As the blistering summer nears its conclusion, the people of Louisiana venture out of the air conditioning and check out a formidable lineup of fall festivals, concerts and fairs. Here’s a guide to everything happening this year, from the always hilarious Hell Yes Fest to a particularly stacked lineup at Voodoo Fest.
The Myrtles Halloween Extravaganza
Every Fri. - Sun. in October & Oct. 31 | The Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville
Just in time for Halloween, be prepared to be spooked at The Myrtles Plantation home, which has been dubbed one of America’s most haunted. Take a mystery tour of this 220-year old mansion, which is a window into the Antebellum South.
Hell Yes Fest
Now until Oct. 16 | Various Locations
This festival features a bevy of local and national acts performing in tons of venues, many of which don't often host comedy. Headliners include recent DNC speaker Sarah Silverman, Comedy Central's Nick Swardson, Cameron Esposito, Ben Gleib and more.
Kenner Wine & Food Event
Oct. 13 |Chateau Golf & Country Club, Kenner
Indulge on a selection of over 100 wines and food from more than 20 local restaurants at the 6th annual Kenner Wine & Food Event, all while enjoying music by Groovy 7. There will also be discounts on wine for purchase, a photo booth, cigar bar and silent auction, and proceeds go to help the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.
West Jeff Family Fest
Oct. 14-15 | West Jefferson Medical Center, Marrero
This 7th annual free festival has food and music as well as a car show and a fun run/walk, all for the benefit of the West Jefferson Cancer Center. There will be various amusement rides and games, and even a kids zone with raffles and a costume contest.
Southern Garden Symposium
Oct. 14-15 | St. Francisville
The 28th annual Southern Garden Symposium and Workshops is an event perfectly fitted for any garden enthusiast. The festival emphasizes Southern elegance and hospitality, as well as providing gardening inspiration.
Bridge City Gumbo Festival
Oct. 14-16 | Holy Guardian Angels Church, Bridge City
Carnival rides, music, art and gallons upon gallons of Bridge City’s world famous gumbo are the highlights of this annual fest.
Violet Oyster Festival
Oct. 14-16 | 2621 Colonial Boulevard, Violet
On the grounds of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, this festival features freshly shucked oysters from the waters of St. Bernard, served just about any way, from fried to in a fritter. There will also be music, rides, games and more food.
Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival
Oct. 14-16 | Lafayette Square Park
This festival combines Southern food and Southern music. Enjoy all manner of smoked meats from a variety of vendors while grooving to the sounds of local and national blues and roots acts.
Oct. 14-16 | Thomas F. Daley Memorial Park, LaPlace
In its 43rd year, this fest continues to celebrate Louisiana's famous sausage with music, crafts, a “dang douille” eating contest and a bevy of different versions of andouille.
Louisiana Gumbo Festival of Chackbay
Oct. 14-16 | Chackbay Festival Grounds, Chackbay
This festival aims to compete with Bridge City’s Gumbo Fest with a full schedule of music, cooking demonstrations, a parade along Highway 304, and, of course, plenty of gumbo for all.
Rise Haunted House & Zombie Paintball
October 14, 15, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 & 31 | 10342 Hwy 442, Tickfaw
Join the undead as you wander around an old abandoned (and haunted) bed and breakfast, evil research lab and creepy cemetery, or play paintball with zombies. They’re thirsty for blood and they’re following you.
Oct. 15 | Convention Center Boulevard
In its 18th year, this celebration of New Orleans’ Latino heritage will include a parade, salsa and mambo music, and a bevy of authentic Latin food from local vendors.
Anba Dlo Halloween Festival and Water Symposium
Oct. 15 | New Orleans Healing Center
This free annual festival is all about water. A parade, dancing, live music, art installations and food accompany educational messages about regional and local water issues.
Old Farmer’s Day
Oct. 15-16 | Brunett Farms, 56136 Loranger Rd., Loranger
Old Farmer’s Day is a tribute to how folks used to live in simpler times, and includes events such as a hog butchering, sheep shearing, sugar cane grinding, log loading and split rail fence building.
Oct. 16 | Audubon Zoo
Enjoy traditional Latin cuisine and children’s activities as the Audubon Zoo celebrates Latin Culture.
Washington Parish Free Fair
Oct. 19-22 | Washington Parish Fairgrounds, Franklinton
A rodeo and a parade are just the highlights of this classic fair, which also features food, livestock exhibitions and flower exhibits.
