10 Best Fall Events in the Midwest

Embrace the most colorful season with your favorite fall events, from picking pumpkins to celebrating the melting pot of cultures in the Upper Midwest
A family picks out pumpkins at Sever's Fall Festival
Sever’s Fall Festival in Shakopee

Photo courtesy Sever's Fall Festival


United Tribes Technical College International Powwow – Bismarck, ND

This large cultural gathering includes 1,500 dancers and drummers from 70 tribes and draws more than 20,000 spectators every year. Watch traditional Native American dances, browse handcrafted goods, and enjoy traditional and contemporary food.


Sever’s Fall Festival – Shakopee, MN

Sever’s Fall Festival has all things fall like pumpkins and apples, plus a petting zoo, jumping pillows, magic shows, and more. Dive into a pit of corn kernels this fall for an experience your kids won’t forget.


World Music & Food Festival – Des Moines, IA

This festival brings together people from around the world to share their culture, food, and music. Taste international cuisine from over 30 countries, learn cooking tips from local chefs, and watch live music and cultural dance performances.

Accordion and violin player at Norsk Høstfest
Live entertainment at Norsk Høstfest

Photo courtesy Norsk Høstfest


Norsk Høstfest – Minot, ND

Do you have what it takes to be a Viking? Immerse yourself in Scandinavian culture and watch as history is recreated with traditional dances and music, Viking battles, and authentic food at the North Dakota State Fair Center.


La Crosse Oktoberfest – La Crosse, WI

The longest-running Oktoberfest celebration in the Midwest, this German festival started in La Crosse in 1961, and many years of traditions have followed since. The jovial beer-drinking and lederhosen-wearing atmosphere also includes parades, live music, and dachshund races.

Riders on horses round up over a thousand buffalo in Custer State Park
Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

Photo courtesy South Dakota Tourism


Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup – Custer, SD

Hear the call of cowboys and the thunder of more than 1,300 bison during Custer State Park’s annual Buffalo Roundup the last weekend in September. Afterward, you can shop from 150 craft vendors and watch performances.


Cranberry Fest – Eagle River, WI

Get your taste buds ready for something tart and delicious. Cranberry Fest has cranberry baked goods, dishes, beer, and wine. But make sure you don’t eat too much before you participate in the walk/jog 5K.


Stillwater Harvest Fest – Stillwater, MN

In 2015, Stillwater Harvest Fest weighed a pumpkin in at 2,185 pounds, breaking a world record—watch this year’s weigh in and even see pumpkins paddled down the St. Croix River as boats.


International Wine, Beer & Food Festival – Grand Rapids, MI

This annual event features 1,500 wines, beers, ciders, and spirits from around the world. Try them alongside the best cuisine on the local dining scene.


Chicago Thanksgiving Parade – Chicago, IL

Watch as your favorite cartoon characters fly overhead and elaborate floats follow from below. Crowds gather along the streets of downtown Chicago to see marching bands, dance and music performances, and special guests.