Crisp air, vibrant autumn leaves, the smell of apple cider and funnel cakes are just a few things that make you think of fall and the fantastic festivals in Pennsylvania. From the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival and the Ebensburg Potato Festival to the Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival and the Lancaster County Balloon Festival, there is a festival in Pennsylvania for everyone to enjoy.
You can find a multitude of extraordinary Keystone State events during autumn. Here are a few favorites. These events were selected by reaching out to the various tourist destinations across the state and learning which fall festivals in their area would best attract visitors. I’ve been fortunate to visit many over the years. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Note: All dates are for 2022, and the events were scheduled as of September 15, 2022. Please double-check the websites for festival details. All events are subject to change.
1. Annual Fort Ligonier Days, Ligonier
Fort Ligonier Days commemorates a critical French and Indian War battle with picturesque fall foliage as a backdrop. Battle reenactments, craft booths, musical entertainment, delicious foods, wine tasting, a 5K run, and a parade are highlights of the 3-day event.
Pro Tip: History buffs will enjoy the reconstructed fort and museum in this quaint town.
2. Autumn Leaf Festival, Clarion
September 24–October 3
Over 300 vendors will participate in a crafters’ day during Autumn Leaf Festival. This internationally award-winning festival attracts over half a million visitors each year.
You won’t want to miss the “Tournament of Leaves Parade,” considered the largest daytime parade in Pennsylvania.
Pro Tip: The Autumn Leaf Festival Facebook page provides info about the live entertainment each evening.
3. Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, Bedford
October 1–2, 8–9
Pennsylvania is home to a variety of trees, so no matter where you go in the state, you are guaranteed a spectacular fall foliage show. Many festivals have celebrated the vibrant colors of fall with foliage festivals.
In its 58th year, the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival is one of Pennsylvania’s largest fall festivals. Annually held the first two weekends in October, approximately 100,000 people attend from all over the United States. Not only can they enjoy the fall foliage, but the event is host to live music, a classic car show, several parades, a pageant, and more. There are over 400 participating food, craft, and informational vendors. Plan to spend the day.
Pro Tip: Arrive early if you need a parking place. They do run shuttle buses from various locations, and details will be on the website.
4. Autumfest, Seven Springs Mountain Resort
October 8–9, 15–16, 22–23
Seven Springs Mountain Resort’s Autumnfest showcases the stunning fall beauty as you explore southwestern PA. Over 100 vendors attend, and there is live entertainment each day. Kids and adults will enjoy riding the Alpine Slide down the mountain.
Pro Tip: Visitors can also ride the resort’s chairlifts to the top of the mountain for amazing views of the spectacular foliage in the Laurel Highlands during autumn.
5. Fall Foliage Festival, Jim Thorpe
October 1–2, 8–9, 15–16, 22–23
Weekends devoted to fall fun make the Fall Foliage Festival in Jim Thorpe an event to remember. A quaint town in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Jim Thorpe offers old-fashioned train rides, ethnic food, antiques, entertainment, arts, crafts, and more.
Pro Tip: What better way to take in the fall foliage than riding the Reading & Northern steam train?
6. Pumpkin Festival, Pocono Mountains
September 24–October 30
Held at Country Junction, the “World’s Largest” General Store, northeastern Pennsylvania’s Pumpkin Festival offers an entire month of fun. Enjoy great food, pumpkin picking, hayrides, and other fall games every day. On the weekends there is live entertainment. Special events for 2022 include a scarecrow-making contest, a kids’ costume contest, a pet costume contest, plus Nite Time 3-D Paintball Hayrides.
7. Lancaster Hot Air Balloon Festival and Country Fair, Bird In Hand
Ride in one of the Lancaster County Balloon Festival hot air balloons and lift off with approximately 40 balloons that will dot the Lancaster County skies several times over the weekend. Or watch the panoramic scene from the ground when the mass balloon launch takes place.
