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Girls just want to have fun. And what better way than to go to a weekend festival that’s either free or less money than a Cosmo or CVS lipstick.

Full of interesting people and passions, these festivals can be bizarre, silly, humorous, and an adventure — and they’re certainly more fun than watching “Seinfeld” reruns at home.

Grab a girlfriend or go solo. Plus, helloooo — unless you go out, you won’t meet anyone. With your good time on our minds, we asked author Chris Epting, who has spent a lifetime documenting this information, to share the best festivals for October: 


The National Shrimp Festival, held
 October 9-12 in Gulf Shores, Alabama 
is one of the nation’s premier outdoor festivals, featuring more than 300 fine art, arts and crafts, and retail marketplace vendors… plus lots and lots of shrimp!


Do you love avocadoes? Believe it or not, you don't even have to like them to enjoy the annual Avacado Festival. This three-day extravaganza brings together three stages of musical acts and entertainment, a kids’ petting zoo, vendor booths, contests galore (such as the Largest Avocado or Best Dressed Avocado), and food, food, food. Amazingly, this event is free and one of the biggest festivals in the U.S., boasting the largest vat of guacamole you’ll ever see. October 3, 4, & 5, 2008.


Oct 4, 2008 in Portland, Friends of Casco Bay will host the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival in Abromson Auditorium on University of Southern Maine's Portland campus. This event features a selection of films, from humorous animated shorts to inspiring full-length documentaries, two receptions with food provided by Whole Foods, a cash bar, and celebrity presenters. Film, ticket, and sponsorship information can be found at $15 in advance/$20 at the door includes all films, food, and festivities. For info, phone (207) 799-8574.


The (free)  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  is held the third weekend in October (October 17 - 19) in Bainbridge. See the autumn colors in the hills and valleys of the village of Bainbridge. The community is open to all visitors for their annual festive event to celebrate the season. It hosts parades, pageants, flea markets, and a midway with entertainment for all. In addition, there is a pedal tractor pull, arts and crafts, and several self-guided scenic tours of the beautiful colorful landscape.


The Hildene Fall Arts Festival 
is held October 3-5, 2008 on Hildene Meadows, River Road, 
in Manchester. Two hundred jury-selected artists and artisans sell handcrafted fine art and contemporary craft. Live music, artist demonstrations, and specialty food complete the weekend. Check out the new Vermont Beer, Cheese and Sausage Tent, featuring Vermont micro-brews along with tasty cheeses and sausages available a la carte or by the platter. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: Adults, $8. Phone: 802-425-3399.

New Hampshire

The Warner Fall Foliage Festival is held October 11-12, in downtown Warner. Each year, Warner, New Hampshire, entice fall foliage visitors with a downtown festival featuring crafts, carnival rides, a farmer's market, food and entertainment. Highlights of the weekend event usually include a road race, a parade, and a lobster dinner and chicken BBQ.

New York

It's street fair season in New York City, and each weekend in October features something new and unusual, from the Korean Day Parade to “Dog Day Masquerade”, an outrageous costume party for pets (yes, “only in New York”!) Information for all the unique activities can be found here.

New Jersey

The 25th Annual Cranberry Festival in Chatsworth will be held on 
October 18th & 19th. The Cranberry Festival is a celebration of New Jersey's
cranberry harvest, the 3rd largest in the United States, and 
offers tribute to the Pine Barrens & Culture. The main attraction is the diverse showing of many artists & craftsmen, some of who will be demonstrating their crafts as well as displaying them for sale. Admission to the festival is FREE. 
A donation of $5.00 will be accepted if you use the highly recommended parking area at the school located off of Second Street.


Not long ago, some of Bridgeville’s finest began discussing ways to promote the town and the agriculture industry that is so prevalent in western Sussex County. After tossing ideas around, this imaginative group of people came up with a festival built around Apples and scrapple! 

“Apple Scrapple” has grown from 2500 visitors in 1992 to over 25,000 now and was incorporated in 2002. It has become a major fundraiser for local community organizations. More information can be found here about the October 10-11 event.

Washington, D.C.

Calling all Flappers! The 2008 Duke Ellington Jazz Festival will feature more than 100 jazz performances at concert venues and clubs throughout Washington, DC. The festival, which honors local jazz legend Duke Ellington, presents major jazz artists from around the world and introduces emerging artists. Dates: October 1 - 7, 2008

 Chris Epting is an Author, Pop Culture Historian, and Lecturer.  He is a National Spokesman for Hampton Inn’s Hidden Landmarks

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  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 02 December 2011 19:03 posted by Guest

    Couldn't agree more: California is one of my favorite places to visit! There is such a wide variety of people there, and many of them are ready to have fun! Catalina Island is somewhere I have always wanted to visit! I have also always wanted to get a group of girlfriends together and go to">Martha's Vineyard? Have you been there or would you recommend it to a divorced women? I was thinking about visiting there, but I wanted some input on the type of environment it provides! Thanks!