September marks the beginning of fall, and in Pennsylvania, that means it’s festival season! Whether it’s celebrating a specific food, culture, or location, we have a festival where you can pursue your happiness.
From the annual Pittsburgh Irish Festival welcoming more than 25,000 visitors to local Oktoberfest celebrations toasting German culture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you’re anxious to start celebrating the harvest season, head to Washington and Greene Counties for their annual Covered Bridge Festival!
To see a full list of the events and festivals happening this month, check out visitPA.com.
1. Pittsburgh Irish Festival
Celebrate Irish history and tradition in Pittsburgh with this “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” festival. The Pittsburgh Irish Festival draws more than 25,000 visitors each year to learn about the Irish culture through Celtic dance, music, literature, and other cultural mainstays.
When: Sept. 8-10
Cost: Prices range from $5-15
2. Sandyvale Wine Festival
The Sandyvale Wine Festival is on Sept. 9 at Sandyvale Memorial Gardens. Enjoy 16 of the best wineries in Pennsylvania, grab a bite from our gourmet food vendors, and shop at more than 20 of the most unique vendors around.
3. 50’s Fest & Car Cruise
Bring the family for a day full of retro fun with dance contests, bubblegum blowing, and Hula Hoop contests at the 16th annual 50’s Fest & Car Cruise. More than 150 classic vehicles line the streets of historic downtown Waynesburg, including a wide assortment of hot rods, street rods, rat rods, and other classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.
When: Sept. 9
4. Lucas Oil Mega Pull
Enjoy a showcase of extreme vehicles and talented pulling drivers of the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League’s Champions Tour at the 20th annual Lucas Oil Mega Pull at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Classes include Hot Rod Semis, Unlimited Super Stock Tractors, Super Farm Tractors, and Super Stock Diesel Trucks. Gates open at 4 p.m.
When: Sept. 9
Cost: $20 per person
5. Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival
Enjoy a beautiful fall weekend of delicious food and wine at the 13th Annual Gettysburg Wine & Music Festival. Sip exquisite wines from more than 20 PA Wineries while listening to a variety of live music. Doors open at noon.
When: Sept. 9-10
Cost: $30 for a two-day pass, $20 for an advance one-day pass, $25 at gate, $12 for designated drivers.
6. 27th Annual Harvest Picnic
There is something for everyone at the 27th Annual Harvest Family Picnic. Enjoy wine samples, free food, face painting, and balloons. Additional case discounts will be available all weekend. The picnic will be held from noon to 5 p.m.
When: Sept. 10
Where: Conneaut Lake
7. O17 – Opera Philadelphia’s new festival
The Described by Opera News as “a groundbreaking new festival format,” O17 is Opera Philadelphia’s inaugural fall festival: seven operatic happenings staged over the course of twelve days in six venues across the city. On Sept. 23, Opera on the Mall is a free, big-screen HD broadcast performance from Opera Philadelphia. Bring chairs, a blanket and a picnic dinner for an alfresco evening filled with beautiful live music on Philadelphia’s historic Independence Mall.
When: Sept. 14-25
Cost: Ticket prices vary
8. Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival
Silk Screen Film Festival celebrates Asian arts in the Pittsburgh region, spotlighting diversity and the Asian American experience through film. This year’s festival showcases films from India, Japan, China, Turkey, Lebanon, South Korea, Iraq, the Philippines, and Iran at various venues throughout Pittsburgh.
When: Sept. 15-24
Cost: Ticket prices vary
The Philadelphia Zoo knows a thing or two about great beer festivals and now they’re brewing with excitement over their newest wild event, OktoBEARfest. During this evening event, sample 100 different beers from over 45 different breweries, enjoy a selection of Philly’s best food trucks serving pay-as-you-go selections to pair with your favorite brews, and stroll through the gardens to see your favorite animals, enjoy live music and play games.
When: Sept. 16
Cost: $55 for general admission ticket
10. 3rd Annual Beaver Wine Festival
This relatively new festival addition is held in the charming heart of downtown Beaver, providing a beautiful setting to explore while you sip with its many boutique shops and fine eateries. This year’s festival will host 15 of Pennsylvania’s best wineries, local food trucks, and talented musicians.
