The heat can’t last forever … right?! Eventually, even Louisiana cools off and settles into something resembling Fall. Hardy natives emerge from their air-conditioned cocoons, eagerly sniffing the air for that first hint of cooler temperatures. They have survived another summer in the Bayou State; this heavenly weather is their earthly reward.
It’s a familiar pattern, as each year Louisianians make the most of the limited idyllic weather to celebrate with as many outdoor activities as possible. Here are a few fun outdoor happenings in the coming months you might want to check out:
Oktoberfest — New Orleans (Oct. 5-20)
In the mood for some tasty German cuisine, good music and drinks? New Orleans’ Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest is open for business every Friday and Saturday in October from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Andouille Festival — LaPlace, LA (Oct. 19-21)
Hot sausage on your mind? Head on over to LaPlace for a fix. The annual Andouille Festival, named for the famous spicy sausage, features a lineup of family fun including a gumbo cook-off, jazz music and a sausage eating contest. Ça c’est bon!
Rougarou Fest — Houma, LA (Oct. 20-21)
Looking for a bit of spooky Louisiana fun? Check out Houma’s annual Rougarou festival, held during the third weekend of October. The Louisiana folklore celebration centers around the infamous swamp werewolf and helps raise money for the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center.
Blackpot Festival — Lafayette, LA (Oct. 26-27)
Every October, Lafayette’s Vermilionville Historic Village fills up for the city’s annual Blackpot Festival. From gumbo cook-offs to overnight camping, dancing and more, the cooking and heritage event truly delivers the full Cajun experience.
NOLA Mac N Cheese FEST—New Orleans (Oct. 20)
Yes, this is really a thing! The second-annual event held in Louis Armstrong Park features live music, children’s entertainment and yes, lots of delicious macaroni and cheese dishes prepared by local restaurants.
Avery Island Fall Fest—Avery Island (Oct. 20)
Hayrides, pumpkin carving, face painting, Halloween-themed children’s games and activities, a pumpkin patch and a costume contest. Somebody’s gonna need a nap!
Louisiana Renaissance Festival—Hammond (Nov. 3-Dec. 9)
More than 600 artisans, entertainers and educational demonstrators participate in this festive recreation of life in the 16th-century. Grab a turkey leg for sustenance, and check out events like Jousting, Falconry and even Knife-Throwing.
Bayou Road Balloon Festival—Chalmette (Nov. 9-11)
I know Chalmette is a little far to drive, but it’s hot air balloons! They light the balloons up in the evening and even offer tethered rides (weather permitting). There are also carnival rides, midway games and tons of live music. But all you really need to know is hot. air. balloons.
Port Barre Cracklin Festival—Port Barre (Nov. 8-11)
Got Gratons? Celebrate the epicurean delicacy that is fried pork fat at this festival, where they proudly assert that “if you are ever hungry or thirsty at the Cracklin Festival, it’s not our fault!” A parade, a beauty pageant and a Cracklin Cookoff complete the small town tableau.
Oak Street Poboy Fest—New Orleans (Nov. 11)
This unique street festival features more than 60 different poboys, so be sure to pace yourself. With multiple live music stages and fun activities like a poboy-eating contest, you really can’t go wrong.
Research assistance provided by Layna Juneau.