The harvest season is often welcomed and celebrated with some of the most jovial vigor of the year—pumpkin flavoring makes its way back onto menus, hiking scenery becomes splashed with colors of red and orange, and leaves are raked into piles that become playgrounds for kids.
One of the best parts of this season is the myriad of fall festivals that take place. These festivals are often food and craft oriented and bring a large numbers of participants out for a few more days of outdoor activities. Sometimes, the festivals can take a wacky, weird and whimsical turn.
If you've never been to a fall festival, or want to try something new, here's a list of five unusual ones, all of which will have you praising this wonderful season.
More: 15 Popular Camping Spots
What started as a playful rivalry among friends has grown into one of the country's largest pumpkin-launching competitions. This festival, held October 24 to 26 in Dover, Delaware, attracts nearly 20,000 people each year. Visitors will witness some of the craziest, scientifically-engineered pumpkin catapults ever see.
What's more, the festival is a nonprofit that raises money for the betterment of youth in the local community.
For more information, visit PunkinChunkin.com.
Fall festivals can't be discussed without mentioning turkey, the mascot of the fall season. That said, it's hard to choose just one festival that best celebrates this animal. The town of Cuero, Texas does a darn good job.
The Cuero Turkeyfest festival, held October 10 to 12, includes a jalapeno-eating competition, camp cooking demonstrations and the Great Gobbler Gallop, a race that pits Cuero's best turkey against Worthington, Minnesota's best turkey. Worthington also has a festival each year called King Turkey Day; both Cuero and Worthington claim to have the best turkey festival in the country and this pride generates the same enthusiasm as any large-scale sports competition.
For more information, visit Turkeyfest.org.
Big Bear Oktoberfest
Beyond pumpkins and turkeys, another great tradition associated with the fall is Oktoberfest, which comes with beers and brats, lederhosen and the polka. Big Bear, California hosts one of the most notable Oktoberfests in the country.
It takes place every weekend from September 13 to October 25. Each weekend includes unusual and interesting activities to participate in. Listen to traditional German music, take dance lessons, and watch log-sawing competitions.
For more information, visit BigBearEvents.com.