There will also be a balloon glow each evening after dark. Pennsylvania Dutch food, food trucks, tethered balloon rides, live entertainment, an Amish market, a corn maze, buggy rides, bounce houses, other children’s activities, and more will be available on the grounds.
Pro Tip: Be sure to take your camera for this scenic photo opportunity.
8. Lumberjack/Chainsaw Carving Competition, Forksville
Lumberjack and carving competitions will be the highlight of this Sullivan County festival. You can watch as a carving is created and bid on at the daily auction. There will be craft vendors, kids’ activities, a quilt show, and an art expo at the Lumberjack/Chainsaw Carving Competition and Festival.
9. National Apple Harvest Festival, Biglerville
October 1–2, 8–9
Apple festivals are also a popular theme in Pennsylvania. Adams County is the largest apple harvesting region in the state, and it hosts one of the best apple festivals in Pennsylvania approximately 10 miles north of Gettysburg. National Apple Harvest Festival showcases a variety of apple drinks, apple-based foods, and other products.
Hundreds of vendors also attend, and there is live music and craftsman demonstrations throughout the festival. This year features steam engine displays, antique cars, orchard tours, pony rides, tastings, and more.
Pro Tip: You can pick your own apples at various orchards in the area.
10. New Cumberland Apple Festival, New Cumberland
The New Cumberland Apple Festival features approximately 270 food and craft vendors. You will find caramel apples, apple pie, and apple everything. Games, live music throughout the day, a pig roast, barbecue chicken, and pony rides are also available. New Cumberland is across the river from Harrisburg.
Pro Tip: Park at Bridge Street and ride the trolley.
11. Peddler’s Village OctoberFeast, New Hope
Peddler’s Village in New Hope offers a weekend of German-themed fun, food, and beverages. It has live entertainment, a Scarecrows in the Village competition, and more at its OctoberFeast event. Grab your stein and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Peddler’s Village has excellent shopping with 60+ specialty shops and boutiques. Most are small, locally owned businesses.
12. Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival, Renova
The Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival in Clinton County is in its 73rd year. Held in one of the most tree-covered corners of Pennsylvania, you are sure to view some beautiful fall leaves.
The festival features a large parade, a pageant, and a 3-day craft show with 150+ craft and food vendors Friday through Sunday.
13. PotatoFest, Ebensburg
If you are a potato fan, you will enjoy all things potato at PotatoFest. Fun activities such as a potato sack race and potato peeling contest are highlights of this Cambria County event.
Over 200 artisans and crafters will attend with food of all kinds (not just potatoes) and homemade wares. Bingo, face painting, and live entertainment are also featured.
Pro Tip: You can park and ride the Tater Express Shuttle (free) from various locations.
14. Punkin’ Chunkin’ Fall Festival, Howard
You might be wondering what exactly is Punkin’ Chunkin’. Imagine catapults and maybe air cannons launching pumpkins through the air for hundreds of feet till their splash down into the lake at Bald Eagle State Park.
This one-day festival isn’t just about Punkin’ Chunkin’. Nearly 100 craft vendors and local food vendors will be at the Punkin’ Chunkin’ Fall Festival. Various games and activities, hayrides, pie-eating contests, and more are on tap.
Pro Tip: Visitors can try their hand at Punkin’ Chunkin’ with small trebuchets (catapults).
15. Pumpkin Fest, Enola
The Pennsboro Pumpkin Fest has loads of pumpkin-related activities and over 260 vendors. Near Harrisburg, it features kids’ activities, vendors, food trucks, live music, and an antique car show.
Pro Tip: Pets are NOT permitted to attend this event.
16. Smicksburg Fall Festival, Smicksburg
Visit the Smicksburg Fall Festival and slow down to experience a simpler way of life in an area near Indiana, Pennsylvania. Enjoy specialty shops in this Amish community. Horse-drawn wagon rides in the park are a highlight of the event. Other activities include entertainment, food, and a Civil War encampment.
Pro Tip: Plan to take some of the delicious homemade baked goods home with you.