, you’ll love this festival!

4. SUN VALLEY HARVEST FESTIVAL

Sun Valley, Idaho

This event is also known as “Foodie Heaven,” and for good reason. The Sun Valley Harvest Festival is all about the best of Sun Valley food and wine featuring celebrity chefs, regional farmers, tastings, and food related activities. There is also a Restaurant Walk to showcase local restaurants, regional fare, and of course wine.

5. THE LOUISVILLE ZOO HALLOWEEN PARTY

Louisville, Kentucky

Did you know that the event deemed the “World’s Largest Halloween Party” takes place at Kentucky’s Louisville Zoo? The zoo is transformed for the annual Halloween party and unlike some other Halloween events, this one is family friendly and more charming than frightening. Kids can trick-or-treat alongside the zoo animals, there are famous film characters present for photographs, and the Headless Horseman makes an annual appearance every year.

6. CRANBERRY HARVEST CELEBRATION 

Wareham, Massachusetts

Fall isn’t just about apple and pumpkins, it’s about cranberries too! Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts cranberry growers gather each year for the Cranberry Harvest Celebration in Wareham. In addition to the festivities, visitors can buy fresh cranberries and freeze them to use while making their Thanksgiving feast.

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7. WEST HOLLYWOOD CARNAVAL

Los Angeles, California

If a street party is more your style, head to Santa Monica Boulevard for the West Hollywood Carnaval, the world’s largest Halloween street party. 500,000 people fill the streets in creative costumes and the popular “Queen of the Carnaval” includes the annual reigning of a celebrity queen. There are six stages with 50+ music acts not to mention the events at each of the trendy bars and clubs that line the street.

When running your own fall festival or Halloween event, you’ll need tickets for a variety of uses. From Halloween themed tickets for entry to a local Haunted House, raffle or roll ticketswristbands for age verification and DIY Halloween posters, Worldwide Ticketcraft offers the full gamut of event products to meet your festival needs. No matter what type or size of event you’re planning, from small budget DIY plans to large-scale festivals, you’ll find the items you’ll need to ensure that your event goes smoothly.

Fall is a wonderful time to come together with friends and family and enjoy the harvest and the changing of the season. Whether it’s spooky Halloween, the changing of the colors, or the tasty fall foods, enjoy your autumn and make the most of your local fall events.

Fall Festival in Review: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

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A fall festival is a great opportunity for people to get together to celebrate the changing of the seasons, while also taking part in games and enjoying tasty treats and supporting your fundraiser! Whether your festival is for families within a neighborhood, a local school or college, or a neighborhood church, it is a fun way to get people together. The key to planning a successful fall festival is to embrace the prep time and be willing to think outside the box!

Organizing a fall festival is a big undertaking. In order to create a successful event early planning and organization are vital! Know your objectives! When planning try to keep in mind the size you want your event to be and what age range you are planning it for. Are you planning a kid friendly fundraiser, or a fun event that the entire family can enjoy for free? Do you want people to wear costumes to your festival? What size space will you need to hold the event successfully? By asking all of these questions, you can really design a fall festival that will work best for your target audience and yield the best return for your fundraiser.

To begin, it’s important to create a budget and stick to it. As you plan your event, involve your leaders and volunteers in the brainstorming and decision-making process.  By asking the leaders for ideas, feedback, and suggestions from the start, you’re encouraging them to offer their input throughout the rest of the event.

Then, once you have decided who those leaders are create VIP/Volunteer/Crew/Parent or other custom badges for each of your team members – this way it will be easily to spot those important people on your team in a snap! This will be especially important once the festival is buzzing with business.

Next, you will need to decide how to charge for festival games and treats. Roll tickets are the perfect solution to redeem for playing a game. If you decide there will be an all-inclusive price you could use customizable event tickets that include a stub to tear off. Make sure to spread out the festivities – you don’t want ticket sales jammed up with insanely long food lines, so make sure you have the support you will need depending on the size of the event. Make sure that you are utilizing each volunteer, and once the event starts if a particular activities becomes super busy, move team members to that area for back up support.

Third, choose a fun theme – the possibilities are endless when it comes to fall. Pumpkins, ghosts, bats, ghouls, scarecrows – oh boy! Make sure your location is large enough to accommodate your plans so you can spread out activities as much as possible.  It can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be but make sure it’s fun for the kiddos. Decide if you want to include games, hayrides or other activities. Once you know your theme you can get your decorations, games and posters ordered. This is the fun part!  Puppet shows and face painting are budget friendly options that all kids enjoy – and of course, don’t forget to designate a part of the parking lot for trunk or treat.

Of course, always be sure to have a plan b – begin planning well in advance and give your committee plenty of time to organize, brainstorm and prepare. After all, the purpose of your fall festival is not only to give your community an event they will look forward to – you want your festival to be a fundraising success for the charity that you are raising funds for too!

Fundraising Tricks & Treats: How to Organize a School Trunk or Treat

Tricks and TreatsWith summer fading and October fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you can give the kids a safe Halloween experience that still lets them do all the things they love about the holiday — putting up decorations, playing games with their friends, wearing the coolest new costumes, and of course…the candy! This year, organize a trunk or treat!

Seek out like-minded parents who are willing to donate their cars for an evening of fun. You should get the word out in advance so everyone will have plenty of time to prepare. Have the kids help decorate the car trunks and truck beds with their favorite spooky decorations such as bats, ghosts, cobwebs, or skeletons! Have someone there at every car to hand out candy and treats to the kids – parents, this is your chance to get in on the fun, so get working on those costume ideas!

With a good group of committed volunteers, there’s no limit to what you can do with your trunk or treat — haunted houses, organized games with prizes, or even live music! Best of all, you can use this experience to raise money for your child’s school. Sell tickets at the “gate,” for food, drinks, and carnival games, with all profits going to the school. You can create memorable, customized tickets for your Halloween event that they’ll ship right to your door. Find local retailers who are willing to donate to a good cause and set up a raffle. The only thing kids love more than costumes and candy is winning awesome prizes (while dressed in costume and full of candy)! We have got you covered there too — you can pick up a roll of quality raffle tickets at a price that’s less than a penny per ticket!

For a safe alternative to trick-or-treating this year, try a trunk or treat! Your kids won’t get exhausted as they do when roaming the neighborhood, it’s easier to keep an eye on them, and you don’t have to worry about cars passing through. Just as importantly, it can bring your families together while raising money for your child’s favorite club, team, or school library. Use your imagination and the possibilities are endless!