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.

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

Scroll to top