Sunday, October 17, 2021

7 Best Places to Enjoy the Covered Bridge Festival

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What’s special in fall in the US!? The covered bridge festival! Held every year to celebrate the covered bridges, it’s a true delight for the millions of visitors.

Covered bridge festival
“Rockville at Covered Bridge Festival” by Stacie Stacie Stacie is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Very few things stand the test of time and weather. Fewer still are undefeated. One such legend is the covered bridges of America. In fact, their glory and history would have gone unnoticed if not for the annual covered bridge festival.

Related: Check out the 9 fall festivals in the US according to Forbes here.

7 Exciting Covered Bridge Festival in The US:

1. Parke County Covered Bridge Festival:

Covered bridge festival
“Indiana – Parke County – Covered Bridge – October 1981” by Ladycliff is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The land of the Indians, Indiana, is home to everything exciting. It has everything from the world’s first amusement park to its largest popcorn and limestone production. The covered bridge festivals of Parke county have a huge place in this list.

Related: Check out the top 8 bridges in Indiana here

Parke county, the capital of breathtaking covered bridges globally, is a stunning tourist spot known for the same. Naturally, it is the lead host of the most celebrated festival of Indiana, the covered bridge festival, every year in the second half of October. Millions of people take part in this festival in Parke county.

Watch the video: Parke county’s best-covered bridges

Celebrating 31 of the covered bridges in Parke county started when a couple of creative female minds met in 1957. They got the idea to inform the tourists about the bridges in a fun way. Thus, the 10-day Parke County covered bridge festival was born.

While most festivals celebrate one occasion or event, this is more of an informative workshop mixed with fun and frolic. Each of the 31 covered bridges is unique. They differ in structure, history, and settings. The Wabash river washes over a major part of Parke County.

This festival is a long-awaited event by the people of Indiana. These ten days are as festive as the Christmas season. With diverse shops, delicious local dishes, exciting recreational activities such as canoeing and hiking with stay-in options, this is a major tourist attraction.

From bridges as of old as 150 years and as young as 15 years, this festival covers it all. Let’s look at five of the amazing Parke county covered bridge festivals.

Related: Find the most amazing bridges according to CNN here.

a) Rockville Covered Bridge Festival

The county seat of Rockville was the site of the first covered bridge festival and continues to host it every year. In fact, it is rightly known as the capital of covered bridges in the world. Scenic bridges with well-directed routes mounted over the Wabash river with pretty walkways are indeed the best start.

Watch the video: Rockville Covered bridge festival

Discounts, multiple shops in different places near the bridge, free events, trestle hiking, personalized crafts, homemade food, and select vendors make this part of October in Rockville special.

b) Bridgeton Covered Bridge Festival

Covered bridge festival
“Bridgeton Covered Bridge” by Paul J Everett is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Every story has a tragic history. The Bridgeton-covered bridge was famous among the 31 covered bridges in Parke county. But an intentional fire wiped it away in 2005. Parke county was not to be defeated. It erected a look-alike the very next year.

Covered bridge festival
“2014-08-13_19-26-20” by joannapoe is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It was built more than a century ago to replace two broken open wooden bridges. It passes over the big raccoon creek and the mill dam and has a pier. This small town has over 400 vendors of food and plenty of space, live entertainment, and fun when it comes to the covered bridge festival. The most alluring of all is its historic mill town.

c) The Mansfield Covered Bridge Festival

Covered bridge festival
“Mansfield Covered Bridge 2” by Indiana Ivy Nature Photographer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

From Rockville, travel southeast to Mansfield or Mansfield village, an unincorporated town in Parke County, to witness a stunningly beautiful bridge and an enormous number of booths. The Mansfield covered bridge is a sight not to be missed.

7 Best Places to Enjoy the Covered Bridge Festival 1
“Mansfield Covered Bridge” by Tennessee Wanderer is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

An 85m tall double Burr Arch, it is Parke county’s second-largest covered bridge. A number of repairs have been made to this notable bridge. It is has entered the national register of historic places. Fox’s Overlook is the main attraction during the annual Mansfield covered bridge festival.

d) Montezuma Covered Bridge Festival

Montezuma route 36 covered bridge stretches over the Wabash River. This town is named after the ruler of Mexico, Moctezuma. In case you miss books, you can stop by its popular public library.

What’s more exciting than a tour of the Wabash River and the historic Erie Canal. Don’t forget to taste its main dish-roasted hog and iron pot ham. You have dishes hot from the oven, workshops, rope making, a variety of country stores, and special crafts to have the time of your life.

