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Fall Fest Insider's Guide

Fall Fest 2018 is less than a week away and we are so excited to celebrate the season with you in Downtown Rochester! Join us on the Peace Plaza on Saturday, October 6th from 10:00am-2:00pm (October 7th rain date) for free family fun! We want to make sure you're prepared for the event, so we've created this insider's guide with everything you need to know.

Fall Fest Event Map

Click here for a printable version of the Fall Fest event map.

Pumpkin Carving Contest

The Pumpkin Carving Contest is back for 2018. Carve your way to a $50 gift card to the Downtown business of your choice. You can win by receiving the most votes in the following categories:

  • Most Original
  • Most Scary
  • Most Funny
  • People's Choice Award

It's not too late to sign up! Click here to be part of the contest. Pre-registration is required and there is a $10 entry fee. That fee includes the following:

  • One Gutted and Ready-To-Carve Pumpkin ($5)
  • One Fall Fest Apron, Yours to Keep ($15 value)
  • Carving Tools (Carving tools are limited; participants may use their own carving tools)
  • Workspace, Consisting of a Table and Chair

The carving contest will begin at 9:30am, a half hour before the entire event begins. Each carver has 90 minutes to create their masterpiece. Winners will be announced on Monday, October 8th at 3:00pm on our Facebook page. You must be 12 years of age or older to participate.

Even if you don't want to carve, you can still get involved! Check out our event map to find out where the carving contest is happening and where you can vote to pick your favorites in the aforementioned categories.

Photo Opportunities

There will be several opportunities for photos at Fall Fest 2018. Visit or climb on the "Pumpkin Pile" for a fun photo! 

The pumpkin patch provided by Red Barn Pumpkins will also provide a great fall-themed backdrop for your fall photos at the event. Feel free to take your very own pumpkin home with you! 

Be sure to use #FallFestRochMN when you post on social media so we can all share the fun together!

Activities and Crafts

We would like to start by thanking our 2018 activities partners, Olmsted Medical Center, Winona State University-Rochester, and MedExpress Urgent Care. Without their support, this event would not be possible.

We have some old favorites as well as some new activities at this year's Fall Fest. The following are fun things you can be a part of at the event:

  • Autumn Tree Painting*
  • Bubble Machines*
  • Corn Sensory Bins
  • Decorate Your Own Complimentary Fall Fest Tote Bag
  • Giant Inflatable Slide and Toddler Bounce House
  • Kiddie Farmer's Market*
  • Leaf Fox Craft*
  • Leap into Leaf Piles
  • Petting Zoo by Red Barn Learning Farm
  • Pumpkin Patch provided by Red Barn Pumpkins
  • Tailgate Corner Featuring Games and Football Toss*

*Denotes New Activity


This year, Fall Fest has more vendors than ever before. There will be 20 vendors on site providing all sorts of fall-themed goodies and activities for you to enjoy! Here is a list of the 2018 vendors:

Click here for details on activities, foods, and drinks being provided by each vendor.

Event Day Tips

Downtown Rochester offers several parking options both on the street and in city ramps. Street parking and city ramps (excluding Mayo Clinic ramps) are free after 5:00pm and on holidays and weekends (no overnight parking). Click here for more information.

Grab a Bite
This year, there are four vendors providing food and/or drink at Fall Fest. Grab a warm drink, a slice of pizza, and top it off with fried ice cream or a piece of chocolate. Downtown Rochester also features several bars and restaurants within walking distance to and from Fall Fest. Click here to see a full list. 

In addition to the many eat and drink options Downtown, there are many shopping destinations near Fall Fest! Click here to see all of your options.