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Cleveland Fall Festivals

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The northeast Ohio festival season doesn't end with Labor Day. Area communities hosts a variety of scenic, fun, and exciting festivals throughout the fall. Here are some of my favorites (in no specific order):

Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival - Jefferson Ohio

(© istockphoto)

Ashtabula County has 18 excellent examples of original, restored, and replicas of 19th century covered bridges in a variety of constructions. All can be viewed by driving along the county's charming country roads. The Covered Bridge Festival, held in Jefferson during the second full weekend in October, features crafts, official covered bridge souvenirs, a quilt show, contests, a parade, food, and lots of fun activities.

Woolly Bear Festival

Vermilion's Woolly Bear Festival, held in mid-October each year, centers around the fuzzy caterpillar called the "Woolly Bear." Ohio folk wisdom says that if the black band across the back of these creatures is wide, there will be lots of snow during the coming winter. The free festival pay homage to the "Woolly Bears" with food, kids' activities, rides, and live entertainment.

Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival

(© J. Greenburg; Courtesy of Cleveland CVB)

Held at Tremont's Lincoln Park, in the middle of September each year, the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival features dozens of visual and performance artists and well as live entertainment, ethnic food vendors, dance, and hands-on art and educational activities for children.

Yankee Peddler - Canal Fulton

(courtesy of the Yankee Peddler Festival)

Nestled in the woods outside of Canal Fulton, about an hour's drive south of Cleveland, the Yankee Peddler Festival sets up for three weekends in September each year. The event features a wide range of arts and crafts vendors, historic re-reenactments, traditional pioneer food, and arts and crafts demonstrations. There's also live music, dance, and fun for all ages.

Geneva Grape Jamboree

Geneva Grape Jamboree
(courtesy of the Geneva Grape Jamboree)

The Ashtabula County town of Geneva erupts with activities during the Geneva Grape Jamboree, held the fourth weekend in September each year. The free festival features two parades, a city-wide garage sale, all sorts of grape treats, antique and craft shows, dancing, and live entertainment.

Elyria Apple Fest

The Elyria Apple Fest, held each year during the third weekend in September, celebrates Northern Ohio's orchards and apple-growing history. They crown an Apple Queen, cook up lots of apple creations, and host a parade. There's also live entertainment, craft vendors, and kid's activities.

Ohio Swiss Festival - Sugar Creek

Sugar Creek is Ohio's "Little Switzerland," and the city celebrates its Swiss roots the last weekend in September each year. Events include crowning a Miss Swiss Festival, listening to applehorn players, watching the parade, and lots of Swiss food and music.

Ohio Heritage Days - Mansfield

Ohio Heritage Days is a free arts and crafts festival held in late September at Malabar Farm State Park, the former estate of Pulitzer Prize- winning author, Louis Bromfield. The two-day event features over 100 arts and crafts vendors as well as artisans demonstrating traditional Ohio blacksmith skills, butter-churning, and other similar skills. There are also live music, dance, and kids' activities.

Johnny Appleseed Festival - Brunswick

Apple fritters, apple dumplings, and pick-your-own apples, it's all there at the Johnny Appleseed Festival, held each October at Mapleside Farms in Brunswick, south of Cleveland. Other activities include a corn maze, pony rides, a petting zoo, and a crafts fair.

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