Our quaint New England village, located just an hour and a half north of Boston, is best known as a warm and inclusive summertime destination. Yet we’ve got a lot more to offer than fabulous beaches, amazing art galleries, and great outdoor dining, including one of the best autumn festivals in all of Maine. Every October the streets light up for our annual fall celebration known as Ogunquitfest. This year’s 15th annual gala on Oct. 19th, 20th, and 21st reflects the diversity-loving attitude of the town itself, and features a wide variety of festive events, friendly competitions, and amazing sights and sounds. Take a look at our 12 top picks for this year’s fun-filled fall extravaganza.
Visit the Autumn Bazaar
Here you’ll find an amazing array of seasonal eats, enticing treats, and exquisite handmade art from our 75 vendors, including homemade pastries and one-of-a-kind Maine crafts. The Bazaar takes place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Main Beach parking lot. Bring your appetite and holiday shopping list, and join in on the fun seasonal contests to win great prizes. You can even choose to donate your own non-perishables at the local food pantry or Animal Welfare Society booths that will be set up on sight.
Vote for Best Fall Decor
Local shop owners spill out into the street and transforms the area into a landscape of gorgeous autumn leaves, intricately-crafted wreaths, painted pumpkins, and multi-colored gourds. They vie for your attention in a friendly competition for Best Fall Display and Best Scarecrow, with the winners owning bragging rights for the entire year. Ballot boxes are scattered throughout streets during the 3-day festival, and everyone is encouraged to cast their vote!
Dress Up for Downtown Trick or Treat
On October 19th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Ogunquit Parks and Recreation Committee presents Trick or Treat Downtown. Select shop owners will be passing out candy to costumed kids big and small, and the historic Leavitt Theatre at 259 Main St. is gifting a free showing of the children’s film ‘Coco’ after the event for both parents and trick-or-treaters alike.
‘Ruck’ It Up for Maine’s Fallen Heroes
On Saturday from noon until 6 p.m. at North Beach you can join together to compete in 3 levels of fitness fun, all while supporting the families of Maine’s fallen military, police, firefighters, and EMT’s. The event features Slick, Tactical, and Heavy courses for people at all fitness levels, and kids under 12 can join in for free. You can also join the thousands of spectators to cheer on the teams!
Rally Your Rowing Skills
Kayakers and Stand Up Paddle Boarders can head over to the Ogunquit Footbridge at the end of Ocean Avenue on Saturday the 20th at 2:30 p.m. for the River Rally. The route takes you down to the Beach Street bridge and back for an hour and a half of pure ‘non-racing’ fun. This informal event isn’t an official competition, but instead is a great way to meet new people and engage in some friendly, laid back paddling. A special guest will be there to greet all the water adventurers, and prizes will be handed out at the end of the day.
Enjoy a Free Wine Tasting
Perkins & Perkins Wine and Cheese Shop at 478 Main Street is gifting festival-goers with a free fall wine tasting on the 20th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. This premier provider has been procuring top-notch selections from small vineyards around the world for over 20 years, including exclusive Maine wines. The tasting is a great place to peruse the choicest bottles for your Thanksgiving celebrations, or find gifts for the oenophiles in your circle of friends!
Tour the Town’s ‘Ghostly’ Sights
Ogunquit’s own Heritage Museum on Obeds Lane will take brave souls on a walking tour to the most intriguing sights in the city on Saturday the 20th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Start with an evening open house at the museum itself, then head out to learn about some of the area’s most ‘haunting ‘ stories while you soak up the town’s unique fishing, lobstering, social, and artistic heritage. Flashlights are encouraged!
Bring Your Pooch for Dogtoberfest at the Beach
This fun ‘pet festival’ features 2 days of great activities, starting with Saturday’s Beach Stroll & Social from 9:30 am. to 11 a.m. You and your best friend can meet with other pups and their humans while getting some exercise along the crisp, refreshing autumn shores. You can also enter to win some great canine prizes. On Sunday Main Beach Parking Lot is the sight of this year’s ‘Pooch Pageant’ for ‘Ogunquit’s Best Dressed Dog’, which immediately follows the festival’s 11 a.m. costume parade.
Join in the Costume Parade
Visitors, locals, and their canine friends are all welcome to put on their favorite costume and strut their stuff down the sidewalks at this annual autumn parade highlighted by fabulous costumes and fun prizes for your pooch. Step off is at the Ogunquit Village School and ends at the Main Beach Parking lot. If weather is an issue, everyone meets under the tents set up at Main Beach at 11 a.m. for pictures and prizes.
Raise Your Stein at the Oktoberfest Gala
Sunday’s gathering takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at Main Street’s Cornerstone Artisanal Pizza & Craft Beer, with mouthwatering German-style brats, amazing German beer like the Trout River Forellenweisse Ale, and lots of great Bavarian folk music. You can enjoy performances by Opa’s Oompah Band while dining on delectable regional favorites like the Acorn Squash Artisan Pizza.
Watch the High Heel Dash and Walk-Off
This famous race at Perkins Grove features not only hijinks and hilarity, but also compassion and caring, with proceeds going to Maine’s Frannie Peabody Center. Daring divas can put on their 2″ or higher heels (or borrow ours) and race around the closed off street from about 3:00 p.m to 3:30 p.m. Awards are given for Highest Heel, Best Time, and Most Outrageous Costume.
Don’t Miss the Dueling Drag Divas
Emmy-award winning ChiChi Rones and NY Times-acclaimed impressionist Jo Anna take the stage at northern New England’s largest gay nightclub on Saturday the 20th at 8 p.m. for a hilariously witty show featuring live singing and fun celebrity impressions. MainStreet Ogunquit hosts the side-splitting event that is all new for 2018. Before the show, swing by for the last Women’s T-Dance of the Year with New Hampshire DJ Skooch from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and DJ Jodi in the main dance room from 5 p.m. to 9p.m. Just mention DJ Jodi’s name to get a special rate of $149 per night for your 2-day weekend stay at the magnificent Admiral’s Inn Resort.
You can also check out the warm and welcoming vibe of the Bourne Bed & Breakfast owned by Jimmy and Brian, who are recipients of the 2017 and 2018 Certificates of Excellence for their consistently stellar reviews. For a full-list of fabulous accommodations in Ogunquit, take a look at the festival’s sponsor, The Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce.
Our fall festival is more than just a celebration full of fun social activities; it’s also a great gathering spot for leaf peepers eager to catch a glimpse of the stunning seasonal colors just when they’re at their peak. Join us for all the great festival events, and enjoy autumn in one of the most vibrant and colorful seaside hamlets in the country.