Watermelons had a good run this summer, but it’s time to shift focus to pumpkins. 

Autumn not only ushers in these delicious gourds but also fun fall festivals for the family. 

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite fall festivals in Mecklenburg and Union counties that you don’t want to miss.

Charlotte: The Great Pumpkin Fest

Good grief … Carowinds has a lot going on, ranging from the adult-oriented Scarowinds to the kid-friendly Great Pumpkin Fest. Kids can play games, navigate through hay mazes and boogie at Camp Snoopy. Admission is required.

• When: Weekends through Oct. 31

• Where: 14523 Carowinds Blvd.

• Details: www.carowinds.com

Huntersville: Carolina Renaissance Festival

The world is a stage … at least in the fiction Village of Fairhaven, where costumed characters strolling the grounds for the sake of entertainment. So much variety here fairies, mermaids, jousting competitions and giant turkey legs.

• When: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Nov. 21

• Where: 16445 Poplar Tent Road

• Details: www.carolina.renfestinfo.com

Indian Trail: Halloween Spooktacular

This popular Halloween offering is where kids can stock up on candy thanks to a trunk-or-treat line at Chestnut Square Park. There will be other children’s activities, too.

• When: 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22

• Where: 320 Chestnut Pkwy.

• Details: www.indiantrail.org

Matthews: Fall for Matthews 

The Matthews Chamber of Commerce is combining two popular events (Business Expo and ArtWalk) into a single fall festival. Sip and stroll while listening to music and munch on food. The event includes a pumpkin patch and petting zoo. 

• When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 16

• Where: Matthews Station Street

• Details: www.matthewschamber.org

Mint Hill: Mint Hill Madness

Designed to celebrate the town’s founding, Madness is one of the region’s marquee festivals. Thirsty Horses, Jake Haldnevang, DJ A-Rod, On the Border Groove Machine are among the musical acts. You’ll also find fireworks at Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park.

• When: 3 to 10 p.m. Oct. 21 and 22 as well as 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 23

• Where: 8850 Fairview Road

• Details: www.minthill.com

Pineville: Fall Fest

Groups like Smokin’ Gunn, Jake Handenvang, Love Tribe and DeCarlo rock the music stage, at Pineville Lake Park while the family stage features Kazoo Man, pie-eating contests and all-American lumberjack show. No carnival rides this year but you can see fireworks at the end of both nights.

• When: 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 15 and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 16

• Where: 1000 Johnston Drive

• Details: www.pinevillenc.gov

Stallings: Stallings Fest 

This fall festival checks a lot of boxes. You have an artisan market, live music, food trucks, putt-putt golf course and inflatables at Stallings Municipal Park.

• When: Noon-6 p.m. Oct. 23

• Where: 340 Stallings Road

• Details: www.stallingsnc.org

Waxhaw: Autumn Treasures

This two-day festival tickles all of the senses thanks to a petting zoo, live music and mouthwatering food from the Grill’n & Chill’n BBQ Cook-Off. Performing this year are Tanglewood Duo, Jordan Middletown, 485 Band and Province of Thieves.

• When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 9 and  noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 10

• Where: Downtown Waxhaw

• Details: www.waxhaw.com


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