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10 Not to Be Missed Fall Festivals in Upstate NY & the Adks

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Fall Festivals in Upstate NY & the Adirondacks (2011 Guide)

A Guide to the Best Fall Festivals: Harvest Fests, Oktoberfests & More

New York is an extraordinary place to spend the fall season, regardless of whether cold weather is your bag or not. With spectacular foliage displays and our plethora of harvest crops, it’d be difficult to avoid celebrating the season. But trust me, you don’t want to. Put on a warm jacket and come out to the best of the best Capital Region fall festivals.

1. Adirondack Balloon Festival

Adirondack Balloon FestivalRunning from Thursday, September 22nd to Sunday, September 25th this year, this Glens Falls festival is the oldest and largest ballooning event on the East Coast. Over the course of four days, hundreds of balloons will be launched over the Adirondack Mountains. Vendors, children’s activities, and live music will be available, and the 1st Annual Zonta Fall Craft Show will be taking place concurrently. For more information, visit

2. Adirondack Harvest Festival

Complete with wagon rides, cider-making, and pumpkin painting, this festival, which takes place October 1st and 2nd at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, is the epitome of fall celebrations. Let your kids join the Radio Disney team for activities and contests while you check out demonstrations from North Country artisans and crafters. But the best part is there’s a leaf pile! What better way to welcome the season than by appreciating the little things? Check out more at

3. Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival

This isn’t a festival you see every day, and hence it’s one that should not to be missed. The Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival runs the course of two days (September 24-25) at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, and features over 120 vendors, along with a variety of workshops and fun events, including a wool show judging, a soap felt class, sheep herding and sheep shearing demos, live music and lots of activities for the kids. Not only is this one a great family festival, where everyone will have fun, but you’ll also learn a lot too. Visit for the full schedule and details.

4. Gore Mountain Harvest Fest

Make your own hiking stick, guess the weight of a monstrously large pumpkin, and enjoy live music and juggling at this festival on October 8th and 9th at Gore. The festival features musicians Chip ChevalierThe Ernie Williams Band, and Raisinhead and will also guide kids through a nature hike and other fun games and activities. Also enjoy helicopter rides over the foliage for a minimal fee. More information can be found at

5. Siena College Festa Vino

Join this enormous fundraiser at Sienna on October 13th, where you can enjoy international wines and local cuisine for only $85. Funds will benefit various financial aid and scholarship programs for the college. Whether you’re an alum or just enjoy Siena sports or the fantastic college radio station, consider taking part in this magnificent event. Visit for more details.

6. Lake George Oktoberfest Fall Festival

Fireworks, cars, and German bier. Need I say more? On October 1 and 2, Lake George will celebrate German culture with food, music, arts and crafts, beer, and a German car show. And if you’re going to be near Lake George for an extended time, consider visiting the Great Escape amusement park the prior weekend for even more authentic Bavarian cuisine and culture. Call 518-668-5771 for additional information.

7. Stewfest

Glens Falls is full of festivities this year. If chowder and chili aren’t your cup of soup, try some stew! Participants must make 10 gallons of stew and purchase cups for sampling the fare of other vendors. This event takes place on October 20th and will also feature local celebrity chefs, street performers and a live band. Call 518-798-1761 for for more info.

8. Food & Wine Festival at Lake Placid Lodge

Lake Placid LodgeFrom October 20 to 23, the Lodge will be hosting top chefs and vendors and bringing guests the finest in wine and cuisine. Although a bit pricy, at $250 a day or $3,525 per couple for all days, the cost covers an immersion into fine wining and dining with tours, demonstrations, lodging, all activities, breakfasts, and three multi-course dinners. Not a bad deal at all! Visit to learn more.

9. Goold Orchard Apple Festival and Craft Show

On October 8th and 9th, the Capital Region’s original apple festival will take place to celebrate arts, crafts, wine, and the harvest in Castleton, NY. Six wineries will be bringing in their finest for tasting at an $8 cost, but shopping in the wine tent is free. For more information, visit

10. 5th Annual Troy Chowderfest

Stay warm by indulging in the area’s best chowder on October 15th in Troy, NY. The festival features live music and $1 3 oz. samples of chowder. At the end of the day, vote for your favorite! As an added bonus, the chowder-chefs must use local ingredients, so you’ll be benefiting local business. You locavore, you. Call 518-279-7997 for additional info.

Honorable Mentions

There are literally dozens more festivals for every interest. For the crafter in all of us, celebrate at the Colors of Fall festival in Crandall Park in Glens Falls on September 24th, with over 40 vendors, live music from Mark Rubin and others and a “Hometown Art Raffle.” ( Animal fans will love the 2nd Annual Great Adirondack Moose Festival the same weekend with family-fun activities ( Or celebrate Native American heritage on the grounds of SPAC for the Saratoga Native Festival on October 1st and 2nd (

Kate Smith is an Assistant Editor for The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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2 Comments for “10 Not to Be Missed Fall Festivals in Upstate NY & the Adks”

  1. I’m so disappointed that our Thurman Fall Farm Tour slid under your radar. Our extravaganza offers miles of fall farm adventures, with twenty varied attractions and activities — from train rides to studio tours, craft, tapping, sawing and horse training demos, barn dance, home show, quilt show, book signings… You missed a really good one here. Perky

  2. Sorry Perky. Unfortunately we are limited by the number 10, but definitely there are many great fall festivals that everyone should check out.

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