Best time to go to Pennsylvania

Bedford Fall Foliage Festival 2024 in Pennsylvania

Visit one of the top 20 fall festivals in the country

Dates: October 5–6, 12–13, 2024

Bedford Fall Foliage Festival
Bedford Fall Foliage Festival
Bedford - Penn St from Thomas St

The Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, recognized as one of the top twenty-two festivals in the United States by Oprah, is a hallmark event in central Pennsylvania. Held annually in the historical center of Bedford, this festival showcases the best of the season with arts, crafts, music, food, and more. Visitors can immerse themselves in the full splendor of fall, which paints the mountains in vivid hues of red, orange, and yellow.

Schedule and Activities

The festival, set for October 5-6 and 12-13, 2024, promises a wide array of activities from 9 am to 5 pm, rain or shine. According to organizers, the event features over 400 vendors offering a variety of items, including handmade clothes, jewelry, seasonal decor, and festive treats. Attendees can explore the bustling streets of historic downtown Bedford, which come alive with the vibrant energy of fall.

Music and Entertainment

Music lovers will enjoy live performances from local and international artists across its two weekends, with performances scheduled on the Gazebo Stages and River Stage from 10 am to 5 pm each day. The entertainment lineup includes everything from classic hits to contemporary tunes, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Performers like Matt Wagner, The A’Cappella Kinda Guys, and Letters from Tomorrow will grace the stages throughout the festival weekends. You can dance all you want and sing along to your favorite hits.

Antique Car Parade

One of the highlights of the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival is the Antique Car Parade, a tradition that dates back to the festival's inception over fifty years ago. This beloved event takes place at 2:00 PM on the second Saturday of the festival, drawing enthusiasts and spectators alike. Over 100 vintage cars participate, showcasing automotive history as they journey through the streets of Bedford. The parade begins at Bedford Area High School and winds its way along John Street to Thomas Street, then onto Pitt Street and Richard Street, finally concluding on Penn Street. The lead trolley and cars also transport the Queen Contestants to the Bedford County Courthouse, adding a ceremonial flair to the procession.

Kid's Corner

Children are also welcome to join the festival as Bedford Fall Foliage Festival is a family-friendly event. The kids’ program involves scarecrow making, horseback riding, fun games, and other cool activities.

Ticket Information and Parking

Entry to the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival is free, making it an accessible event for all. However, parking in downtown Bedford is limited, and the town gets particularly busy during the festival. Organizers recommend utilizing parking lots at the Bedford County Fairgrounds, with details available on the official festival website.

Location and Infrastructure

Located in the heart of central Pennsylvania, Bedford is easily accessible from major cities like Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. The festival takes place in Bedford’s historic downtown area, surrounded by picturesque mountains that are especially stunning in the fall. The town offers a variety of dining options, from fine dining to casual cafes, and a range of lodging choices, including B&Bs, hotels, and inns. For those looking to explore beyond the festival, Bedford boasts numerous attractions. Nearby, you can find charming boutiques, wineries, microbreweries, and specialty grocery stores. The area is rich in history, with museums and permanent art collections that preserve the heritage of the community.

History of the Festival

The Bedford Fall Foliage Festival was founded by Doc and Angie Gordon, Kal Hine, Don Hershberger, Edd Flynn, and Wendy Cox to attract visitors to Bedford. Initially featuring Miss Pennsylvania and an antique car parade, the festival has grown significantly over the decades. Early festivals saw contributions from local churches, 4-H groups, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, who helped sell local goods and organize events. Highlights included wagon trains, covered bridge tours, and a Harvest Ball. Today, the festival is organized by a dedicated committee of local volunteers. It attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually, who enjoy crafts, food, and music amidst the vibrant fall foliage in Bedford.

Find hotels and airbnbs near Bedford Fall Foliage Festival (Map)

Last updated: