As autumn arrives, Texans can finally enjoy the smell the pumpkin spice, the feel of the cool air and the sense of community fall festivals bring.
Here are five must-visit fall festivals in Texas.
Plano Balloon Festival
When: Sept. 21 - 24
See a kaleidoscope of colorful hot-air balloons during this four-day event happening this weekend at Oak Point Park / Red Tail Pavilion, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX 75074. The festival, making its 42nd year, offers entertainment, kids activities, sky divers, a large variety of food, merchandise and handmade products.
The balloons will be in the park on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 7 a.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 3-12 years old and seniors 65 and older.
When: Oct. 6 - 8
Oktoberfest is a three-day festival that celebrates Fredericksburg’s German heritage with Oompah, sizzling bratwurst and the cries of Prosit. From Oct 6 – 8, people are invited to sing, toast and dance on the 43rd anniversary of the festival.
Oktoberfest takes place at Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg the first weekend of October, typically running from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $1 for children 7-12 and free for children six and under.
When: Oct. 13-15
Turkeyfest, an annual festival in Cuero the second weekend in October, is home to the iconic Great Gobbler Gallop turkey race. It also features a carnival and live music along with activities like a Turkey Trot 5k, Turkeyfest Parade, corn hole tournament, a BBQ cook-off, jalapeno eating contest, egg hunt and tractor pull. Purchase Turkeyfest tickets here.
“Pack your dancing boots because there’s always an impressive lineup of bands at Cuero Turkeyfest. When you need a break from swingin’ your hips, shop the arts and crafts market, sample fresh biscuits and cobbler at the Dutch oven and camp cooking demonstrations, and participate in the jalapeno-eating contest (if you dare),” the Cuero website says. “Kick off Saturday morning with the Turkey Trot 5K and take on the Guadalupe River in the afternoon canoe race. With lots of fun for the kids like a turkey egg hunt, a carnival, and a parade, the Cuero Turkeyfest is one of the best things to do in Cuero and fun for the entire family.”
Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival
When: Nov. 8 – 12
Started in 1994, the 30th annual birding festival showcases the many birds of the Rio Grande Valley, from South Padre Island to Laredo. Daily field trips, keynote speakers, workshops and presentations, large trade show, live education raptors, a silent auction, a student art contest are coming up at the largest annual event in Harlingen.
This five-day birding festival generates over 700 visitors to the city, and upwards of two million dollars to the local economy.
Dia De Los Muertos
Where: Port Isabel
In late October to early November, Port Isabel hosts its annual Day of the Dead celebration. The event features hands-on activities, food vendors, booths, presentations, a costume contest and street dancing with live music. City streets are decorated with skeletons and residents cycle, barbecue, picnic and fish to get into the spirit of the holiday.
There is no admission charge. For more information, call (956) 943-7602 or email email@example.com.