With the promise of fall and (hopefully) cooler weather in the weeks ahead, the Louisiana festival season arises from a summer slumber to fill the calendar with food, fun and folkways. A diverse assortment of celebrations is on tap, many just a few miles away — all part of the spice of life that is unique to the Bayou State and its environs. These are just some of the festivals and fairs in the area and throughout Louisiana.

SEPTEMBER

SATURDAY, SEPT. 12

  • FELICIANA HUMMINGBIRD FESTIVAL: 15736 Tunica Trace, St. Francisville, and 9485 Oak Hill Road, Bains. Are you a professional or amateur birdwatcher? This festival will give you the chance to see birds up close and personal at two garden homes. stfrancisvillefesstivals.com
  • SATURDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 12-13

    • REPTICON: Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Ave., Gonzales. Reptiles and amphibians take over the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in this family-friendly event. $12 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12, free for ages 4 and under. repticon.com/batonrouge.html
    • OLDIES BUT GOODIES FEST AND BBQ COOK-OFF: West Baton Rouge Tourist Information and Conference Center, 2750 N. Westport Drive, Port Allen. Celebrate the good times of the past with music, vendors, antique cars, food and contests, plus music. (800) 654-9701. westbatonrouge.net
    • WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY, SEPT. 16-19

      • ALLEN PARISH FAIR: Allen Parish Fair Grounds, 400 Allen Ave., Oberlin. Traditional Louisiana parish fair, with music, food, booths, rides and a rodeo.
      • THURSDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 17-20

        • NEW ORLEANS BURLESQUE FESTIVAL: Various locations in New Orleans. From around the world, burlesque entertainers gather for competitions, performances and parties that celebrate the style of striptease artists. Tickets are available for individual events. neworleansburlesquefest.com
        • FRIDAY-SATURDAY, SEPT. 18-19

          • ATCHITOCHES MEAT PIE FESTIVAL: On the banks of the Cane River, downtown Natchitoches. The world-famous culinary staple is celebrated with a two-day fest that includes contests, music and, most certainly, meat pies. Free. meatpiefestival.com
          • FRIDAY-SATURDAY, SEPT. 18-19

            • ST. MARTINVILLE PEPPER FESTIVAL: 200 N. Market St., St. Martinville. Cookoffs, contests, rides and a hot pepper-eating contest to top it off at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha-Chas highlight the live music schedule. $5 for adults, $1 for children, and $3 for parking.
            • FRIDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 18-20

              • ST. THERESA BON TON FESTIVAL: 4822 Carlyss Drive, Sulphur. Three days of live entertainment, seafood, barbecue and festival activities are part of this South Louisiana annual event. st-theresa-parish.org
              • WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY, SEPT. 23-26

                • TINSEL & TREASURES: Cajundome, 444 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette. The Junior League of Lafayette’s annual one-stop shopping experience features jewelry and apparel vendors. $10 in advance, $12.50 at the door. cajundome.com
                • THURSDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 24-27

                  • ALLIGATOR FESTIVAL: West Bank Bridge Park, 13825 River Road, Luling. This Rotary Club of St. Charles Parish festival funds scholarships for local youth and features rides, food, music, and arts and crafts under the bridge. alligatorfestival.org
                  • FRIDAY-SATURDAY, SEPT. 25-26

                    • ASCENSION HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL: Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Ave., Gonzales. Entertainment, music, food and surprises are part of this festival that offers the spectacle of sunrise hot air balloons races. $5. ascensionballooning.com
                    • BOGALUSA BLUES AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Cassidy Park, 129 Ben Miller Drive, Bogalusa. This relatively new festival makes a big splash with lots of music, events, food and activities. $10 per day in advance, $15 at the gate. bogalusablues.com
                    • FRIDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 25-27

                      • CUT OFF YOUTH CENTER HURRICANE FESTIVAL: Cut Off Youth Center, 205 W. 79th St., Cut Off. Music, food, carnival rides and fun are part of this festival. (985) 632-7616. visitlafourche.com
                      • LOUISIANA SUGAR CANE FESTIVAL: Bouligny Plaza, W. Main Street, New Iberia. A sweet time is certain at this festival with three days of parades, pageants, music, cars, arts and crafts, and food. $10 starting at 5 p.m. Gates open Friday and Saturday. hisugar.org
                      • SATURDAY, SEPT. 26

                        • ALGIERS FALL FESTIVAL: 2500 General Meyer Ave., New Orleans. This inaugural festival features live music, food and fun in an event that celebrates the military and community. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band will perform. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. algiersdevelopment.com
                        • SATURDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 26-27

                          • BEST OF THE BAYOU FESTIVAL: Main Street along Bayou Terrebonne, downtown Houma. This free two-day festival highlights music but also includes food, an arts marketplace and “great gator race.” (985) 876-5600. bestofthebayou.la
                          • SUNDAY, SEPT. 27

