Fall seems to be a favorite season for so many people. Some love the more temperate weather and the colored foliage; some enjoy the pumpkins, scarecrows and other Halloween decor that starts to appear everywhere; others just love the final relaxing stretch before the more hectic holiday season begins.
I really like all those things, but what I most look forward to in Fall is the food festivals that occur across Texas. Of course, we have great foodie events happening all year long, but this is the season for some of my favorites. It’s time to celebrate bacon and rice and chili and nuts and more – and I can’t wait!
Are you ready for a break from pumpkin-flavored everything? Then, check out these upcoming fall food festivals:
Texas Rice Festival Oct 5-8 | Winnie
An annual harvest celebration, which honors rice farming as a major economic activity in Southeast Texas.
Featured food includes many rice dishes and flavors of Cajun cuisine: rice balls, gumbo, étouffée, and boudain. Activities: a carnival, plenty of live music, livestock shows, art exhibits, antique cars, a BBQ cook off, and a rice cooking contest. Website.
Floresville Peanut Festival Oct 10-14 | Floresville
Floresville celebrates its Peanut Capital of Texas Peanut title with this fun fest. Featured foods include peanut brittle, homemade peanut butter, peanut cookies, roasted peanuts (shelled and salted), pies and ice cream. Activites: Live music, a street dance, parades, a beer garden, and arts and crafts vendors. Website.
Houston Italian Festival Oct 12-15 | Houston
Festa Italiana celebrates Italian culture which, naturally, means plenty of food. Featured treats include all the Italian specialties, like Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna, Chicken Marsala, Sausage on a stick, and of course, pasta. For dessert, cannoli, gelato, Italian ice and more! Activities include live performances by the Houston International Folk Dancing group, the Tarantellas Italian Folk dance group, and the nation’s top Italian tenor Aaron Caruso, Italian cooking and language classes, pasta eating contests, grape stomps, and a Bocce ball tournament. Website.
Bacon Bash Texas Oct. 21 | Cranfills Gap
Their slogan is “Bigger, Badder, Baconier”. 50 cook-off teams bring their best to see who makes the most delicious bacon dish. Taste bacon apps, bacon entrees, bacon desserts, and even bacon beverages! Then, enjoy some great live bands and think about more bacon. Website.
… and if a “Bacon Fest” has an opposite, there’s this one two hours away:
Texas Veggie Fair Oct. 21 | Dallas
This festival focuses on good health, protecting the environment, and animal welfare through a plant-based diet. Featured foods include vegetarian and vegan fare from great local chefs and food trucks. Curious carnivores are welcome! Activities: live music, nationally-renowned speakers, Yoga classes, fun activities for kids. Website.
Freight Train Food Truck Festival Oct. 21 | Tromball
This festival brings you “meals on wheels” from thirty fantastic Houston food trucks. Activities include live music performances, shopping, a kid zone and more. Facebook page.
Seguin PecanFest Oct 27-29 | Seguin
The Seguin community annually produces over three million pounds of pecans *and* it’s the home of the World’s Largest Pecan. So, it’s kind of a given that they’d host an event celebrating their favorite nut. The whole city gets involved, from restaurants and pubs to local attractions. Featured foods include anything containing pecans: pies, cakes, ice cream, savory items too. Activities: live music, pub crawl, parade, a pumpkin patch, a hat parade, street dances, and ghost tours. Website.
Czhilispiel Oct. 27-29 | Flatonia
This long-running chili, BBQ and music fest gets its flavor from the area’s Czech and German heritage (thus the spelling of “czhili”) and attracts some of the biggest and best competitive chefs in the country. Featured foods are – obviously – chili and BBQ. But there are plenty of other fair food options. Activities include a carnival, petting zoo, a “Grand Parade”, car and truck show, a jalapeno-eating contest, Hairy Leg and Daizy Duke contests and the World’s Largest Tented Biergarten. Website.
I’m adding a section here just to mention some of my favorite Oktoberfest celebrations in Texas. Although they are not strictly food festivals, the German cuisine is one of the main attractions for these events. While each Oktoberfest has its own unique local flavor, they all feature the standard attractions we all love: German music and dance, sausage and schnitzel and strudel and every other type of German food you can imagine and, of course, beer!