It’s that time of the year again. The leaves are starting to change. The air is getting a bit nippier. People are thinking about what they want to be for Halloween. And, stores are stocking an endless assortment of pumpkin-flavored goods. That’s right – fall is here.
Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit or live in Montgomery County, Maryland. We have plenty of outdoor trails, parks as well as shopping areas for you to bask in the red, orange and yellow foliage. It comes as no surprise then that the season also brings a fantastic lineup of festivals and events.
From wine and music, to global cultures and of course pumpkins, check out these top festivals coming up this fall!
Takoma Park Street Festival
The Takoma Park Street Festival was voted one of the top three neighborhood festivals by Washington City Paper readers in its 2017 Best of D.C. rankings. Now in its 36th year, the festival will take place Sunday, October 1, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival features a talented mix of local artists offering paintings, photographs, pottery, bath and body care, stained glass, jewelry, woodworking, ceramics and more. Also, there will be three stages with 18 bands playing all day.
Non-profits, local companies and a variety of food vendors will also participate. And while kids love the festival’s crafts, face painting and inflatables, the highlight of the event for grownups is the Crawl. During the Crawl, attendees can purchase a mug for $10 and go enjoy discounted pours at nearby Takoma restaurants, bars and cafes.
Taste of Bethesda
One of the most anticipated events of the year, the Taste of Bethesda food and wine festival will be held Saturday, October 7, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include 60 participating restaurants and five stages of live entertainment. Each year, more than 40,000 attendees descend on Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle to sample dishes from a variety of local restaurants. There’s fun for the whole family at the kid’s corner where there will be face painting and arts & crafts.
Admission to the Taste of Bethesda is free. Taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. The event is convenient as well, located just three blocks from the Bethesda Metro stop.
If farming and agriculture is more of your thing, then head to Montgomery Parks’ Agricultural History Farm Park for the annual Harvest Festival. Also held Saturday, October 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., this year’s event will center on how Montgomery County’s farms and communities helped support the war effort during World War I. At the event, attendees will have the chance to interact with historians in historic costumes; participate in hands-on farm skills activities such as tin-smithing, making apple butter and building scarecrows.
There will also be traditional music and dancing, farm equipment demonstrations, live animals, food and hayrides. Notably, the Agricultural History Farm Park is situated on 455 acres of land in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. It serves as a historic farm site as well as a modern farming activity center.
Oktoberfest at the Kentlands
What fall festival list wouldn’t be complete without an Oktoberfest? For 26 years, the City of Gaithersburg has held its own celebration of the German tradition. This year’s event is on Sunday, October 8, 2017, from noon to 5 p.m. The festival covers Kentlands Village Green, the grounds of Kentlands Mansion, Main Street and Market Square. There will be family-friendly activities, artisans, a wine terrace, beer garden, delicious food from local restaurants and live entertainment. Attendees can even navigate their day with the Oktoberfest at the Kentlands App.
The Bethesda Row Arts Festival
Widely regarded as one of the best fine arts festivals in the United States, the Bethesda Row Arts Festival transforms four blocks in downtown Bethesda into an outdoor art gallery. There are fine arts and crafts for sale from 190 museum-quality artists. On display will be the finest in: ceramics, drawings, fabrics, glass, graphics, jewelry, metalwork, paintings, pastels, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood and mixed media. Locals acts will also provide musical entertainment. Prepare yourself for a visual feast on Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15, 2017.
World of Montgomery
Montgomery County is proud to be one of the most vibrant, diverse communities in the nation. In fact, one-third of our residents weren’t born in the United States. And, among the 156,000 students enrolled in its public schools, 138 distinct languages from 157 countries are spoken at home. The World of Montgomery Festival celebrates this rich diversity through music, food, dance and arts demos. The family-friendly event spotlights cultures from China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India.
At the festival’s International Village, children and adults will experience these cultures by participating in a wide variety of hands-on activities, including Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, Chinese dragon dance and henna painting. In the Global Kitchen, international chefs prepare regional dishes, while two performance stages will spotlight international dancers and musicians. Explore the world on October 15, 2017 from noon to 4pm at Montgomery College in Rockville!
The Pumpkin Festival
Butler’s Orchard is a family-run farm in Germantown, Maryland that hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. For the 37th year, the Butler family will host the Pumpkin Festival, a celebration of the fall harvest that invites families from all over the area to share traditional autumn activities in a country outing. The festival starts September 30 and runs every weekend through October. It includes hayrides, a twisted corn maze, playground, corn box, spider web straw maze, corn hole game, giant slides and a pumpkin coach ride. There will also be food, including fall favorites like cider, caramel apples, apple cider donuts, kettle corn and Maryland’s own pit beef.
For more information on heritage sites around the county, visit HeritageMontgomery.org
“This Project has been financed in part with State Funds from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.”