Events » New Orleans Event Previews

Gambit's 2017 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals: October


Sundays in OctoberAngola Prison Rodeo — (Angola Prison Rodeo Arena, Louisiana State Penitentiary, 17544 Tunica Trace, Angola, 225-655-2030; — Situated at the end of Highway 66 at Angola, the country's longest running prison rodeo (it started in 1965) features bulldogging, barrel racing, bareback riding, wild cow milking, wild horse racing and more. There also are lots of food vendors and inmate crafts for sale. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Rodeo starts at 2 p.m.) $20.

1Sugar Fest (West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave., Port Allen, 225-336-2422; — The celebration of the sweet cane includes mule-driven grinding and other demonstrations, food, tours of sugar plantation structures, interactive history exhibits and more. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

4-8 — Tangipahoa Parish Fair (400 Reid Ave., Amite; — The fair was started in 1869 to promote the the importance of livestock and agriculture to the area and to celebrate its history. The fair has carnival rides, live music, a gumbo cookoff, exhibits by schoolchildren, livestock judging, agricultural exhibits, a parade and spelling bee. Free. 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday, 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, 7 a.m.-midnight Friday, 9 a.m.-midnight Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

4-8West Louisiana Forestry Festival (Vernon Parish Fairgrounds, 276 H.M. Stevens Blvd., Leesville; — The annual event features lumber skills contests and demonstrations, live music, a rodeo, cooking contests, demonstrations and food vendors. Hours and admission TBA.

Thursdays through November — Thursdays at Twilight Garden Concert Series — See March 16 for event description.

5-7Ponderosa Stomp (Various locations; — There are three days of music, a music history conference, a record show, food and drinks and more. Performers include Gary U.S. Bonds, the Texas Honky Tonk Revue, Roy Head, Lil Buck Senegal and others. Times vary. $70 single day, $130 two-night pass, $175 all-access pass.

6-8Tour du Teche VIII (Port Barre to Berwick, 337-394-6232; — The three-day, 135-mile race for canoes, kayaks and pirogues starts in Port Barre and goes through 13 towns before ending in Berwick. Times and admissions vary.

Louisiana’s square donuts are the stars at the Beignet Fest at New Orleans City Park Oct. 7 - ZACK SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Zack Smith Photography
  • Louisiana’s square donuts are the stars at the Beignet Fest at New Orleans City Park Oct. 7

7Beignet Fest (New Orleans City Park; — The second annual festival features 20 food vendors with multiple beignet creations, a children's village and entertainment. There will be awards for best beignets. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

7Festival de la Grande Eglise (St. Landry Catholic Church, 1020 N. Main St., Opelousas, 337-942-6552; — Family-friendly activities focus on the 300-plus-year history of St. Landry Catholic Church and include a 2-mile color run, a jambalaya cook-off, church and cemetery tours, live music and an auction. 9 a.m.-till. Free.

7-8Lighthouse Festival (City of Berwick, Front Street, 985-384-8858) — There's a historical program on Saturday and and a race that ends at the festival site, where an awards ceremony for the Tour du Teche canoe race is held Sunday, with a car show and petting zoo. Both days feature live music, carnival rides, food vendors and arts and crafts. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free.

7-8Roberts Cove Louisiana Germanfest (7212 Roberts Cove Road, Rayne, 337-334-8354; — The festival celebrates German heritage in South Louisiana and features German food, genealogy, German songs and folk dancing and more. 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission $8 adults, children 12 and younger free.

8Celebracion Latina (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-581-4629; — The celebration of Latin American culture features live music, Latin food, crafts vendors, children's activities and exhibits offering health, education, wellness and social services information. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with zoo admission: $22.95 adults, $19.95 seniors, $17.95 children 2-12. Zoo members free.

11-19New Orleans Film Festival (Various locations in New Orleans; — Filmmakers show their work, and more than 200 films are screened during the festival. There also are panel discussions, receptions, parties, one-on-one mentoring sessions and celebrity guests. Hours and admissons vary.

12-15Festivals Acadiens et Creoles (Girard Park, Lafayette; — There are five stages of music, a fais do do, bayou food festival, chef demonstrations, arts and crafts, a Louisiana sports tent and children's activities at this festival, which pays tribute to south Louisiana cultures. Hours TBA. Free.

Docents in traditional German costumes greet visitors at Oktoberfest for three weekends in October, and there are periodic “chicken dances.” - ZACK SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Zack Smith Photography
  • Docents in traditional German costumes greet visitors at Oktoberfest for three weekends in October, and there are periodic “chicken dances.”

13-14, 20-21, 27-28Oktoberfest (1700 Moss St. ) , 504-522-8014; — The cultural nonprofit Deutsches Haus hosts three weekends of celebrating German culture, including German beers on tap, dance performances, beer stein-holding contests, German food and Dachshund races on Saturday. 4 pm.-11 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. Admission $8, children 12 and younger and Deutsches Haus members free.

