Our 5 Favorite Fall Events in San Luis Obispo County

"...I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne was on to something when he wrote those words, which helped inspire our guide to our favorite San Luis Obispo County autumn events. Throughout the county you'll catch all kinds of fun dedicated to the harvest season, so join us as we take a tour through some of our can't-miss activities!

Templeton Oktoberfest

Atascadero Chamber of Commerce will hold their inaugural Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 30 from 1-5 pm at Templeton Community Park. A 21 and over ticketed event, attendees are encouraged to don their favorite lederhosen or dirndle as there will even be a best dressed contest! Learn more at templetonoktoberfest.com.

Cambria Scarecrow Festival

Get ready for the ninth annual Cambria Scarecrow Festival! A series of events lasting Thursday, October 1 through Tuesday, October 31, the Scarecrow Festival employs "the creation and annual public display of scarecrows (to) provide(s) a sustainable, inclusive, collaborative set of programs to encourage artistic creativity and visibility to the communities of Cambria and San Simeon." Highlights include the "Salute to Scarecrows!" Kickoff Gala (Thursday, October 5), Progressively Cheesy Wine Tasting Event (Sunday, October 8), Cambria Scarecrow 5k Run/Walk (Saturday, October 21), and Oktoberfest (Saturday, October 28). Learn more about the festivities at www.cambriascarecrows.com.

Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade

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Who doesn't love a parade? An 87 year tradition, Paso Robles Pioneer Day was founded to provide a day of community friendship and a commemoration of the heritage of the Paso Robles area. Over time it became a day set aside to say "Thank You" to the people who support the business and professional community throughout the year. Activities include a "free bean feed, antique and classic car contest, children’s pet show, little cowboy/cowgirl contest, whiskerino contest, horseshoe pitching contest and more. Be sure to wear your Pioneer Day pin, or you might get thrown in the hoosegow!" Learn more about Pioneer Day and the Parade at pasoroblespioneerday.org.

Ghost tours at DANA center

Who doesn't love a spooky story? The DANA Cultural Center will host their annual Ghost Tours at the Dana Adobe, sharing stories of the Adobe's former inhabitants. Guests will tour the home while hearing tragic stories and ghostly tales that are seldom shared with the public. Walk the worn wooden floors in candlelit rooms, touch the adobe walls, and hear the stories of the tragic deaths and murders that have occurred during the heydays of the Rancho Nipomo. Tickets will be sold starting in October, so keep checking back at danaadobe.org.

Dia de Los Muertos at Mission Plaza

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One of the most notable regional traditions of autumn is Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that honors the departed with prayer, ofrendas or altars, flowers (namely the marigold), food, and more. Many may recognize depictions of the calavera, or skull, which is included as part of the remembrances celebrated during this three-day observance. A fundraiser for Wilshire Hospice, San Luis Obispo's festive, family-friendly event includes "decorated altars, traditional dances, mariachi music, poets, artists and sellers, art and crafts activities, educational talks, costume and altar contests, Mexican food and beverages, decorating of sugar skulls, and more. Learn all about it at diadelosmuertosslo.org.