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Boston's Best Fall Festivals

New England is known for being amazing in the fall and Boston is no exception. The city is host to many celebrations that highlight the season and local culture, providing entertainment for guests and residents alike. Some of these are time-honored traditions that should not be missed. Others are new and exciting ways to celebrate the fall and say goodbye to the summer.
Harpoon Octoberfest
(Photo Credit: Harpoon/Facebook)

Harpoon Brewery
306 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 574-9551

Dates: Oct. 4 and 5, 2013

Octoberfest at the Harpoon Brewery is the biggest Octoberfest celebration in Massachusetts. It has been happening for more than 20 years and has not floundered in fun once during that time. The party takes place at the brewery itself, so there is obviously beer, but there is also German bratwursts, dancing and even German chocolate cake. Of course, guests have to be 21 to enter. There are no reservations ahead of time, so show up early with identification to get into this one.

Boston Magazine's Taste
300 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 262-9700

Date: To be announced but usually in November

Boston Magazine's Taste is a night of seriously delicious cuisine all under one roof. This annual event coincides with the magazine's food issue and celebrates all that Boston has to offer in that department. Guests will be able to taste some of the best food cooked by the most talented chefs in Boston. Moreover, there are drinks made by the best bartenders in the city. Every year, one location is picked to host the event and has included Boston's Museum of Science and Mandarin Oriental in the past.

(Credit: Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival)

Berklee's Beantown Jazz Festival
Columbus Ave. between Massachusetts Ave. and Burke St.
Boston, MA
(617) 747-2218

Date: Sept. 28, 2013

The 2013 Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival is a free festival with a next generation of jazz theme. This is an all-ages event with lots to do for the whole family, so bring everyone along. Musicians are playing jazz all day long, guests can check out instruments at the "petting zoo" and other arts are highlighted at the many stands along the street. The amount of entertainment at this festival for free makes it one of the best events of the season, so do not miss it.

Related: Boston's Best Fall Family Getaways

Boston Local food fest
(Photo from Boston Local Food Fest)

Boston Local Food Festival
Rose Kennedy Greenway
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 395-0250

Date: Oct. 6, 2013

The Boston Local Food Festival is certainly not the only food festival happening in Boston this fall, but it is enough of a mix of all of them to put it among the best. This festival focuses on locally grown and caught food, healthy food and the art of cooking. Dishes are $6, so the fare is affordable and the demonstrations by local chefs and other food workers are free. Best of all, the Boston Local Food Festival promotes sustainable practices by locals and business owners, thanks to its host, The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts.

Boston Seafood Festival
Bank of America Pavilion
290 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 728-1600

Date: Sept. 28, 2013

Boston has one all-seafood festival and this is it. With its culture being so steeped in the business and cuisine of seafood, Boston has a lot of great fresh fish and restaurants that cook it. This festival celebrates everything about seafood, from catching it to eating it. This is a wonderful way to support one of the oldest institutions in Massachusetts and help spread the city's love for the sea, the men and women who brave it to bring us seafood, and the chefs who put it on our tables in the most delicious ways possible.

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Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

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