5 Fall Harvest Festivals Worth the Trip - United Hub

5 Fall harvest festivals worth the trip

By Bob Cooper

Farmers once celebrated the harvest each autumn with festivals where food made from the year's crops was served in the fields during the final weeks of mild fall weather. Music, games and beverage consumption typically accompanied these celebrations. Well, fall festivals still exist, though most now celebrate hard work at the office rather than the pastures. And some are so festive—with food, beverages and fun galore, like these five—that they're travel-worthy.

Thousands of pumpkins stacked up at the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival

Pumpkins in New England

Pumpkins will be stacked so high at the NH Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 13-14)—34 feet to be exact—it's almost scary. But no scarier than some of the faces carved on the festival's 20,000 jack-o'-lanterns, which will be lit at dusk during this event in Laconia, New Hampshire (50 miles from Manchester Boston Airport). Besides pumpkins to praise—and to eat as various pumpkin dishes after the pumpkin cookoff—the expected 40,000 celebrants will enjoy a pancake breakfast, 5K/10K run, zip line, hay rides, costume parade, beer garden, live bands, and as a finale, the lighting of the pumpkins in a Guinness world record attempt.

 Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

Pumpkins on the Pacific

The 47th annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 14-15) is celebrated just 17 miles over the coastal hills from San Francisco International Airport. In a beach town known as the “world pumpkin capital," $30,000 is awarded to growers of the world's largest pumpkins during festival week, with the gigantic gourds (a 2,624-pounder won in 2016) displayed for the quarter-million people who come to the free festival. Events include a big parade, pumpkin carving demonstrations, a haunted barn, pie-eating and costume contests, four stages of live music, and Halloween-themed goodies like pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin ice cream sold by community groups.

Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower in Chapel Hill

Cuisine in the Carolinas

The TerraVita Food & Drink Festival (Oct. 18-21) destroys any preconceptions that some foodies might have that the South is a not a top culinary destination. Situated in the university town of Chapel Hill (near Raleigh-Durham Airport), the festival is a sweet succession of lunches, dinners and workshops featuring the Carolinas' leading chefs. The climax is the Grand Tasting on the Green, where you'll savor fine foods and beverages from 47 North and South Carolina restaurants, bistros, bakeries, breweries, wineries, distilleries and chocolatiers.

Food prepared at the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Top Chefs in the Tropics

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (Oct. 20-Nov. 5) is making waves on the foodie scene—and not only in America's 50th state. The festival does some island hopping, with the first three events in Maui (including a global street food tasting), the fourth event on the Big Island of Hawaii (a six-course dinner prepared by six superstar chefs) and the final 13 events in Honolulu. Some of the lunches, dinners, tastings and cooking demonstrations highlight Hawaiian food, but most feature chefs and cooking styles from throughout the world of food and wine.

Prawns in a pale at the Louisiana Seafood Festival

Seafood in New Orleans

Woldenberg Riverfront Park is an appropriate venue for the Louisiana Seafood Festival (Oct. 27-29) because the 16-acre park is right on the Mississippi River, where much of the seafood consumed at the festival is caught. Most dishes are prepared in ways that are uniquely Louisianan—think Cajun and Creole specialties that emphasize shrimp and crawfish—by chefs from 21 of Greater New Orleans' most beloved restaurants. Festival-goers are also treated to tunes by 17 bands ranging from funk to zydeco.

If you go

United Airlines offers nonstop flights from many cities to these destinations or airports nearby. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your fall festival fun escape.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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