When: Sept. 16
11. World War II Weekend
Watch living history volunteers present programs on World War II weapons and equipment, communications, the life of the common soldier, and more in support of paratrooper operations. Dozens of World War II jeeps and trucks will be on display, and visitors can watch a re-enactment of an Army Air Force bomber squadron mission briefing. The encampment will be open at 9 a.m.
Where: Sept. 16-17
Where: Eisenhower National Historic Sire
Cost: $9.00 for adults, $5.00 for children (ages 6-12), free for children 6 and under
12. DC Vet Homecoming Weekend
Celebrate motocross heritage and the memory of “Big Dave” with friends old and new at the 27th annual DC Vet Homecoming at High Point Raceway. Racers and spectators will enjoy the wide range of classes for all skill levels, including special vintage contests and movies.
When: Sept. 16-17
Where: Mt. Morris
Cost: Prices range from $10 to $40
13. Washington & Greene Counties’ Covered Bridge Festival
Held the third weekend of September each year, the Washington & Greene Counties’ Covered Bridge Festival kicks off the fall festival season! Each of the 10 festival locations offers a charming atmosphere and an array of activities, including handmade arts and crafts, homestyle food, historic re-enactments, demonstrations, children’s activities, and live entertainment.
When: Sept. 16-17
Where: 10 locations in Washington & Greene County
14. Flashlight Drags
Street racing without the jail time!The Flashlight Drags features a car show, car cruise, vendors’ midway, music, food, fun, and much more, making a great event the entire family can enjoy. Gates open at noon, and racing begins at 2p.m. All vehicles must be street legal.
When: Sept. 17
Cost: $35 to race, $8 for spectators
15. Stone to Steel: Native American Heritage Weekend
Step back 2,000 years in the past to experience pre-contact native life in southwestern PA at the Greene County Historical Museum for Native American Heritage Weekend. A temporary Native American village housing over a dozen re-enactors will be demonstrating different aspects of Native life, from cooking and hunting to beadwork and shoe-making. Gates open at 10 a.m.
When: Sept. 23-24
Cost: $10 per person
16. Annual New Hope Arts & Crafts Festival
Located in the historic river town of New Hope PA, known for its arts community, this event features over 160 fine artists and craftsmen who will exhibit using media such as oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, works in wood, wearable art, glass art, photography, and more.
When: Sept. 23-24
Where: New Hope
Cost: $1 per person
17. Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival
A hometown staple, Pittsburgh is famous for its pierogis. Head to Kennywood Park Sept. 24 to try pierogis from more than two dozen restaurants, chefs, and other pierogi peddlers at the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival. Your ticket also gives you access to Kennywood’s classic rides like the Merry-Go-Round, local live music, and the Pierogi Market place.
When: Sept. 24
Cost: Prices range from $12 to $24
18. Tussey Mountain Oktoberfest
It costs a lot of money and takes a bit of time to travel to Munich, so Tussey Mountain in Boalsburg decided to bring the fun back home and host their own version of OktoberFest with the Tussey Mountain Oktoberfest. This event will feature authentic food, beer, and music to the Tussey Mountain Amphitheater!
When: Sept. 29
19. Eensburg PotatoFest
The Ebensburg PotatoFest celebrates Cambria County potatoes and their growers, and for good reason: the county is the second-largest supplier of potatoes in the state. The festival is a fun-filled day of arts, crafts, entertainment, and food for the entire family. More than 200 crafters and artisans will line the streets for blocks with homemade wares and food of all kinds.
When: Sept. 30
20. Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall
Greene County Salute to Veterans is bringing the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to southwestern PA. The Traveling Memorial is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC that stands as a reminder of the great sacrifice made during the Vietnam War while promoting healing and friendship. Open 24 hours daily.
When: Sept. 28-Oct. 1
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Be sure to also sign up for our monthly newsletter to never miss a travel idea!