ASCENSION HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL: Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Road, Gonzales. Returning after a hiatus, the fest includes balloon glows, entertainment, car show, food, competitions, carnival rides and activities. $5.

BEST OF THE BAYOU FESTIVAL: 7856 Main St., downtown Houma. Two-day, two-stage festival of live music, food and activities.


ALLIGATOR FESTIVAL: West Bank Bridge Park, Interstate 310 and River Road, 13825 River Road, Luling. Food, drinks, rides and music are the hallmarks of this St. Charles Parish festival, plus a chance to pet baby alligators and to view arts and crafts.

HURRICANE FESTIVAL: Cut Off Youth Center, 205 W. 79th St., Cut Off. Food, music rides and fun for all ages await at this Lafourche Parish Festival. (985) 632-7616.

LOUISIANA SUGAR CANE FESTIVAL: Various locations in New Iberia, including Bouligny Plaza, Cyr Gates Community Center at 300 Parkview Drive and Pepperplex at 607 Sucrose Drive. This “sweet” festival celebrates 76 years with rides, livestock show, pageants, parades, fireworks and contests that stretch across the city. Thursday is Farm Fest at Shadows-on-the-Teche. (337) 369-9323.

SABINE PARISH FAIR AND RODEO: Fairgrounds Road, Many. Weeklong family festival near Toldeo Bend includes music, food, rides, a rodeo and livestock show. (317) 471-9145.


NOLA ON TAP: City Park Festival Grounds, Friedrichs Avenue, New Orleans. Beer fest includes music, more than 400 local, national and home-brewed beer, vendors and games. $5 and up.


FRIED CHICKEN FESTIVAL: Woldenberg Park, New Orleans. The festival moves and expands to two days in order to celebrate the quintessential southern dish, with eating and cooking contests and live entertainment.


TINSEL AND TREASURES: Cajundome Convention Center, Lafayette. The 24th annual market features a variety of exhibitors selling jewelry, food and other gifts.