All the best mountain fall fests
BASE jumping, apple butter, lumberjackin’— it’s fall festival time in West Virginia.
Here are some our best mountain fests:
1. Harvest Moon and Crafts Festival
Sept. 16-17, Parkersburg
Parkersburg’s annual juried craft show has more than 200 crafters, food and live entertainment.
Plan your visit so you can also hit 2 more fun-filled Parkersburg events: PaddleFest, when a portion of the Ohio River is closed to so river rats can paddle their own canoes and kayaks out to historic Blennerhassett Island; and Downtown Throwdown BBQ & Brewfest, a celebration of BBQ favorites and craft beers from around the state.
2. Leaf Peepers Festival
Sept. 22-24, Davis
Get Tucker’d at this annual celebration of fall colors, including a Fireman’s Parade, 5K run/walk, food and craft fair, car show, wild bird exhibit, and live music.
Discover more around Tucker County with scenic chairlift rides at Canaan Valley Resort State Park and paddle tours of Pendleton Lake at Blackwater Falls State Park. (Note: Some activities are fee-based.)
3. Mountain State Forest Festival
Sept. 30-Oct. 8, Elkins
One of the largest and oldest festivals in West Virginia, the Mountain State Forest Festival celebrates West Virginia’s rich forestry heritage with lumberjack contests, wood products and Christmas tree growers exhibits– but there’s much more: parades, pageantry, arts and crafts, a 10K race and a bass fishing classic, just to name a few.
4. Official Bridge Day
Oct. 21, Fayetteville
Adventurous souls come from all over the world to BASE jump and rappel off the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge on Bridge Day.
Only the pros can leap solo, but you can take tandem jumps or slide the high line from the bridge’s catwalk to Fayette Station Road 700 feet below. (Spots fill up fast. But don’t worry— if you missed out this year, there’s always next year.) Or just explore the arts and crafts, food, Bridge Jam concert and Chili Cook-Off.
Oct. 6-8, Wheeling
Catch Oglebayfest highlights like the Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Market with regional foods; handcrafted wares and artisan demonstrations; and the Ohio County Country Fair, with old-time music, elaborate quilt displays, farm animal exhibits and the state Pony Pull Championship. Top off your visit Saturday with the Oglebayfest parade through the Good Zoo and a fireworks display over Schenck Lake.
6. West Virginia Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 5-8, Milton
A big parade down Milton’s Main Street kicks off this 4-day pumpkin extravaganza. Find rows and rows of arts and craft vendors, delicious food, apple butter making, spinning, live music, weaving and pottery making, friendly farm animals to pet, and piles and piles of pumpkins— from giant gourds to smaller pumpkins painted and decorated for Halloween.
7. C-K AutumnFest
Oct. 27-28, Ceredo and Kenova
The C-K AutumnFest takes standard festival fare like parades, pageants, arts and crafts, and food vendors, and adds a spooky twist with activities like the “Nightmare at Dreamland” haunted trail and an “Introduction to the Paranormal.”
But the centerpiece is the Pumpkin House, which brings visitors from far and wide to witness its dazzling display of jack-o-lanterns. The Pumpkin House began in 1978 with 5 hand-carved pumpkins, and has grown to a staggering 3,000 pumpkins prepped for Halloween.
This post was last updated on July 28, 2020