Local festivals celebrate fall season this weekend

Strange Angels perform at the 2016 OkTUPPERfest. The band will return to the festival this Saturday in a new location, the Tupper Lake Municipal Park. (Enterprise photo — Brittany Proulx)

If you go…

What: OkTUPPERfest

Where: Tupper Lake Municipal Park

When: 11 a.m. on Sept. 30

How much: $5 per person or $20 per carload

What: Raquette River Brewing Oktoberfest

Where: Raquette River Brewing on state Route 3

When: All day on Oct. 8

How much: $50 for food and drink ticket

What: North Country Life Flight’s Pumpkinfest

Where: Adirondack Regional Airport

When: 10 a.m. on Sept. 30

How much: $1 per person

What: 26th annual Whiteface Mountain Oktoberfest

Where: Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington

When: 12 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30 with fireworks at 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 1

How much: $35 for two-day tickets for people 21 and over, single day tickets for $20, $16 for admission without the gondola, $10 for seniors and free for youth 12 and under.

What: Flaming Leaves Festival

When: Noon to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 and Noon to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 8

Where: Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, Lake Placid

Across the Tri-Lakes, people are preparing for the most German time of the year: Oktoberfest.

Raquette River Brewing is breaking out its hefeweizen, Whiteface Mountain will bring out its mugs, Tupper Lake’s Chamber of Commerce is collecting pumpkins for kids to paint and at the Adirondack Regional Airport, planes are being fueled for scenic flights over the changing colors of the North Country.


The annual OkTUPPERfest, held by the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce, is moving to the Municipal Park for this year’s event Saturday. Though it will not be held at the popular Big Tupper ski area due to construction on the Adirondack Club and Resort, organizer Hayley McCottery said the family-friendly event will still have all the fun and excitement Tupper Lakers expect at OkTUPPERfest as a 200-foot-long zipline will send adrenaline seekers across the park, 28 feet off the ground.

A musical lineup, including several of Tupper Lake’s rising musical stars, will kick off with Brock Gonyea and Emily Mitchell, followed by Strange Angels and finishing with Saranac Lake’s Legend.

Admission is $5 per person or $20 per carload.

The music will continue at P-2’s Irish Pub that night at the “OkTUPPERfest after party,” featuring The List: a Tragically Hip cover band from the Thousand Islands.

Through OkTUPPERfest, McCottery hopes to promote Tupper Lake’s penchant for winter sports and activities, increasing tourism to the town and village through the colder months.

“I want Tupper Lake to be a better place. I want people here. I want this town to be something like it was before,” McCottery said.

Though skiing at Big Tupper is an obvious part of Tupper Lake’s winter tourism, cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails and snowmobile trails are scattered throughout the area.

OkTUPPERfest is not just about drinking beer; there are events for the whole family throughout the day.

“We got a lot of pumpkins for kids to paint … like a lot of pumpkins,” McCottery said, laughing.

Of course, OkTUPPERfest would not be complete without craft beer from the local pubs: Raquette River Brewing and Big Tupper Brewing on tap.

Raquette River Brewing Oktoberfest

Raquette River Brewing is holding its own Oktoberfest party more than a week after the OkTUPPREFEST in its 3,200-square-foot pavilion co-owner Joe Hockey said has the feel of a German beer hall.

The food-centered, all-day event costs $50 for a choice of three entrees, all of the sides and one drink ticket, and will feature three smoker trailers for a pig roast, rotisserie beef and smoked chicken as well as steamed lobster and clam bake and sides including salt potatoes, corn on the cob and clam chowder.

The brewery will be open to those not holding tickets who just want to join in for drinks and music. Food will be available for purchase for non-ticketholders from Donnie’s Barbecue food truck.

The Hohenfels Trombone Quartet, a band which has played at Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany, will bring the sounds of traditional German volksmusik to the North Country at noon, followed by British Colombia’s Josee Allard, as well as local bands Jim and E, and Hammerlok.

Whiteface Mountain Oktoberfest

Whiteface Mountain will be giving gondola rides up its ski slopes while holding a two-day event with activities for kids and adults. Drinking games, the High Peaks Little Circus, fireworks, and authentic German food, beer and music will be occurring throughout the weekend while gondolas summit Little Whiteface all day long.

Admission is $35 for a two-day ticket for people 21 and over; single day tickets are $20 or $16 for admission without the gondola; $10 for seniors; and free for children 12 and under.

Life Flight Pumpkinfest

At the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear, the seventeenth annual PumpkinFest is more than a celebration of fall; it is a celebration of aviation. Featuring many of the staples of a fall festival, the event held by North Country Life Flight also doubles as an open house for the airport and a time for the community to mingle with the medics and pilots of Life Flight.

“You are going to see us on one of your worst days,” president and CEO of North Country Life Flight Mary Jane Conners said. “If you ever need us, we’d like you to have met some people. You might even meet the medical team who would fly you.”

With tours of the helicopters, Young Eagle flights giving 8- to 17-year-olds the chance to take control of an aircraft and new scenic tours by plane, there is lots of aviation excitement to experience.

Admission is $1 per person.