Harvest on the Harbor
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18 Great Fall Festivals in Maine [Updated 2022]

People visit Maine from all over the globe to see fall foliage. September and October’s changing leaves are a burst of beautiful color. What’s most special about Maine’s foliage is the contrasting colors from bright red, to burnt orange to bright yellow and gold.

Fall brings plenty of festivals, fairs, and craft shows to Maine as well. From the Fryeburg Fair, Harvest Fest in York, OgunquitFest, and craft fairs and farmers markets all around the state, you can find fresh local raised produce, pumpkins, apples, and handmade art, wood crafts, and jewelry at outdoor markets and craft fairs most weekends.

Fall in Maine also means festival time and there are so many fun fall festivals to check out in the Pine Tree State. Whether you’re looking for live music, fair food, a craft beer festival, a county fair, or something in between, chances are good there’s a fall festival nearby just waiting to be explored.

Take a train through idyllic countryside, watch a regatta with giant pumpkin boats, and ride a gondola to the top of North Peak during these annual fall festivals in Maine!

Gourds and pumpkin display

Amazing Maine Festivals in September

Blue Hill Fair | Blue Hill

This down-to-earth agricultural fair has been an annual event since 1891 and boasts some best entertainment and exhibits in Maine.

Located in Blue Hill on Maine’s coast, thousands come for an event that includes sheep dog trials, a demolition derby, live entertainment and so much more.

If you’re aiming to attend a few fall festivals in Maine, this is a great place to start.

Windjammer Festival - Camden, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Windjammer Festival | photo via @yeomansworkphotography

Windjammer Festival | Camden

Camden is just one of the many great coastal towns in Maine, and Labor Day weekend means it’s time for this annual maritime celebration. Come and explore Camden, where you can watch the arrival of the windjammer fleet into Camden Harbor.

You can then tour the windjammer ships and watch fun activities. There’s a chowder challenge, a lobster crate race, a talent show, a nautical dog show, a treasure hunt, and so much more. 

Common Ground Country Fair | Unity

Head to Unity for this long-standing (since 1977!) annual fall festival in Maine. Located northeast of Augusta, this annual fair celebrates rural living in Maine and brings more than 1,000 exhibitors and speakers.

For years, this is an event that has drawn thousands of people to the Windsor Fairgrounds. If you love sustainable farming and living off the land, this festival is for you. The festival emphasizes sustainable living and organic agriculture, and you’ll hear from experts on exactly how it’s done.

Aside from a vast selection of Maine-grown food and locally handcrafted goods, there are lots of other things to do like listen to live music, run or walk in the 5K, check out the Donkey and Mule Show, visit the Reiki tent, and more.

Ride your bike to the fair and an attendant will valet it for you! Don’t miss the Bike Parade at 10 AM and 2 PM held daily during the festival.

Trails End Festival - Millinocket, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Trails End Festival | photo via Trails End Festival

Trails End Festival | Millinocket

Celebrate the outdoors with 3 days of free live music and more! This family-friendly, annual Maine fall festival started 15 years ago in celebration of the Katahdin region, the Appalachian Trail’s end.

The festival has so much for you and your family to do including face painting, hiking, a chili cook-off, vendors, a parade, and games. A festival-favorite event is the Rubber Duck Race!

If you want to join the “All Trails Lead to Katahdin Parade,” you can! The parade takes place on surrounding trails to include hikers, walkers, ATVs, Jeeps, canoes and kayaks, white water rafts, and more.

Pirate Festival | Eastport

Aaarrgh! Come to Eastport in mid-September for a celebration of all things pirate. You won’t have to walk the plank or swab the deck to have fun here.

Past festivals have included a scavenger hunt, a thieves market with lots of special bargains, an art poster contest, street magicians, art exhibits, and lots of food and drink specials from local restaurants.

You’re sure to see your fair share of swashbucklers, buccaneers, and scallywags here, but the vibe here is definitely a fun one and you’ll have a good time.

Cumberland Fair - Cumberland, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Cumberland Fair | photo via @justinbiemmer

Cumberland Fair | Cumberland

County fairs are always a blast and the Cumberland County Fair has been going strong for 150 years in late September and early October. Celebrate the 150th anniversary of this fall festival in Maine from in 2022.

