This weekend the fall festivals of the Hudson Valley and Berkshires kick off.  Let me be the first to say: bring it on!

Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival 2009

Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair 2008

Ioka Valley Farm, 2009

Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival 2009

Hawthorne Valley Farm Festival 2009

I’m not the only one who loves this time of year.  The cooler temperatures, changing leaves, mums, pumpkins, cider donuts, apple picking, leather boots and handbags, down comforters…these are universal pleasures.

I’m not sure how universal fall festivals are, but in the northeast, where I’m from and have lived my whole life, they are our own little mardi gras.

Hawthorne Valley Farm Festival 2009

Hudson Valley Food & Wine Festival

Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair 2008

Sure, fall festivals can also be tacky.  Fried dough and Tilt-a-Whirls don’t exactly scream ‘harvest’.  But Columbia and Berkshire county seem to be lacking in the tacky factor. In our experience, the festivals here are about Farms, Community, and Craftsmanship (followed closely by Beer, BBQ and Gigantic Turkeys).

Chili at the Lenox Fall Festival 2009

The good news is there are so many fall festivals going on around here (see my “What’s Doing” list at left), that if you find yourself at one that may be a little too boring, crowded, or kid-centric for your taste, you can chalk it up to experience and move on to the next twelve on the calendar.

Me, resting between festivals

Hilltop Orchards 2009

The aforementioned Gigantic Turkey

What festivals will you be attending this fall?

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