The 5 Best Upstate New York Fall Festivals

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The Finger Lakes and Upstate Region are arguably one of New York’s most beautiful areas, but it is particularly lovely during the Fall.  The leaves begin to turn burgundy, orange, yellow and magenta, and area towns host festivals celebrating everything from the harvest to the history of the Upstate region. With amazing stunning scenic views to take in, and activities for the whole family, Fall is the perfect time of the year to check out one of the many local festivals. I’ve picked out my top picks to the best fall festivals in the Upstate New York.

51st Palmyra Canaltown Days (free)

Now in it’s 51st year, this festival is held at Queen of the Canal towns, in the town parks along Main Street.  The festival has plenty to offer, including food, live music, arts and crafts vendors, canal walks, antique and classic car show, horsedrawn wagon rides, pony rides and much more! Parade on Saturday afternoon. After you check out the vendors walk a few blocks east and visit the village’s five museums.

43rd Ellicottville’s Fall Festival (free)

On October 6th and 7th, 2018, come to Ellicottville’s Fall Festival; the oldest, and largest, takes place when the foliage of the surrounding hills are ablaze with color! Tens of thousands of festival goers make for a lively weekend of unique foods, fine art, and an arts and crafts show, carnival rides, live entertainment and much more. Fall Festival is a fun, family-friendly way to kick off the autumnal fun in Ellicottville. Fall Festival is THE way to kick off the changing seasons in Western New York.

40th Annual Harvest Festival at the Farmer’s Museum ($)

Two days of live performances, music, food, and family activities. Find nineteenth-century musicians, horse-drawn wagon rides, canine agility and obedience demonstrations, artisan demonstrations and vendors such as tinsmiths, woodworkers, quilters, bakers, and potters.

Children will enjoy additional agricultural activities that include corn shelling and grinding, and grain flailing and winnowing, apple bobbing, and apple pressing as well as the Children’s Barnyard and rides on the Empire State Carousel.

*One-day entry to Harvest Festival: $12 adults (13-64), $10.50 seniors (65+), $6 juniors (7-12), children 6 and younger and museum members are free. Purchase tickets in advance or at the entrance on the day of the event.

57th Naples Grape Festival (free)

Deemed the No. 1 Festival in Ontario County, the Naples Grape Festival is always a fantastic time filled with food,  arts and crafts, regional music and of course, grapes. The highlight of the Grape festival is the Grape Pie Contest, which draws out some of the area’s most talented pie-makers and the winners are bakers of all ages. Additionally, don’t forget to check out the Wine Tasting Tent, where you’ll find samples of quality wines from wineries and microbreweries from all over the Finger Lakes Region.

Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival (free)

Each year, Apple Harvest Festival hosts bushels full of apple farmers, local produce, fresh baked goods, family entertainment at every turn, games, rides, prizes and live performances on two stages.

Free to attend and all-ages friendly, Apple Harvest Festival is a great introduction to the rich farm and artist community of Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region. First-time visitors can witness a variety of wonderful local entertainment happening all over downtown and inside shops, while also visiting the historical outdoor pedestrian shopping mall, the Ithaca Commons. The Commons is the epicenter of the festival and the gateway to a nostalgic journey to harvest season fun.

Looking for more Fall Fun?

From the Adirondack Mountains to the Finger Lakes Region there is no better way to take in all the colors and sites than on a train tour, check out Upstate New York Scenic Fall Foliage Train Rides

Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum Via Facebook
Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum


What festivals have made your Autumn bucket list? 

As always, I do my best to provide relevant and accurate information regarding events. With any event dates and times are subject to change, please confirm dates, times, and availability before attending an event. Events are posted on Home in the Finger Lakes from information found on, but not limited to, attraction sites, government city sites; as well as submissions from individual attractions, press releases, and PR firms. All events are subject to change without notice and Home in the Finger Lakes cannot be held responsible.

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