It’s time for the celebration of fall in all her beauty with one of Garrett County’s most popular events: the annual Autumn Glory Festival, now in its 51st year. Although today’s festival is well-known, its roots were actually quite humble. In the early 1950’s, the local Turkey Growers Association, in a way to promote themselves and their product, started serving turkey dinners throughout the area. At the first dinner in 1954, over 485 turkey dinners were served. The turkey dinners were held sporadically until the Lions Club became involved in the 1960’s and the idea formed to hold a large festival to bring visitors to view Garrett County in all its gorgeous autumn glory.
The very first festival was held in 1967 and the event has evolved throughout the years into the five day festival we enjoy today featuring a variety of activities for all ages.
The 50th Annual Autumn Glory Festival runs from October 10 – 14, 2018. Festivities include two large parades, concerts, band competitions, art exhibits, antique & craft shows and much more. Once again, the Autumn Glory Festival is sponsored by Garrett Regional Medical Center, a proud affiliate of WVU Medicine.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Autumn Glory Kickoff Dinner featuring live musical entertainment and recognition of the annual Autumn Glory Golden Ambassador will kick off the festival on Wednesday, October 10.
Thursday features the Oktoberfest dinner and a fireman’s parade. The week continues with historic area tours, antique and craft shows, fine arts exhibits, farmers’ market, 5-K walk, musical concerts, dogsled events, a quilt show, corn maze, art glass exhibits, outdoor adventures, quilt shows, food and drink specials, live entertainment, comedy basketball game, pumpkin chucking contest, horseback trail rides, shopping specials and a wide variety of other activities.
The Official Maryland State Banjo & Mandolin Championships, Friday at 7 p.m., features banjo and mandolin contestants of all ages competing for top honors.
On Saturday, October 13, the Grand Feature Parade begins at 1 p.m. Clowns, floats, and bands increase the festival atmosphere. That day also will feature the Western Maryland Tournament of Bands at 6 p.m. with high school field show competition, as well as the Maryland State Fiddle Championship at 7 p.m.
Antique and Craft shows continue Sunday, joined by the Autumn Glory Festival Car Show, the Great Pumpkin Race & Festival on the rapids at Adventure Sports Center International and a no-hands Sundae eating contest at Lakeside Creamery.
The Festival is timed to coincide with the peak of Fall foliage in Garrett County and you can view the breathtaking scenery of the spectacular foliage by driving one of the 2018 Autumn Glory Fall Foliage Tours. Travel along some of Garrett County’s most scenic routes. Enjoy spectacular fall foliage, panoramic vistas, heritage sites and stunning natural features. This year, the Chamber is offering two new Fall Foliage tour routes. The Fall Foliage Heritage Driving Tour Highlights include: Deep Creek Lake State Park & Discovery Center, Meadow Mountain Trail, Accident, Barn Quilts, Maryland Scenic Byways and Humberson Homes. The Extended Fall Foliage Driving Tour Highlights include: historic downtown Oakland, Barn Quilts, Pleasant Valley, Maryland Scenic Byways, and Ledo Pizza, Pasta & Pub.
“Every year, thousands descend upon Garrett County to view our beautiful fall foliage,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber president & CEO. “By creating these driving tours, we are able to provide people easy and accessible leaf peeping opportunities and the chance to completely immerse themselves in the glory of Autumn.”
As part of the 51st Annual Autumn Glory Festival, the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area is once again celebrating the event’s roots by promoting area turkey dinners through the Turkey Trail. This year’s Turkey Trail Sponsor is the Garrett County Republican.
The Turkey Trail features a local map along with a listing of local turkey dinners served in our region. Information includes food items served, pricing, location and hours of operation. The map and turkey dinner listings may be found online at—local-dinners or at the Garrett County Visitors Center. To be included in the listing, restaurants and organizations are requested to submit a form. The form can be found online at—local-dinners.
In 2017, TripAdvisor selected Oakland, MD as one of 20 Best Fall Vacations in America for Seeing Autumn Foliage. Also in 2017, Oakland, Maryland was selected by U.S. News and World Report as one of 50 Small Towns Across America with Gorgeous Fall Foliage, listed Oakland as one of the prettiest leaf peeping towns in the U.S. and Readers Digest listed Garrett County as one of the 11 Road Trips That Showcase Stunning Fall Foliage You Need to Take This Autumn. Autumn Glory also landed in the international spotlight in 2007, when the popular travel website, listed it tops among fall festivals in the world.
To the delight of locals and visitors alike, Autumn Glory in Oakland, Maryland, beat out Paris’ Festival d’Automne (#5) and Munich’s Oktoberfest (#7) – in addition to a bevy of domestic celebrations, including San Francisco’s Dias De los Muertos. “Music, parades and awesome colors are at the center of this festival,” noted the site, plugging in particular the Grand Feature Parade, the Maryland State Banjo & Fiddle Championships and the Tournament of Bands. For more information about the 50th Annual Autumn Glory Festival, please go to