As the first leaves start to fall from the trees and back-to-school supplies are replaced with pumpkins and cardigans, Carroll County has begun the transition into the fall season. Alongside fresh apples and pumpkin spice flavoring, fall festivals are an integral part of autumn. This year, communities from every corner of Carroll will celebrate the coming of autumn with a host of fall and harvest festivals.

Sykesville Harvest Festival


The festival season kicks off Saturday, Sept. 12 with Sykesville's annual Harvest Festival.

The event will feature an apple pie baking contest, more than 25 craft and food vendors and a pancake breakfast at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 7538 Main Street, Sykesville. In addition, they will host a selection of live music and a free kids zone with a petting zoo, inflatable obstacle course and moon bounce.

The event will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Main Street, Sykesville.


One of the largest events of the autumn season is Westminster's annual Fallfest, held this year for the 37th time. The event is held in honor of a variety of partner charities, this year including Carroll County Special Olympics Maryland, Carroll Hospice, the Kiwanis Aktion Club and the Westminster Lions Club.

The festival kicks off with a Fun Run starting at 6:55 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. The run takes participants from Monroe Street, down along Pennsylvania Ave., finishing at the Westminster Family Center, 11 Longwell Ave. There will be prizes for the top male and female runners in adult and youth categories.

Following the race will be the annual Fallfest Parade, mirroring the Fun Run's path and beginning at the close of the race.

The festival grounds, including food vendors and rides, will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

From 6 p.m. to midnight Friday evening, Westminster will host their Midnight Madness event where Main Street shops remain open, and the town will be filled with live music and ghost tours, with many shops offering unique discounts.

Saturday, the grounds will open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and more than 80 craft and commercial vendors be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., selling their wares and informing folks about a variety of organizations from the American Cancer Society to the Carroll County Beekeepers Association.

Throughout the weekend, the Main Event Stage and Longwell Events Stage will host a variety of musical acts and local artists with dance, cheer and karate performances.

Sunday, the grounds are open from noon to 6 p.m. with the vendor area closing at 5 p.m.

Mount Airy Fall Festival

The Mount Airy Fall Festival will welcome folks during the first weekend of October, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4.


This annual festival, presented by the Mount Airy Lions Club, is held at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fireman's Carnival Grounds, 1008 Twin Arch Road, Mount Airy. The event will feature a mix of artists and craft vendors as well as fall-themed activities like hayrides and scarecrow-making. The event will also feature a children's area and live music.

Distinguishing the Mount Airy Fall Festival from other autumn events are the best dressed pet contest and prettiest baby contest.

Hampstead Fall Festival

Hampstead will host their one day Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. This event will feature a variety of autumnal activities including candle apples, a hay ride and maze, scarecrow making, pumpkin painting and face painting.

This festival, hosted by the Hampstead Vol. Fire Company on their grounds, 1340 N. Main St., will have an additional focus on safety, with fire safety and prevention seminars and a K-9 demonstration.

This year, the event will host the inaugural Amateur BBQ Competition, presented by the BBQ Equipment Store in Hampstead. During the competition, amateur chefs will compete to create the best chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder and beef brisket. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place pieces in each food, as well as a grand champion and chef's choice award. To register, visit www.bbqequipmentstore.com.

On top of that, the fire company will host a wine tasting and sell pit beef, pit ham, french fries and drinks.Farm Museum Fall Harvest Days

The festival line-up ends with a celebration of fall from a historical bent, as the Carroll County Farm Museum hosts their Fall Harvest Days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18.

This event, capping off the series of harvest celebrations prior to the county's Halloween parties, will feature apple butter making, demonstrations of farm machinery, wagon rides, a children's area and farmhouse tours.



If you go:

Sykesville Harvest Festival

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

Where: Sykesville Main Street

Westminster Fallfest

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, Friday, Sept. 25; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27.

Where: 10 Longwell Ave., Westminster

Mount Airy Fall Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4

Where: Mount Airy Carnival Grounds, Md. 27 and Twin Arch Road, Mount Airy

Hampstead Fall Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10

Where: Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company, 1340 N. Main St., Hampstead

Carroll County Farm Museum Fall Harvest Days

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18

Where: Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster