Fall in Love with Fall

There’s a nip in the air and a hint of color in the trees. My latte has been spiced with pumpkin. Autumn is here. I know some are still clinging to summer with everything they’ve got, but Sturgeon Bay is celebrating the harvest this weekend, and who am I to argue?

September and October are jam packed with festivals celebrating all things autumnal. With many more fall colors on the horizon, apple picking starting up and a seasonal celebration nearly every weekend, I think Door County is the best place to get cozy and enjoy the cooler months. That’s right: I said it.

Here’s a rundown of some of the upcoming festivities:

Sturgeon Bay’s Harvest Festival and Street Art Auction

Sept. 18, 9 am – 5 pm

The festivities kick off on 3rd Avenue at 9 am, including a classic car show, craft show, food booths, in-store specials, children’s activities and live entertainment. Plus, you can see all 25 of the Cherries Jubilee street-art projects and bid on your favorite.

2019 Sister Bay Fall Festival. Photo by Len Villano.

Baileys Harbor’s AutumnFest and Classic Auto Show

Sept. 25

Got a cool, classic ride you want to show off? AutumnFest is a great place to do it. Don’t need a cool car to get from A to B? Are your feet all you need? The Hey Hey 5K begins at 8 am at the Baileys Harbor Brewing Co., and it marks the start of all the arts and crafts, live music, food and drinks you can handle. And don’t miss the Pin-ups & Pistons photo shoot!

Oktoberfest at Hügel Haus 

Sept. 25

The outdoor tent on the front lawn at 11934 Hwy 42 in Ellison Bay will be stocked with food; the beer trailer will be serving drinks; and all day, attendees can enjoy live music by The Sugarbush Boys, Jerry Voelker and the Jolly Gents, and Frank Maloney and His Big Country Unit. Dinner service indoors – first come, first served – will begin at 4 pm.

Fall Lighthouse Festival

Oct. 1-3

Want to check out all 11 lighthouses? Yes, even the ones that are normally closed to the public? Tickets for land, sea and air tours are available at

Cherry Hut’s Falltober Fest

Oct. 1-3

The Door County Cherry Hut, 8813 Hwy 42 south of Fish Creek, is celebrating fall with three days of food, beer, wine and live music. Food specials include Oktoberfest beers and brats, dinosaur ribs on Friday, a pig roast on Saturday, and side pork on Sunday. Enjoy live music courtesy of Live Wire, Everson Starcheck, Polite Strangers, Lewis & Murphy, and Pat McCurdy. Check out the Cherry Hut on Facebook to get more details.

Egg Harbor’s Pumpkin Patch

Oct. 9-10

How many activities can one festival have? Let’s see: live music, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, face painting, pumpkin and scarecrow displays, a magician, kids’ games, a bucket raffle, food and more. Pumpkin Patch has it all.

75th Annual Sister Bay Fall Fest

Oct. 15-17

Nothing says fall like Fall Fest, and this year it’s back with some surprises. In addition to the food, music, and arts-and-crafts fair that we all know and love, the soapbox derby is returning for the first time in years. The race is set for 10 am on Sunday, Oct. 17, on Highway 42 in downtown Sister Bay. Children ages 7-13 may enter. New stock-car kits are available at, and drivers must register by Oct. 1. Mandatory pre-race inspections will be held at the race site Oct. 17, 8 am. 

Jack O’ Lantern Days. Photo by Len Villano.

Fish Creek’s Jack O’ Lantern Days

Oct. 29-31

Are scarves and hot tea not exactly your thing? If fall is just an extended Halloween for you, then this event and the next are right up your alley. Fish Creek is celebrating with a costume contest and parade, mask making, townwide trick-or-treating and more.

Sturgeon Bay’s Thrills & Chills

Oct. 30

Nothing is more fun than a costume parade and scavenger hunt – and doubly so when they’re spooky. Scavenger-hunt maps are available at the Destination Sturgeon Bay welcome center starting Monday, Oct. 4. The kids’ costume parade will begin at the clock tower on 3rd Avenue and head to Martin Park, with trick-or-treating at the East and West Waterfront businesses until 1 pm.  

Baileys Harbor’s Haunted Harbor

Oct. 31

The quintessential Halloween party is happening at the Baileys Harbor town hall, and, of course, there’s trick-or-treating throughout town.

I love fall as much as anyone, and I’m exhausted just reading this list. Throw on your jackets, grab yourself a warm drink, and I’ll see you out there! (I’ll be the one with the pumpkin.)