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    The official start of fall is just around the corner! The first day of autumn this year is Wednesday, September 23. Fall around the Ville is splendid; make the most of it!

    1. Gaslight Festival, especially Gaslight Parade, Gaslight Balloon Glow, and Gaslight Weekend
    Gaslight Festival time in Jeffersontown is a sure bet that fall has arrived. Some years it still feels like summer, and some years the evenings at the Gaslight Festival scream of that cool, crisp autumn air. The week of Gaslight has grown to include eleven events, and the highlights include the Gaslight Parade (held on Thursday, September 17 at 6 p.m.), the Gaslight Balloon Glow (held on Friday, September 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and the official Gaslight weekend (held September 18-20). Read more about the Gaslight Festival festivities  here.

    2. Colorfest at Bernheim Forest
    This fall spectacular event at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is an annual event that draws thousands to the forest every year. The forest sits as a magnificent backdrop with the brilliant fall colors just at their peak of the season. You'll experience hay rides, a hay maze for the kids, a pumpkin launch and many other family-friendly events to truly ring in the fall season. It's held this year on the weekend of October 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. It is a free event, but the forest charges a $5 per car environmental fee for non-members.

    3. National Jug Band Jubilee
    This weekend marks the 11th year of the jug band jubilee event in downtown Louisville at Waterfront Park. According to the website, the event is a nonprofit "with the purpose of spreading jug band music and making people happy." Free, fun and family-friendly are also their taglines, so this makes for a great fall-like day spent along the Ohio River. It's free and open to the public this Saturday, September 19 from noon to 11 p.m. It is rain or shine and no alcohol, pets or coolers are allowed. It will be held at the Brown-Forman Amphitheater.

    4. NuLu Fest
    This event in the trendy NuLu neighborhood along East Market street has become a must-do fall event. The street shuts down for a huge block party with local food, craft beer, live music, children's activities and vendors to visit with. It is held this year on Saturday, September 26 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. along the 700 block of East Market Street. 

    5. St. James Court Art Show
    No fall festivals list for Louisville, Kentucky is complete without mentioning the acclaimed St. James Court art fair. It is simply a staple, and everyone in Louisville knows about it. Perhaps you're a newbie, and you're just now learning about it. Once you attend it you will become an official Louisvillian, and then you can tell all your new friends to the city all about it. It's held this year for the 59th time during the weekend of October 2-4.

    6. Harvest Homecoming in New Albany
    The Harvest Homecoming festival is another one of those week-long annual festivals that greets the Southern Indiana streets every October.  This year's theme is Hot Rod Harvest. Events include a 5K, a coffin race and zombie fest, live entertainment, a baby photo contest, pumpkin decorating contest, Harvest Homecoming Idol and so much more. See here for more details. It runs the entire week of October 3-11.

    7. Fall Festival at Foxhollow Farm
    Autumn on an old fashioned farm in Crestwood, Kentucky sounds like a perfect fall day to me. This festival is in its 8th year at Foxhollow Farm and features traditional fall favorites such as pumpkins to pick, a hay castle to climb, hayrides, pony rides, old-fashioned games and activities, local food and live music. Admission is free; parking costs $5 and activities range in price from $1-$4. Foxhollow Farm partners with Maryhurst and proceeds go to help their work with young women in crisis. The festival is on Saturday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    8. Corn Island Storytelling Festival at Blackacre Nature Preserve

    Blackacre Nature Preserve has tremendously vamped up their fall programming for 2015, and this event is a premier one not to be missed this fall.  According to their Facebook event page, "Corn Island Storytelling is back and better than ever! We have partnered with UofL to bring you a two-day collaborative Corn Island Storytelling Festival. Friday, October 23rd at UofL will be filled with storytelling glory as Matthew “Black Eagle” Man and Lynny Prince take the stage. Saturday, October 24th at Blackacre will not disappoint with an incredible line up of local and national storytellers and performers like Roberta Brown, Bob Sanders, and the Troubadors of Divine Bliss. With the participation of the National American Indian Association (NAIA), we will also have drumming, dancing, and storytelling from the rich cultural heritage of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Sioux, and Cherokee nations. The evening will be filled with stories and activities sure to please all ages. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in this fun Louisville tradition set against the backdrop of our 1795 Historic Log Barn!" The main event is on Saturday, October 24 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. See here for ticket information.

    9. 20th Annual Belknap Fall Festival
    This festival along historic Douglass Loop in the Highlands is another one that arrives just in time in Louisville for fall to officially be present in our beautiful city. It's held Friday, October 9 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, October 10 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    10. LaGrange Railroad and Bluegrass Music Festival
    At this festival in historic LaGrange, KY, there will be something for everyone ages 1-99. The festival will feature bluegrass music for all, a cardboard box train parade, miniature train rides for children, specially themed train exhibits, a train robbery reenactment and a farmer's market. It is October 9-10.

    See this list for more ideas of where to head for fall festival fun this autumn!

    Cover photo courtesy of Fall Fans; other photos by Erin Nevitt

    Erin Nevitt's picture

    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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