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Fall Festivals

By MARILYN SOLTIS
Autumn foliage and cool breezes bring out the best in seasonal festivals. From art to food to the hauntings of Halloween, county residents present their wares in some traditional and some unexpected ways.

INDIANA

BROWN COUNTY, IN 
(browncounty.com)
Sept. & Oct.
The Brown County Art Colony was founded in 1907 and was one of six major art colonies established in the US at the turn of the century. Now, more than 250 artists call Brown County home. Autumn foliage is breathtaking and the season is a good time to explore eclectic boutiques and galleries, or to bike, zip line, fish, canoe—even go gem mining or try some paintball.

LAWRENCE COUNTY, IN   
(limestonecountry.com)
PERSIMMON FESTIVAL
Sept. 21-28
Persimmons grow abundantly through Lawrence County, in fact this year the county will celebrate their 67th Persimmon Festival. The orange-colored plum-size fruit has a flavor similar to pumpkin. The persimmon pudding contest is a headliner event.

PARKE COUNTY, IN  
(parkecountyguide.com)
COVERED BRIDGE FESTIVAL
Oct. 11-20
Parke County is the covered bridge capital of the world with 30 historic covered bridges on the National Register of Historic Places. Each October the county celebrates the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival.

ILLINOIS

BLACKHAWK WATERWAYS, IL  
(illinoistrailofterror.com)
Sept. 1 - Oct. 31
TRAIL OF TERROR 
Visit the Trail of Terror and experience haunted happenings, fall festivals and events, as well as wineries and pumpkin patches during the two month event.

GALENA, IL 
(galenacountryfair.com)
Oct. 12-13
GALENA COUNTRY FAIR
Shop more than 150 vendors in picturesque Grant Park overlooking historic Galena. Vendors offer original, handmade arts, crafts and fine arts. Enjoy farmer’s markets, baked goods, great food and live
entertainment. 

PEORIA, IL 
25th ANNUAL BLUES FESTIVAL 
(illinoisbluesfestival.com)
August 30 & 31
The Budweiser Illinois Blues Festival of
Naperville, IL
(festing.com)
Sept. 21
INDIAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Enjoy delicious ethnic vegetarian food and traditional Raas Dance from the exotic ancient land of Vedic, India and experience diverse heritage and customs right in Naperville!
 
GENEVA, IL 
(genevachamber.com)
Sept. 6-8
FESTIVAL OF THE VINE
Savor Geneva during Festival of the Vine, an autumn harvest celebration revolving around food and wine. Geneva has a number of fine restaurants showcased at the “Flavor Fare.” For more than 30 years, restaurants have set up under one huge tent offering three of their favorite signature items. To accompany your food, unique wines from around the world will be available for purchase. Enjoy versatile local and Chicagoland musical and dance entertainers.  Other events include home and culinary tips on the Harvest Stage, an arts and crafts show, flower market, complimentary trolley and horse-drawn carriage rides plus great shopping in the historic downtown.

QUAD CITIES, IL 
(visitquadcities.com)
NIABI ZOO
Through Labor Day
The Quad Cities offer wonderful riverboat rides on the Mississippi with musical celebration thoughout the year. The Niabi Zoo, in Coal Valley, is home to more than 900 animals representing 160 different spesscies.

MICHIGAN

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI 
(mackinac.com
Oct. 25-26
HALLOWEEN WEEKEND
Rich with history, this small Victorian era island is accessible by ferry and island transport is only via horse and buggy, bicycle or foot. Halloween Weekend celebrates the souls of the blessed dead in both the Celtic Samhain and Halloween traditions.

MARQUETTE COUNTY, MI 
(travelmarquettemichigan.com)
Mid Sept. - Mid Oct.
Visit the Marquette County website to see various foliage tours all mapped out for you according to the changing of the leaves. See the fall colors from their best vantage point, whether it’s a vista, bridge, lake or country road.

PETOSKEY, MI 
(Petoskey.com)
Sept. - Oct.
The beauty of the green fields, beaches and forests of Northern Michigan attracts many artists. Downtown Petoskey features galleries and artists co-ops amidst its plentiful shopping. There is a new SOBO arts community in neighboring Boyne City. Visit Pond Hill Farm for Farm to Table dinners, hay rides, barn dances and wine tasting, farm animals, pumpkin painting, fish feeding at the Trout Pond and much more!

SAUGATUCK, MI
(saugatuck.com
Sept. 7
ART & ALL THAT JAZZ & 
DOUGLAS WINE STROLL
Stroll around the many art galleries, enjoy wine tasting and dance to live music. Dine in nearby Douglas’s fine restaurants.269-857-1438.

WISCONSIN

ASHLAND, WI 
(visitashland.com)
Sept. - Oct.
Take a spooky BAYFIELD TOUR like Twilight in the Cemetery or carry a lantern during the evening Ghost Walk and learn about "dearly departed spirits" and UFO sightings over Lake Superior. Enjoy the many amazing murals, too.

LACROSSE, WI 
(oktoberfestusa.com)
Sept. 27- Oct. 6
Oktoberfest USA 
Celebrates 53 years of family activities including the Maple Leaf parade, carnival rides, and national entertainers as well as local and regional country, pop, blues and rock groups.

ELKHART LAKE, WI 
(elkhartlake.com)
Sept. 6-8, and 16 - 22
ROAD AMERICA
Road America in Elkhart Lake brings
hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts
to this exciting destination. History buffs
will also enjoy the railroad depot museum,
Wade House and horse-drawn carriage rides.

MARSHFIELD, WI 
(visitmarshfieldwi.com)
Sept. 14 & 15
MAPLE FALL FEST – Over 120 handmade craft vendors, baking contest, petting zoo and all of the pancakes you can eat.

MILWAUKEE, WI 
(indiansummer.org)
Sept. 6, 7, 8
INDIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL, GREAT LAKES, GREAT NATIONS – the largest festival of its kind celebrating all things 
Native American.

DOOR COUNTY, WI   
(DoorCounty.com)
Sept. 21
HARVEST FESTIVAL & HARVEST MOON CELEBRATION – Held annually on the third Saturday in September in Sturgeon Bay, the festival features a craft show, car show, food booths, music and entertainment, plus a variety of children’s activities along with the Harvest Moon celebration. 

Sept. 28
ANNUAL AUTUMN FEST – Held annually on the fourth Saturday in Sept. in Baileys Harbor since 1980. Arts & crafts, entertainment, food booths, music and entertainment.

Oct. 12-13
FALL FUN FEST & CIDER PRESSING PARTY – Activities on Washington Island and the Farm Museum including games for the children, horse-drawn wagon rides and more. Bring your own apples and press them on the antique cider press to make your own cider.

PUMPKIN PATCH FESTIVAL – Held in the village of Egg Harbor, the family fun includes an arts & crafts fair, scarecrow and pumpkin displays and other activities throughout the village all weekend.

Oct. 18-20
SISTER BAY FALL FESTIVAL – This Granddaddy of Door County festivals was started in 1945. A huge parade is held on Saturday, with a juried art & crafts fair, food booths, children’s activities and live entertainment both days, including the infamous ping pong ball drop with chancess to win prizes.

Oct. 26
DOOR COUNTY FALL 50 RUN - From Gills Rock in northern Door County to Sturgeon Bay, the 50-mile run offers a challenge to both solo and teams of two to five runners. The course follows the peninsula’s scenic western shoreline and ends with a finish- line party at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay.

Published: September 03, 2013
Issue: Fall 2013 Issue