• Champlain Valley Exposition Essex Junction, VT 5453 in Essex Junction, VT.

About a week into September, the chance for one last summer fling for thousands of visitors presents itself with all the bells and whistles. It began as an agricultural event and stays true to its roots; there are educational exhibits, too. For over 90 years, ten days of food, rides, exhibits and free shows have entertained the crowds, and this fair draws big names in entertainment. It has made a lot of vendors very happy.

The end of August and first week or so of September, the state fair runs for about 10 days and has all the usual goodies. Since 1846 the fair has included agricultural interests with livestock and foods, and that tradition continues. Rides, fair food and concerts are part of it now, but ox, horse and pony pulling contests still draw crowds. Demolition derbies are loud and exciting, but the maple sugar house is soothing and informative; there is something for every age-group.

The last weekend of September, a showcase of fine furniture crafted by very talented artisans occupies Union Arena. Food, live music and unique gifts handmade by these artisans bring in the crowds. There are traditional woodworking demonstrations to watch and a furniture market to browse in, so come in and find that one piece you need for the office, bedroom or living room.

The first part of October is a great time for Oktoberfest in a beautiful resort town. Jackson Ice Arena becomes a Bavarian neighborhood for this three-day weekend, and the parade gets everyone in the mood. Bavarian music, food, dancing and, of course, beer-a lot of beer-keeps the party going. Kids' activities run throughout the day while the adults enjoy the edible goods. This is a wonderful family event, and it's fun for everyone all day and evening.

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