Mainers love this fair because it’s great fun for the whole family and a great way to get in touch with Maine’s rich agricultural roots. It has everything you want in a county fair from rides to yummy fair food to a petting zoo and so much more.

The fair schedule is jam-packed with events including the Pumpkin and Squash Weigh Off, harness racing, various live concerts, and a demolition derby.

Explore the Mid-Way to play carnival games and ride the carousel, or visit the Farm Museum to educate yourself on Maine’s agricultural history. There’s also a sugar house where you can try and buy local maple goods. You can even camp onsite.

So bring the whole family and be prepared to have fun. There’s something for everyone here and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

Freeport Fall Festival | Freeport

Every year in late September and early October, Freeport brings together dozens of the best artists in New England for a three-day festival on the L.L. Bean campus. Welcome October with this 3-day, free-to-attend Maine fall festival in Freeport! 

Enjoy local eats and shop from Maine artisans and crafters. The festival features close to 200 vendors. There are lots of great activities here. Kids can get their faces painted, get glitter tattoos, and even make their own gem trees to take home. Festival-goers can also listen to several different live music acts and indulge in tasty festival food

Some not-to-miss food vendors include Lady Shuckers, a local, women-owned, mobile raw bar with fresh oysters, and Cropley’s Charcuterie, where you can indulge in artfully designed charcuterie boxes.

The annual festival also offers live music at the Discovery Stage, and free children’s activities, like face painting, glitter tattoos, make-and-take crafts, and scavenger hunts.

Bonus! — Head back to Freeport October 21-22 for their autumn Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival!

Freeport Fall Festival - Freeport, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Freeport Fall Festival | photo via @atelierfrost

Extraordinary Maine Festivals in October

Maine Maple Fest | Various Cities

When the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, gold, and orange, Maine maple producers prepare a delicious array of maple products. When you visit any of Maine’s sugar houses, it’s hard not to stop and take in the delicious smell of maple wafting through the air.

This Maine fall festival is fairly new but it’s a great addition to other long-running Maine fall festivals. The second annual Maine Maple Fall Fest will take place on October 8-9 at multiple sugarhouses. Enjoy the fall scenery as you drive through the beautiful Maine countryside and hop from sugarhouse to sugarhouse.

The Fest is similar to an open house, held at a large group of participating sugarhouses. See firsthand how maple is made, tour the facilities, participate in maple syrup tastings, and buy high-quality maple goods from various Maine Maple Producers.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, come visit Maine sugar houses for baked maple treats, ice cream, candy, cotton candy, and other scrumptious goodies. Expect to discover your new favorite dessert—you’ll find delicious baked maple sweets, maple ice cream, maple candy, maple cotton candy, and more!

Dozens of maple producers in the state participate in Maple Fest, so check this map for the one nearest to you.

Harvest on the Harbor - Portland, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Harvest on the Harbor | photo via @207foodie

Harvest on the Harbor | Portland

Portland has been dubbed in some circles as the Foodiest Small Town in America and this celebration was created to spread awareness of Portland’s food scene.

This festival showcases all the best brewers, distillers, oyster farms, and others that contribute to Maine’s hospitality.

Events include a Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition, where visitors can pay to sample lobster dishes. There’s also Meet Your Maker, a distillery event where visitors can try locally made cocktails.

Don’t forget OysterFest, where visitors can sample the choicest oysters in Maine from oyster farmers.

Fryeburg Fair | Fryeburg

Held in early October, the Fryeburg Fair captivates the town with carnival games and rides, artwork, crafting for kids, scrumptious fair food (funnel cakes anyone?), livestock exhibitions, camping, Sheep Dog Trials, a tractor pull, and more.

This 8-day festival is one of the oldest agricultural festivals in Maine and started in 1851. It started when a handful of towns founded a festival to celebrate the harvest. Although humble at its founding in 1851, it’s now the largest agricultural fair in Maine, bringing in more than 225,000 annual visitors.

