Glass pumpkins displayed at Jack Pine Studio's Glass Pumpkin Festival (photo courtesy of Jack Pine Studio)

10 Fall Festivals in Ohio

From pumpkins to mums to woollybears, these autumn events promise beautiful, fun and unique ways to celebrate the change of seasons. 

Pumpkin Power
Celebrate an icon of autumn at these three festivals.

Jack Pine Studio Glass Pumpkin Festival | Sept. 22–24
Jack Pine Studio in Laurelville once again displays hundreds of the one-of-a-kind, blown-glass pumpkins that are synonymous with the Hocking Hills-based artis5 t. This outdoor art show also features a curated collection of fine craft vendors and works from both local and traveling artists in media that spans wood, fabric, metal and painting.

Operation Pumpkin | Oct. 13–15
Celebrate the fall season at the largest family-friendly festival in Butler County. Held in downtown Hamilton, this annual event includes a giant pumpkin weigh-off as well as live pumpkin carvings, amusement rides, kids activities, live bands and more.

Circleville Pumpkin Show | Oct. 18–21
Always held the third Wednesday through Saturday in October, this famous show boasts a pumpkin-packed long weekend of fun. The festivities include parades, a Miss Pumpkin Show and Little Miss Pumpkin Show, carnival rides and midway food. Don’t miss the display of largest pumpkins, which must be seen to be believed.

People in costume at the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Waynesville (photo by Logan Rickert for CC-BY-4.0)
Ohio Renaissance Festival | Sept. 2–Oct. 29
Visit the world of kings, queens, knights and more at the popular event held over several weekends each fall in Warren County.

Costumed royalty presiding over a 16th-century English village greet visitors who come to the annual Ohio Renaissance Festival dressed as courtly knights, fair maidens and even steampunk fairies.

“We keep it period appropriate, but the patrons have added that variety,” says Dave Ashcraft, managing partner of the festival, which runs on weekends between Sept. 2 and Oct. 29 in Waynesville.

One of the largest events in Warren County, the festival attracts up to 280,000 visitors each year, and it is still growing. The festival also offers a variety of themed weekends including Viking Weekend (Oct. 7–8) featuring the bagpipes of the tribal Scottish band Albannach and Tricks or Treat Weekends (Oct. 28–29) when kids under 12 get in for free and festival vendors join in the trick-or-treating.

A recent expansion offers a new shaded area that allows whimsical exploration for kids. It also features a new arena where the Cincinnati Barbarians combat group safely duels in glinting armor with real swords.

Attendees can peruse hand-bound books, leatherwork and clothing available for purchase from the artisan vendors and relax and listen to live music in St. Peter’s Chapel before heading to a daring acrobatic show.

“Some people come for the shopping, some people come for the entertainment, some come for the pure atmosphere,” Ashcraft says. 10542 Ohio 73, Waynesville 45068, 513/897-7000, 


Barberton Mum Festival overview by Buckeye Drone (courtesy of the Barberton Mum Festival)
Mum Magic
These Ohio cities celebrate a favorite fall flower. 

Barberton Mum Festival | Sept. 23–24
Beautiful blooms return to Barberton’s Lake Anna Park for this annual free weekend festival known for its more than 10,000 blooms that decorate the grounds. Enjoy live entertainment on the waterfront like canoe races and water-ski shows, or stop by a vendor tent for unique crafts and local food favorites.

Tipp City Mum Festival | Sept. 23–24
This community north of Dayton’s 2023 mum festival theme is “Tipp City Library: 100 years of stories,” highlighting the impact that the community library has on the city and its citizens. Other festivities include the Run for the Mums 5K, a parade and live music all taking place downtown.


Honey Haven Farm Fall Festival | Fri.–Sun., Sept. 23–Oct. 29
The 200-acre Honey Haven Farm in Ashland hosts an annual fall festival on select weekends that is filled with activities. From pumpkin slingshots and corn cannons to a farm animal zoo and farm tours to picking the perfect pumpkin straight from the patch, autumn fun abounds. Be sure to swing by the country store to pick up some fresh fall produce.

HighBall Halloween 2021 creations by designer Lynn Hetherington Becker (photo by Tony Bentivegna)
HighBall Halloween | Oct. 28
Considered one of the nation’s most elaborate costume parties, Highball Halloween continues to celebrate the spirit of creativity and style with an event unlike any other in Columbus’ Short North Arts District. The costume couture fashion show features a runway of unimaginably stunning works from regionally and locally based fashion designers. Experience a festival of sights and sounds with live music, performance and visual art and public costume contests. The city of Columbus boasts the third-largest fashion and design workforce in the United States, and this unique event continues to provide a source of inspiration and celebration.

The running of the Woollybear 500 at the Woollybear Festival in Vermilion (photo courtesy of Vermilion Chamber of Commerce)
Woollybear Festival | Oct. 8
Vermilion’s annual autumn event has drawn crowds to this lakeshore community for decades and still embraces the spirit with which it was founded.

Legendary Cleveland meteorologist Dick Goddard helped create Vermilion’s annual Woollybear Festival in 1972 to celebrate the fuzzy orange-and-black caterpillar that emerges each fall. Folklore says the severity of the upcoming winter can be indicated by the amount of black on its bands, but this long-held celebration of the critter is all about fun.

“It’s a hoot,” says Sandra Coe, executive director of the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce and organizer of the annual festival. “Everybody can be a kid for the day.”

This year’s festival is set for Oct. 8 with festivities for the whole family that range from the annual parade to the kids woollybear costume contest to the Woollybear 500 caterpillar races. Attendees can peruse the marketplace, hear live music and grab a bite from the festival’s approximately 40 food vendors that set up downtown.

Goddard’s generous spirit is very much alive in the festival through the participation of animal-welfare groups, which were a passion throughout the meteorologist’s life and a cause he championed on-air and off, using his notoriety to get the message out.   

“As my dad said, ‘Be kind to all animals,’” remembers his daughter, Kimberly Goddard. “Ohio’s always with me, and my dad is obviously a part of Ohio. It’ll always be like that.” The festival takes place in downtown Vermilion. For more information, go to

Crowds gathered at the Bob Evans Festival (photo courtesy of Gallia County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Bob Evans Farm Festival | Oct. 13–15
Before there were Bob Evans restaurants, there was Bob Evans, the Ohio farmer. Each fall, his picturesque farm in Rio Grande welcomes guests for a fall festival celebrating its namesake. A southeast Ohio tradition since 1971, the Bob Evans Farm Festival features rides, crafts, live entertainment and local food.

MORE: Festivals | Family Fun | Food and Drink | Scenic Spots | Spooky Scares