As we say so long (and don’t let the door hit you on the way out) to a summer complicated by more than one sour mood of Mother Nature, we can rejoice in the gradual and glorious arrival of autumn.

It’s time to put away bathing suits while avoiding eye contact with the snow shovels taunting from the back of the garage. It’s time to contemplate Halloween costume ideas and attend agricultural fairs (which you’ll read more about next week).

Let’s pick all the apples, arrange all the gourds, take all the foliage drives, eat and drink the pumpkin spice everything, and celebrate what is a serious contender for Maine’s finest stretch of months.

Hurricane Meadows Fall Festival
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Through Oct. 29. Hurricane Meadows, 85 Hurricane Road, Falmouth, $12.
Every weekend through October, Hurricane Meadows in Falmouth is hosting one heck of a fall festival, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. The centerpiece is a 5-acre lobster-themed corn maze. You can also have fun on the jumping pillows, wander your way through a field of sunflowers that you can pick, and peruse 4 acres of pumpkins for purchase. Kids will love the corn pit and hay pyramid slides, and everyone will get a kick out of the potato cannon, paint ball, pie pumpkin basketball, duck racing and more. Hot cider doughnuts and food trucks will be on hand for when hunger strikes.

Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Maine Apple Sunday
Sept. 17. Statewide.
Maine Pomological Society wants to be the apple of your eye and will surely succeed with Maine Apple Sunday. Orchards all over the state will offer activities and free samples, and best of all, several spots will offer pick-your-own, so you can leave with as many apples as you’d like, and then get busy making pies and crisps. Put down your Apple devices and get out there among the edible ones!

Harvest Festival
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 30. Pineland Farms, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester, $8, free for 2 and under.
The Pineland Farms Education Department presents its ninth annual Harvest Festival, which is yet another darn good reason to make your way to the acres of idyllic farmland and trails. The day’s schedule includes apple cider demonstrations, a 5-acre corn maze to wander and a pumpkin patch. Costumes are encouraged, so figure out a good one and have a blast.


The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta
Sept. 30 through Oct. 9. Main Street Damariscotta and Newcastle.
You have to hand it to the good people of Damariscotta and Newcastle because they sure know how to have a blast this time of year. The annual Pumpkinfest and Regatta features enormous pumpkins artfully painted and on display around town (and you’ll see the artists working on them), but that’s not all. There will also be a pumpkin dessert contest, great pumpkin weigh-off, and pie-eating contest. Two of the most beloved parts of the festivities are the Pumpkin Derby race of wheeled pumpkins and the regatta of giant pumpkins made into boats.

Freeport Fall Festival
Oct. 6-8. Downtown Freeport.
The 24th annual Freeport Fall Festival features more than 200 New England artists, makers and food producers for three days of autumnal merriment in downtown Freeport, including at the L.L. Bean campus and Mallard parking lot. There will also be two spots to hear live music, featuring performances from several local acts, including Maine Marimba Ensemble and Pretty Girls Sing Soprano. Kids also will take delight in activities like face painting and crafting.

Victoria Mansion in Portland. Jenlo8/

A Bizarre Victorian Bazaar
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 7. Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth St., Portland, $19.25, $7 college students, $5 for 6 to 17, $3 for EBT, free for under 5.
The lawn of the Victoria Mansion, an extraordinary home dating to the mid-1800s, is the ideal location for the Bizarre Victorian Bazaar: An Exhibition of Oddities and the Obscure. If this doesn’t get you in the Halloween spirit, nothing will because you’ll see Victorian folklore, camera trickery, spiritualism and other curiosities. Want to learn why rich Victorians threw mummy unwrapping parties, plus have your palm read, create Victorian crafts, visit with Charles Dickens, see scenes from Portland Ballet’s “Tales by Poe” and hear live tunes by the Shank Painters? Put a star, or maybe ghost sticker, on your calendar.

