With Ohio’s fall foliage, the cooling temperatures and the smell of apple cider in the air, October is one of my favorite festival months.
The festivals this month are a little different as compared to festivals in previous months. With the proximity to Halloween and (dare I say) Christmas, the craft and vendor show area usually increase in size and there’s much more shopping all around. There are more autumnal treats like hot apple cider, pies and cakes, more living history encampments and historical reenactments, and many more festivals that take place on a farm or fruit orchard.
I’ve been to many festivals in October and I’ve put together another list my favorite festivals to help you navigate through your weekend plans.
Please remember that this list is based on my personal experience. Also, festivals will be listed chronologically as they occur through the month. They are not ranked.
At the end of the post, I’ll list some festivals that also look great which I haven’t had the chance to check out.
My Favorite Festivals for October 2022
1.) Ohio Renaissance Festival – Waynesville
Dates: Weekends through 10/30
Official Website: https://www.renfestival.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/75-ohio-renaissance-festival-harveysburg-september-25-2010/
Notes: Tons of vendors, entertainment, food options and period games. The Ohio Renaissance Festival goes above and beyond (and the amount of guests in costume is amazing). It’s easy to spend the whole day here as there’s plenty to do and see.
2.) Prairie Peddler Festival – Butler
Official Website: http://www.shopthepeddler.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/26-the-prairie-peddler-festival-butler-ohio-october-10-2009/
Notes: The Prairie Peddler offers more than 200 vendors at a beautiful woodsy setting with toe-tapping music and delicious food. My one regret is not getting the apple fritters which are freshly made on site.
3.) Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival
Official Website: http://www.huntsburgpumpkinfestival.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/58-huntsburg-pumpkin-festival-october-1-2011/
Notes: Not a huge festival but it’s very pumpkin forward with plenty of pumpkin treats and products. Two buildings of vendors and crafts, food, entertainment and a pumpkin roll on Saturday.
4.) Woollybear Festival – Vermilion
Official Website: https://www.vermilionohio.com/woollybear-festival/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/woollybear-festival-revisited/
Notes: Did you know that you could predict the severity of the upcoming winter season based on a woollybear caterpillar’s stripe? While that may be part of the reason some people attend the festival, many others come to dress their children and pets as woollybears, race woollybears, meet with Fox8 celebrities and enjoy the longest parade I have ever seen.
In fact, this is also Ohio’s largest one-day festival with an attendance of over 100k festival goers.
5.) St. Stanislaus Polish Festival – Cleveland
Official Website: https://www.ststanislaus.org/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/st-stanislaus-polish-festival-cleveland/
Notes: Along with the Polish imports, Polka bands, dancing and games, their delicious foods goes beyond the pierogi varieties, potato pancakes and stuffed cabbage. They also have duck blood soup and a spreadable pork fat for bread.
But, if that doesn’t sound appealing to you at all, there are also plenty homemade desserts and breads to enjoy there or take home.
6.) Columbus Italian Festival
Official Website: http://www.columbusitalianfestival.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/columbus-italian-festival/
Notes: Wonderful entertainment, Italian vendors, a kids’ area and rides, and, most importantly, a nice selection of delicious Italian food. Calamari, pizza, sausage, pasta and all sorts of great desserts!
7.) Algonquin Mill Fall Festival – Carrollton
Official Website: http://carrollcountyhistoricalsociety.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/60-algonquin-mill-fall-festival-carrollton-petersburg-october-7-2011/
Notes: Explore the Algonquin Mill Complex with historic school house, railroad station, farm house barns and get a glimpse of how life was way back when. All sorts of delicious food (including the freshly baked bread in the bread house), all sorts of entertainment, educational exhibits, shopping and more. Just a great fall festival to enjoy with your family.
