After a long, hot summer, cooler weather means it’s time to celebrate, and almost every town in south Louisiana is ready to join the fun.
Area fairs and festivals crowd the calendar from now to the Christmas season, spotlighting every kind of food from omelets to tamales to seafood, pies and spices, sugar cane and peppers. Besides the bountiful harvest, fairs honor music, history, holidays and local industry. But most of all, the gatherings celebrate their communities and Louisiana’s unique ways of life.
- MARTHAVILLE GOOD OLE DAYS FESTIVAL: Marthaville. Gospel singing on Friday night, family reunions Saturday. Children’s fun area, parade, food, crafts and toys trade area, and a Wild Nashville country music show on Saturday night. www.natchitoches.net
PEPPER FESTIVAL: BANKS OF BAYOU TECHE, ST. MARTINVILLE. THE KIWANIS CLUB OF ST. MARTINVILLE PROMOTES AND SPONSORS THE FESTIVAL TO RECOGNIZE THE PEPPER INDUSTRY. THIS FESTIVAL FEATURES GAMES FOR CHILDREN, LIVE BANDS, FOOD AND DRINKS, CRAFT BOOTHS, A PEPPER-EATING CONTEST AND DANCE SCHOOL PERFORMANCES.
- TECHE FEST: 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., downtown Breaux Bridge. Art walk, music, food, boat trips on Bayou Teche. A floating Cajun jam with canoes and kayaks begins at Poche Bridge and goes to Breaux Bridge. For more info, see Teche Fest on Facebook.
WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 28
- LOUISIANA SUGAR CANE FESTIVAL: New Iberia. Since 1937, kids have enjoyed the carnival with rides and games, while adults enjoy the fais-do-do street dancing to the tunes of local bands. Activities include crowning of Queen Sugar, a bake-off with plenty of sweets, art show and boat parade. www.hisugar.org
THURSDAY-SATURDAY, SEPT. 27
- ALLIGATOR FESTIVAL: West Bank Bridge Park, Luling. Live entertainment, a crafts show, poker run, local delicacies and amusement rides. www.alligatorfestival.org
- BAKER BUFFALO FESTIVAL: Greenwood Park, Baker. Parade, food booths, entertainment, a boxing event, arts, crafts, games, carnival rides, a hot air balloon, a car show and talent show. www.cityofbakerla.com
- CUT OFF YOUTH CENTER HURRICANE FESTIVAL: Cut Off. Live music each day, carnival rides and a large variety of food items including hamburgers and fries, oysters, shrimp, fish and soft shell crabs, gumbos, and plenty of sweets.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY, SEPT. 26-27
- BOGALUSA BLUES AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Cassidy Park, Bogalusa. A lineup of blues musicians plus juried art, heritage education and Louisiana food. www.bogalusablues.com
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 26-28
- PINE TREE FESTIVAL: Walker High School, Walker. Pine trees are part of the natural beauty of the Florida Parishes, and Walker High School is the place to celebrate the lanky evergreen. The festival will feature crafts, food, carnival rides and midway games.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 28
- FESTIVAL LATINO: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., BREC Airline Highway Park/Fairgrounds, 16072 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge. Presented by the Hispanic Apostolate, the festival offers entertainment, food from Latin American countries, crafts, vendors, activities for children and more. $10, adults; $2, children 10 and younger. www.festivallatinobr.com
WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 1-5
- ST. TAMMANY PARISH FAIR: Covington. Exhibits, food, a livestock show, rodeo, live entertainment and a carnival. www.sttammanyparishfair.info
- TANGIPAHOA PARISH FAIR: Amite. Live entertainment, 4-H activities and displays, carnival rides, games, a gumbo cook-off; music, parade and food. www.tangipahoaparishfair.org
FRIDAY-SATURDAY, OCT. 3-4
- OPELOUSAS SPICE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL: Opelousas. The City of Opelousas hosts the annual festival that features Cajun and zydeco music, Creole and Cajun food, carnival rides, pageant, parade and more.
