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Celebrate Fall With Columbus Day Weekend Events In East

Hunter Mountain's Oktoberfest

Many mountain resorts and towns throughout the east will be hosting a variety of events and activities Columbus Day Weekend Oct. 12-14. Here is a sampling.


Mont-Sainte-Anne, a 30-minute drive from Quebec City, is the place for the Great Color Adventure, Oct. 12-14. There are pumpkin hunts and decorating for the kids whose “best costume” will win a prize; a ski and snowboard bazaar; and activities such as hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, and trampoline. 


The Flaming Leaves Festival: Blues, Brews, BBQs  will be going full blast on New York’s Whiteface Mountain, Oct. 12 & 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Take a ride to the top of the 12-meter ski jump, play lawn games, enter a horseshoe tournament, check out the craft vendors in addition to listening to live Blues bands and enjoying ribs and hamburgers. Admission is $16 adults; $10 for juniors 7-12/seniors 65+ for one-day admission; $27 for adults and $16 for junior/senior for two days. Or, purchase an Olympic Sites Passport giving you access to all Olympic venues for $32.


Enjoy German and German-American entertainment at Hunter Mountain’s Oktoberfest Festival, Oct. 12 & 13 from 11 a.m.-6:15 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is free. Polka to Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra or browse vendors’ offerings. The Kids’ tent features puppets, wildlife shows, and more. Check out the ski and swap sale while you're there.


Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort is having their Oktoberfest Oct. 13 at Lincoln Park. Live music from Opa’s Oompah Band, beer garden from the Van Trapp brewery, Bavarian Buffet and German games. Fun for all ages.  


Stratton Mountain's Columbus Day Weekend is full of activities for the whole family. Saturday is a brewfest, chili cook-off, games, and live music. There’s also a 5K Fun Dog Walk and Run for dogs and their humans. Sunday is the two-mile Race to the Summit, gondola rides, and live music. Hike to the Summit Monday. 


If you like Jimmy Buffet, you’ll love Okemo Mountain’s 7th annual Parrothead Festival Oct. 12. The Cocabanana Band, a Buffet tribute band, takes the outdoor stage at the Jackson Gore base area at 2 p.m. Don’t forget your “cheeseburger in paradise.” Admission free; bring lawn chairs or a blanket.


Maine’s Sunday River is over-flowing with activities during their Fall Festival Weekend. Saturday is the North American Wife Carrying Championship at 11 a.m.; Taste of Maine, Slopeside at South Ridge, with Maine-grown, Maine-caught, Maine-raised and Maine-made products. There’s live music, chainsaw woodcarving demonstrations, mountain biking and hiking, pre-season sale of up to 50 percent off on demo equipment and apparel, and an arts and crafts festival Saturday and Sunday. 


Mount Sunapee holds its 5th annual Fall Festival & Pig Roast Oct. 12-13. Pulled port, grilled chicken, cornbread, sides, and desserts are all on the menu, with beer to wash it down. There are a variety of activities including games with prizes, hay wagon rides, inflatable rock climb challenge and slide, face painting, and live music both days from 1-4 p.m.


New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Fall Foliage Festival is Oct. 12-14. It’s full of family events, pumpkin painting, pie-eating contest, ski and snowboard swap, beer garden with samples of Sam Adams and Harpoon fall brews, live music, and much more. Sunday is a 5K walk/run sponsored by the Waterville Valley Recreation Department to benefit a local charity.


The Ghoullog at Cranmore can put some fright into your weekend. Open Oct. 11-13, this event features over 15,000 square feet of indoor space through a series of mazes, dark rooms and, new this year, an outdoor component through dark woods. The “tour” is about 60 minutes, and for ages 10 and up. Prices are $29 at the door; $26 online and includes a chairlift ticket to the summit in the dark. The Ghoullog Plus ticket, which includes trip through Ghoullog, unlimited “haunted” rides, plus the chairlift ticket, is $46 at the door and $43 online; and

 The Haunted Playground unlimited ride tickets (zipline, mountain coaster, giant swing) tickets are $29 at door, $26 online; a single ride is $12.


Attitash Mountain in Bartlett, N.H. is holding its 16th annual Oktoberfest, Sat., noon-6 p.m. and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Get in the festive mood with live, traditional Bavarian music from King Ludwig’s Band, dancing, Stein Hosting and Keg Toss competitions for adults, kids’ games and activities, authentic German food, and the Biergarten tent featuring regional and local breweries. Entrance fee, not including food or beverage, is $10 adults, kids 6-20 $5; free for those under 6. 


Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort will host a Fall Festival, Oct. 12-14 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. & Sun., and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon. There will be a crafts and gifts fair, a ski and snowboard sale sponsored by the Hancock Fire Department, a Jiminy Peak jobs fair, and more. The resort also will be operating the “13 Nights” haunt holdout, where Villagers from the Plantation of Jericho lived in fear of disfiguring diseases, deranged creatures, and impending doom. The haunt runs 6:30-10:30 p.m.; individual tickets are $25.


Massanutten Resort in Virginia will hold their Fall Festival Sat., Oct. 12 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be a beer garden with a variety of brews, wine tasting from vineyards like Cave Ridge, Horton and others, chairlift rides, arts and crafts featuring over 60 vendors, kids’ activities and lots of food. Live band sounds from Full Throttle and Junk Food. Advance tickets through Oct. 11 are $5; tickets at the door are $10; kids 8 and under are free; and chairlift rides are $3 adults, kids 8 and under are free but must be accompanied by an adult.


North Carolina’s Sugar Mountain Resort hosts an Oktoberfest, Oct. 12-13 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. Entertainment includes the Harbour Town Fest Band, award-winning Avery Smooth Dancers, and the Mountain Laurel Cloggers. Admission, shuttle, and parking are free.


Photo: Left: Oktoberfest (Hunter Mountain); Right: "13 Nights" Jiminy Peak Resort (Jiminy Peak)

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