185 acres and over 100 buildings comprise the fairgrounds. Plus, there are more than 3,000 exhibited animals that include award-winning draft horses, race horses, ponies, oxen, cattle, pigs, goats, and sheep.

Today, it’s still going strong and features many fun events. Get up on your feet and cheer during the pig scramble, marvel at the skillet and anvil throws, watch expert woodsmen compete in sawing and ax throwing competitions, and head to the grandstands for live music, tractor pulls, and more.

Swine & Stein Brewfest - Gardiner, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Swine & Stein Brewfest | photo via Swine & Stein Brewfest

Swine & Stein Brewfest | Gardiner

Oktoberfests are all the rage around the country and in Gardiner, Maine, you may just find one of the most authentic celebrations.

This one-day event is truly a beer festival in the streets as downtown turns into an outdoor beer garden. There’s all-day sampling from Maine breweries, distillers, and wineries, along with live music, yummy food, and fun games.

Picture yourself with a delicious ice-cold beer in one hand, some tasty food in the other, and live music playing. Does it get better than that?

York Harvestfest | York Beach

Enjoy a brisk, sunny Maine fall day near the beach in mid-October.

This one-day festival offers a wide variety of activities that the whole family can enjoy. For the youngsters, there’s KidsFest, which includes face painting, interactive activities, storytelling, and even a roaming railroad.

The festival also features traditional favorites like live music, food from local vendors, and a craft market with vendors from all over New England.

Grab a savory Maine lobster roll before taking a ride on a horse-drawn wagon! Other fall fares you can indulge in include lobster macaroni and cheese, pumpkin donuts, blueberry desserts, and whoopie pies.

Heads up—it’s free to park by the beach during Harvestfest!

Sunday River Fall Festival - Newry, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Sunday River Fall Festival | photo via Sunday River

Sunday River Fall Festival | Newry

Head to the Sunday River mountain resort in early October for this unique Maine fall festival featuring arts and crafts, live music, food, and more. Come celebrate the arrival of fall in the mountains at the annual Sunday River Fall Festival. Here you’ll find a mix of quirky and classic events that will delight the whole family.

Don’t forget the live music and arts and craft fairs and partner with a friend to complete in the annual New England Cornhole Championship. There’s also the Sunday River Sports Sale.

One unique festival highlight is the scenic chair lift rides on the “Chondola,” an enclosed lift that is family- and dog-friendly. Ride the lift up North Peak for amazing views of both the Mahoosuc Mountains and the Sunday River Valley, and take in the majesty of the fall foliage. You’ll see one of Maine’s tallest peaks, Old Speck. You can opt for a ride on an open chair lift instead if you like.

Another unique highlight is the annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, where competitors carry their wives through a 278-yard obstacle course. The winners get five times their weight in beer!

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta | Damariscotta

In early October, wander around Downtown Damariscotta (and neighboring Newcastle) to see intricately decorated “Atlantic Giant” pumpkins, designed each year by Maine artists. Attend the weigh off to see who will win first place under several categories: adult giant pumpkin, adult giant squash, children’s giant pumpkin, and children’s giant squash.

Plus, don’t miss the regatta. Boating in a pumpkin sounds an impossible feat, but Damariscotta has shown us it’s possible! Watch as competitors paddle furiously and race in hollowed-out, massive, festively adorned pumpkins.

This Maine fall festival is also part of Maine’s Pumpkin Trail. Check out the Trail for even more fun, fall events!

OgunquitFest - Ogunquit, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
OgunquitFest | photo via @paulmarte

Fall for Ogunquit/OgunquitFest | Ogunquit

Ogunquit is the perfect place if you’re in search of East Coast Halloween vibes. These two events make Ogunquit the place to be in October! Fall for Ogunquit lasts all month long and OgunquitFest happens later in the month.

The small town is home to one of the most loved, annual fall festivals in Maine. Spooky events include ghost tours, pumpkin carvings, a haunted theater, a costume parade, and trick-or-treating. Other events include the Artisan Craft Fair, a classic car show, plenty of kids’ activities, and the High Heel Dash in Perkins Cove.