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 3-5
- GRETNA HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Gretna. Seven stages in a 25-block area offering famous musical acts, along with carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, and local cuisine. Festival offers free shuttle, parking and pedestrian ferry to festival grounds area. www.gretnafest.com
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 4-12
- LIVINGSTON PARISH FAIR: Livingston Fairgrounds. The fair offers a variety of activities, food, carnival rides and fun. Parade kicks off the festivities on Oct. 4. www.livingstonparishfair.org
TUESDAY-SATURDAY, OCT. 7-11
- LOUISIANA COTTON FESTIVAL: Ville Platte. A dance with Cajun music, carnival, harvest Mass, a parade and a Le Tournoi competition featuring knights in armor on horseback. www.louisianacottonfestival.com
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 10-12
- FESTIVALS ACADIENS ET CREOLES: Girard Park, Lafayette. Celebrating the music, culture, food and heritage of southern Louisiana. www.festivalsacadiens.com/
- LOUISIANA CATTLE FESTIVAL AND FAIR: Abbeville. Festival includes a livestock show, baby show, cooking contests, pageant, parade, live entertainment, street dancing, a “fais-do-do” and a street fair. www.louisianacattlefestival.org
- BRIDGE CITY GUMBO FESTIVAL: Angel Square, Bridge City. The festival features seafood, chicken and sausage gumbos and a variety of other native Louisiana cuisine. A carnival, a gumbo cooking contest, arts and crafts and live entertainment are also offered. www.bridgecitygumbofestival.org
- ST. PETER’S FISHERMEN’S FESTIVAL: Reserve. Live music from local bands, fried fish platters, jambalaya/pastalaya, baked chicken dinners and more. Rides, crafts, cook-off, auction. www.stpeterreserve.org
TUESDAY-SATURDAY, OCT. 14-18
- WASHINGTON PARISH FREE FAIR: Franklinton. Featuring competitive agricultural and educational exhibits, livestock show and petting zoo, art show, national, regional and local musical entertainment, a parade, rodeo, pioneer settlement, 5K run, arts and crafts booths and carnival rides. www.freefair.com
THURSDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 16-19
- INTERNATIONAL RICE FESTIVAL: Crowley. This event in the “Rice Capital of America” is one of the oldest and largest agricultural festivals in the South. The free admission festival is held in downtown Crowley and offers live entertainment, Cajun cuisine and arts and crafts vendors. www.ricefestival.com
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 17-19
- HARVEST FESTIVAL ON FALSE RIVER: New Roads. Two stages with national and local musicians, two food courts of Louisiana cuisine, more than 150 arts and craft vendors, special attractions, harvest festival queen pageant and a beer garden. www.harvestfestivalonfalseriver.com
- ST. JOHN ANDOUILLE FESTIVAL: LaPlace. Enjoy local bands, andouille sausage and Louisiana cuisine all weekend. Other activities include arts and crafts, a gumbo cook-off, and a three-mile fun run. www.andouillefestival.com
- LOUISIANA GUMBO FESTIVAL OF CHACKBAY: Thibodaux. Cajun food, music and dancing, carnival midway rides, firemen’s parade and live auction. www.lagumbofest.com
THURSDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 23-26
- FRENCH FOOD FESTIVAL: Larose. Cajun cuisine, Cajun heritage and music. www.bayoucivicclub.org
THURSDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 23-NOV. 2
- GREATER BATON ROUGE STATE FAIR: BREC Airline Highway Park/Fairgrounds, 16072 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge. Fair offers a 40-ride carnival, children’s activities, agricultural exhibits and nightly live entertainment. www.gbrsf.com
SATURDAY, OCT. 25
- ROUGAROU FEST: Houma. This family-friendly festival celebrates the rich heritage of Cajun folklore that exists along the bayous of southeast Louisiana. It includes the Krewe Ga Rou Halloween Parade, the Rougarou Run, a costume contest, live music, art vendors, food, drinks and kids’ activities. www.rougaroufest.org
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 31-NOV. 2
- LOUISIANA TOURNOI DE LA VILLE PLATTE: Ville Platte. During the Tournoi, knights in shinning armor race around a 1/4-mile semi-circular tract at neckbreaking speed under 14 seconds while spearing seven rings posted around the track. Concessions are available but tailgating is welcome. A ball follows the competitions. www.louisianatournoi.com
- LOUISIANA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: Hammond. Go back in time and see kings, queens and knights in shining armor. Food, drink, and merry-making. Seven stages, 100 merchants, and a cast and crew of more than 300 performing Renaissance activities. www.la-renfest.com
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, NOV. 1-2
- ABBEVILLE’S GIANT OMELETTE CELEBRATION: Magdalen Square, Historic Downtown Abbeville. On Sunday, grab a seat early for the procession of chefs, eggs and bread to the giant 12-foot skillet where fun and folly are the order of the day for those preparing the “5000 Egg” Giant Omelette. This event also includes a two day arts and crafts show and free music. www.giantomelette.org
THURSDAY-SUNDAY, NOV. 6-9
- PORT BARRE LIONS CLUB CRACKLIN FESTIVAL: Port Barre Veterans Memorial Park. The festival features a pageant, a parade, carnival rides, live music, food and drink. The Cracklin Cook-off offers prizes for both professional chefs and general public competitors. www.portbarrecracklinfestival.com
SATURDAY, NOV. 8
- ATCHAFALAYA BASIN FESTIVAL: Henry Guidry Memorial Park, Henderson. A celebration of Cajun heritage offering live Cajun music, a pageant, cooking contest, a car and truck show, a raffle, bingo, live and silent auctions, parade, food, arts and crafts, motorcycle poker run and children’s games. www.atchafalayabasinfestival.org
- THIBODAUXVILLE FALL FESTIVAL: Thibodaux. The arts, crafts and music festival is held the second Saturday of November each year in downtown Thibodaux. Visitors will enjoy the typical festival including the Thibodauxville Duck Race in Bayou Lafourche and a car show. www.thibodauxchamber.com
FRIDAY-SATURDAY, NOV. 14-15
- COVINGTON THREE RIVERS ART FESTIVAL: Covington. Two hundred juried artists from 25 states, photography, paintings, glass, pottery, jewelry, metalwork, woodwork, fiber and more. Attractions include a music stage, food court, children’s performing stage, student art exhibit, children’s discovery area, and 5K and 1 mile race. www.threeriversartfestival.com
FRIDAY-SUNDAY, NOV. 14-16
- RIVER PARISHES FALL FESTIVAL: Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Norco. Annual fall festival featuring live music all weekend. Food featuring the monster soft shell crab po-boy. Craft show, rides and family fun. www.sacredheartschoolnorco.org
SATURDAY, NOV. 15
- RAYNE FROG FESTIVAL EXTRAVAGANZA: Gossen Memorial Park, Rayne. Signature events like frog racing and jumping are accented by carnival rides, live entertainment, and an arts and crafts show. www.raynefrogfestival.com
The Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals was the source for this information. If your fair or festival isn’t listed here, please email information to email@example.com so we can publish it the week of the event.
Editors note: This story was changed Sept. 23, 2014, to remove the Oak Alley Fall Arts & Crafts Festival, which has been cancelled.