Yes, autumn means the end of summer.
But it’s also a beginning. Of school. Of Christmas advertising. Of raking.
And it’s the beginning of fall festivals that provide fun, entertainment — and in many cases, craft beer.
Following is your guide to local fall festivals.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1319 Main St., Fitchburg
On Friday, Sept. 13, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., everyone — not just Greeks — is welcome to enjoy authentic food, live music, traditional dance, shopping, kids’ crafts and games. Taverna Night will be held Friday with DJ Corey. Saturday features live music all day with dancing performances at 2 and 7 p.m., by Athenian Entertainment and Holy Trinity Floga Dancers. Authentic food will include moussaka, pastichio, spanakopita, souvlaki kabobs, gyros, loukoumades, baklava, galaktoboureko, koulourakia and more. Raffles will also be held, with a grand prize of $5,000 cash, along with themed baskets and more. Proceeds benefit the church.
Riverfront Park, Fitchburg
A celebration of Latino heritage will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. MARKA, a multinational group of musicians, brings the heat with a cultural fusion of Latin funk, jazz and Latin American favorites. Salsa and samba dancers join the fun! There will be vendors, food and craft beers. Proceeds will go toward the construction of a performance stage at Riverfront Park. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
St. Edward the Confessor Church, 10 Church St., Westminster
Enjoy a day of bargains in attic treasures, used books, a jewelry/gems room, baked goods, craft/boutique vendors, games of chance, a grocery wheel, Eddie’s Auction (featuring more than 100 items), theme baskets, raffles and a Kids Karnival on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oh, and there will be a full food court as well as a chicken barbecue at noon.
Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Road, Princeton
The 1,124-acre sanctuary hosts a day — Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — of live music, crafts and locally made cider, baked goods and cheese. Children can enjoy free pony rides, hayrides, a mini-maze, farm animals and pumpkin-painting. The Princeton Arts Society will host an art demonstration and art sale. Tickets are $10 per person, or fill a car for $30. (Children 2 and under are free.) If it rains (don’t even think about any other inclement weather this early), it will be held Sunday, Sept. 15. The event is co-sponsored by the Town of Princeton Agricultural Commission & Princeton Arts Society. For more information, call 978-464-2712 or visit https://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/wachusett-meadow/news-events/save-the-date-for-hey-day.
TORI/MARKETPLACE AND CLASSIC CAR CRUISE
Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road, Fitchburg
The annual “Tori” (marketplace) and Classic Car Cruise is Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This year, a basket raffle is being added to the fun. Vendors will sell Nordic wares, crafts, baked goods, books, music and more. Fans of classic cars can vote for their favorite entry, and there will be a prize for the winner. Lunch foods and beverages, as well as arctic berry sundaes and Finnish coffee bread will be for sale. Music will be provided by Arthur Richard of the Central Massachusetts Accordion Club.
LOWELL IRISH FESTIVAL
Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 East Merrimack St., Lowell
This inaugural festival, sponsored by Align Credit Union, will feature live Irish music from national and local acts The Joshua Tree, The Gobshites, Irish Whispa and a headlining nighttime set from the Young Dubliners. There will also be food trucks, craft tents, family activities; Irish heritage events, an exhibit curated by the Lowell Irish Cultural Committee with historic photos, artifacts and documents about the early Irish community of Lowell, authentic Irish step dancing and, of course, craft beer. The festival is Saturday, Sept. 21, from noon till whenever, and will happen inside and outside the auditorium. Tickets are $10, $12 the day of, with family four-packs (2 adults, 2 kids) for $25.
FRUITLANDS CRAFT FESTIVAL
Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard
New England artisans will fill the field at Fruitlands for the ninth annual juried and handmade craft festival. It’s a two-day event — Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — rain or shine. Expect jewelry, pottery, glass, wood, fiber arts, photography, mixed media, henna art, specialty food and more. Live music will be provided by the Summertime Trio, beer and wine by True West Brewing Co., and there will be food trucks and family games. What’s more, museum exhibits and trails are included with admission, which is $5 for Fruitlands members, $10 for non-members and free for kids 12 and under.
BLACKSMITH ART & RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
Riverfront Park, Fitchburg
Saturday, Sept. 21, will bring food, arts, crafts and the main event — a blacksmith competition in which artisans in the metalworking industry demonstrate their skills throughout the day. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
LITTLETON FOOD TRUCK BOOSTER BASH
53 Ayer Road, Littleton
Live music, inflatables, vendors and, well, food trucks await you Saturday, Sept. 21, from 3 to 8:30 p.m. It’s $5 in advance, $10 at the gate.
JOHNNY APPLESEED ARTS & CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Johnny Appleseed Arts & Cultural Festival, 7 Park St., Leominster
The 26th annual festival, running Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. features more than 120 craft vendors and lots of great food (think apple crisp and candy apples), a petting zoo, pony rides, live entertainment and lots more. Free admission. And it’s all to celebrate the Leominster-born John Chapman, Johnny Appleseed himself. Not to be confused with …
JOHNNY APPLESEED HOMECRAFTERS HANDMADE FAIR
Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St., Leominster
The fifth annual fair is Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring food, kids’ activities, entertainment, hayride, and crafts and art for sale.
St. Boniface Church, 817 Massachusetts Ave., Lunenburg
On Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., enjoy music, German and American food, craft and microbrews, crafts, a white-elephant sale and raffle baskets worth $1,000, $500 and $100. No entry fee.
The fourth annual event is Thursday, Oct. 3, from 5 to 9 p.m., and really — what else do you need to know? There are cannolis — those Italian dessert delicacies — and plenty of them. Rain date is Oct. 10 (because there’s nothing worse than a soggy cannoli).
Strongwater Farm, 500 Livingston St., Tewksbury
The annual event, on Sunday, Oct. 6, from noon to 4 p.m., will feature hayrides, games, raffles, family fun, Ipswich Ale and music by the Jimmy Connor Band. It all benefits Strongwater Farm programs.
Central Street, Winchendon
On Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy more than 200 craft and food vendors, as well as kids’ games, bands and more.