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Annual October Events in Texas

Updated on January 25, 2013

October celebrations in the Lone Star State offer something to please every passion.

Everything's bigger in the Lone Star State - including our October Festivals! Texas has some of the country's biggest celebrations in October, and nearly every weekend you can find a different city conjuring up new ways to celebrate. Whether you have a hankering for some freshly caught catfish, a desire to travel back in time, or you wish to stop and smell the roses, you can find a place to placate your passion.

For many years, Big Tex presided over the fun at the State Fair of Texas. He was destroyed in a fire on October 19, 2012.
For many years, Big Tex presided over the fun at the State Fair of Texas. He was destroyed in a fire on October 19, 2012. | Source

The State Fair of Texas

What: The Texas State Fair

Founded: 1866

When: Last week of September and the first three weeks of October

Where: Fair Park in Dallas, Texas

What is it? One of the biggest state fairs in the United States.

Every autumn the grounds of Fair Park in Dallas come alive with one of the biggest and most exciting state fairs in the nation. There's fun for the whole family. Enjoy live music at the Chevrolet Main Stage, sample fine cuisine from celebrity chefs at the Maytag Celebrity Kitchen, and check out 400 brand new automobiles at the annual Chevrolet Auto Show. Local agricultural enthusiasts show off their prize animals at the livestock shows, The kids will love the rides on the midway, featuring Texas Star, the largest ferris wheel in North America. Don't forget to stop by the Big Tex Choice Awards to sample the best fried food in Texas. The biggest draw of the fair each year is the annual football game between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners, held in the Cotton Bowl.

The Houston Italian Festival

What: The Houston Italian Festival

Founded: 1978

When: The second weekend in October

Where: On the grounds of the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas

What is it? A celebration of Italian culture and cuisine.

People of every ethnic background will revel in the delicious offerings of the Houston Italian Festival, which offers some of the best authentic Italian food in the state at the Taste of Italy Pavilion. Learn how to cook Pasta Primavera and take a class on how to appreciate fine Italian wine. You can take part in a grape stomping contest or join in the annual Bocce Tournament. Other entertainment includes live music and puppet shows for children.

The Harvest Moon Regatta

What: The Harvest Moon Regatta

Founded: 1986

When: The last weekend in October

Where: Lakewood Yacht Club, Galveston

What is it? One of the largest sailboat races in the United States

Ahoy, mates! The Harvest Moon Regatta is a 150 - mile yacht race that begins at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Galveston and ends in Port Aransas. Over 260 yachts take part in this race each year, which typically lasts about a day. All participating boats must be at least 27 feet long and powered only by sails.


The Texas Rose Festival

What: The Texas Rose Festival

Founded: 1933

When: The third weekend in October

Where: Downtown Tyler, Texas

What is it? A celebration of roses.

Everything's coming up roses in Tyler, and has been for generations as the city hosts its annual tribute to its most important industry. Festivities each year include art shows, flower shows and the coronation of the Queen of the Rose Festival. The highlight of the festival is the parade of dazzling floats followed by the Queen's Tea in Tyler Rose Garden. Visitors may also enjoy a trip to the Tyler Rose Museum.

The Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival

What: Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival

Founded: 1989

When: The second weekend in October

Where: Conroe, Texas

What is it? A fun family festival featuring fishing contests.

Conroe, Texas celebrates the catfish with this annual festival, which features live music on three stages, a wine area and a children's carnival. The highlight of the festival is the annual cat-fishing contest; participants turn in the catfish they have caught, and winners receive cash prizes.

Austin Film Festival

What: The Austin Film Festival

Founded: 1993

When: The third weekend in October

Where: Austin, Texas

What is it? A showcase for films and a conference for established and wannabe filmmakers.

Aspiring filmmakers and aficianados of innovative movies will find much to love in this eight day event, which features four days of workshops and over a week of showcases for films. Over 180 movies are presented each year, and sometimes the stars come out; Owen Wilson, Claire Danes, Ron Howard, Robert Altman, Russell Crowe, Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock are just a few of the famous names that have turned out for this event in the past. Panelists at conferences, workshops and round tables offer instruction on the film-making industry.

Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival

What: Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival

Founded: 1990

When: The last weekend in October

Where: The Marktplatz, Fredericksburg, Texas

What is it? A festival dedicated to food, wine, and fun.

This food festival focuses on the finest in local cuisine, beginning with a Sicilian Feast beginning on Thursday evening. On Friday, 50 specialty booths trot out their most delicious delicacies, while over 25 Texas wineries offer up their most potent libations. Live music plays throughout.

The ladies show their finery at the Texas Renaissance Festival
The ladies show their finery at the Texas Renaissance Festival | Source

Texas Renaissance Festival

What: Texas Renaissance Festival

Founded: 1974

When: Every weekend in October and November

Where: Todd Mission, Texas

What is it? A trip back in time to the Middle Ages

Lords and ladies look on and cheer as knights perform daring deeds of chivalry in this festival which pays tribute to the culture, food and clothing of the middle ages. Entertainers of different kinds offer demonstrations of falconry, music, weaponry, magic, and other amusements. Those wishing to relive the days of old may find appropriate garb or equipment in the shops of the many merchants on hand. Don't miss the jousting tournament!

Texas Rice Festival

What: Texas Rice Festival

Founded: 1969

When: The first weekend in October

Where: Winnie, Texas

What: A harvest festival honoring rice farming.

Outstanding cuisine and great live music characterize this tribute to the local rice farming industry. It's a week-long party featuring two parades, an antique car show, a rice cooking contest, livestock shows, street dances, and lots and lots of great cajun cooking. Come hungry.


Austin City Limits Music Festival

What: The Austin City Limits Music Festival

Founded: 2001

When: The second weekend in October

Where: Zilker Park, Austin, Texas

What: A music festival closely connected to legendary television show Austin City Limits.

Over 180 different music acts of all genres come from all over the nation each year to play at this legendary festival, which features entertainment on eight different stages. Although the music is the main attraction for this event, there is also an art market, a pavilion for sports fans and children's activities.

Use this map to locate the position of every festival

Dallas, Texas:
Dallas, TX, USA

get directions

The State Fair of Texas

Houston, Texas:
Houston, TX, USA

get directions

The Houston Italian Festival

Galveston, TX, USA

get directions

Harvest Moon Regatta

Tyler, Texas:
Tyler, TX, USA

get directions

Texas Rose Festival

Conroe, TX, USA

get directions

Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival

Austin, Texas:
Austin, TX, USA

get directions

Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Austin Film Festival

Winnie, Texas:
Winnie, TX, USA

get directions

Texas Rice Festival

Fredericksburg, Texas:
Fredericksburg, TX 78624, USA

get directions

Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival

Todd Mission, Texas:
Todd Mission, TX 77363, USA

get directions

Texas Renaissance Festival


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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Interesting hub! Too bad I don't live near Texas. Interesting time for a rose festival. Are they blooming in Texas in October?

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 

      6 years ago

      i knew about some of these events, but a few I just learned about here. Thanks for the info. I'll have to check out a few more fun things.


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