After a long, hot summer, cooler weather means it’s time to celebrate, and almost every town in Louisiana is ready to join the fun.

Local fairs and festivals crowd the calendar from now through Christmas, spotlighting every kind of food from omelets to tamales to seafood, pies and spices, sugar cane and peppers. Besides the bountiful harvest, local fairs honor our music, history, holidays and local industry. But most of all, the gatherings celebrate their communities and Louisiana’s unique ways of life.

september

SEPT. 19-20

  • MARTHAVILLE GOOD OLE DAYS FESTIVAL: Gospel singing on Friday night, family reunions Saturday. Children’s fun area, parade, great food, crafts and toys trade area, and a Wild Nashville country music show on Saturday night. Marthaville. www.natchitoches.net.
  • PEPPER FESTIVAL: 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. On the banks of Bayou Teche, St. Martinville.
  • ALLEN PARISH FAIR: September is “fair time” in Allen Parish. The music, rides and food booths are highlighted along with the stock show and rodeo. Allen Parish Fairgrounds, Oberlin. www.allenparish.com.

SEPT. 20-21

  • ST. THERESA BON TON FESTIVAL: Live entertainment, Louisiana seafood and barbecue dinners, bingo, raffle and pageant. Carlyss.

SEPT. 23-27

  • SABINE PARISH FAIR & FESTIVAL: The fair offers a livestock exhibit, a talent show, rodeo, carnival rides and games. Fairground Road, Many. www.toledobendlakecountry.com.

SEPT. 24-28

  • LOUISIANA SUGAR CANE FESTIVAL: Since 1937, the festival has been held annually in New Iberia. Kids enjoy the carnival with rides and games, while adults enjoy the fais-do-do street dancing to the great tunes of local bands. Activities include crowning of Queen Sugar, a bake-off with plenty of sweets, art show and boat parade. New Iberia. www.hisugar.org.

SEPT. 25-27

  • ALLIGATOR FESTIVAL: Live entertainment, a crafts show, poker run, local delicacies and amusement rides. West Bank Bridge Park, Luling. www.alligatorfestival.org.
  • BAKER BUFFALO FESTIVAL: Parade, food booths, entertainment, a boxing event, arts, crafts, games, carnival rides, a hot air balloon, a car show and talent show. Greenwood Park, Baker. www.cityofbakerla.com/buffalo.
  • CUT OFF YOUTH CENTER HURRICANE FESTIVAL: 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. Cut Off. www.cutoffyouthcenter.org.

SEPT. 26-27

  • BOGALUSA BLUES AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL: A lineup of blues musicians plus juried art, heritage education and Louisiana food. Cassidy Park, Bogalusa. www.bogalusablues.com.

SEPT. 26-28

  • PINE TREE FESTIVAL: 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. Walker High School.

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

SEPT. 30-OCT. 4

  • BEAUREGARD PARISH FAIR: The agricultural fair opens with a downtown parade and an evening pageant, with a carnival running throughout the weekend. Booths offering refreshments and arts and crafts from local vendors are featured. DeRidder. beauregardparishfair.vpweb.com.

october

OCT. 1-5

  • ST. TAMMANY PARISH FAIR: Exhibits, food, a livestock show, rodeo, live entertainment and a carnival. Covington. www.sttammanyparishfair.info.
  • TANGIPAHOA PARISH FAIR: Live entertainment, 4-H activities and displays, carnival rides, games, a gumbo cook-off; music, parade and food. Amite. www.tangipahoaparishfair.org.
  • WEST LOUISIANA FORESTRY FESTIVAL: Rides, shows, Forestry Festival Queen Pageant, 4-H Horse Show, 4-H Woodsman Skills Contest, West La. Forestry Festival Junior King/Queen Pageant, 4-H Livestock Show, Vernon Parish Senior Citizens Day and the Leesville Lions Club Rodeo. Food, exhibits and vendors. Vernon Parish Fairgrounds, Leesville, www.vppjla.com.

OCT. 3-4

  • ROBELINE HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Fair celebrates the village’s history and cultures of generations past. Music, food, crafts and a parade. Robeline. www.robelineheritage.org
  • OPELOUSAS SPICE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL: The City of Opelousas hosts the annual festival that features Cajun and Zydeco music, Creole and Cajun food, carnival rides, pageant, parade and more. Opelousas. www.opelousasspiceandmusicfestival.com.

OCT. 3-5

  • LECOMPTE PIE FESTIVAL: Pies, food and craft booths, entertainment, pageant, parade and children’s rides and games. Lecompte. www.asliceoflouisiana.net.

OCT. 3-8

  • GRETNA HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Seven stages in a 25-block area offering famous musical acts, along with carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, and delicious fresh local cuisine. Festival offers free shuttle, parking and pedestrian ferry to festival grounds area. Gretna. www.gretnafest.com.

