October Events and Festivals in Texas

State Fair of Texas

​​​October is one of the best months to visit the Lone Star State. Not only is the weather cool and comfortable, but a variety of events and festivals in Texas are scheduled for most every weekend in October. So pick a recommended festival below that appeals to you and start planning your trip to the great state of Texas.         

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    You can’t call yourself a true Texan if you haven’t been to this festival in Texas. Starting in 1886 and running annually from late September to late October, the State Fair of Texas is the largest fair and stock show in the state. During the nearly monthlong event, everything from live music and carnival rides to good eats and art shows are offered. Of course, the highlight of the fair is the annual Texas–Oklahoma football game. The fair is held in Dallas at Fair Park.

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    Since 1978, the Houston Italian Festival has celebrated Italian heritage, culture, food, and romance. It has now grown to be the largest ethnic festival in Houston. The festival features live entertainment, bocce ball, a grape stomp, wine and beer tasting, a pasta-eating contest, food, and more. Proceeds support the Italian Cultural and Community Center, the Italian language school, scholarships, and cultural events.

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    Harvest Moon Regatta

    Staged between Galveston and Port Aransas, the Harvest Moon Regatta is one of the largest port-to-port sailboat races in North America. Every year, more than 200 participants sail overnight under October’s full moon. Lakewood Yacht Club sponsors this annual event, which started in 1987.

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    Started in 1933, the Texas Rose Festival has become part of the fabric of life in Tyler. The Rose Parade is just part of the fun, which also includes the Coronation Ball, the Roses in the Park Concert, and the Rose Show featuring more than 7,000 rose blooms.” ​Don't forget to visit the Rose Museum while visiting the “Rose Capital of the World.”

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    You may think you’re in Louisiana, but this festival is actually in Texas—Conroe, Texas, to be exact. At the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, you can try great Cajun food vendors cooking up boudain, alligator, jambalaya, étouffée, crawfish pie, and, of course, plenty of catfish. The festival also features arts and crafts vendors, a carnival, exhibits, and some foot-tapping Cajun and Texas musical artists on three stages.

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    In addition to screening more than 150 big-budget and independent films, the Austin Film Festival’s goal is to honor the writer as the heart of the creative process in filmmaking. Both amateur and professional screenwriters gather for the four-day screenwriters' conference featuring internationally known writers, directors, actors, and producers. Past attendees include Joel and Ethan Coen, Robert Altman, Wes Anderson, and Oliver Stone.

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    The annual Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest has been held in downtown Fredericksburg since 1990. The festival includes food and wine sampling, an auction, games, and live entertainment—all set in this quaint Hill Country community.

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    Held in Madisonville—known as Texas’ mushroom capital—the Texas Mushroom Festival features mushroom-growing demonstrations, beer and wine tasting, a car show, children's activities, a 5K run, and live music. You can also enter contests for cooking, photography, and art. The gala dinner is especially delightful with a champagne social, four-course meal with Texas wine pairings, a live auction, and live music.

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    Take a trip back to the 16th century at the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission. With hundreds of daily performances, arts and crafts shops, food and beverage shops, nightly fireworks, and costumed characters strolling the grounds, it’s considered the country’s largest Renaissance festival. Although it’s not technically an "Oktoberfest," the opening weekend of the Renaissance festival has an Oktoberfest theme, plus the festival lasts almost the entire month of October (and nearly all of November). In addition to the Oktoberfest theme, each following weekend has an individual theme. The event began in 1974 and now draws more than half a million guests annually.

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    This festival in Texas is based in the Czech and German settlement of Flatonia and has been held annually since 1973. Czhilispiel draws some of the best chili and barbecue cook-off teams from around the state. This fun event also features a beard contest, pie-baking contest, parade, carnival, a 5K, beer garden, car and truck show, and live music.

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    Since 1969, the Texas Rice Festival has been held in Winnie every October to celebrate the harvest of the rice crop. The event features food, a carnival, car show, livestock and horse show, arts and crafts, and live music from top Texas and Nashville entertainers.

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    Held each fall in Bryan, the Texas Reds Festival is an ode to red wine and steak. With more than 20 wineries participating, this steak and wine festival features wine tasting, a steak cook-off, live entertainment, a KidZone, and more. Started in 2007, the Texas Reds Festival also showcases the arts and historic downtown in Bryan. Although tickets must be purchased for steak and wine, there is no admission fee to the Texas Reds Festival, qualifying it as one of Texas' best free festivals.

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    One of the largest and most popular music festivals in Texas, as well as in the country, the Austin City Limits Festival features more than 130 performing acts offering a mix of music from various genres. The event takes place over two weekends in Zilker Park, with late-night concerts at smaller venues around Texas’ capital city.