State Sen. Lisa Keim, left, Amanda Bachand, and Barb Dion dish up some tasty apple treats at Bethel’s Harvestfest in 2022. Julie Reiff photo

Please note that Bethel Harvestfest has been postponed until Sept. 30 because of expected hurricaine conditions this weekend. Please check the Bethel Chamber of Commerce website for more information.

BETHEL — For the 25th time, Bethel’s Chamber of Commerce will host the quintessential New England fall event, Harvestfest.

To create Star’s Hollow, the town in the popular TV series the Gilmore Girls, they had to build sets and pay actors to pull off fall in New England. On Bethel Common, it’s all real.

There will be chainsaw carving, an apple pie contest, cider pressing, horse drawn wagon rides and more.

Fri., Sept. 15

On Friday morning, 20 registrants will tour Hancock Lumber. They are offering, “a very special inside-scoop tour,” of their Bethel sawmill, where they manufacture Eastern White Pine products.


Go apple picking at Sparrowhawk or Gibson’s orchards or buy local provisions at the Greenwood Farmer’s Market at Greenwood Town Hall.

Listen to live music Friday evening at Mt. Abram, Sud’s Pub or The Bethel Resort and Suites.

Sat., Sept. 16

On Saturday starting at 9 a.m. (until they are gone) is the cookie walk sponsored by West Bethel Union Church.

On the Common are arts and crafts vendors, live music, and a farmer’s market.

Touch-a-Truck, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is new this year as is the bluegrass band, Sandy River Ramblers. They play from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Look for Steve Stone who will be doing chainsaw carvings on the lawn of the Robinson House. Cider pressing is on that side of Broad Street, too.

The Bethel Historical Society museum shop is open along with four exhibits to tour: Bethel and Beyond; The Golden Age of the Gehring Clinic; The Mount Zircon Bottle at 100; Oxford County Skiing History: From Jockey Cap to Jordan Bowl and Treasures from the Collection: Arts and Crafts Across Time. Finally, partake in a guided tour of the Moses Mason House built in 1813.

Go back to the Common for a tent with activities for kids.

Lots of lunchtime food will be available near the gazebo – burgers, hotdogs, loaded baked potatoes, drinks, apple pie and apple crisp.

Apple pies for the contest need to be registered in advance, then dropped off at the Chamber tent by 11 a.m.

There will be more (off-site) apple picking on Saturday at Gibson’s, Peaked Hill and Sparrowhawk. The usual Saturday morning farmer’s market at 1 Parkway will be open, too.


During the day Sunday River will host its Brew Fest.

Saturday night even more live music choices are available at: Suds Pub, River Lanes, Bethel Resort and Suites and Mt. Abram.

Sun., Sept. 17

​Bethel Rotary is hosting a 5k Run/Walk and a 1k Youth Run that begins at Valentine Farm at 8 a.m. and is free for anyone under age 18.

At 11:30 a.m. is CROP Walk that supports Bethel Food Pantry. At 11:30 a.m. bring your own picnic lunch to West Parish Congregational Church. Noon is registration and at 12:30 the three-mile walk begins.

The Sunday River Brew Fest activities and Sparrowhawk Orchard apple picking continue into Sunday.

To paint a picture better than any re-run of Gilmore Girls ever could, Chamber of Commerce Director, Jessie Perkins said, “If you were to imagine a movie set of a harvest festival, it would probably look a lot like Bethel Harvestfest. It includes live bluegrass music played from a gazebo decorated with cornstalks, an apple pie contest, local food & craft vendors selling their wares, a pumpkin-decorating station for kids, tractors on display, and good food for sale, all on a tree-ringed New England town common.”

Check the Bethel Chamber of Commerce schedule for more specific times and locations:

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