While the weather still screams “SUMMER!” it’s definitely September and, with it, fall festivals and fairs are popping up across Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut. From the traditional, seasonal happenings—think cool weather farmers markets, apple picking, pumpkin patches, Halloween haunts and foliage festivals—to the truly one-of-a-kind, the next three months are jam-packed with some of the most deliciously fun family events of the year.
These events also provide a unique opportunity to gauge the town and immediate surroundings, especially if you’re considering making a move to the area. Does the event draw the entire town—and is there a great sense of pride and a feeling of “I wouldn’t miss this!” that permeates the orchard, fairground or market? Is this town a suburban destination—not just for this particular festival, but for shopping, dining out and other cultural goings-on? What stands out as the crux of the town’s personality and general demeanor? Does everyone know each other, or are residents more isolated to their immediate families and friend groups? And are locals engaged with the event itself—think volunteers, local artisans, vendors and produce?
While not necessarily indicative of “everyday” life in this particular town, festivals and fairs are great ways to “take the temperature” of the community. Seeing how deeply woven into the architecture of the community these special events are is often a good indication of the community connectedness, engagement, and general spirit—and deciding how that stacks up against your expectations and family’s personality can be a solid first step in determining where to look next.