Autumn has arrived and—in the midst of colorful sunsets, crunchy leaves and crisp air—our Caliber Collision crew has uncovered some of the country’s most spectacular fall festivals for your next road trip. After you prepare your auto for autumn, its time to rake up all the apple spice and pecan pies this season has to offer on our fall field trip across the U.S. So, grab your flannel and fuel up as we hit the road for a plethora of pumpkin-filled pit stops.
New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival
The first stop on our maze around the nation is in the Lakes Region of New England: Laconia, New Hampshire. On October 18-19, you can join in with the 40,000+ visitors for pumpkin carving, amusement rides, bungee jumping and live music. After you run the 10K or participate in the Zombie Walk, you can fill up on food from craft vendors or stop by the Pumpkin Festival Beer Garden. With a movie in the park, the Pumpkin Dump Derby and even a Jumpin’ Jack Car Show, there is no shortage of family fun at this festival. Stick around until the end and you’ll get to see the lighting of the famous 34-foot tower of jack-o-lanterns.
Next up on our scary excursion through the states is the Scarecrow Festival in St. Charles, Illinois. The spooky spectacular takes place from October 11-13 this year and has been going on since the 1980s. More than 100 handmade and mechanical scarecrows are submitted for display and guests can vote on their favorite in a variety of categories. Visitors can also create their own scarecrow, shop at the Autumn on the Fox Arts & Crafts Show, check out the amusement carnival and enjoy a cornucopia of entertainment from local bands, dancers, orchestras and more.
Sonoma County Harvest Fair
As we continue to venture out west, we leave the Midwest behind and head to our third stop: wine country. Sonoma County, best known for their wine, brings their classic vineyard spirit with a fall twist to the 45th year of their award-winning fair. On October 4-5, you can join in for tastings, site-seeing and the World Championship Grape Stomp. In this hilarious competition, teams of two (a stomper and a swabby) compete for bragging rights and $1,500 by stomping on grapes, straining the juice and collecting it in a pipe. Last year, the winning team from Santa Rosa, CA amassed a staggering 17.36 lbs of juice—talk about stomping the competition.
Autumn at the Arboretum
While the Dallas Arboretum is beautiful year-round, there is something especially beautiful about its fall spectacle, earning it the title of “one of America’s best pumpkin festivals” by Fodor’s Travel. From September 21 – October 31, guests can visit Pumpkin Village—a display featuring houses and art made from more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. This year, the festival is themed “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and features characters from
the classic such as Linus, Sally and Snoopy. With more than 150,000 autumn flowers, a day at the Arboretum will have you too saying “Good grief!”
Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival
If food and drink are your fall forte, this Florida festival is the perfect fit for you. In addition to the pumpkin patches, carnival rides, photo opps and a corn maze, this Miami-based fair offers fall fare unlike anything else. On October 26-27, you can venture out and try pumpkin funnel cake, pumpkin curry and even pumpkin pizza. Wash it down any of the seasonal brews from Samuel Adams, Traveler Beer Company or Angry Orchard at one the event’s Pumpkin Beer Bars. If you’re looking for a little autumn indulgence this season, look no further.
While the leaves may be falling, there’s no excuse to lower your standards when it comes to safety. Wherever the autumn roads take you, be sure to stay alert and always wear your seatbelt. If you do find yourself smashing more than pumpkins, remember you can always call your crew here at Caliber Collision to rake up the damage and fulfill our Purpose—Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life®.