Fall Festivals & Fairs In and Around Litchfield

Nothing makes Autumn in New England more special than attending the local and regional fairs and festivals that celebrate the season with homespun charm and experiences as warm and rich as the fall foliage. Here’s the scoop on some of the most popular and rewarding events coming up in and around Litchfield.

Family Nature Day at White Memorial, 9/23, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

festival fairsWhite Memorial’s annual Family Nature Day takes place Saturday (9/23) rain or shine, so don’t let the weather forecast deter you from attending one of the biggest family events of the year in Litchfield.

The 41st annual version features a long list of great presenters. Brain Bradley will be here with his beautiful free-flying hawks and falcons. Riverside Reptiles’ Brian Kleinman is perhaps the greatest mind in reptiles in the state. Learn about North America’s only marsupial with Ferncroft Wildlife Rescue and their Opossum Ambassadors. Meet a Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, and more with Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center. 

Gerri Griswold, The Bat Lady (and White Memorials Director of Administration and Development) returns with Betty the Big Brown Bat, and the Stamford Museum and Nature Center presents Edible Insects. There will be music, guided nature walks, information booths, horse drawn wagon rides, and yummy food including the popular pie sale. There’s also an artisan market, and a silent auction that can be accessed online.

Black Bear Americana Music Festival, Oct. 6 – 8, Goshen Fairgrounds

festival fairsThis three-day music festival features nearly 50 artists performing Rock, Blues, Folk, Bluegrass, and more, including such names as Joan Osborne (known for the hit song “One of Us.”) See the website for details, the schedule, vendors and more, including tickets that are available for one, two, or three days. Guests can also snag a spot to camp at the fairgrounds in campers or tents.


Garlic & Harvest Festival, Oct. 7 – 8, Bethlehem Fairgrounds

festival fairsThe unique and popular garlic festival (18th annual version) takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8 at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds. Besides stands selling fresh garlic and other fall produce, it features garlic cooking demonstrations, live music, informative lectures, and specialty food vendors selling things like garlic dips, spreads, and cheeses.

There’s also a food court with treats like homemade roasted garlic sausage with peppers and onions, wood fired garlic pizzas, specialty garlic sliders, deep fried garlic, and garlic ice cream – as well as rides and games for the kids. (Note that the ticket gates and souvenir stands are cash only.) Admission is $10 for adults and $1 for children younger than 12. Email [email protected] with any questions, and watch the festival’s Facebook page for updates.

Fall Festival & Makers Market at Mohawk Mountain, Oct. 21 – 22

festival fairsLitchfield is blessed with the trails of White Memorial and Topsmead State Forest for cross-country skiing and downhill enthusiasts head over to Mohawk Mountain 15-20 minutes away in Cornwall. (Insiders prefer taking the back roads through the pretty Milton section of Litchfield.) The ski area is holding a fall festival in October featuring a craft fair, food trucks, a scarecrow contest, bounce houses, face painting, live music, and more. See the website for details. Address: 6 Great Hollow Rd, West Cornwall; 860-672-6100

Harwinton Fair, Oct. 6, 7, and 8

This classic country fair in Litchfield’s neighbor to the east has everything you love about fairs – the rides, the fair food, tractor pulls, live music, equestrian events, pig races, a skillet throw and a hay bale throw, and even the Matica Circus Fire Show.

The 2023 fair runs Friday 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds, located at 150 Locust Road. Admission is $10, with children 12 and younger admitted free. See the website for the full schedule and further details.


16th Annual Harvest Bounty Brewfest, Oct. 7, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

The Litchfield Community Center has more than 20 Connecticut craft brewers of beers, wine and spirits lined up for its annual Harvest Bounty Brewfest.

The brewfest also features two live bands, Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Stache and three food vendors: I Know a Guy Deli & Food Truck, Rich’s Wings & Things and Brits Brand (scones and more).

There will be lawn games and fire pits at an event being held rain or shine. (There’s a large tent and the indoor atrium if weather is inclement.) Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Litchfield Community Center’s program and activities.

The list of participants (still growing) includes:

5th State Distillery ~ Athletic Brewing Company ~ Back East Brewing ~ Broad Brook Brewing ~ Charter Oak Brewing ~ Clocktown Brewing Co. ~ Evening Sky Brewing Co. ~ Half Full Brewery ~ Litchfield Distillery ~ Little Red Barn Brewers New England Brewing Co. ~ New England Cider Co. ~ Nineteen 70 Something Distillers ~ Owl’s Brew ~ Quirk Works Brewing & Blendery ~ Reverie Brewing ~ Two Roads Brewing Co.~ Watson Farmhouse Brewery ~ Woodbury Brewing Co. Half Full Brewery ~ Little Red Barn Brewers ~ Norbrook Farm Brewery

Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door and $15 for designated drivers. (A special glass guaranteed to the first 150 registrants.) Here’s the link for tickets.

Washington Harvest Festival, Oct. 8, noon – 5 p.m.

festival fairsThe 6th annual Washington Harvest Festival features live music, food, artists, a scarecrow competition, pumpkin carving, vendors, train rides, fire truck tours, and more family-friendly fun. Admission is free. It takes place at the River Walk Pavilion at 11 School St. in Washington Depot. There’s also a mobile pub for adults.