Shaker Village in New Gloucester. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Harvest Festival
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 7. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester.
Shake a tail feather up to Sabbathday Day Shaker Village’s annual harvest festival. The many free offerings include wagon rides, tours and tastings in the herb gardens, face painting (for all ages), and tours of the Shakers’ barn. The festival will also have bluegrass from Albert Price and the Pseudonyms, and traditional craft demonstrations including Shaker-style broom making. Load up on freshly picked apples, Shaker doughnuts and other baked goods. Visit nearby Chipman’s Farm for a bounty of vegetables including pumpkins, and Donna’s Greenhouse will have seasonal mums and houseplants. You can also purchase a barbecue lunch plate.

The Swine & Stein Brewfest in downtown Gardiner. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Swine & Stein Brewfest
Noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 7. Water Street, downtown Gardiner, $45, $55 VIP, $10 non-drinker.
Gardiner’s Swine & Stein Brewfest is one-stop shopping for a day of food, drink and all sorts of merriment. Grab your tickets and get ready for hours of beer, wine and spirits sampling, noshing on roasted pig and plenty of other pork-centric food, and enjoying live music. There will also be participatory games and events like the rock-paper-scissors championship, cornhole, giant Jenga, giant Pass the Pigs and a frozen T-shirt race. It’s also the ninth year for the legendary beard and mustache competition.

A potter shapes a clay bowl on a potter’s wheel during a demonstration that was part of the the Maine Craft Weekend on Water Street in downtown Gardiner, Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Maine Craft Weekend
Oct. 7 & 8. Statewide.
The number of talented artists and makers in this state is truly staggering, and during the Maine Craft Weekend, the spotlight shines on them. Some activities include visits at private art studios, outdoor installations, pop-up shops, collaborations with craft breweries, and lessons and demonstrations on things like glass blowing and pottery. This year’s featured cities are Belfast, Biddeford, Ellsworth, Freeport, Gardiner and Monson, but there will also be participating locations all over the state.


Fall Foliage Festival
Oct. 7 & 8. Boothbay Railway Village, 586 Wiscasset Rd., Boothbay.
Boothbay Railway Village, partnering with Boothbay Region Information Center, has presented its festival for more than 50 years, and the weekend offers several wonderful reasons to load the kids or just yourself and some pals for a trip to the Midcoast. There you’ll find vendor booths with all sorts of handmade goodies, an antique car museum, live music, local food, a model railroad and several goats. You can also climb aboard a train for a ride around the grounds.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 14. Short Sands Beach, York.
This year marks the 38th time Harvestfest has been celebrated in York. You’ll hear live music from the Don Campbell Band and Dan Blakeslee, and will find a bunch of local food to keep you well fed. There will also be a juried craft fair and old-fashioned market featuring artists, makers and vendors from Maine and New England. The younger crowd will also have a blast at Kidsfest, which features storytelling, interactive activities and a roaming railroad. Head south and have at it.

Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival in Freeport. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival
Noon to 8 p.m., Oct. 21. L.L. Bean, 95 Main St., Freeport.
For just under 40 years, Camp Sunshine has supported and provided hope and joy for children with life-threating illnesses and their families. They also put on one heck of an October event. The pumpkin festival has a massive display of carved pumpkins along with a costume parade, live music, games for kids and assorted other treats. All proceeds benefit Camp Sunshine, and you can hop online now to sponsor a Glow Heart pumpkin for $10.

Pumpkin Harvest Festival
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 21 (rain date Oct. 28). Main Street, Saco.
Make your way to Main Street in Saco for the 23rd annual pumpkin harvest festival. Over four fun-packed hours, there will be a costume contest, pie-eating contest and horse-drawn wagon rides among other amusements. Kids will especially love the trunk-or-treating. While you’re there, you can pop in and support several local businesses nestled in the historic downtown area.

Avery Richter from Black Tie Catering is a chef in the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition. Photo courtesy of Harvest on the Harbor

Harvest on the Harbor
Oct. 25-28. O’Maine Studios, 54 Danforth St., Portland.
Harvest on the Harbor is one chef’s kiss after another over the course of four days and several sumptuous events. It kicks off with the Maine Distillers Guild Toast, featuring handcrafted cocktails made with gin, vodka, bourbon, rum and other fabulous spirits. Day two is the savory and sweet Crave with cheese from Local Goods Gathered and chocolates from three Maine makers, all paired with wines and Coffee by Design coffee. Next is the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition, followed by two sessions of the Maine Oysterfest.

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