Just where do all those cranberries come from that end up on the Thanksgiving table? Why, the fall cranberry festivals of course – at least in part.
Although cranberries are harvested year round, October seems to be full of cranberry celebrations from New Jersey to Washington. Cooking and baking contests are particularly popular so you’ll want to sample everything from traditional cranberry sauces and chutneys to cranberry-studded breads and even ice cream. To honor the humble cranberry, which was introduced to Europeans by Native Americans who believed in its medicinal qualities, you’ll find parades and even cranberry queens of all ages. If you’re lucky there will be a nearby cranberry marsh to tour so you can see firsthand how these popular fruits are grown.
The whole family will find activities, craft booths, and entertainment to keep them amused and busy, so don’t hesitate to bring them all along even if they proclaim to be no fans of cranberries! Perhaps by the end of the day, they’ll have changed their minds.
Cranberrian Fair - Ilwaco, WA - Oct 10 to Oct 11, 2020
Canceled for 2021, look for their return in 2022. Normally: Hosted during the cranberry harvest on the second weekend in October. Bog tours, crafts, food and music to celebrate the harvest. Admission to the events at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is covered by purchase of a $5 collectible button. The Cranberry Museum is free. The Cranberry Trolley transports visitors between the two locations.
Warrens Cranberry Festival - Warrens, WI - Sep 24 to Sep 26, 2021
Cranfest draws around 120,000 and is one of the world’s largest cranberry festivals. Features three days of activities including parade, marching bands, marsh tours, food, contests, and over 1300 booths for shopping. Free admission.
Bordentown Cranberry Festival - Bordentown, NJ - Oct 2 to Oct 3, 2021
Over 145 juried artists and crafters plus live music, kid’s zone, and great food from local restaurants.
Eagle River Cranberry Fest - Eagle River, WI - Oct 2 to Oct 3, 2021
Eat, drink, and play with the more than 40,000 attendees of this annual event held at Vilas County Fairgrounds, plus tours of the cranberry marsh (leaves from the Chamber of Commerce). Taste the world’s largest cranberry cheesecake and other cranberry foods, and shop with hundreds of crafters and artisans.
Stone Lake Cranberry Festival - Stone Lake, WI - Oct 2 to Oct 2, 2021
Join over 30,000 guests for a day of fun and festivities. See over 300 vendors and artisans, tours of the cranberry marshes, great food, parade, and baking contests. Since 1978.
Nantucket Cranberry Festival - Nantucket, MA - Oct 9 to Oct 28, 2021
For 2021, a reimagined experience all month long. Normally: Visitors can expect to learn about the history of cranberry farming on Nantucket through educational displays and harvesting demonstrations, participate in family activities, sample delectable cranberry treats and other New England classics, or simply enjoy the music and the spectacular autumn scenery. Watch the cranberry harvest, enjoy live music, petting zoo, hay rides, antique tractor displays and children’s activities. Free admission. Parking is $20 per car.
Cranberry Harvest Festival - Grayland, WA - Oct 9 to Oct 10, 2021
Bog tours, cranberry cook off, cranberry eating contest, Jog the Bog and Beach, live music, and firelight parade.
Oregon Cranberry Festival - Bandon, OR - Sep 9 to Sep 11, 2022
Long running annual event, featuring a pageant, parade, live music plus food fair and cranberry eating contest to win prizes. Cranberry cooks compete for a culinary crown in the Queen of the Kitchen food fair. Farmers and artisans strut their stuff at Cranberry City and the Festival Market. Multiple venues including Old Town, the waterfront, city park, and the high school.