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As the summer heat starts to fade and you feel the first crisp breeze of autumn, it's time for one thing and one thing only – fall festivals! 🍂🎃 So grab your coziest sweater and your sense of adventure, because we're about to take you on a whirlwind tour of the most fantastically festive of fall celebrations across the good ol' U.S. of A.
What do you get when you combine engineering prowess, gourd enthusiasm and a dash of whimsy? The Pumpkin Chunkin Festival in Stowe, VT. This festivity extravaganza is like a cross between a science fair project gone mad and a circus of sheer pumpkin power. Imagine giant catapults, trebuchets and air cannons launching pumpkins of varying sizes into the sky. You'll be in awe of the pumpkin-flinging ingenuity on display. Pro tip: Bring your pumpkin goggles (they're a thing, we promise) and prepare to be amazed at the power of pumpkins taking flight.
Prepare your taste buds for a lederhosen-clad journey to the heart of Germany – minus the plane ticket. Oktoberfest in New Ulm, affectionately dubbed "Munich on the Mississippi," is where bratwurst and sauerkraut dreams come true. With live oompah bands, barrels of locally brewed craft beers, and enough pretzels to form a braid that could put Rapunzel's locks to shame, this festival is a spirited celebration of Bavarian culture. Forget what you thought you knew about small-town celebrations; this festival is more fun than you can shake a schnitzel at. Prost to that.
Hold onto your hats and get ready to float on cloud nine at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Imagine a Technicolor dreamworld where the skies are painted with balloons of all shapes and sizes, taking off like a stampede of colorful giants. The fiesta is a week-long party where the atmosphere is as buoyant as the balloons themselves. From dawn till dusk, the air is filled with oohs, ahhs and the occasional "Is that a giant flying racoon?" Don't miss your chance to be part of this high-flying fiesta that's bursting with laughter, awe, and a whole lot of hot air – in the best possible way, of course.
Get ready to bleat with excitement at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival – where sheep take center stage and humans flock to celebrate all things woolly and wonderful! Picture this: a fluffy parade of woolly superstars strutting their stuff down the streets, showing off their impeccable style and occasional baa-titude. This extravaganza also brings you sheep dog trials, a folk fair and an artisan market where you can snag the woolliest treasures around. As the sun dips below the mountains, the whole town shows off sheep-themed decorations in vibrant hues that will make you feel like you've stepped into a woolen wonderland. There's no need to count sheep to fall asleep here; the Trailing of the Sheep Festival will have you counting your blessings for being part of such a baa-rilliantly fun and quirky tradition.
Get ready to set sail on a squash-tastic adventure at the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, Oregon. It's a parade like no other, where pumpkins aren't just for pies but for high-sea hijinks. As the highlight event of a two-day festival, the regatta features fifteen brave competitors paddling their oversized orange chariots across the Lake of Commons, navigating the watery depths with all the grace of a pumpkin at sea – which is to say, hilariously. And creativity counts, so varied and delightful costumes are on full display. On dry land, events includes a Regatta Run 5K, pumpkin golf, a pumpkin weigh-off and a pumpkin pie eating contest, of course. So, in you find yourself on the west coast in the fall, find your way to this whimsical regatta. It's a splashing good time.