Signature events include the Dogtoberfest costume parade where four-legged friends can parade in their favorite Halloween outfits. There’s one of the biggest craft fairs you’re likely to find in the area, a classic car show, activities for kids, and plenty of Halloween-themed events.

If you love to soak up as much of fall as you can, these are two events you don’t want to miss.

Fall Foliage Festival | Boothbay

Head to Boothbay Railway Village for the 54th annual Fall Foliage Festival. Explore the historic buildings, which were mostly built in the early 1900s, and check out the antique car museum and model railroad.

You can even enjoy views of scenic fall leaves and trees from the window of a vintage coach, powered by an authentic, century-old steam engine!

Wander around the village’s 4-acre grassy area for plenty of family fun and entertainment including live music, arts and crafts, antiques, local food, and a visit with the friendly “village goats.”

Fall Foliage Festival - Boothbay, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Fall Foliage Festival | photo via Boothbay

Awesome Maine Fall Festivals in November

Maine Harvest Festival | Bangor

This award-winning festival celebrates the fall harvest of more than 200 farmers across the state, as well as food producers and all that they create.

Visitors can sample locally brewed Maine beers and wines, you can start your holiday shopping by visiting the crafts fair for handmade crafts, and you can eat fresh, delicious Maine cuisine from expert Maine chefs.

You can do a little bit of everything here and really, isn’t that what everyone wants from a festival?

Fall for Ogunquit - Ogunquit, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine
Fall for Ogunquit | photo via Ogunquit

Maine Fall Festivals FAQ

Which fall festivals in Maine are free?

Of the Maine fall festivals listed, many are free for all ages to attend including the Trails End Festival, Freeport Fall Festival, Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta, Sunday River Fall Festival, York Harvestfest, and OgunquitFest.

Most Maine fall festivals that charge entry have ticket prices under $20 and offer free or discounted admission for children and seniors.

Are Maine fall festivals pet-friendly?

Some are. The rules vary per Maine fall festival and can be found on their respective websites. The Sunday River Fall Festival is a Maine favorite and has dog-friendly gondola rides!

Plan Your Fall Trip to Maine Today

Fall is the perfect time to visit Maine, so now is a great time to start planning your trip. You can see the beautiful fall foliage and attend a fun fall festival (or two) while you’re here. These annual events are rooted in tradition and offer something for everyone.

These Maine fall festivals are some of our favorites, but there are many other fall things to do in Maine, too – biking, hiking, boating, and more – just bring a jacket, shopping, exploring the coast, or simply enjoying a cozy Maine BnB or inn with a view out to sea. Maine is loaded with Haunted Inns and Lighthouses and late October is the perfect time to stay in one!

red-maple-leaves

More to Explore This Fall in Maine

Whether you love visiting beer tents, food vendors, listening to live music, or just soaking up the history and culture of Maine, attending a fall festival in Maine is always a good time.

But the main reason to visit Maine in fall is for those leaves. It’s worth leaving home to see fall at its peak with the spectacular show of brilliant colors… goes well with a fresh baked red Maine lobster and a steamy cup of chowder.

Each fall the colors begin to take on their autumnal hues as early as late August, but the best leaf peeping is typically early October, and peaks at Columbus Day Weekend.

Maine is the Pine Tree state, so all this deciduous foliage of leaves is offset by the grand green evergreen pines. If you visit Maine, vacationland, in the fall be sure to bring your camera, iPad, or iPhone to take lots of photos of the fantastic foliage.

The bonus of a fall vacation in Maine is some of the best weather of the year. Days are often sunny and warm, you can walk the beach or enjoy a kayak or hike in comfortable temperatures. Evenings, the autumn sunsets, and the return of cool crisp air make for a nice stroll and great sleeping under a down duvet at some romantic Maine inn.

Also, fall tends to be less busy than prime summertime in Maine. Gone are the vacation families, and there are fewer tourists lined up for Maine’s most popular waterfront restaurants and clam shacks. Maine inns, house rentals, and resorts lower their rates after August and July, so you will find lodging deals mid-week September and great rates after Columbus Weekend through November in Maine.

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