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A guide to Fall Festivals in Connecticut

Hebron Festival
Written by Sean Henri

Autumn means it’s fair season in Connecticut, and nearly every weekend in every corner of the state you’ll find fairs and festivals serving fall treats like cauldron-cooked corn on the cob, cotton candy, cider doughnuts, and pies.

Hebron Festival

Hebron Harvest Fair

Autumn means it’s fair season in Connecticut, and nearly every weekend in every corner of the state you’ll find fairs and festivals serving fall treats like cauldron-cooked corn on the cob, cotton candy, cider doughnuts, and pies.  There’s also plenty of internationally inspired festivals happening, such as Oktoberfest and the three different Irish Festivals.  Here’s a guide to make sure you get the most out of fair season in Connecticut:

Hebron Harvest Fair
Hebron Lion’s Fairgrounds, 347 Gilead Street
Hebron, CT
Phone: 860-228-0892
September 9-13, 2009

Major agricultural fair with livestock shows, midway, exhibits, continuous stage entertainment, magic show, small animal barns, arts and crafts, food and product booths. Midway, carnival, demolition derby. Entertainment by Dock Dogs, Guitar Hero Contest. Music by Ricohet and country music star Chuck Wicks. Hours: Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, noon-11 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit: www.hebronharvestfair.org.

North Haven Fair
North Haven Fairground, 300 Washington Avenue (Route 5)
North Haven, CT
Phone: 203-239-3700
September 10-13, 2009

Large agricultural fair featuring animal and agricultural exhibits, entertainment, vendors, rides and food. Arts and crafts, petting zoo, pony rides. Enjoy live music and special attractions. Featured performers are The Spectacles, Chris Cagle, Evolution, and Big Shot. Admission fee. For more information, visit: www.northhaven-fair.com.

Norwalk Oyster Festival
Veterans Memorial Park, 42 Seaview Avenue
East Norwalk, CT
Phone: 203-838-9444
September 11 – 13, 2009

This fantastic end-of-summer festival features food booths, barbeque vendors, demonstrations and competitions with more than $20,000 in prizes. Other attractions include more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, vintage boat tours, children activities, and of course, some of the freshest, most delicious oysters in the world. For more information, visit: www.seaport.org/OysterFest.html.

Greater Danbury Irish Festival
Charles Ives Convert Park
Western Connecticut State University
Danbury, CT
September 11-13, 2009

Live music, Irish food, arts & crafts, & dancing. Three day passes available for $20. Adult admission is $5 on Friday, $12 on Saturday and Sunday. Children under 12 years of age are free. For more information, visit: www.danburyirishfestival.com.

Bethlehem Fair
Route 61
Bethlehem, CT
Phone: 203-266-5350
September 11, 12, 13, 2009

Animal exhibits and demonstrations; martial arts demonstration, parade of antique tractors, Bristol Old Tyme Fiddlers, lumberjack competition, exotic bird show, farmers night out, open western horse show and gymkhana hollerin’ contest, agri-Olympics, live music by Eran Troy Danner. Cost: General admission, $7; seniors, $5 Saturday and Sunday; children under age 12, free with adult. Hours: Friday, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit: www.bethlehemfair.com.

Four Town Fair
Egypt Road
Somers, CT
Phone: 860-749-6527
September 17, 18, 19, 20, 2009

Midway, Antique & Farm Machinery, Livestock, Agricultural Exhibits, Demonstrations and Stage Entertainment, Children’s Contests, Bingo. Appearances by Ronald McDonald and Riverside Reptiles. Live music by Aces & Eights, Changes in Latitudes, Aquanett, and MacTalla Mor. Animal exhibits and competitions, demonstrations, skillet throwing. Admission: Friday, Saturday, Sunday $7; Thursday, $5; children age 12 and younger, free; Thursday and Friday, Senior Citizens, $4; Weekend Pass, $20. For more information, visit: www.fourtownfair.com.

