With summer drawing to a close, it’s time to start shifting gears into pumpkin spice, cozy sweater, and horror movie mode. Although autumn doesn’t usually bring cooler weather to our state, that doesn’t stop us from getting in the spirit regardless. Here are 11 small-town Texas fall festivals that can’t be missed this year.
1. Washington County Fair (Brenham - September 14 to September 22)
This is the oldest fair in the entire state, having been around since 1868. With a rodeo, carnival, food, concerts, livestock shows, contests, theme days, and more, it's the perfect way to ring in the season. Not to mention you'll be only minutes away from a scoop of delicious Blue Bell! The fair is located at 1305 East Blue Bell Rd, Suite 110, Brenham, TX 77833.
2. Hogeye Festival (Elgin - October 27)
Featuring a BBQ cook-off, handmade arts + crafts, a car show, live music, concessions, a carnival, talent show, children's activities, and more, Hogeye Festival is free for everyone. It promises to be great fun for the whole family! The festivities go down at 109 Depot Street, Elgin TX 78621.
3. Festival of Pumpkins (Paris - October 27)
The annual Festival of Pumpkins is anticipated by all who reside in this town of 25,000. Come wearing your best costume, show off your pumpkin-decorating skills for a chance to win some cash, and peruse the countless vendors selling everything from jewelry to art. This feel-good celebration makes autumn even more heartwarming than it already is. You'll find the event at 300 S Main St, Paris, TX 75460.
4. Cuero Turkeyfest (Cuero - October 12 to October 14)
Cuero proudly refers to itself as the "Turkey Capital of the World," and this festival only serves to solidify that title. It's three days jam-packed with live music, a parade, cook-off, 5K run featuring a real bird, and carnival. The town is also known for random street dances, so grab a partner and get to steppin'! (before refueling with a giant turkey leg, of course).
5. Cajun Festival (Medina Lake - September 22)
It all started in 1981 with the first annual Great Gumbo Cook-Off, which became a hit in no time and quickly expanded into a full-blown festival with music, food, and dancing. The party starts at Park Rd. 37 and 15th St. W Lakehills, TX 78063, so be there or be square!
6. Texas Renaissance Festival (Todd Mission - September 29 to November 25)
With how much recognition RenFest has accrued, it might come as a surprise that Todd Mission is home to a mere 100 people. That number multiplies over tenfold during autumn, when tourists from all over the country flock here to be transported back to the Dark Ages. Watch a jousting match, sample foods from all around the world, and try your hand at knife or star throwing. There's so much to see and do at this timeless festival! It's located at 21778 FM 1774, Todd Mission, TX 77363.
7. Oktoberfest (Fredericksburg - October 5 to October 7)
There are plenty of Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the state, but Fredericksburg's is by far one of the best. It's been around for nearly 40 years and features music, beer, arts + crafts, a domino tournament, chicken dance, and Kinder Park for the little ones. All the festivities will take place in the heart of downtown.
8. Scarecrow Festival (Chappell Hill - October 13 to October 14)
The people of Chappell Hill have been looking forward to the Scarecrow Festival for over 40 years, and this autumn is no exception. With vendors, live music, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, and - of course - scarecrows of all shapes and sizes, it's guaranteed to be an absolute blast for all in attendance. The festival will take place in historic downtown.
9. Floydada Punkin Days (Floydada - October 13)
Known as the Pumpkin Capital of the entire country, this tiny Texas town has nearly 2,000 acres solely dedicated to growing the orange squash. When harvest time comes around, Floydada citizens know how to celebrate. Arts + crafts, vendors, live music, cook-offs, a 5K, and a classic car show all come together for a weekend you won't soon forget. There's a little something for everyone here! The festival is located at 105 South 5th Street, Floydada, TX 79235.
10. Kaufman Scarecrow Festival (Kaufman - October 26 to October 27)
People of all ages will delight in this charming harvest festival with a parade, vendors, and street performers like magicians and circus acts. Located in Kaufman's historic downtown square, this is small-town Texas at its very finest.
11. Moody Cotton Harvest Festival (Moody - October 20)
Cotton plays a huge role in all of our lives, so why not spend a day honoring it? The people of Moody do just that with a parade, vendors, pie contest, and live music. Head on over to downtown to partake in the fun!
Have you been to any of these fall festivals? Are there any other autumn celebrations in small-town Texas that don’t get enough recognition?