Yard sales mark this covered bridge festival on Saturdays, special annual events, and flea markets. It also offers scenic camping sites alongside the river.

e) Mecca Covered Bridge Festival

Erected in 1873, it has a place in the national register of historic places. Located in east Mecca, it is built over the big Raccoon Creek.  Each bridge has its own past, and so does Mecca bridge. Visit to know how it got its name, and learn the interesting part of this bridge.

2. Madison County Covered Bridge Festival

Covered bridge festival
“Cedar Covered Bridge” by Phil Roeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It isn’t surprising that this very name could bring in travel and movie enthusiasts. For, the first thing that the Bridges of Madison County bring to your mind is Clint Eastwood. The bridges are romantic indeed, and so is the festival.

Covered bridge festival
“File:RosemanBridge.jpg” by SanjayFays is licensed under CC BY 3.0

The festival is mostly held on the 9th and 10th of October. Unlike other places, the Madison county festival is a partaking of the history and culture, past and present of Madison county. The 7 magnificent bridges are a delight to all eyes, and the activities performed lift any heavy spirit.

It is a reliving of one’s past and relating to it through happiness. More than anything, it gives you a taste of square dancing, shooting, informative programs, and theatre. Although it was launched late, it has a beautiful story deeply rooted which is dug out and exhibited during this festival.

3. Roann Covered Bridge Festival in Ohio:

Quaint and rustic, this picturesque bridge has been remodeled several times. Pop in at a quirky old millhouse up the road or get a dip in the earthy Eel river. This festival lasts for four days in September.

What’s different? The flashy parades and field agricultural demonstrations, especially tractor pulls and ancient tractor models, are put out for you. You also have concerts, competitions, family activities, entertaining shows and tasty food to make it better.

4. Matthews Covered Bridge Festival:

Covered bridge festival
“File: Matthews Indiana CoveredBridge exterior.jpg” by Chris Light (talk) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

These three days in September are a time to get together and create unforgettable memories. The Cumberland-covered bridge is set over the river Mississinewa. A huge fan of horse riding? Well, this festival is just for you. Floods were a constant threat to this bridge, but horses were used to restore it.

Photoshoots, canoeing and kayaking, and bike rides are some of the recreational activities allowed here. Along with this, you also have stage performances, parks, art and crafts, amusing events for family, tractors, and lawnmowers on display. The Cumberland covered bridge is the ideal destination for picnicking, with picnic tables set next to the charming river.

5. Smolen Gulf Bridge, Ashtabula Covered Bridge Festival:

Covered bridge festival
“Smolen Gulf Covered Bridge” by Roadgeek Adam is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

With over 19 gorgeous bridges nestled among the yellow leaves from the longest to the shortest in the US, Ashtabula is one great site to enjoy this fall festival. With guided tours and entertaining activities, you will never regret this trip. Native music and food at each stop is another thing.

Smolen gulf bridge being the fourth-longest in the world, is curious. It sits grandly over the Ashtabula River. You get a spectacular view from the walkways on either side of this massive bridge.

Watch the video: Ashtabula covered bridges

The new one was built in 2008. For pedestrians’ convenience, a smaller covered bridge was added below the larger one in 2016. This is the right place for your family to have a peaceful time. The shortest bridge in the US, the Liberty Bridge in Geneva, is also worth a visit.

6. Washington and Green County Covered Bridge Festival

The Washington county covered bridge festival takes place in ten different places, including the Mingo Creek County Park every year. Get to know each story through present re-enactments of the past. It marks the beginning of fall and is celebrated on the third weekend of September.

Watch the video: Washington and Green county covered bridge festival

Among the 29 bridges, both in use and rusted, the Ebenezer Church covered bridge sees the biggest crowd during this festive season. It rests over Mingo creek in the Mingo creek county park. It was relocated and restructured in 1977 and now looks like a train caboose from the side.

7. Knoebels Covered Bridge Festival

If you are looking for endless fun, then Knoebels is the place for you. Knoebel’s amusement resort is a kid’s delight and parents’ relief. This is a stress-free time with exciting rides, art, crafts, jewelry, endless shops, food, and photography.

Watch the video: Get a glimpse of the hallo-fun at Knoebels Covered Bridge Festival

The festival is held in October every year. You can travel to the different covered bridges by buses. It also has spooky Halloween events and a tourist-friendly atmosphere with benches, picnic tables, camping grounds, and a large variety of shops. You feel energetic in its vibrant and colorful environment.

Related: Check out the 10 best-covered bridges in the US here.

This amazing covered bridge festival is what keeps these remarkable bridges alive. Can you find a happier way to know more about the covered bridges in the US? Are you planning your visit to one of these places? Share your views in the comment section below.

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