It doesn’t get much better than autumn in Maine. Our foliage alone makes this the season to savor, and this year several classic fall events are on track to take place. Beer will be flowing, music will be played, oysters will be shucked and pumpkins will be abundant. As we slowly ease into sweater weather, keep a spring in your step by marking up your calendar with some of these fabulous fall offerings.

Make sure to check individual websites before heading out, so you’re up to speed on any pandemic protocols.

Maine Brew Fest
1-5 p.m. Saturday. Sunday River, 15 South Ridge Road, Newry, $52,  $15 designated driver ticket. sundayriver.com
Spend the last official weekend of summer sipping brews slope side at Sunday River. More than 20 breweries will be on site including Atlantic Brewing, Banded Brewing Co., Definitive Brewing, Lone Pine Brewing Co., Mason’s Brewing Co., Norway Brewing Co. and Woodland Farms Brewery. What’s more, you can take a scenic ride on the chondola and will hear music from Skosh as you put your sampling glass through the paces all afternoon long. Need a crash pad for the night? Lodging is available at the resort’s Grand Summit and Jordan hotels.

Freeport Fall Festival
Oct. 1-3. Downtown Freeport, free to attend. visitfreeport.com/freeport-fall-festival
Flock to Freeport for three days of kids’ activities, live music, local food including six oyster sellers and a fine arts and crafts fair. Freeport Fall Festival has it all, and you’ll find it at L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Key Bank lawn, Freeport Village Station courtyard and on the corner of West and Main streets. Kids’ stuff includes a bubble tent, unicorn mask decorating and beeswax candle making, and you’ll hear music from Juke Joint Devils, Married With Chitlins and Alder & Anvil.

Aerial foliage shot taken in Newry. Inbound Horizons/Shutterstock.com

Fall Foliage Festival
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 10. Boothbay Railway Village, 586 Wiscasset Road, Boothbay, $5, free for 12 and under, $5 for train rides. railwayvillage.org
It’s time for the 53rd annual Fall Foliage Festival on the grounds of Boothbay Railway Village. You’ll find food trucks, live music, artisan demos and several local crafters and sellers of vintage treasures. It all happens on four acres of green surrounded by historic buildings that will be open for exploration. You can also hop aboard an authentic steam locomotive and check out more than 60 antique autos.

There will be plenty to eat at this year’s Swine & Stein festival. Stepanek Photography/Shutterstock.com

Swine & Stein Oktoberfest
Noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 9. Water Street, downtown Gardiner, $40, $50 VIP early entrance, $10 non-drinker ticket. gardinermainstreet.org/swine-stein-brewfest
Gather in Gardiner along a stretch of Water Street for the annual Swine & Stein Oktoberfest where you’ll sip samples in an open-air beer garden from several local breweries including Bateau Brewing, Bath Ale Works and Freedom’s Edge Cider. You’ll also get to tap your toes to performances by Half Moon Jug Band and Pat Colwell and the Soul Sensations. If you’re in the mood for some extra fun, you can try your hand at the Rock Paper Scissors Championship, giant Jenga and frozen T-shirt race, as well as a Pass the Pigs tournament. Be sure to come with an empty stomach as there will be plenty of food trucks and local restaurants serving up grub, including The Blind Pig Tavern, hosting a pig roast.

Fall Festival
Oct. 9 and 10. Sunday River, 15 South Ridge Road, Newry. sundayriver.com/events/fall-festival
Sunday River’s Fall Festival packs in a whole bunch of fun into two days, and if Mother Nature is in good spirits, you’ll be in the midst of peak foliage season. Events and activities include the 22nd North American Wife Carrying Championship, 38th Blue Mountain Arts & Crafts Fair, New England Corn Hole Championships, Sunday River Sports annual fall sale, live music, scenic chondola rides, a wine tasting and a Bloody Mary tent.

Flannel Jam
2-8 p.m. Oct. 10. Maine Craft Distilling, 123 Washington Ave., Portland, $50, $20 for ages 4-12. levitateflanneljam.com
If you think live music and autumn are a match made in heaven, this event’s for you. The Flannel Jam at Maine Craft Distilling is a one-day music festival with performances from Yonder Mountain String Band, Jamestown Revival, Mikaela Davis & Southern Star, These Wild Plains, Grain Thief, Marshfield, Muddy Ruckus, Sal Johnson & The Crowded Table. There will also be plenty of hot spiked cider, signature cocktails, hot cider doughnuts, caramel apples, and a hay maze and corn pool for kids.

A painted pumpkin created by Hannah Boone at the 2010 Pumpkinfest in Damariscotta. Derek Davis/Staff photographer

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest 
Oct. 8 to 19. Main Street Damariscotta and Newcastle. mainepumpkinfest.com
Carve out some time to stroll along Main Street in downtown Damariscotta and you’ll get an eyeful of giant decorated pumpkins. Most of the annual Pumpkinfest events have been suspended this year but you can still admire the handiwork and artistry of several local creatives. The pumpkins will arrive on Oct. 7 and then artists will spent all day on Oct. 8 painting and carving them in front of local businesses.

Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival in Freeport. Photo by Dudley Warner

Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival
Noon to 8 p.m. Oct. 23. L.L.Bean Flagship campus, 95 Main St., Freeport. campsunshinefestivals.org
Pumpkin madness abounds during the annual Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival that takes places outdoors at the L.L. Bean campus. The day will burst with live music, treats, kids’ games, Pumpkin Pete’s costume parade and massive amounts of pumpkin carving. All proceeds will benefit Camp Sunshine, an award-winning retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

A mouth-watering bed of oysters. Photo courtesy of Harvest on the Harbor

Harvest on the Harbor
Nov. 4-7. Several Portland locations. harvestontheharbor.com
Foodies live for Harvest on the Harbor, and this year’s events include a hands-on cocktail class, chance to mingle with members of the Maine Distillers Guild, OysterFest and a few other culinary delights that are still in the oven. The class at Maine Craft Distilling will teach you how to make two styles of drinks, which will be paired with food, and you’ll also get a tour of the distillery. You’ll meet distillers and taste their Maine-made products during Meet Your Makers at O’Maine Studios. OysterFest, also at O’Maine, will have you sampling oysters from several farms, and you’ll meet some of the farmers.


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