Guilford Agricultural Fair
Off I-95 at Exit 57 and follow signs to fair
Guilford, CT
September 18-20, 2009

Country fair with animal exhibits and displays, crafts and handiwork, live music. Hours: Friday, 1-11 p.m.; Saturday, 9a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission: Adults, $10; seniors, $8; children age 6-11, $2; children age 5 and younger, free; 2-day pass, $16. Entertainment included with admission. For more information, visit: www.guilfordfair.org.

Harvest Festival
Haight-Brown Vineyard, 29 Chestnut Hill Road
Litchfield, CT
September 19-20, 2009

There will be crafters, vendors, restaurants, local beer, vineyard and cellar tours, food and wine pairing classes, hay rides, grape stomping, face painting, pony rides. Time: Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Cost: General admission, $8; elite admission, $15 (includes wine glass and walk around wine tasting).

Milford Irish Festival
Fowler Field Rotary Pavilion behind the Milford Public Library, 57 New Haven Avenue
Milford, CT
September 19, 2009

There will be Irish music, dancing, youth activities, food and drink and Irish ware for sale. Music by Irish Heritage Society of Milford Pipe Band and the Trinity Girls Choir; County Cavan; Donal O’Shaughnessy; N.Y. Brogue; The Kathleen Mulkerin’s School of Irish Dancing; Calley McGrane & the Exiles; Jamison Revenge; & Keltic Kick. Time: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cost: Admission is $8 per person age 13 and older. For more information, visit: www.milfordirish.org.

Orange Country Fair
525 Orange Center Road
Orange, CT
September 19-20, 2009

Animal exhibits and competitions; crafts; entertainment by Man In Black (classic country), Amazing Andy (children’s magic show), the Navels (American rock and roll), The Stupendous Mr. Magichead (children’s comedy magic show), Nicole Frechette Band (country music, classic to modern), Pickles Da Clown, pig races.Hours: Saturday,8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Cost: Adults, $7; seniors, $5; free parking and shuttle. For more information, visit: www.orangectfair.com.

Hope Out Loud 8 Peace & Arts Festival
Bushnell Park. Elm Street
Hartford, CT
Phone: 860-523-4823
September 20, 2009

Hope Out Loud 8 combines music, poetry, dance, family activities, speakers with fun for everyone. Spend the afternoon. Bring a picnic. It’s a concert, a day of remembrance, a day of inspiration, a day for renewal with many organizations dedicated to peace and the arts. Hope Out Loud is a family friendly event. Time: Noon-5 p.m. Cost: Free. For more information, visit: www.hopeoutloud.org.

Native American Arts Festival
Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT
Phone: 203-322-1646
September 26, 2009

The festival will feature performances from The Allegany River Dancers and a variety of Native American artists. Visitors will have the opportunity to admire and purchase Museum-quality Native American artworks, as several prominent Native American artists will display their work on the Museum’s meadow. Young visitors will be able to take part in traditional Native American games and craft activities. Refreshments inspired in Native American traditions will be available for purchase. Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: Adults, $10; children age 3 and older, $5. For more information, visit: www.stamfordmuseum.org.

Connecticut Renaissance Faire
347 Gilead Street
Hebron, CT
Phone: 860-478-5954
September 26-October 18, 2009

Experience an enchanted recreation of a 16th century harvest festival as one might have been in the Renaissance. Here you can explore New England’s largest Medieval Marketplace with more than 100 artisans and crafters; watch hours of themed entertainment daily, including jousting, armored combat, period music, and more; or sample an assortment of Renaissance food and desserts. Costumes not required. Dates: Weekends and Columbus Day only. Location: The Lions Fairgrounds, 347 Gilead Street. Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Cost: Adults age 13 and older, $16; youth aged five to 12, $8. For more information, visit: www.ctfaire.com.

Pipes In The Valley Celtic Festival
Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 300 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT
Phone: 860-306-2653
September 26, 2009

This Celtic Music Festival celebrates eight years at the Riverfront with bagpipes, Celtic diddling, Scottish drumming, step dancing, kids activities, highland games, and plenty of beer. This year’s event promises a day filled with fun, flavor and world-class entertainment. Time: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit: www. pipesinthevalley.com.

