When there’s this much to do in Texas during fall, it can feel “as busy as a one-legged man at a butt-kicking convention”, as Texans tend to say.
Between tailgate parties and shopping for your fall wardrobe, consider these five themes for fall festivals around the state.
Most require an empty stomach, some cash and appropriate footwear (boots will do just fine). So go on, stay busy this fall — “as busy as a one-eyed dog in a smokehouse”.
1. Beer Festivals
Depending how far you want to drive, or where you live, there’s an Oktoberfest to fit every personality. The Island Oktoberfest (Oct. 23-24) is on the Galveston coast , where there will be live music, German food, beer and free admission. Or, there’s AustOberfest Oct. 17 in Austin, where you can bowl with beer in hand. A Czech polka band will get you in the spirit, as will the sausage tasting. Tickets are $50 at the door. And then there’s Wurstfest Nov. 6-15 in New Braunfels. They call it a 10-day salute to sausage, dedicated to the Bavarian culture with entertainment, carnival rides and games.
2. Texas Book Festival
Books, you say? A book festival? I’ll be there with bells on.
The 20th anniversary of the Texas Book Festival is coming up Oct. 17-18 at the state Capitol. The festival is a must-read for lovers of the written word, which I’m thinking is you, dear reader. With 250 famous authors and 20 venues across the grounds with 80 exhibits, the Texas Book Festival is free and open to the public and is considered one of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country. You can meet authors, chow on food truck fare and meet other inveterate readers. Also, consider the Lone Star Storytelling Festival in Frisco.
3. Gulf Coast International Boat Regatta
The Gulf Coast International Boat Regatta is back and ready to paddle into your heart. The Hong Kong style BuK dragon boats are powered (sometimes) by complete novices to the sport. Yes, you too can paddle a 40-foot dragon boat if you so desire, or be the rhythm drummer. Your choice. Go to watch, play or enjoy the Asian culture Houston has to offer in nearby Sugar Land on Oct. 24-25. There’s also a similar festival in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
4. Great American Peanut Butter Festival
Texans never tire of “Everything’s bigger in Texas”. Well, the city of Grand Saline wanted to prove it in 2010 when it set the world record for the largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich, weighing in at 1,342 pounds. At the annual Great American Peanut Butter Festival in November, there’s plenty of peanuts and peanut butter to enjoy. Don’t miss the peanut butter pancakes or the peanut butter sandwich-eating contest.
5. Texas Rose Festival
“Stop and smell the roses,” they say. Now there’s no excuse not to if you choose to spend the weekend at the Texas Rose Festival Oct. 15-18 in Tyler, a tradition since 1933. Steeped in history, the pageant queens are all covered in beautiful roses and flowers. The floats could rival the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Witness the Texas Rose Festival’s endless beauty during the parade, take a garden tour or sit down for tea time and art shows.