OCT. 4-12

  • LIVINGSTON PARISH FAIR: The fair offers a variety of activities, food, carnival rides and fun. Parade kicks off the festivities on Oct. 4.. Livingston Fairgrounds. www.livingstonparishfair.org.

OCT. 7-11

  • LOUISIANA COTTON FESTIVAL: A dance with Cajun music, carnival, harvest Mass, a parade and a Le Tournoi competition featuring knights in armor on horseback. Ville Platte. www.louisianacottonfestival.com.

OCT. 10-12

  • FESTIVAL ACADIENS ET CREOLES: Celebrating the music, culture, food and heritage of southern Louisiana. Girard Park, Lafayette.www.festivalsacadiens.com.
  • LOUISIANA CATTLE FESTIVAL AND FAIR: Festival includes a livestock show, baby show, cooking contests, pageant, parade, live entertainment, street dancing, a “fais-do-do” and a street fair. Abbeville. www.louisianacattlefestival.org.
  • BRIDGE CITY GUMBO FESTIVAL: 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. Angel Square, Bridge City. www.bridgecitygumbofestival.org.
  • ST. PETER’S FISHERMEN’S FESTIVAL: Live music from local bands, fried fish platters, jambalaya/pastalaya, baked chicken dinners and more. Rides, crafts, cook-off, auction. Reserve. www.stpeterreserve.org.
  • ZWOLLE TAMALE FIESTA: This event celebrates locally-made tamales with food booths and a tamale eating contest. Other offerings include a street dance, parade, carnival, arts and crafts, a truck mud bog competition and arm wrestling contests. Zwolle Festival Grounds. www.zwolletamalefiesta.com.

OCT. 14-18

  • WASHINGTON PARISH FREE FAIR: 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. Franklinton. www.freefair.com.

OCT. 15-19

  • CALCASIEU CAMERON PARISH FAIR: Baked goods, fruit, vegetables, livestock and crafts are judged in contests and awarded prizes. Carnival, good food, livestock shows, live entertainment, pageants and wildlife exhibits. West Cal Arena, Sulphur. www.visitlakecharles.org.

OCT. 16-19

  • INTERNATIONAL RICE FESTIVAL: 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. Crowley. www.ricefestival.com.

OCT. 17-19

  • HARVEST FESTIVAL ON FALSE RIVER: Two stages with national and local musicians, two food courts of Louisiana cuisine, over 150 arts and craft vendors, special attractions, harvest festival queen pageant and a beer garden. New Roads. www.harvestfestivalonfalseriver.com.
  • ST. JOHN ANDOUILLE FESTIVAL: 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. LaPlace. www.andouillefestival.com.
  • LOUISIANA GUMBO FESTIVAL OF CHACKBAY: Cajun food, music and dancing, carnival midway rides, firemen’s parade and live auction. Thibodaux. www.lagumbofest.com.
  • RAGLEY HERITAGE & TIMBER FESTIVAL: This family festival celebrates the heritage of the timber industry with arts and crafts, Louisiana food and music, rides and games for the children. Ragley. www.visitlakecharles.org.

OCT. 18

  • OLLA DOWNTOWN HOMECOMING: Food, friends, family and entertainment. Sack races, face painting and pie throwing are just some of the activities for children. Old-fashioned “bed races” for the adults. Olla. www.townofolla.com.

OCT. 23-26

OCT. 23-NOV. 2

  • GREATER BATON ROUGE STATE FAIR: Fair offers a 40-ride carnival, children’s activities, agricultural exhibits and nightly live entertainment. Baton Rouge State Fairgrounds. www.gbrsf.com.

OCT. 23-NOV. 9

  • STATE FAIR OF LOUISIANA: The official state fair for Louisiana is host to the largest livestock show and carnival in the state. Activities include a livestock sale, competitive and educational exhibits, agricultural displays, a championship rodeo, carnival rides and games, a zoo, numerous attractions and musical entertainment, exhibits and concessions, a cheerleading competition and more. Shreveport. www.statefairoflouisiana.com.

OCT. 25

  • ROUGAROU FEST: The Rougarou Fest is a family-friendly festival that 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 kid’s activities. Houma. www.rougaroufest.org.

OCT. 30-NOV. 2

  • SABINE FREE STATE FESTIVAL: Activities in the downtown square include a Western shootout, games, a barbecue cook-off, a woodsmen contest, an antique car show, a trail ride, a 5K run and free state cross-country meet, pioneer demonstrations and many children’s activities, a motorcycle poker run, live music, arts and crafts, food booths, fireworks, a treasure hunt, a parade and a beauty pageant. Florien. www.toledo-bend.com.

