For many tables come Thanksgiving, if there aren’t cranberries next to Grandma, it’s not quite Thanksgiving. The quintessential fruit for the holiday is actually celebrated across the United States with cranberry-themed festivals. If you’re a bit cranberry crazed, you’ll want to attend one of these cranberry festivals in the US for a whole new appreciation of this delicious Thanksgiving staple.
Warrens Cranberry Festival
Known as the “Cranberry Capital of Wisconsin”, it comes as no surprise that the town of Warrens in Monroe County is home to the world’s largest cranberry festival. The Warrens Cranberry Festival takes place across three days over the last full weekend of September. Throughout the free event, you’ll find a number of ways to celebrate cranberries beginning with the festival’s cranberry marsh tours. The guided marsh tours take place on the Friday and Saturday of the festival, leading patrons through a 100-year-old cranberry marsh. Tour goers will see firsthand a cranberry bed and the tools used to harvest the tart berries. In addition to marsh tours, the Warrens Cranberry Festival offers antique farmer and flea markets, along with 100 food booths where you can sample items like deep-fried cranberries on a stick. The event concludes with a marching band-filled parade on Sunday.
Nantucket Cranberry Festival
Cranberry fans might want to make a trip out to a small island off of Cape Cod to experience the Nantucket Cranberry Festival. Cranberry harvesting has been a tradition on Nantucket since 1859. Held on a Saturday in October, Nantucket welcomes the cranberry curious to learn about harvesting cranberries. Organized by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, the festival takes place at the Milestone Cranberry Bog, one of the oldest continually operated farms on the island. For the event, you can take part in an interactive cranberry bog experience while donning waders and even helping with the harvest. The festival also includes bog tours, live music, kids’ entertainment, antique tractor displays, hay rides, and plenty of food.
Bandon Cranberry Festival
Spanning three days in September, the Bandon Cranberry Festival has been a tradition for over 70 years and celebrates the cranberry industry in the small town of Bandon, Oregon. Bordering the Pacific Ocean and the Coquille River, the town of Bandon fills the Bandon Cranberry Festival weekend with all sorts of events including a crowning of a Cranberry Princess, a cranberry eating contest, and a cranberry equipment expo. Attendees can also expect plenty of live music, carnival rides, farmers markets, and a parade across the three-day celebration of all things cranberry.
The Chatsworth Cranberry Festival
A custom that’s been in existence for over 35 years, the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival pays homage to New Jersey’s cranberry harvest, which happens to be the third largest in the United States. The festival is all about celebrating the harvest, always spanning the third full weekend of October. Visitors who catch flights to New Jersey can delight in the many vendors selling arts and crafts, along with those booths offering up tasty cranberry treats.
Stone Lake Cranberry Festival
Set in the small town of Stone Lake, Wisconsin, the Stone Lake Cranberry Festival has been a mainstay on the area’s calendar for over 40 years. Occurring on the first Saturday of October, the festival brings in over 30,000 people to celebrate cranberries. The Stone Lake Cranberry Festival kicks off with a Cran Harvest Dinner. You can also expect to find wine tastings, an arts and crafts market with over 300 vendors, marsh tours, a parade, a 5K race, and a cranberry baking contest.
Have you ever been to a cranberry festival? Share your experience with us in the comments below!