When the air becomes a bit crisper that’s when you know fall festival season has hit North Dakota. It’s all about eating apples, building scarecrows, tractor shows, parades, and more. Welcome the start of the most scenic and spooky season by heading to one of the best fall festivals in the state!
Appreciate the state’s rural scenery on the beautiful drive from downtown Fargo to Rheault Farm, the countryside paradise where this annual fall festival is held. This free event is held on the last two weekends of September each year and is held to celebrate the fun activities of autumn. Families can pick out a carving-worthy pumpkin from the patch, get face painting from a local artist, watch clown performances, work on fall-themed arts and crafts, play carnival games, and navigate the straw bale maze. There’s no better way to spend a September day than at the Fargo Park Fall Festival!
Celebrate North Dakota’s agriculture heritage and unique spirit at the famous Potato Bowl, held in Grand Forks! For over 50 years, the Potato Bowl has drawn in tourists and football fans from far and wide each fall season. The festivities focus around a famous annual football game held between North Dakota and Idaho State, a battle between two of the largest potato-growing areas in the country. The festivities include giveaways, a golf scramble, baked potato bar, fan luncheon, fun run, parade, and potato pancake breakfast!
Held by the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation, this fall festival has been a local favorite for over a decade. Applefest is held annually in late September and has events and activities for all ages. Visitors can chow down on both unique and classic festival foods, browse through the many craft vendors, play games, watch a riveting tractor show, listen to live music from local artists, watch a lively parade, get some exercise on the fun run, and taste authentic North Dakota wine and beer, for the adults!
As the widely anticipated annual Norsk Hostfest puts it, this event is “pure scandamonium!” Celebrating all things Scandinavian, it is one of the most popular events in North Dakota and the perfect cultural event to welcome in the fall season. The several day event has activities for people of all ages and interests, including delicious and unique culinary creations, nightly dances, live demonstrations, Miss Norsk Hostfest competition, live music, and, of course, Vikings.
Whether simply local starving artists or small mom-and-pop businesses, North Dakotans take pride in supporting other North Dakotans. This is the spirit behind the Fall Capitol Showcase (or Pride of Dakota Day). There are 530 (and counting!) North Dakota businesses involved in the Pride of Dakota program, ranging from artisans, gifts, nonprofit, authors, publishers, food and beverages, manufacturers, personal care products, and services, so visitors to this fall festival will be sure to find something to suit their needs.
What better way to celebrate the coming of fall than with copious amounts of beer? Fargo’s Oktoberfest has not only metaphorical rivers of booze, but also fun events for the entire family to enjoy. The downtown festival features a pub crawl, wiener dog races, a fall harvest market, carnival games, “keg Olympics,” live music, food, and children’s activities.
Visit the quaint and friendly small town of Hazen for their annual harvest festival, held every year in early September. There is something for everyone at this lively event, with live music, a classic car show, Pride of Dakota show, blocks of unique vendors with all manner of wares and services, street dances, breakfast feeds, inflatables, a parade, adorable wiener dog races, an authentically North Dakotan “fleischkeukla feed,” and, of course, beer and brats. Hazen may be a small town, but they know how to throw a party!
The Aw Shucks! Corn Fest is another of the many small town harvest festivals that celebrate North Dakota’s rich involvement in agriculture. This annual corn festival draws in folks from towns all around Garrison and beyond. It will have activities for everyone to enjoy including a cook off, tractor show, fun games, contests and giveaways, live music and entertainment, and a variety of different vendors. It is held annually in early September in Garrison City Park.
For over three decades, Rutland has hosted one of the hottest events of the fall in the entire state: the Scandinavian festival of Uff-Da Day. Celebrating the tiny town’s rich Scandinavian roots, as well as the coming of autumn, Uff-Da Day is chalked full of activities fit for everyone. The day features Scandinavian cuisine booths, crafts, vendors, a 5K run, lively parade, widely anticipated wife-carrying contest, kids’ nickel toss contest, and a traditional Scandinavian meal served at City Hall that consists of scalloped potatoes with ham and plenty of Scandinavian delicacies.