                            • FESTIVAL LATINO: Baton Rouge State Fairgrounds, 17200 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge. Enjoy authentic food from Puerto Rico, Cuba and Honduras as well as live entertainment at this festival that celebrates the local Hispanic culture. (225) 927-8700. festivallatinobr.com
                            • WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY,

                              SEPT. 30-OCT. 3

                              • HOLLYDAYS 2015: Baton Rouge River Center, 275 S. River Road, Baton Rouge. Shop till you drop at this annual event, which also showcases the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s community programs and mission-based initiatives. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. juniorleaguebr.org
                              • WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 30-OCT. 4

                                • ST. TAMMANY PARISH FAIR: 1304 N. Columbia St., Covington. Five days of fair events, including livestock and produce judging, pageants, parades, carnival rides, entertainment and a rodeo. (985) 892-8421. sttammanyparishfair.info

                                TANGIPAHOA PARISH FAIR: 400 Reid Ave., Amite. This parish fair dates back to 1888 and features five days of carnival rides, contests, food, parades and entertainment in the heart of Amite. tangipahoaparishfair.org

                                OCTOBER

                                FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 2-4

                                • GRETNA HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Downtown Gretna. Covering 25 blocks, with six stages of national and local entertainers, an international array of food, plus arts and crafts and rides, the Gretna Heritage Festival has grown in its 20 years to a major event on the West Bank. $20 daily, $15 in advance, $50 weekend pass. (504) 361-7748. gretnafest.com

                                SATURDAY, OCT. 3

                                • DENHAM ANTIQUE VILLAGE FALL FESTIVAL: Historic District and Antique Village, Denham Springs. More than 150 vendors will line Range Avenue for this fall fun time. The festival also features kids games, art exhibits and music at the Old Train Station. denhamspringsantiquedistrict.net
                                • SUNDAY, OCT. 4

                                  • SUGARFEST: West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave., Port Allen. This year marks 20 sweet years for the museum’s annual celebration of the sugar cane harvest. The event starts at 11 a.m. and includes music from Kenny Neal as well as cooking demonstrations, soap making and wood carving. westbatonrougemuseum.com
                                  • TUESDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 6-11

                                    • LIVINGSTON PARISH FAIR: 19125 Florida Blvd., Livingston. The 78th annual event includes a family night, rodeo queen contest, academic fun bowl and dog show. livingstonparishfair.org
                                    • THURSDAY-SATURDAY, OCT. 8-10

                                      • ZWOLLE TAMALE FIESTA: Fiesta Grounds, S. Main Street, Zwolle. One of the most unique titles of any festival, this North Louisiana event celebrates the Spanish and Indian heritage of the town. With entertainment, arts, crafts, food and contests, this fest has much to offer. $5. zwolletamalefiesta.com
                                      • FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS, OCT. 9-10, 16-17, 23-24

                                        • OKTOBERFEST: Rivertown Exhibition Hall, 415 Williams Blvd., Kenner. Presented by Deutsches Haus, this annual celebration of all things German takes place over three weekends in October. Food, music, races, contest and more are on tap. $6. (504) 522-8014. oktoberfestnola.com
                                        • FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 9-11

                                          • BRIDGE CITY GUMBO FESTIVAL: Angel Square, 1701 Bridge City Ave., Bridge City. Gumbo is cooked daily at the festival, with both seafood and chicken and sausage types to whet the appetite. Also on hand are other Louisiana dishes, music, rides, festival fun and some of the most interesting royal crowns in the state. $3. gumbo.olpsw.org
                                          • FESTIVALS ACADIENS ET CREOLES: Girard Park, 500 Girard Park Drive, Lafayette. Celebrating the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Acadians in South Louisiana, this international festival celebrates the heritage of the region with food, music, special events and activities just for kids. festivalsacadiens.com
                                          • LOUISIANA CATTLE FESTIVAL: Downtown Abbeville. This salute to the state’s cattle industry features pageants, contests, a livestock show, parades, street dancing and more. (337) 385-2397. facebook.com/louisianacattlefestival
                                          • LOUISIANA GUMBO FESTIVAL OF CHACKBAY: Chackbay-Choupic Fairgrounds, 326 La. 304, Chackbay. Gumbo is the name of the game at this event, sponsored by the Chackbay Volunteer Fire Department, with live music, other good food and rides. (985) 633-2828. lagumbofest.com
                                          • GENTILLY FEST: Pontchartrain Park, New Orleans. Experience the Gentilly area of New Orleans at this festival, which features live music across four stages and a Kids’ Village. gentillyfest.com
                                          • SATURDAY, OCT. 10

                                            • FALL FOR ART: Downtown Covington. Live performances, gallery openings, movie screenings and dining are the marks of this event sponsored by the St. Tammany Art Association. (985) 892-8650. sttammanyartassociation.org
                                            • SATURDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 10-11