13-15Andouille Festival (St. John Community Center, 2900 Highway 51, LaPlace; — It's the 44th year for this celebration of the Louisiana sausage and includes an andouille gumbo cook-off, eating contests, 2- and 5-mile runs, live music, jambalaya, gumbo, a variety of andouille dishes and other activities. 6 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. $3, children 3-12 years old $1.

13-15Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival (Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Ave. 504-558-6100; — The festival is a showcase for Southern soul, blues and R&B music, barbecue and an arts and crafts fair. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free.

14-15Wooden Boat Festival (Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, 133 Mabel Drive, Madisonville, 985-845-9200; — Held on the banks of the Tchefuncte River, the festival draws more than 100 classic boats and hundreds of other craft. The event has food, live music, a children's area, arts and crafts, a classic car show and the Quick 'n Dirty Boat Building Contest on Sunday. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission $10, $5 seniors, children and active military with ID free.

18-21Washington Parish Free Fair (Washington Parish Fairgrounds, 115 Main St., Franklinton; — The fair includes a pioneer life village, exhibitors showcasing flowers, livestock and agricultural products. There's also live music, a rodeo and parade. Hours and admissions vary.

20-21 & 27-28Boo at the Zoo (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 504-581-4629; — The Halloween event for children 12 and younger features trick-or-treat houses, a haunted house, a "ghost train," games and entertainment. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. $17, children 1 and younger free.

20-22Ghosts in the Oaks (New Orleans City Park; — The Halloween event at Carousel Gardens Amusment Park and Storyland includes unlimited rides at the amusement park, a pumpkin patch, live entertainment, arts and crafts and trick or treating in Storyland. Times and admissions TBA.

21ArtsFest (Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, 337-439-2787; — The Arts Council of Louisiana sponsors this children's arts festival, which offers hands-on projects in painting, drawing, sculpture, crafts and more. There are educational exhibits, vendor booths, demonstrations, food and music. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free.

21NOLA Cochon De Lait Fest (Palmer Park, corner of S. Carrollton Avenue and Claiborne Avenue, 504-488-7610; — The porcine festival offers pig-inspired dishes, drinks, music, kids' activities, and arts and crafts. The closing band is Big Sam's Funky Nation; other performers include Daria and the Hip Drops, the Soul Rebels and Rockin' Dopsie & the Zydeco Twisters. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

21-22Old Farmers Day and Horse & Mule Pulling Contest (56136 Loranger Road, Loranger, 985-878-2360; — The event celebrates and demonstrates methods used by our forebears, including cooking on a wood stove and campfire, spinning wheel use, weaving and quilting, plaiting a bull whip, making cracklings, smoking meat, pottery making, horseshoeing and cane grinding. There's a raffle for a Belgian draft horse colt. There's also country and bluegrass music, games, a petting zoo and pony rides. The horse and mule pulling contest is at 1 p.m. Sunday. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission $12, ages 6-12 $7, children 5 and younger free.

21-22Rougarou Fest (Downtown Houma; — The festival celebrates the folklore of southeast Louisiana and includes a fun run with zombies and swamp creatures, food, art, music, children's games and activities and more. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

26-Nov. 5Greater Baton Rouge State Fair (16072 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge; — There's live music, a junior beef breeding show, pig racing, carnival rides, an exotic petting zoo, games and food. 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission $5, children under 48 inches tall free.

27-29Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (New Orleans City Park; — More than 65 bands perform on four stages during the three-day festival, which also features showcases of food, arts, community organizations and more. Gates open at noon daily. Admission TBA.

28Louisiana Book Festival (701 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, 225-219-9503; — The annual festival in downtown Baton Rouge showcases writers and their books, and visitors can interact with authors, poets, storytellers and musicians while browsing book-related exhibits, watching demonstrations and performances and participating in activities. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

28Sweet Dough Pie Festival (St. Charles Catholic Church, 174 Church St., Grand Coteau; — A traditional treat in the Grand Coteau area, sweet dough pie with fillings including fig, custard, lemon, blackberry and other seasonal ingredients is available. There also is live music and more than 70 vendors offering arts and crafts, food, flowers and herbs, furniture and decor. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free.

A mini Mardi Gras run with traditional Cajun Mardi Gras costumes is part of the Experience Louisiana Festival Oct. 28 and 29 in Eunice. - ZACK SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Zack Smith Photography
  • A mini Mardi Gras run with traditional Cajun Mardi Gras costumes is part of the Experience Louisiana Festival Oct. 28 and 29 in Eunice.

28-29Experience Louisiana Festival (LSU-Eunice, 2048 Johnson Highway, Eunice, 337-457-1776; — The festival offers live music, artists, folk life, cooking demonstrations and a cook-off, an antique car show, food vendors, arts and crafts, a traditional boucherie demonstration and mini-Mardi Gras run. 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free.

28-29Holly Daze Arts, Crafts & Boutiques Christmas Market (Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd. Kenner 985-796-5853; — The shopping expo features clothing, jewelry, florals, woodwork, children's items, perfume and art. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.


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