8.) Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival
Official Website: https://lakesideohio.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/lakeside-marblehead-lighthouse-festival/
Notes: You do have to jump around a little at this festival since activities and festival elements are spread around the peninsula. While tours will obviously be at the lighthouse, most of the shopping, food and entertainment take place at Lakeside Chautauqua. Stop in downtown Marblehead Village as well as there are likely some festival-related things going on.
9.) Old Worthington Market Day
Official Website: https://www.worthingtonchamber.org/old-worthington-market-day/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/old-worthington-market-day-worthington/
Notes: This is large street market in downtown Worthington that offers a lot of great vendors, delicious food and more.
10.) Yellow Springs Street Fair
Official Website: http://www.yellowspringsohio.org/street-fair/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/62-yellow-springs-street-fair-october-8-2011/
Notes: The Street Fair hasn’t been back in a while, thanks to the pandemic, so I’m really happy to see its return. There will be 250 vendors, a music and beer fest and so much more. There are also wonderful businesses to check out while at the festival (it takes place in the downtown area)
Keep in mind that parking is a nightmare (I tend to park outside of town by a cemetery), but it’s worth the trip.
11.) Oakland Nurseries Fall Festival – Columbus
Official Website: https://www.oaklandnursery.com/page/sales-and-events/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/oakland-nurseries-fall-festival-columbus/
Notes: This is a great festival if you have kids. There are many games for them, some activities, a petting zoo, plus food and entertainment…like the pig races. I always love a pig race.
12.) Enon Apple Butter Festival
Official Website: https://enonhistoricalsociety.com/apple-butter-festival/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/63-enon-apple-butter-festival-october-8-2011/
Notes: Put on by the Historical Society, apple butter is cooked, bottled and sold on the grounds, along with plenty of food booths hosted by community groups. These are the main reasons I like this festival. There are also craft vendors and music entertainment.
13.) Oak Harbor Apple Festival
Official Website: https://www.oakharborohio.net/apple-festival.html
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/oak-harbor-apple-festival/
Notes: The Oak Harbor Apple Festival is a nicely sized festival with rides, games, live entertainment over 130 vendors and all sorts of delicious food. Plus, not only are there apples, there are apple dumplings, apple butter, apple cider and all sorts of yummy apple products to bring home.
14.) Ohio Sauerkraut Festival – Waynesville
Official Website: http://www.sauerkrautfestival.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/68-ohio-sauerkraut-festival-waynesville-october-9-2011/
Notes: The Sauerkraut Festival is a monster of a festival for a few reasons. Not only are there all sorts of interesting sauerkraut food concoctions (brownie, donuts, pizza, etc.) that are fun to try, but there are over 460 craft vendors brought together, creating a shopper’s paradise. Be warned that the street fills up quickly so be sure to pack some patience with you before heading out to the festival.
15.) Fall Festival of Leaves – Bainbridge
Official Website: http://www.ofea.org/festivals-and-events/festivals/fall-festival-of-leaves.html
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/84-fall-festival-of-leaves-bainbridge-ross-county-october-16-2010/
Notes: The festival really offers a lot (rides, flea market, car shows, entertainment, food), but you do have to search around the town for some of it. When I was there, I kept turning a corner and thinking “Wait…is that part of the festival too?”
And that may have been a little bit of the fun.
16.) Spooky Pooch Parade – Lakewood
Official Website: https://www.lakewoodalive.org/event/spooky-pooch-parade-2022/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/spooky-pooch-parade/
Notes: So I admit that I love seeing animals dressed in costumes (the Woollybear above is great for that too), but this event is more than just a parade as there are dog vendors, activities for kids, food and entertainment. But the parade is definitely worth checking out because the costumes are wonderful.
17.) Circleville Pumpkin Show
Official Website: https://www.pumpkinshow.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/89-circleville-pumpkin-show-october-23-2010/
Notes: The Circleville Pumpkin Show is Ohio’s Oldest and Largest Festival with over 400,000 visitors annually. It is an intensely large festival with many rides, all sorts of vendors, great entertainment and almost every pumpkin food imaginable – from pumpkin seeds to fried pumpkin flowers to pumpkin burgers. Seriously, it’s a lot, so get there early and try to miss the incoming traffic.