                                              • CARNAVAL LATINO: French Quarter, New Orleans. The Latin heritage of New Orleans is celebrated in this festival of parades, music and food throughout the French Quarter in this “Celebration of the Americas.” (504) 528-8560. carnavallatinola.com
                                              • WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL: Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, 133 Mable Drive, Madisonville. This two-day event pays tribute to the hand-crafted boats of the Gulf Coast along the banks of the Tchefuncte River. Music, food, contests, children’s activities and lots of boats are on hand for the event. $10, $5 seniors, children and active military free. (985) 845-9200. woodenboatfest.org
                                              • ART ON THE BAYOU FESTIVAL: Jambalaya Park, 1015 E. Cornerview Street, Gonzales. The River Region Art Association spotlights awesome art at this two-day show. The festival also includes food booths, music and children’s activities. riverregionartassociation.org
                                              • THURSDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 15-18

                                                • INTERNATIONAL RICE FESTIVAL: Parkerson Avenue at Court Circle, Crowley. This festival is one of the oldest and largest agricultural festivals in the south. With food, music, parades and all things rice, this festival is a mainstay of the state’s fair calendar. ricefestival.com
                                                • FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 16-18

                                                  • CRESCENT CITY BLUES AND BBQ FESTIVAL: Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. The 10th annual salute to good music and food features a host of entertainment luminaries, plus an arts market. (504) 558-6100. jazzandheritage.org/blues-fest
                                                  • HARVEST FESTIVAL ON FALSE RIVER: Downtown New Roads. Two stages, two food courts, arts and crafts, and special attractions are part of this fifth annual Pointe Coupee Parish event. harvestfestivalonfalseriver.com
                                                  • KC INTERNATIONAL ACADIAN FESTIVAL: Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park, 57845 Foundry St., Plaquemine. Celebrating all things Acadian, this festival on the western side of the Mississippi River features food, rides, games and live entertainment. (225) 687-2061. acadianfestival.org
                                                  • ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH ANDOUILLE FESTIVAL: St. John Community Center, 2900 La. 51, LaPlace. Andouille will be the featured product in a host of great food at this annual River Parish event. From beauty queens to eating contests, as well as cooking competitions and carnival rides, the festival has much to offer. (985) 652-9569. andouillefestival.com
                                                  • VIOLET OYSTER FESTIVAL: Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 2621 Colonial Blvd., Violet. The delectable bivalve is the cause celebre at this annual function, with rides, music contests and a crafts fair. (504) 682-7070. olol-church.com/oyster_festival.htm
                                                  • SATURDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 17-18

                                                    • EXPERIENCE LOUISIANA FESTIVAL: LSU-Eunice, 2048 Johnson Highway, Eunice. Featuring the state’s diverse folklife is at the heart of this festival that includes music, musicians’ and artists’ villages, crafts, film and food. The national champion LSU-E Bengal baseball team will participate in an exhibition game Saturday. (337) 457-1776. experiencelouisiana.org
                                                    • TUESDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 20-25

                                                      • LOUISIANA COTTON FESTIVAL: North Side Civic Center, 704 N. Soileau St., Ville Platte. The crop that once was king is celebrated in a host of ways at this Evangeline Parish festival. Street dances, competitions of all sorts, carnival rides and live entertainment are just a part of this festival. The Tournoi, or tournament, in conjunction with festival, celebrates the ancient art of jousting where riders battle the seven evils of cotton: bollworm, boll weevil, flood, drought, rayon, nylon and silk. (337) 831-3340. louisianacottonfestival.com
                                                      • WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY, OCT. 21-24

                                                        • WASHINGTON PARISH FREE FAIR: Washington Parish Fairgrounds, 115 Main St., Franklinton. Billed as “the nation’s largest free fair,” this event features live music, a parade, a rodeo, rides, art shows and exhibitions. freefair.com
                                                        • THURSDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 22-25

                                                          • FRENCH FOOD FESTIVAL: Larose Civic Center, 307 E. 5th St., Larose. This Lafourche Parish festival celebrates south Louisiana food, music and more. (985) 693-7355. frenchfoodfest.com
                                                          • THURSDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 22-NOV. 1

                                                            • GREATER BATON ROUGE STATE FAIR: Greater Baton Rouge State Fairgrounds, 16072 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge. Midway, rides, food, contests, livestock shows and a wide assortment of events are on tap at this traditional state fair. General admission for anyone 48” or taller is $5. gbrsf.com
                                                            • THURSDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 22-NOV. 8

                                                              • STATE FAIR OF LOUISIANA: State Fairgrounds, 3701 Hudson Ave., Shreveport. Two weeks of live entertainment, carnival rides, rodeos and competitions are on tap at this north Louisiana event. $10 or $75 for a pass. statefairoflouisiana.com
                                                              • SATURDAY, OCT. 24

