10 fall festivals and fairs not to miss
As summer comes to an end, trees begin to change colors, the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air, and fall festivals beckon families to enjoy hayrides, candy apples and corn mazes.
The Upstate and its surrounding areas offer numerous fall festivals and fairs, but which ones should you attend? Upstate Parent profiles 10 events to consider when planning your fall activities this year. Want more? You’ll find additional events at the end of this article.
Planning to trick-or-treat? We also have the ultimate listing of Halloween trick-or-treating or trunk-or-treats events in the Upstate. Check it out!
Now, on with these 10 can’t-miss events!
Get Out Greenville 2016
Oct. 1, Mauldin
Get Out Greenville is a one-day celebration of all the Upstate has to offer to outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, swimming, kayaking, and more. The free, family-friendly festival will be held 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 1 at Conestee Park, 840 Mauldin Road. It will include live entertainment, a kids trail race, Get Out 10K, and paddleboarding demonstrations, a climbing wall, skateboard plaza and bike ride garden.
The highlight of the event is its festival village, which will include a children’s area for play and learning, more than 20 vendors and a food truck plaza for those who feel hungry. The kid’s area will feature booths by the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Upcountry History Museum and Safe Kids Upstate.
For more information, visit www.greenvillerec.com/getoutgreenville.
Spartanburg International Fest
Oct. 1, Spartanburg
The Spartanburg International Festival will celebrate diversity in the Hub City with its annual event 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at Barnet Park. Festival-goers can expect to take a trip around the world by tasting foods, enjoying music, participating in hands-on activities and dancing to other cultures’ offerings. A variety of countries will be represented, including China, Germany, Italy and Mexico, and a Parade of Nations will showcase each country beginning at 2 p.m.
Participating countries will be set up along an Avenue of Nations to provide information and answer questions while food from each can be purchased along an International Boulevard of Food.
Entertainment, including such acts as Irish dance and belly dancing, are provided on three stages throughout the park, and a international kids zone offers crafts, games and a play area for smaller visitors. Families, be sure to pick up a passport under the Pavilion in the children’s zone. For every country whose section you visit, you’ll receive a stamp.
For more information, visit www.cityofspartanburg.org/international-festival.
South Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair
Oct. 3 – 8
The South Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair bills itself as “what an old-fashioned country fair should be.” This agriculture-driven event celebrates farm life with 4-H shows, tractor-driving contests, livestock shows and rodeo events, with antique farm equipment demonstrations held throughout each day of the fair. Don’t worry. There are also midway rides, carnival food and plenty of other entertainment for families. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and no charge for preschool ages.
For more information, visit www.carolinafoothillsheritagefair.org.
What would fall be without a pumpkin festival, especially in a town called Pumpkintown? The 38th annual Pumpkin Festival is expected to draw crowds from across the state to Pickens County for a day of old-fashioned festivities centered around autumn’s most famous fruit. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. Oct. 8 with a parade traveling down S.C. Highway 8 to S.C. Highway 135 in front of the Oolenoy Community Building. The festival will continue until 5 p.m. with arts and crafts vendors, foods, live music, and children’s activities for kids of all ages. Of course, families will have plenty of photo opportunities at the pumpkin patch, where they can purchase a pumpkin for the season. Not sure where Pumpkintown is? It’s only a few miles from Table Rock State Park.
For more information, visit pumpkintownfestival.org.
South Carolina State Fair
Oct. 12 – 23, Columbia
Each October, the official state fair kicks off for 12 days in Columbia at the fairgrounds at 1200 Rosewood Drive. It’s the biggest fair in the state and only an approximately two-hour drive from the Upstate.
Attractions include a border collie exhibition, Kenya SafariAcrobats, King BMX Stunt Show, Nascar Night, rides, games, food, and live music from notable bands such as Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd. While admission times and rates change by the day, guests can get in on opening day for only $1.
For a complete schedule and details, visit www.scstatefair.org.
Fall for Greenville
Oct. 14, Greenville
Sponsored by Belk and presented by Pepsi, Fall for Greenville is Greenville’s signature event and one newcomers won’t want to miss. Even festival veterans should mark Oct. 14 – 16 on their calendars and plan to stop by Main Street to sample food from more than 40 restaurants, including Papi’s Tacos, Smoke on the Water, Soby’s and Tupelo Honey Café. Live music will be played throughout the weekend with 71 performers on the schedule.
Borderlands Comics & Games will sponsor this year’s children’s area on East Broad Street, which will feature a festival wheel, fun house, merry-go-round, rock wall and tree house slide, and up and down helicopter ride. Sunday is Family Fun Day, with unlimited rides available for $15 from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information, visit www.fallforgreenville.net.
Fall Vintage Market at the Park
Oct. 15, Greer
Greer City Park comes to life twice a year with a pop-up market full of more than 60 vendors of handmade, vintage and upcycled items. The next market is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Oct. 15, and it’s a Pinterest lover’s dream come true. Moms and dads can find vintage and antique pieces of furniture, clothes, and handmade crafts for the home. Vendors such as Nood Clean will showcase all-natural cleaning products while Iviva will sell Himalayan salt products. If you get hungry, some vendors will also be selling homemade pies and more.
