Imagine Northeast Iowa

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Fall in Love with Autumn Festivals in Clayton County
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Fall in Love with Autumn Festivals in Clayton County

October is by far the best time of the year to take a road trip, especially if you are heading to Northeast Iowa. The rolling hills and river bluffs have exploded into kaleidoscopes of fall colors, including orange, red, gold and every shade in between, providing a spectacular backdrop as you journey through the colorful countryside. If you are looking for fun activities to do along the way, plan a trip either this weekend or next weekend to catch the fall colors at their peak and to check out these upcoming fall festivals happening in Clayton County. 

HawkWatch - October 7, Marquette

HawkWatch celebrates the magnificent fall migration of hundreds of thousands of raptors and other birds along the Mississippi River Flyway. This free event is designed to appeal to everyone including families, amateur birders, and raptor enthusiasts. There will be live bird presentations by staff from the Iowa Raptor Project at 10:00 am & 1:00 pm, a storytelling program at 11:15 am, and face painting and other hands-on educational activities for children throughout the day. Birding experts will also be on hand to help identify raptors and other birds migrating through the area.

McGregor Arts & Crafts Festival & Marquette Flea Market – October 7-8, 14-15

Come out and browse arts and crafts from various vendors during the 26th annual Leaf Arts & Crafts Festival at Triangle Park in McGregor! Enjoy fantastic live entertainment by area musicians and treat yourself to tasty fall goodies. Head over to Marquette to shop the bountiful treasures at the Flea Market this weekend as well.

Witches’ Night Out – October 12, Elkader

The witches are coming to Elkader on Thursday, October 12! Shop spooktacular deals, enjoy tasty treats, sample wines and enter to win Chamber Bucks at participating Elkader businesses. Christa, novice witch-in-training, will be traveling from store to store foretelling your future as well.

Harvest Festival – October 14, Elkader

Join Main Street Elkader at the shelter by the playground in Founders' Park for some fall fun for the whole family! Bring a decorated pumpkin to enter into the pumpkin decorating contest, race your friends in relay games, take a fun fall photo at the selfie station, decorate a mini pumpkin to take home with you (while supplies last) and more! Apple cider and treats will also be served. Th event is free and open to the public.

Heritage Days – October 14-15, Elkader

Heritage Days began in 1975 as a way to bring life back to the tiny community of Osborne, Iowa, and has grown to become one of Northeast Iowa’s most popular fall festivals. There are plenty of fun festivities to enjoy on both Saturday and Sunday during the festival at Osborne Nature Center, including authentic pioneer demonstrations like basketry and candle-making; contests, including a chili cook-off and buffalo chip throwing contest, and tasty treats like buffalo stew, caramel apples, homemade pie, kettle corn and more!

  1. Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    Imagine Northeast Iowa Support
    Thanks for the fantastic post, Brian! You so perfectly captured the fun that is Northeast Iowa in the fall.

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