OCT. 31-NOV. 2

  • LOUISIANA SWINE FESTIVAL: This festival offers a full midway with rides for all ages, a parade, a pageant, and Louisiana music. Highlights include a hog-calling contest and a greased pig chase and pork cooked many different ways. Basile. www.laswinefestival.com.

OCT. 31-NOV. 2

  • LOUISIANA TOURNOI DE LA 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. Ville Platte. www.louisianatournoi.com.
  • ovember

NOVEMBER WEEKENDS

  • LOUISIANA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: 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. Hammond. www.la-renfest.com.

NOV. 1 AND 2

  • ABBEVILLE’S GIANT OMELETTE CELEBRATION: 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. Magdalen Square, Historic Downtown Abbeville, www.giantomelette.org.

NOV. 6-9

  • PORT BARRE LIONS CLUB CRACKLIN FESTIVAL: 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. Port Barre Veterans Memorial Park. www.portbarrecracklinfestival.com.

NOV. 7-9

  • LOUISIANA PECAN FESTIVAL: A parade, live music, contest, fireworks and the Queen’s Ball. Colfax. www.lapecanfestival.com.

NOV. 8

  • ATCHAFALAYA BASIN FESTIVAL: 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, great food, arts and crafts, motorcycle poker run and children’s games. Henry Guidry Memorial Park, Henderson. www.atchafalayabasinfestival.org.

NOV. 8

  • THIBODAUXVILLE FALL FESTIVAL: The arts, crafts and music festival is held the second Saturday of November each year in downtown Thibodaux, Louisiana. Visitors will enjoy the typical festival including the Thibodeauville Duck Race in Bayou Lafourche and a car show. Thibodaux. www.thibodauxchamber.com.

NOV. 15

  • RAYNE FROG FESTIVAL: Signature events like frog racing and jumping, live entertainment, and an arts and crafts show. Gossen Memorial Park, Rayne. www.raynefrogfestival.com.

NOV. 14-15

  • COVINGTON THREE RIVERS ART FESTIVAL: Two hundred juried artists from 25 states, photography, paintings, glass, pottery, jewelry, metalwork, woodwork, fiber and more. Attractions Includes a music stage, food court, children’s performing stage, student art exhibit, children’s discovery area, and 5k and 1 mile race. Covington. www.threeriversartfestival.com.

NOV. 14-16

  • RIVER PARISHES FALL FESTIVAL: Annual fall festival featuring live music all weekend. Great food featuring the Monster soft shell crab po-boy. Craft show, rides and family fun. Held at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Norco. www.sacredheartschoolnorco.org.

NOV. 29, DEC. 6, DEC. 13

  • FALL HARVEST FESTIVAL: On the three Saturdays following Thanksgiving Day each year. Come pick out your Christmas tree and enjoy old-time syrup cooking demonstrations, hay rides, music, arts and crafts, ole biscuit making and a petting zoo. Grant. www.grantchristmastreefarm.com.

december

DECEMBER

  • CHRISTMAS NEW ORLEANS STYLE: A monthlong slate of holiday celebrating events centered on New Orleans restaurants, historic properties and New Orleans City Park. www.fqfi.org.

DEC. 5-6

  • SULPHUR CHRISTMAS UNDER THE OAKS: Rides, food, music, pageant and crafts. Sulphur. Henning Cultural Center. www.sulphur.org.

DEC. 6

  • OZONE CAMELLIA FESTIVAL: Camellia blooms and artwork are entered for judging. A variety of camellia plants are available for purchase. The Camellia Queen is crowned and with her court is presented at an evening ball and dinner dance. Slidell.

DEC. 6-7

  • LOUISIANA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: 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. Hammond. www.la-renfest.com.

DEC. 6-24

  • REFLECTIONS OF THE SEASON: Christmas light display on the grounds of the West Baton Rouge Tourist Information and Conference Center. Enjoy wagon rides, ice fishing, snow nights, decorated holiday displays, crafts and Santa and his elves. Port Allen. www.westbatonrouge.net.

DEC. 7

  • PLAQUEMINE PARISH FAIR & ORANGE FESTIVAL: One of the oldest and most unique festivals in the state offers a variety of games, souvenirs, duck calling, oyster shucking and an orange-peeling contest. Carnival rides, continuous live music and food. Fort Jackson, Buras. www.orangefestival.com.

DEC. 12 AND 13

  • COTTONPORT CHRISTMAS ON THE BAYOU: Christmas parade winds along picturesque Bayou Rouge through downtown Cottonport. Christmas goodies abound and fireworks light up the night sky as thousands of visitors party along the banks of the bayou. Cottonport.
  • Source: Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals.

    Editors note: This story was changed Sept. 23, 2014, to remove the Oak Alley Fall Arts & Crafts Festival, which has been cancelled.