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Sep 22, 2016 02:55PM

Happy fall, y'all! Check out these great autumn festivals

By Radish staff
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Paul Colletti/pcolletti@qconline.com
The Orion Fall Festival was held last month in Orion, but there are plenty of festivals going on throughout October!
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Fall is the time for festivals, for gathering in the great outdoors with friends and family to soak up the fleeting colors of the season and steal a taste of the harvest. This autumn, you and yours can enjoy healthy, fun activities in picturesque settings at several events throughout the region. Here's a peek at some of this month's happenings:

Oktoberfest, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, in Amana, Iowa. Festival director Savanna Collier says Oktoberfest is three days "packed full of beers, brats and live music." Bringing the German heritage of the Amana Colonies to the forefront of the town, the festival will "make you feel like you're in Germany." Admission is $10 for a one-day pass; $15 for a two-day pass; and free on Sunday. For more information and a complete schedule, visit festivalsinamana.com.

Autumn on Parade, Oct. 1-2 in Oregon, Ill. "Celebrate the Heartland" during Oregon's annual arts fair and farmers market just outside of the Ogle County Courthouse. The weekend includes the Harvest Time Parade, which begins at 1 p.m. Sunday; a classic car show; an Olde English Faire; a doughnut-eating contest; a kids' fun zone; a 5K race and 1-mile fun run, and more. With the exception of the fun zone, 5K and Olde English Faire, admission is free. Admission to the fun zone is $8; $20 for the 5K; and $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 7-12 and free for children ages 6 and younger for the Olde English Faire. For more information, visit autumnonparade.org or call 815-732-3465.

Knox County (Ill.) Scenic Drive, Oct. 1-2, Oct. 8-9. Car tours along the beautiful Midwestern farmland can give us access to some of the best scenic views. This picturesque drive offers a look into the past with its celebration of the pioneer life and Native American cultures that once flourished on these lands. Filled with "old traditions, crafts and skills," the event includes wagon rides, railroad and cabin sites, as well as arts and craft vendors. Admission is free. For more information, visit knoxcountyscenicdrive.com.

Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive, Oct. 1-2, Oct. 8-9. This scenic route in Fulton County, Ill., trails through more than 15 cities that display the grandeur, history and artistry of the state. Stops include the Ellesville Opera House, lone dam and home of author Edgar Lee Masters. Admission is free. For more information, visit spoonriverdrive.org.

Galena (Ill.) Country Fair, Oct. 8-9. Galena is a year-round attraction that hosts a flurry of festivals from wine tastings to the County Fair. But, as Galena Tourism president and CEO Chris Hamilton says, it's the fall season and the "sheer volume, quality and variety of vendors" that makes Galena Country Fair one of the most spectacular events in the Midwest. In the gorgeous Grant Park, you'll find a host of vendors displaying their artistry and talent, along with fair food, games and a farmers market. Admission is free. For more information, visit galenacountryfair.org or visitgalena.org.

LeClaire (Iowa) Apple Festival, Oct. 9. Apple strudel, apple pie, apple crisp, oh my! Centered in downtown LeClaire, this one-day event is jam-packed with apple-related activities. There will be a Kids' Fun Zone, an antique car show, cotton candy, kettle corn and multiple vendors selling pumpkins, jewelry and artisan items. There also will be an apple pie-eating contest, to boot. Admission is free. For more information, visit visitleclaire.org or call 563-289-4242.

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