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Arts & Culture

Best Fall Festivals In Minnesota

September 9, 2013 7:00 AM

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The Midwestern United States boasts the most beautiful fall season in the country. In Minnesota, the season is celebrated with festivals, events and tours of the state. Each area of Minnesota welcomes the season with a large number of festivities and an invitation to enjoy the scenery before winter kicks in. Check out any of these fantastic ways to ring in the fall.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: St. Helena)

Autumn Daze Festival
St. Helena Catholic School
3200 E. 44th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 729-9301
www.sainthelenaschool.us

Dates: Sept. 13-15, 2013

St. Helena’s annual Autumn Daze Festival has been attracting crowds for years and has become a neighborhood favorite. With live music throughout the weekend under the big tent, rides for the kiddos, games with prizes to boot and some of the best festival food around (read: caramel rolls on Saturday and Sunday morning), everyone will have a blast at this three-day event. Grab a spot along the parade route on Saturday morning and don’t forget to head to the school basement for some bingo throughout the weekend. For the over-21 crowd, visit the beer booth for some affordable brews to enjoy with your friends and family. The principal of the school may just be your bartender.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

The Great Pumpkin Festival
Landmark Center
75 W. 5th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 292-3225
www.landmarkcenter.org

Date: Oct. 27, 2013

The Landmark Center is the cultural center of St. Paul, offering a focus on history, dance, art and music. Events are planned year-round to invite the community to participate in a celebration of culture. Every fall, the Landmark Center hosts a free event that focuses on the fun and mystery of the Halloween season. Storytelling and spooky music invite everyone to get into the Halloween spirit. A costume parade is planned as well as treats for all those in attendance. 


Faribault Balloon Rally and Airfest

Faribault Municipal Airport
208 1st Ave. N.W.
Faribault, MN 55021
(507) 332-0140
www.visitfaribault.com

Date: Sept. 13 and 14, 2013

A two-day event featuring flying entertainment and aerodynamic feats, the Faribault Airfest takes place mid-September at the small airport of Faribault. Hot air balloons are inflated and launched on both days of the event to culminate the event and celebrate the fall. Scheduled events also include an air show, parachute jumps and classic car displays. Helicopter rides are also planned to put locals in the center of the event.

Grilled Corn

Owatonna Harvest Fest
Downtown Owatonna
Owatonna, MN 55060
(507) 451-7970
www.owatonna.org

Date: Oct. 3-5, 2013

Owatonna’s 11th annual Harvest Fest celebrates everything there is to love about fall in Minnesota. Featured attractions include a corn maze, a scarecrow display, a pumpkin patch and a fabulous farmers’ market. The shops in downtown Owatonna hold sidewalk sales and events to promote local businesses during the fest as well. What would a fall festival be without a pumpkin-weighing contest? Giant pumpkins are weighed in the city park alongside a pie sale. Meet the heroes of fall, bakers and farmers, during this event.

Related: Best Minnesota Businesses With Art Galleries


Albert Lea Fall Festival on Broadway

Downtown Albert Lea
105 Broadway Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007
(800) 345-8414
www.albertleatourism.org

Date: Sept. 21, 2013

Featuring the traditional fall farmers’ market that takes place here every Saturday in the fall, the Fall Festival on Broadway celebrates additional joys of seasonal changes in southern Minnesota. Vendors at the market bring their best produce and often offer cooking demonstrations as well. Activities for the kids are included in the fun such as hay rides and crafts. A tractor show is also included in the event to feature the Midwest farmer’s best friends.

White Wine

Oktoberfest and Grape Stomp
Millner Heritage Vineyard and Winery
32035 MN Highway 15
Kimball, MN 55353
(320) 398-2081
www.millnerheritage.com

Date: Oct. 5-6, 2013

Of course, a list of fall festivals is incomplete without some sort of Oktoberfest. At the beautiful Minnesota winery, Millner Heritage, German bands will be on hand to play festive German music throughout the weekend. Wine tastings and beer samples are featured during the event. Learn about winemaking and participate in an old-fashioned grape stomp sponsored by the Millner family. German food will be on hand to authenticate the festival.

Related: Best Fall Family Getaways In Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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