Photo Credit: Maiden Alley Oktoberfest (Paducah, KY)

Fall Festivals on the Great River Road

Great food and music doesn’t end with summer! The Great River Road offers a variety of fall festivities to keep the fun going.

Here is a list of festivals on the river road and a few a short trip away!


Twin Cities Harvest Festival Maze (Brooklyn Park, MN)

Explore the largest Minnesota corn maze! If that isn’t enough, you can have fun in a corn pit that holds over seven semi-trucks of shelled corn. 

Autumn Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair (Shakopee, MN)

A little off the Great River Road is a festival of crafts. Enjoy browsing the wares of hundreds of  artisans and crafters, with hourly prize drawings and plenty of food and drink . Bonus – children under 10 get free admission!


Holiday Harvest Wine & Food Festival (Stockholm, WI)

Transition from Minnesota to Wisconsin in a seamless wine tour trail along the Mississippi River.   Enjoy the weekend and visit all 12 wineries.  Your ticket gets you wine samples, some holiday food, a glass and bottle tote.  

Monroe County Historical Society Fall Arts & Crafts Show (Sparta, WI)

In a town marked as “Bicycling Capital of America”, connect with hundreds of local crafters.  Get your mind into Christmas mode and pick up a  handmade decoration or two.


Le Claire’s Annual Witches Walk and Fall Festival (Le Claire, IA)

Is your trip a family fun weekend? Put on the witch hats and grab the pumpkin candy buckets because Le Claire’s ready to have some Halloween fun!

Driftless Area Bird Festival (Lansing, IA)

During spring and fall migrations, over 300 species of birds travel along the northern portion of Iowa. Great River Road travelers can birdwatch alongside professionals this fall. 


Nauvoo Scarecrow Festival (Nauvoo, IL)

Take a stroll during the “Boo-ti-ful” Nauvoo Pumpkin Walk on the last day of the festival.  But stop by anytime during the month-long scarecrow display and put your vote in for your favorite.

Mount Carroll Pumpkin Fest (Mount Carroll, IL)

Have you ever pumpkin bowled? While traveling on the Great River Road in Illinois, check out how the festival slingshots, drag races, and decorates pumpkins!


Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival (Kimmswick, MO)

Hungry for something sweet while on the road? The Kimmswick Historical Society is hosting their annual festival celebrating the ultimate fall food item: apple butter. While over 10,000 visitors taste, local crafters and vendors will pop-up shop for viewing and purchasing. 

Autumn Historic Folklife Festival (Hannibal, MO)

Visit the past at Hannibal’s 1800s-themed festival. Craftsmen will show traditional demonstrations and sell handmade crafts while musicians perform on the streets.


Maiden Alley Oktoberfest (Paducah, KY)

Oktoberfest!  Great music, food, and beer.  It’s practically a rite of passage into fall.  Get to know the locals at Paducah’s first beer festival.

Ballard County Waterfowl Festival (La Center, KY)

Think your duck call has what it takes?  This festival has the largest payout for a calling competition in the country!  From laser tag to helicopter aerial tours, there’s always something to do. 


River Arts Fest (Memphis, TN)

During the ‘20s, Beale Street was the talk of the town. It still is! Over 180 artists and vendors exhibiting and selling their work along with live demonstrations.

Spooktacular Fall Festival (Memphis, TN)

Play with slime, pet animals, and ride a train at the Children’s Museum of Memphis this fall. Food trucks will also be available when the fun time becomes lunch time.


Forest of Fright at Pumpkin Hollow (Piggott, AR)

This forest is for horror fans. Walk through Forest of Fright to see what lurks in the dark!

Osceola Car and Fall Festival (Osceola, AR)

Are you a motor enthusiast? Celebrate and view some hot wheels in Osceola while driving the Great River Road.


Natchez Balloon Festival (Natchez, MS)

Natchez is a great place to listen to good music and look at the sky as hot air balloons float overhead. Visitors experience amazing views from the Rosalie Mansion bluffs.

Sports Force Parks Fall Festival (Vicksburg, MS)

Vicksburg serves up a slice of Americana along with a pie eating and hotdog eating contest at this fall fest.   It’s family-fun with cornhole, glow-in-the-dark kickball,  and pumpkin decorating.


Andouille Festival (LaPlace, LA)

This festival is dedicated to a sausage created by the colonial settlers. Today, people can enjoy Andouille with live music and activities in the fall.  

Covington Three Rivers Art Festival (Covington, LA)

Since 1997, the festival has grown from 49 participating artists to 200. With support of 60,000 visitors annually, the festival showcases a booming artist community in St. Tammanay parish.