If you’re a fan of big, shaggy animals, you may want to head to the Mower County Fairgrounds in Austin, Minn., next weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the fairgrounds will host the North Central Highland Cattle Regional Show, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The longhair cattle are adorable, make for nicely marbled beef and are popular with the British royal family. The following day, the Battle of the Borders Llama Show will bring a different kind of creature to the grounds (mowercountyfair.com; 1-507-433-1868).
More than 50,000 visitors are expected next month to experience all things apple as part of the 55th annual Bayfield Apple Festival Oct. 7-9. During one of the top fall harvest festivals in the country, visitors can tour orchards, pick apples and enjoy everything from apple bratwurst and dumplings to mouthwatering sundaes. The festival also features a parade, carnival, Big Top Chautauqua performances and, of course, pie contests (bayfield.org; 1-800-447-4094).
La Crosse, Wis., and New Ulm, Minn.
Oktoberfest celebrations continue near and far. Two nearby celebrations are worth noting:
German residents in La Crosse, Wis., will celebrate Oktoberfest Thurs.-next Sun. with food, a carnival, a parade and other activities (oktoberfestusa.com).
In New Ulm, the 35th annual Oktoberfest will be held Oct. 7-8 and 14-15. Visitors can enjoy live indoor music including polka bands, tours of historic homes and Schell’s Brewery, and more (newulmoktoberfest.com).
Colleen A. Coles