One of my all time favorite activities when I was in college was touring all the fall festivals the great state of Tennessee had to offer this time of year. One family favorite was the Foothills Fall Festival in Maryville, Tennessee. It boasted ample parking, lots of facilities, and it spread out along Greenbelt Lake. We enjoyed it because the waterfront reminded us of the waterfront areas along Pittsburgh’s Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers but with the small town vibe.
I crave that small town vibe and have dreamed, for a long time, of living in a place such as Maryville. In other words, I want to live in the quintessential Hallmark setting where everyone can do everything perfectly without breaking a sweat.
As I’m no longer in Tennessee (ten plus years removed, actually), I suppose Pennsylvania fall festivals will have to to. There are many things that PA politics gets wrong about its people and the era we’re currently in, but Pennsylvania absolutely knows how to do Renaissance Fairs, rodeos, farmers markets and, most importantly, fall festivals. The only problem is I work retail. Lots of retail. And I just picked up a new, second job. If my time was tight before, it’s even tighter now.
So that means I just have to be incredibly picky with how I manage my time. Saturdays off are rare, and that’s when I usually want to travel around to see all the things I can. This past weekend I visited Penn Museum out in Philadelphia, the great World Famous Horseshoe Curve and Hersheypark. I want to visit so much more before the end of the Autumn season, including the Carrie Blast Furnaces in Homestead and these five Pennsylvania Fall Festivals. In no particular order they are:
Hosted by the A&N Lawn Service and Greenhouse company, this fall festival is one of the closest to my location on this list. This festival offers many fall-themed activities, vendors, food trucks and many more offerings. I don’t know how long this particular festival’s been around, but it looks like a great one to kick off the fall season!
Dates (until October 10th)
Sept 25, 26; Oct 2, 3, 9, 10
2130 Reis Run Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15237
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Hosted by the city of Sharpsburg along the Allegheny River, this one reminds me the most of the Maryville one in Tennessee. While I’ve yet to visit this historic town, they ARE located across the river from another historical Pittsburgh area I need to visit: Highland Park. Unlike the festival above, this event is one day only, so plan accordingly.
Sat. October 2, 2021
2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Kennedy Park, N. Canal Street
Sharpsburg, PA 15215
Hosted by the Southwestern PA staple Soergel Orchards, this place has been a popular family destination for years. While we’ve been quite busy as of late, I hope to convince at least a few of them to join me in an afternoon visit sometime soon. We may miss the actual festival, but there’s always something happening at Soergel Orchards!
Dates (end date unknown)
Sept 18, 19, 25, 26
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
2573 Brandt School Road
Wexford, PA 15090
Hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, this particular festival is a bit more of a drive from my neighborhood. It s, in fact, a two hour drive and not far from the route my mother and I recently took coming home from Philadelphia. If only the festival had been this weekend – it’s but 24 minutes from the Horseshoe Curve! Ah, well. I doubt I’ll be able to get to this one this year. Maybe in 2022?
Sunday, Oct. 3
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Prince Gallitzin State Park
966 Marina Rd, Patton PA
Hosted by the city of Clarion, my family and I used to attend this one all the time with my aunt and her kids. They close off their entire downtown area to traffic, and it’s nothing but a good time from one end to the other. If you’re looking for that quintessential fall festival feel in a less-than-two-hour drive from the Pittsburgh area, I’d definitely suggest stopping by the Autumn Leaf Festival!
October 2nd – 10th
513 Main Street
Clarion, PA 16214
It’s the most wonderful time of the year~~~ oh wait – that’s a Christmas song. If I have to be completely honest, I wish the Autumnal season lasted longer than it does. There are many fall events throughout the state. Countless, in fact. But these are the five that called my name. Do they call yours?