From Texas-sized fairs to coastal celebrations, September sizzles with fun festivals taking place in these 10 Texas towns this month.
Sept. 14-17: The 37th Annual GrapeFest is the largest wine festival in the southwest and takes place in the heart of Grapevine, home to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association and Texas’ premier Urban Wine Trail. In addition to wine tastings, expect four days of family-friendly festival fun featuring live music and entertainment on multiple stages, a carnival midway and more. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors, and is free on Thursday. More at www.GrapeFest.com.
Sept. 16-Nov. 5: The 18th annual Autumn at the Arboretum: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown features the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village filled with pumpkin houses, creative displays, Peanuts characters, and more than 100,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. Soak in the colors of fall in the form of 150,000 autumn flowers spanning marigolds to chrysanthemums, pose for pictures with pumpkins, check out the 3.5-acre food, herb and vegetable garden, and take part in special events planned throughout the festival. Advanced time tickets are required and admission ranges from $14-$20. More at www.dallasarboretum.org.
Sept. 29-Oct. 22: Celebrate all things Texan at the State Fair of Texas––the longest-running fair in the nation. The 24-day-long fair promotes Texas agriculture, education and community involvement and brings hundreds of shows, games, carnival rides, live concerts, livestock shows, exhibits and a finger-licking spread of every fried food imaginable to historic Fair Park. All daily family-friendly activities and exhibits are free with admission ($15-$20 for adults, $10-$18 for children and seniors, free for two and younger). More at www.bigtex.com.
Sept. 21-24: The annual Bastrop Music Festival returns for four days and nights of live music, featuring 40 shows by artists in a variety of genres at venues across the charming Central Texas community of Bastrop. A variety of musical genres are represented in the lineup which includes Two Tons of Steel, The Peterson Brothers, Chubby Knuckle Choir and more. Weekend wristbands are $45 and VIP weekend wristbands are $100. Come out early on Sunday, Sept. 10, from 5 to 8 p.m., for On the Road to Bastrop Music Festival featuring free live music, fun, food trucks and complimentary beverages unfolding on the park grounds at The Colony. More at www.bastropmusicfestival.com.
Sept. 21-23: Fort Worth Oktoberfest is a three-day celebration of German culture with the best in Bavarian entertainment taking place at Trinity Park. Come to drink das bier, eat das sausage and polka dance to the tunes of Alex Meixner Band, Alpenmusikanten, the Happy Hour Oktoberfestband from Bavaria and more. Dance and sing in the air-conditioned Spaten Halle, kick back in the Karbach Biergarten, shop in the Marktstrass, test your skills at stein hoisting and bier barrel rolling, work up a sweat at the 5k Run and 20-mile urban bike ride, and enjoy carnival rides and games. Purchase tickets early to guarantee yourself a free stein ($20 for a three-day pass, $10-$15 for daily admission, free for 12 and under with a paying adult). More at www.fortworthoktoberfest.com.
Sept. 21-24: This year marks 42 years of ballooning in Plano and Collin County. Come out to see rainbow-hued orbs fill the skies and enjoy plenty of fun on the ground at the four-day H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 3-12 and seniors ages 65 and up. Festivities kick off at 5 p.m. Thursday followed by three more full days of fun featuring family-friendly concerts, balloon glows, fireworks shows and more. More at https://www.planoballoonfest.org/.
Sept. 22-23: The annual Galveston Island Shrimp Festival brings two full days of shrimp, music, friends and fun to Galveston’s Historic Strand District. Sample some of the best shrimp gumbo on the Gulf Coast along the Gumbo Stroll at this coastal celebration that includes a Shrimp Gumbo Cook-Off, Shrimp Scamper 5K fun run, Lil’ Shrimps Parade, live music, vendors, a Strand merchant walk-about, a rum punch contest and more. Purchase tickets and view the schedule at www.galvestonislandshrimpfestival.com.
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Sept. 23-24: Belton’s 7th annual Bacon, Blues and Brews festival is a trifecta celebration of those very things –– bacon, blues music and craft brews. Unfolding on the town’s courthouse square at 101 E Central Ave. over two days, the outdoor festival features live entertainment, adult beverages, a bacon cook-off between local food trucks and more. The festival kicks off 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and resumes from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. More at www.seebelton.com.
Sept. 23: Pawfest is a paw-ty you won’t want to miss. This free, one-day festival put on by the Gulf Coast Humane Society takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a new location (3118 Cabaniss Parkway) featuring a 3-acre dog park. This year’s festival will include nearly 50 vendors for both pets and people, wiener dog races, the Team Zoom stunt dog show, live music, kids play zone, a food truck festival and more. More at https://www.gchscc.org/pawfest.
Sept. 30: Friends of Padre Fall Fiesta is a fun-filled day to celebrate life on the beach. Head out to the Briscoe King Pavilion in Corpus Christi, 15820 Park Road 22, to enjoy live music, kid’s activities, food, craft beer from local breweries, plenty of vendors, wildlife education and community – all with the shared goal of showing love to the longest barrier island in the world and spreading the word about beach clean-up efforts with Friends of Padre from noon to 6 p.m. More at www.friendsofpadre.com.
Sept. 23: The 42nd Medina Lake Cajun Festival brings Louisiana’s music, food and culture to the Texas Hill Country. During the one-day festival that takes place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Lakehills Community Center transforms into a little slice of Cajun Country. Festivalgoers can dance to Cajun and Zydeco bands playing on two stages, sample gumbo at the Great Gumbo Cook-off, fill up on the best homemade Cajun food on this side of Louisiana including crawfish pies, etouffee, jambalaya and red beans and rice, enjoy an arts and crafts show, and take part in kid-friendly activities. Admission is $15 and free for children 10 and under. More at www.cajunfestival-medinalake.com.
Sept. 23: Calling all mermaids to the seventh annual Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest –– San Marcos’ Mermaid Promenade & Downtown Street Faire which brings floats, marchers, dancers, music and freshwater mermaids to downtown San Marcos. This all-inclusive city parade celebrates San Marcos’ history of the Aquamaids of Aquarena Springs and immortalizes the mermaids as guardians of the San Marcos River. The free family-friendly community festival kicks off with a parade from 10 a.m. to noon followed by a street faire from noon to 6 p.m. where festival goers can expect R&B live music, a kid zone, food trucks and more than 140 artisan vendors. More at www.mermaidsocietysmtx.com.