                                                                • SWEET DOUGH PIE FESTIVAL: St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 174 Church St., Grand Coteau. The history of this Acadiana town is celebrated in a festival with food, music, historic demonstrations and contests. (337) 662-3058. sweetdoughgc.com
                                                                • SATURDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 24-25

                                                                  ROUGAROU FEST: 7857 MAIN ST., HOUMA. FAMILY-FRIENDLY, THIS SPOOKY FESTIVAL CELEBRATES THE FOLKLORE OF THE BAYOUS AND RAISES FUNDS FOR THE SOUTH LOUISIANA WETLANDS DISCOVERY CENTER. MUSIC, EVENTS (A HALLOWEEN PARADE) AND MORE ARE ON TAP. (985) 580-7289. ROUGAROUFEST.ORG

                                                                • THE LITTLE ANGELS FOUNDATION FALL FESTIVAL: Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Ave., Gonzales. The nonprofit hosts its third annual car and bike show with live music, cash bar and dinner from Don’s Seafood Hut. thelittleangelsfoundation.org
                                                                • FRISCO FALL FEST: San Francisco Plantation, 2646 Highway 44, Garyville. More than 100 artists will display works from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in this event’s second year. Children can also enjoy a petting zoo and pony rides. (888) 322-1756. friscofest.com
                                                                • FRIDAY-SUNDAY, OCT. 30-NOV. 1

                                                                  • VOODOO MUSIC + ARTS EXPERIENCE: City Park, New Orleans. Three days of music, with food, arts markets and more draw thousands to the grasslands of City Park. $125 and up. (887) 569-7767. worshipthemusic.com
                                                                  • FRIDAY-SATURDAY, OCT. 30-31

                                                                    • BLACKPOT FESTIVAL AND COOKOFF: Vermilionville Historic Village, 300 Fisher Road, Lafayette. Take the weekend to camp in Lafayette and enjoy live music and whatever your campmates are cooking. The festival includes gravy, gumbo, cracklin, jambalaya and dessert cookoffs. $20 for Friday only, $30 for Saturday only, $50 for full festival ticket. blackpotfestival.com
                                                                    • SATURDAY, OCT. 31

                                                                      • DOWNTOWN KIWANIS PANCAKE DAY FESTIVAL: Pete Maravich Assembly Center, N. Stadium Road, Baton Rouge. The Kiwanis Club kicks off its 66th annual event at 6 a.m. After breakfast, enjoy a youth talent show and student art contest. brkiwanis.org
                                                                      • LOUISIANA BOOK FESTIVAL: Downtown Baton Rouge. Calling all bookworms! This free festival features authors from across the country, panels, food and music. louisianabookfestival.org
                                                                      • 2015 BATON ROUGE HALLOWEEN PARADE: Downtown Baton Rouge. 10/31 Consortium’s annual parade will feature the theme of “It’s Halloween, Witches!” and begins at St. Phillip and Government Street by the River Center. 1031consortium.com
                                                                      • NOVEMBER

                                                                        FRIDAY-SUNDAY, NOV. 6-8

                                                                        • HOLY GHOST CREOLE FESTIVAL: Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 747 N. Union Street, Opelousas. Enjoy Zydeco tunes from Lil Nate as well as Creole food in the 23rd annual iteration of the small-town festival. hgcatholic.org
                                                                        • SATURDAY-SUNDAY, NOV.7-8

                                                                          • ABBEVILLE GIANT OMELETTE CELEBRATION: Magdalen Square, Abbeville. Eggs? Yeah, Louisiana celebrates that, too. The annual Abbeville party features an egg-cracking contest and the preparation of a 5,000 egg omelette. giantomelette.org
                                                                          • LOUISIANA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: 46468 River Road, Hammond. Travel back in time to the 16th century where the atmosphere is adventurous and exciting and filled with turkey legs. The annual Renaissance festival features more than 600 vendors as well as a 50 shows and demonstrations daily. Also, turkey legs. The festival will take place every weekend through Dec. 13. larf.net
                                                                          • THURSDAY-SUNDAY, NOV.12-15

                                                                            • CRACKLIN FESTIVAL: 129 Park Street, Port Barre. For 30 years, this small town has been celebrating the crispy pork treat. The Cracklin Festival includes a cook-off, live music and regional artists. portbarrecracklinfestival.com
                                                                            • SATURDAY-SUNDAY, NOV.14-15

                                                                              • COVINGTON THREE RIVERS ART FESTIVAL: Downtown Covington. Enjoy works from 200 artists from 20 states in this free festival and juried art show. threeriversartfestival.com
                                                                              • Did we miss a festival? Drop us a line at red@theadvocate.com and keep us updated on upcoming fairs, festivals and events.