For more information, visit www.vintagemarketgreer.com.
Pendleton Fall Harvest Festival
Oct. 22, Pendleton
If you’re looking for an old-fashioned fall festival to share with the kids, consider heading to Pendleton for its annual Fall Harvest Festival.
Featuring old-fashioned children’s games, a scarecrow contest, crafts, food, and live entertainment, Fall Harvest Festival is 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Oct. 22 on the town’s historic Village Green.
Approximately 90 vendors will offer a variety of arts, crafts and food and families can even enter the third annual Scarecrow Contest. The historic Ashtabula plantation will also be open for tours during the festival. After the festival, the Pendleton Historic Foundation will also offer a one-night only ghost tour of Pendleton.
For details, visit www.facebook.com/pendletonfallharvestfestival.
Bark in the Park Festival
Oct. 29, Mauldin
Concerned Citizens for Animals will host the 33rd annual Bark in the Park Festival 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 29, but this year will see a change of venue from recent years. Pet lovers of all ages and their four-legged friends are invited to Conestee Nature Park, where a variety of food, vendors, auctions and games for the entire family will be set up for the event.
Kids and their pets are invited to come in costume, and there will be dog contests with prizes. Special entertainment will be provided by K-9s in Flight, which trains former shelter dogs to be professional Frisbee performers.
All proceeds benefit at-risk animals in the Upstate. For more information, visit concernedcitizensforanimals.wordpress.com/bark-in-the-park.
South Carolina Pecan Festival
Nov. 5, Florence
If you plan to head to the coast one last time before winter, plan to make a stop in Florence for the South Carolina Pecan Festival Nov. 5. This annual event celebrates all things pecan and features a Hunt Like a Nut Interactive Scavenger Hunt, singing contest, classic car and truck show, free kids fun zone, and more. Visitors can also explore downtown Florence and more than 250 food and craft vendors and participate in cook-off and chalk art competitions. The event usually draws close to 50,000 visitors each year, so organizers now offer a free park and ride program that allows guests to park in one of three lots and ride the bus to the festival.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.florencedowntown.com.
5 public farms to visit this fall
There’s lots of family-friendly fun to be found at these area farms.
6600 S.C. Highway 92,
Located in Enoree, which is an approximate 30-minute drive from Greenville, Stewart Farms hosts fall activities each season that include a seven-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch and wagon rides. Plus, it operates the Big Boo, a family-friendly and not-so-spooky haunted maze Friday and Saturday nights in October.
6510 New Cut Road, Inman
Only a short drive from both Greenville and Spartanburg, Johnson Farms in Inman offers hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin patch, playground, pedal cars and a gem mine. There’s also a concession store for buying fresh products.
650 Fisher Road, Greer
Each year, Fishers Orchard draws families to its Greer farm during its annual fall festival, which operates each Saturday through Oct. 31. Families can explore a corn maze, take a wagon ride, pick pumpkins and more.
1515 Denver Road,
Denver Downs in Anderson is known as “South Carolina’s premier agritourism and entertainment farm.” Each fall it offers one of the largest corn mazes in the state, along with a haunted attraction for adults. The farm is also family-friendly, hosting a pumpkin farm, petting zoo and regular activities for families.
Mini Miracles Farm
708 Old Rutherford Road, Taylors
Mini Miracles Farm opens a pumpkin patch and its farm each year to the public, and this year’s charity patch will be open through Oct. 22. Hayride tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays, and there’s an animal education station where kids can get up close to pigs, sheep and other farm animals. In addition, there’s a children’s play area, grass maze, wooden train and tractor.
Wait! There are other festivals to consider too!
- Aunt Het Family Fall Festival: Oct. 1, Fountain Inn
- Greer Station Oktoberfest: Oct. 1, Greer
- FestiFall 2016: Oct. 1 – 2, Roebuck
- Oktoberfest at NOMA Square: Oct. 1 – 2, Greenville
- Balloons Over Anderson: Oct. 7 – 9, Anderson
- Piedmont Interstate Fair: Oct. 10 – 16, Spartanburg
- A Day to Remember Colonial Times: Oct. 15 – 16, Aiken
- Storytelling Festival at Hagood Mill: Oct. 15, Pickens
- Children’s Day Festival: Oct. 16, Mount Pleasant
- Western Carolina State Fair: Oct. 20 – 29, Aiken
- Honea Path Sugarfoot Festival: Oct. 21 – 22, Honea Path
- Oktoberfest: Oct. 22, Woodruff
- Enchanted Forest: Oct. 27 – 29, Greenville
- Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee: Oct. 28 – 29, North Augusta
- Roper Mountain Science Center’s Fall Harvest Festival: Nov. 12, Greenville
Find more at www.upstateparent.com
Looking for things to do with kids in Greenville-Spartanburg? More stories relevant to families? Visit www.upstateparent.com.