Break out the short boots and puffer vests! Fall is officially upon the Lowcountry. From sipping pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider ale to indulging in sweet potato souffle and sugar-packed candy corn, Charlestonians cordially welcome the brisk fall season. Not only is it a climatic relief after the sweltering hot summer, but fall is also a fun time for families to explore events in Charleston or attend one of Charleston’s numerous festivals. In between football games and oyster roasts, be sure to mark your calendar for these favorite fall festivals:

Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch

The mother of all pumpkin patches, the Boone Hall Plantation Pumpkin Patch in Mt. Pleasant is a premier annual event that will surely delight, surprise, and scare people of all ages. This year, the festival features two corn mazes (for beginners and advanced explorers), a hayride through “monster” alley, tire and sandpit play area, cornhole toss, giant slide tower, jump pillow, and more. Pumpkins are priced by the pound, and locally-made jams, pies, and produce are available for purchase as well. Admission cost is $10, and children ages three and under are free. For adults and teens who desire a terrifying time, mosey over to Boone Hall Fright Nights. A separate event from the pumpkin patch, Boone Hall Fright Nights features four ghastly attractions: The Cemetery of Lost Souls, The Crypt, the Wicked Woods Haunted Hayride, and The Gateway. Brave patrons may purchase a “Scream Pass” for $33, which includes admission to all four attractions. This event is intended for teenagers and adults; it is not recommended for children under the age of 12.

Charleston Oktoberfest 

Celebrating German culture, Charleston Oktoberfest takes place Saturday, October 14th from noon until 6 p.m. Held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, which is located on historic King Street in downtown Charleston, organizers proudly proclaim that both “saints and sinners are willkommen!” The German festival will feature a variety of beer from local Holy City Brewing such as Pluff Mud Porter, Washout Wheat, and Holy City Pilsner. To pair with these beverages, traditional German entrees and treats will be served too. Of course, the festival will feature music, dancing, and a brat-eating contest. Children ages two and up will have their own fun in Gingerbread Land where they will enjoy face-painting, playing pretzel toss games, jumping in the bounce house, and decorating gingerbread cookies. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children.

Dogtober Wine Tasting and Pet Expo

Four-legged friends like to party too! On Saturday, October 28th, the Charleston Animal Society along with Kiawah Island Community Association and Fresh Fields Village will host “Dogtoberfest” on the greens at Freshfields Village. The event will include a Halloween dog costume contest, live music, food and drinks, a zumba dance-a-thon, and pet service vendors. Pet adoption organizations will be on hand to answer questions and screen potential owners; however, no adoptions will take place during the exposition. Dogtoberfest starts at 12:30 and will conclude at 5:30 p.m.

Victory Cup Polo Match

Mix and mingle with Charleston socialites at the Victory Cup polo match held on Saturday, October 21st. The polo tour, which also debuts in Texas, Nashville, and New York City, is the perfect place for ladies to don decorative straw hats, stylish sundresses, and oversized sunglasses. Meanwhile, men look dapper in chinos, collared shirts, and bowties. Patrons may watch the match via tailgate style on the lawn for $20 or purchase individual passes for $45, which includes entrance to the hospitality tents. For a more memorable experience, guests can choose from the Golden Mallet Tent Pass ($125), Farm-to-table dinner and Mallet Pass ($190), or the Victory Cup Founder’s Lounge ($250). Sponsored by Vineyard Vines, the Victory Cup Polo Match will showcase high fashion, classic libations, creative cuisine, and--of course--fast polo ponies and elite athletes.

Harvest Festival

Switching from dresses and bow ties to jeans and flannels, the Charleston Harvest Festival is the hallmark of local bluegrass music. The event takes place on Saturday, November 4th at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center on Johns Island. Beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., well-known bluegrass bands Blue Plantation, Yeehaw Junction, Southern Flavor Bluegrass, Marshgrass Mamas, and Boss Hawg will perform on stage. Besides hoedown dancing, the event will feature a non-turkey turkey shoot, hayride, pumpkin decorating, archery, crafts, and plenty of delicious Carolina BBQ and savory sweet tea. Admission is only $8 per person and children ages 12 and under are admitted free. 

Apart from these favorite festivals, Charleston has many more scheduled events this fall. Be sure to take advantage of the pleasant temperatures and spend time outdoors with friends and family. And from our family to yours...happy fall, y’all!

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