Oktoberfest
Quassy Amusement Park, Lake Quassapaug, 2132 Middlebury Road / Route 64
Middlebury, CT
Phone: 800-FOR-PARK
September 26-27, 2009

German music, food, dancing in the Oktoberfest pavilion. Parking $5 with free admission to the pavilion. Fee for food and beverages. For more information, visit: www.quassy.com or call 203-758-2913.

Tibetfest
Goshen Fairgrounds, 116 Old Middle Street (Route 63)
Goshen, CT
Phone: 860-567-0086
September 25-26, 2009

Celebration of Tibetan culture with sand mandala, music, dance, guest speakers, handicraft & food vendors, art and photography exhibits, artisans and outreach organization booths and much more. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: Adults, $10; students, $5; children under age 5, free. For more information, visit: www.TibetFest.com.

Durham Agricultural Fair
Durham Fairgrounds, Routes 17 and 68
Durham, CT
Phone: 860-349-9495
September 25 – 27, 2009

Connecticut’s largest agricultural fair is a weekend of fun. See top entertainment, crafts on the green, carnival rides and games and plenty more. There’s lots to eat, exhibits showcasing livestock, fruits, vegetables, art, baking, needlework, photography, and more. Admission. For more information, visit: www.durhamfair.com.

Milford Green Art Show
Milford, CT
Phone: 203-874-5672
September 26-27, 2009

180 juried fine artists and handcrafters from coast to coast. Great variety of demonstrating artists, soothing classical music, and ethnic foods. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Apple Harvest Festival
Town Green
Southington, CT
Phone: (860) 276-8461
October 2-4 & 9-11, 2009

Family oriented community event spanning the first two weekends in October. The festival offers six days of spectacular fun, delicious food, crafts and live entertainment which showcases the organizations, groups and volunteers that make Southington a wonderful community to live in and visit. Admission is free. Parade on Sunday the 4th. Arts & Crafts is the highlight the second weekend. Children’s carnival and play area. Also featuring the “Southington Idol” singing competition both weekends. Pre-registration is required to compete. For more information, visit www.southington.org.

Irish Festival
Quassy Amusement Park, Lake Quassapaug, 2132 Middlebury Road / Route 64
Middlebury, CT
Phone: 800-FOR-PARK
October 10, 2009

Your ticket includes an all-you-can-eat menu 1 to 6 p.m. featuring Corned Beef On Rye Sandwiches, Shepherds Pie, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers and more. Cash bar will be serving Smithwicks, McSorley’s, Guinness, & Miller Lite. Rides operate noon to 6 p.m. with additional ride passes $5 for any age! Pre-sale tickets include parking and food, served 1 to 6 p.m. in the Fieldside Pavilion. Adults: $27, Kids (12 and under): $22. Rides for Kids: Free all-day ride pass for children 3-12 attending the festival with pre-sale ticket! For more information, visit: www.quassy.com or call 203-758-2913.

Garlic & Harvest Festival
Bethlehem Fairgrounds, 384 Main Street North (Route 61)
Bethlehem, CT
Phone: 203-266-7350
October 10, 2009

Fresh garlic and farm produce, garlic specialty food vendors, garlic food court, garlic growing lectures, garlic cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, amusements, and plenty of samples make this a must for the garlic lover. Bring the kids and your appetite. Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: Adults, $6; seniors, $5; children under age 12. $1. For more information, visit: www.garlicfestct.com.

Harvest Festival
Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT
Phone: 203-322-1646
October 18, 2009

The event will feature a variety of activities for the whole family. Learn about the harvest, techniques used to turn apples into cider, where linen comes from, how to dye wool. Watch antique tool demonstrations or try your luck in the hay bale maze. There will be face painting, children’s crafts, story telling, live music and other demonstrations. For an additional fee, pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch or take a hay wagon ride. Fall treats like cauldron-cooked corn on the cob, cotton candy, cider doughnuts, and pies will be for sale. Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission: $10. Information: www.stamfordmuseum.org.

About the author

Sean Henri

Sean is the founder and editor of The Connecticut Weekender, and CEO and Founder of Pepperland Marketing. He’s a lifelong CT resident and frequently blogs about the outdoors, beer, food, family life and small business in CT. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanHenri.

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