International Rice Festival
Oct. 20-23 | Rice Festival Grounds, Crowley
This festival features two stages of music and tons of Cajun cooking, along with a motorcycle ride and the crowning of the rice queen.
Boo at the Zoo
Oct. 21-22 & 28-29 | Audubon Zoo
The zoo’s Halloween party is targeted to kids 12 and younger. Expect not-too-spooky attractions like a ghost train and trick or treating.
Vintage Market Days
Oct. 21-23 | Florida Parishes Arena, Amite
Similar to a flea market only better, Vintage Market Days is a chance to shop for everything from art and antiques to home decor and clothing in a covered open-air market. There is also food and a costume contest.
Sweet Dough Pie Festival
Oct. 22 | St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Grand Coteau
This festival celebrates Grand Coteau’s signature sweet dessert with games and live music, as well as a sweet dough pie contest.
Experience Louisiana Festival
Oct. 22-23 | 2048 Johnson Hwy., Eunice
Celebrating the enduring culture of our state, this event includes music, cuisine and traditional crafts from across Louisiana.
Greater Baton Rouge State Fair
Oct. 27-Nov. 6 | 16072 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge
This sprawling fair includes classic 4H livestock events, midway rides, fried food, and multiple stages of music and entertainment. Admission is free for children.
State Fair of Louisiana
Oct. 27-Nov.13 | Louisiana State Fairgrounds, Shreveport
Louisiana’s biggest fair features daily free music, classic fair food, and tons of livestock and midway rides.
Brews & Boos
Oct. 28 (Rain date Oct. 29) | City Park
Come celebrate Halloween in City Park with the festively scary Brews & Boos event. Put on your Halloween finest for the costume contest, and enjoy snacks, an open beer bar, Jell-O shots, and all the rides you can handle, including their famous “Disco Carousel.” Tickets are $30.
French Food Festival
Oct. 28 - 30 | Larose Regional Park, Larose
Say oui to the 43rd annual French Food Fest with live music and dancing, Cajun and French food galore, a carnival midway, boat-building, cooking demos, rides, games, and all sorts of French and Cajun culture and heritage. There’s even overnight camping if you reserve in advance. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Louisiana Book Festival
Oct. 29 | State Library of Louisiana, Baton Rouge
Writers from around the state and country congregate at the State Library and surrounding areas for live readings, along with cooking demonstrations and crafts.
Yellow Leaf Arts Festival
Oct. 29-30 | Parker Park, St. Francisville
Located in the quaint town of St. Francisville, the Yellow Leaf Festival is a celebration of music, crafts and home-grown food. With over 55 vendors, it is still a relaxing, family-friendly festival.
Yellow Rails and Rice Festival
Nov. 2-6 | Hampton Inn & Suites, Jennings
This festival educates all comers about the importance of wetlands, with local farmers holding information workshops to promote conservation of these unique ecosystems.
Antique Trade Days & Arts and Craft Fair
Nov. 4-6 | Downtown Commuter Parking Lot, Ponchatoula
Come and see what Ponchatoula has to offer at this great downtown fair with food, crafts and a good time for all.
Fall Swamp Pop Music Festival
Nov. 4-6 | Hidden Oaks Campground, Hammond
Enjoy music the whole weekend while camping out. Musicians like Mike & Steve Broussard & Nite Train and The Brad Sapia Band will keep the campground rockin’.
The Husser/Wilmer 15 Mile Yard Sale
Nov. 5 | Hwy 445, Amite
There is sure to be something for everyone at the 15-Mile Yard Sale, with miles and miles of treasure to buy. In addition to items that would make the American Pickers jealous, local businesses will also be holding sidewalk sales and cooking up food for purchase as well.
Louisiana Renaissance Festival
Nov. 5, 6 12, 13, 19, 25, 26 & 27 | 46468 River Road, Hammond
Visit Ren Fest’s own “Village of Albright” with more than 600 vendors, entertainers and educators presenting you with plenty of 16th century fun. Eat, drink and be medieval!
Bayou Beer Fest
Nov. 12 | Southdown Plantation, Houma
The 4th annual Bayou Beer Fest offers up hundreds of craft beers from around the world, to be accompanied by great food and live musical entertainment from the likes of Lost Bayou Ramblers and Nonc Nu and the Wild Matous. It’s all for a good cause, as the fest raises money to support the armed forces.
Nov. 20 | Lafreniere Park, Metairie
This festival, where “pets bring their people”, attracted 20,000 people last year. The festival is run by the Jefferson Parish SPCA and is centered around pet adoption; 82 pets found homes last year.