The Fairest Fests of Fall…Sept. 9, 2015

By Ann Needle
Chances are you have heard about a fall festival when it is too late, yet forget about it the following year. Before fall 2015 also slips away into kids’ soccer schedules and yard maintenance, note some of these fairs and festivals in the general area. We have focused on those events you may not know about, but appear to pack fun for many ages on a sunny weekend.

Stillman Dairy Community Country FairWCow
Saturday, September 12, 11am-5pm
This old-fashioned fair at Stillman’s Dairy Farm in Lunenburg offers activities for both adults and children. There will be vendors and crafters, hay rides, live music, games and face painting for children, local foods and beverages to buy, a silent auction and raffles, and (of course) a beer garden. All proceeds benefit the Lunenburg Food Bank, supported by the Lunenburg Lions Club, and feel free to bring donations of non-perishable food and pet food.
As one of two working dairy farms in Lunenburg, Stillman offers goodies for sale that include grass-fed beef and super-fresh pateurized milk from grass-fed cows.
Stillman Dairy Farm, 991 Lancaster Ave., Lunenburg,
Admission: Free

The Sterling Fair
Friday, September 11, 3pm-11pm (midway only)
Saturday, September 12, 9am-11pm
Sunday, September 13, 9am-5pm
If you missed this year’s Bolton Fair, take heart and head to Sterling. This “community, agricultural fair” features crowd favorites such as tractor pulls, a midway, fireworks (Saturday at 9:45pm), shows, music, food, etc. Just a reminder of why you should get outdoors NOW; the Lego contest theme this year is “Snowpocalypse 2015”.
Sterling Airport, Greenland Road, Sterling
Admission: Free, but the Fair relies on the sale of buttons, T-shirts, and ads to keep it that way.

Wachusett Mountain KidsFest
September 19-20, 10am-5pm
One of several fall festivals at this Princeton ski area (, KidsFest offers a weekend of music, family fun, live shows, food and product samplings, and all other trappings of a fun autumn weekend.
499 Mountain Rd., Princeton, or 978-464-2300
Admission: Advance tickets are $11 adult and $7 for ages 3-12. Tickets at the door are $14 for adults and $10 for ages 3-12. Kids under 2 are free.

The Fabulous Fall Festival
September 26, 9am-6pm
Downtown Gardner is open only to pedestrians during this day-long street festival, featuring items for sale from local shops and crafters, a food court, and a Kids’ Zone. There will be a Costume Parade for testing that Halloween outfit;  an Oktoberfest beer garden; and the crowning event, the Gardner Chair Lugè, at 2pm. After all, this is the furniture capital of New England.
Admission: Free

Johnny Appleseed Festival
September 26, 9am-5pm
If just the notion of the Garner Chair Luge triggers motion sickness, a bit closer
to home that day is the festival celebrating Leominster’s most famous citizen.
Downtown Leominster’s Common will offer chili cook-offs, an international food court, pony rides, petting zoo, moonwalks and “unending entertainment”.
Admission: Free

Fluff Festival 2015Wfluff
September 26, 3pm-7pm
This Somerville event pays homage to Fluff inventor Archibald Query. Create something … Fluff-y… for the cooking contest,  join the Fluff lick-off, run the the Fluffernutter relay, or choose from a host of other sweet activities. Or, just enjoy the musical and theatrical performances while loved ones shake off a sugar high. Rain date is September 27.
Union Square in Somerville, at Prospect Street, Washington Street, and Somerville Avenue
Admission: Free

Mount Wachusett BBQFest
October 3-4, 10am-5pm
This family-friendly event is a fundraiser for the Greg Hill Foundation, the non-proft organization founded by Stow’s favorite DJ (WAAF-FM). In Hill-man style, the Fest offers everything the MetroWest man (and many women) clamor for; among them, luscious BBQ, music, a beer tent, OysterFest, a Pig Roast on both days, and chili cook-off. And, with lots of family entertainment added in, no man/parents should feel guilty about the experience.
499 Mountain Rd., Princeton, or 978-464-2300
Admission: Advance tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for ages 6-12. Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $9 for ages 6-12. Kids under 5 are free.

Oktoberfest and HONK! Festival 2015
October 11
This annual Oktoberfest and day-long concert of politically activist bands features six stages of live entertainment and HONK! bands from across the country. Meanwhile, enjoy international food vendors, street vendors, and sidewalk sales. Here is your chance if you have been hankering for a day in your former urban stomping grounds. Rain date is October 12.
Harvard Square, Cambridge and Davis Square, Somerville, or 617-491-3434
Admission: Free

Old Salem Harvest Day
October 17, 9:30am-4:30pm
This celebration of the fall harvest centers on life in Salem of days gone by. Enjoy hands-on activities, historic demonstrations, vendors, beer tastings (sign-up required) and more. With the rest of Salem in full gear in October, it also is a good time to visit many of the town’s other attractions.
Old Salem Historic District; Visitors Center is at 900 Old Salem Rd., Salem or call 336-721-7300
Admission: Activities are included with the All-In-One ticket, which can be purchased online or at the Visitors Center (see above).