18.) Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival – Coshocton
Official Website: https://www.roscoevillage.com/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/87-apple-butter-stirrin-festival-coshocton-october-16-2010/
Notes: Head to Roscoe Village as they cook and sell homemade apple butter and offer a festival with 100 craft and food vendors, live music, free crafts for the kids, tours and more. If you’ve never been to Roscoe Village, it’s the perfect excuse to visit, especially with the entire family.
19.) Dayton Pagan Pride – Fairborn
Official Website: http://daytonpagancoalition.org/dayton-pagan-pride-day/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/dayton-pagan-pride-day/
Notes: I’m a fan of different cultures and beliefs, so it may make sense that a Pagan festival would have some appeal. Vendors sell all sorts of things, from crystals and incense to jewelry and art. There are also tarot card readers and all sorts of entertainment, including dancers, magicians, musicians and storytellers. Plus to people are really nice and welcoming – who doesn’t love that?
20.) Vintage Market Days – Xenia
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/VMDdaytoncincinnati/
My Review: https://ohiofestivals.net/vintage-market-days/
Notes: Vintage Market Days is a festival that takes place in many cities across the US. So, while I haven’t been to the one in Xenia, I know that many of the wonderful vendors I saw in Berea will likely be there.
The festival offers a nice selection of vendors, offering everything from upscale vintage to home furnishings, from deliciously scented candles to homemade jewelry and from original art to handmade crafts. Shopping is this festival’s strong suit, but there are also food vendors and entertainment.
Festivals I have NOT been to…
Here are some festivals that I would love to go to but have not had the chance to visit.
I will also list them chronologically.
10/1 – Wizard Fest – Goshen
10/1 – Minerva Oktoberfest – Minerva
10/1 – Otway Covered Bridge Festival – Otway
10/1 – Montgomery Oktoberfest – Montgomery
10/1 – Colonel William Crawford Fall Festival – North Robinson/Bucyrus
10/1-10/2 – Spring Valley Potato Festival – Spring Valley
10/1-10/2 – John R. Simon’s Sorghum Festival – West Portsmouth
10/1-10/2 – Lowell Octoberfest – Lowell
10/1-10/2 – Johnny Appleseed Festival at Auglaize Village – Defiance
10/2 – Mother of Sorrows Chapel Harvest Festival – North Auburn
10/7-10/8 – Lebanon Oktoberfest – Lebanon
10/7-10/9 – Beaver Oktoberfest – Beaver
10/7-10/9 – Indian Mound Festival – The Plains
10/7-10/9 – The Chillicothe Halloween Festival – Chillicothe
10/8 – Midnight at Moonville – McArthur
10/8 – Harvest Festival and Bean Dinner – Ironton
10/8 – Donut and Beer Festival – Columbus
10/8-10/9 – Chatham Apple Butter Festival – Chatham
10/8-10/9 – Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival – Jefferson
10/8-10/9 – Christmas in the Woods I – Columbiana
10/11-10/15 – Bradford Pumpkin Show – Bradford
10/14-10/15 – Van Wert Apple Festival – Van Wert
10/14-10/16 – Fairborn Halloween Festival – Fairborn
10/14-10/16 – Bob Evans Farm Festival – Rio Grande
10/15 – The Great Pumpkin Roll Festival – Franklin
10/15 – Kidron Beet Festival – Kidron
10/15-10/16 – Black Walnut Festival – Camden
10/15-10/16 – Urban Scrawl – Columbus
10/28 – Haunted Fest – Columbus
What are your favorite festivals in October?
To find the full listing of Ohio festivals, go to the Ohio Festival Guide at https://ohiofestivals.net/ohio-festivals/