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Favorite New England fall festivals

An oyster shucking contest is one of the highlights of the family-friendly Wellfleet Oyster Festival.

An oyster shucking contest is one of the highlights of the family-friendly Wellfleet Oyster Festival.

Q. We’re planning a fall weekend getaway and would like to tie it in with a fun New England festival. What are your favorites?

Dan Rawling

Kittery Point, Maine

A. There are so many cool festivals and so few weekends. But, if we have to choose, here are four we love. The Big E (, Sept. 13-29), the largest fair in the Northeast, is a 17-day extravaganza featuring rides, a circus, big-name entertainment, animals and food, held at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. The Wellfleet Oyster Festival (, Oct. 19-20) is a family-friendly, two-day event with live music, walking tours, cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities, and the lively Shuck Off competition, plus the Cape Cod setting is gorgeous in the fall. The 39th Annual Apple Harvest Festival, in Glastonbury, Conn., (, Oct. 18-20) will feature an arts and crafts show with more than 125 artist booths, along with a pie-eating contest, beer garden, petting zoo, amusement rides, and live entertainment. We like the quaint and old-fashioned Northeast Kingdom Annual Fall Foliage Festival (, Sept. 30-Oct. 5), when six small communities each host their own unique, daylong event, including concerts, arts and crafts, historical tours, live entertainment, pancake breakfasts, and community suppers.


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