On Your Mark, Get Set, Fest!
October In And Around The Big Easy
October is not just for Halloween anymore! Although Halloween is an awesome time to be in this 300 year old city there is a little more going on than that. There is certainly no reason to be bored in and around the Greater New Orleans area during the month of October. In a place where it’s so easy to make your own fun, festivals are the icing on the cake. Take your pick, you can really be a busy bee if you are so inclined. A couple of my personal favs are the Crescent City Blues and Bar B Q Fest and Boo at the Zoo. The list below provides dates, locations and little info on what to expect. Have fun Festers!!
Oct. 4 — Westwego Farmers Market Friday Night Concert Series (484 Sala Ave., Westwego) — A cool concert series offers live music by Tet Dur, food, crafts and more. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Free.
Oct. 4-5, 11-12 & 18-19 — Oktoberfest (Deutsches Haus, 1700 Moss St.; www.deutscheshaus.org) — The traditional German Oktoberfest celebration stretches over three weekends and includes German music, polka dancing, German food and beer, wine, beer stein-holding contests, chicken dances and a children’s area. There also are weiner dog races and a dog costume contest and parade. 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. $8, free for children 12 and younger and members of Deutsches Haus.
Oct. 5 — Algiers Fest (New Orleans Riverside at Federal City, 2500 Gen. Meyer Ave.; www.algiersdevelopment.com)— The music festival features Casme, The Soul Rebels, Jonathan Boogie Long, Chubby Carrier and others. It also includes food trucks, drink vendors, children’s activities and a Glow bike ride (from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.) for breast cancer awareness. The festival pays tribute to America’s service men and women. Noon-9 a.m. Free.
Oct. 5 — Beignet Fest (New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds; www.beignetfest.com) — A festival celebrating sweet and savory versions of the fried doughnut with versions from more than 30 restaurants and food trucks. There’s also live music, an art market and kids’ activities. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. VIP tickets $20-$40.
Oct. 5 — Treme’ Fall Festival (St. Augustine Church, 1219 Gov. Nicholls St.; www.tremefest.com) — It’s a street party featuring live music, children’s activities, arts and crafts vendors, food and more. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free.
Oct. 5-6 — Berwick Lighthouse Festival (Berwick Lighthouse, 3246 Bellview St., Berwick; www.cajuncoast.com/event/berwick-lighthouse-festival-0) —Features of this festival are live music, arts and crafts, food, kids’ activities, a zoo on wheels (Sunday) and a car show. The festival grounds serve as the finish line for the Tour du Teche on Sunday. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free.
Oct. 5-6 — Fall Garden Festival (New Orleans Botanical Garden, 5 Victory Ave., City Park; www.neworleanscitypark.com/events/fall-garden-festival) — There are dozens of horticulture exhibits, a marketplace, educational lectures, a plant health clinic, plant sale and children’s activities. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. $10, $5 for children ages 5-12, free for children 4 and younger and Friends of City Park members.
Oct. 5-6 — Que Pasa Fest (Lafreniere Park, Al Copeland Meadow Concert area, 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie; www.cervantesfoundation.org) — The two-day festival pays homage to Hispanic Heritage Month and features live music, food educational exhibits, arts and crafts, a kids’ area and more. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Free.
Oct. 6 — Celebracion Latina (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St.; www.audubonnatureinstitute.org/celebracion-latina) — Latin American culture is displayed through live music, Latin food, arts and crafts and children’s activities. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free with regular zoo admission.
Sundays in October — Angola Prison Rodeo (Angola Prison Rodeo Arena, Louisiana State Penitentiary, 17544 Tunica Trace, St. Francisville; www.angolarodeo.com) — If you feel like a drive the rodeo has bull riding, bareback riding, wild horse racing, barrel racing, chariot racing and wild cow milking events as well as food vendors, live music and an inmates’ craft market. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., rodeo starts at 2 p.m. $20.
Oct. 11-13 — Bridge City Gumbo Festival (1701 Bridge City Ave., Bridge City; www.bridgecitygumbofestival.org) — Come out for live music, gumbo cooking contests, king and queen pageants and fireworks. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Free.
Oct. 11-13 — Louisiana Gumbo Festival (326 Highway 304, Chackbay; www.lagumbofest.com) — Hosted by the Chackbay volunteer fire department this festival features lots of gumbo and Cajun food, live music, amusement rides, a parade, auction, demonstrations and other activities. 6 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Free.
Oct. 11-13 — The Voice of the Wetlands Festival (Ponderosa, 5403 West Park, Houma; www.voiceofthewetlands.org) — Organized to raise awareness of the Louisiana wetlands, the festival features local, regional and national musical acts, Cajun food and arts and crafts. Camping is available with late-night jam sessions. There’s also a zoo and kids’ activities. Noon-till daily. Free.
Oct. 12 — NOLA Mac n’ Cheese Fest (Louis Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St.; www.nolamacncheesefest.com) — In it’s third year, this festival features an award for best mac ’n’cheese dish, a mac ’n’ cheese eating contest, live music, food and beverage vendors, a market place and a kids’ activity area. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.
Oct. 12 — Old Arabi Sugar Fest (409 Aycock St., Arabi; www.oldarabi.org) —Check out live music, food, kids’ activities, arts and crafts and a cooking contest. 1 p.m.-9 p.m. Free.
Oct. 12-13 — Wooden Boat Festival (133 Mabel Drive, Madisonville; www.woodenboatfest.org) — Classic and wooden boats are exhibited along the Tchefuncte River, and there’s live music and arts and crafts and food vendors. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. $10, $5 for seniors 65 and older, free for active military (with ID) and children 12 and younger.
Oct. 16-23 — New Orleans Film Festival (Various location in New Orleans; www.neworleansfilmsociety.org/festival) — It’s the 30th anniversary of the festival, which offers screenings of more than 240 films, including new works. There also are speakers, discussions, music videos and parties. Hours and admissions vary. All-access passes, $290, $265 New Orleans Film Society members (until July 9).
Oct. 18-20 — Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival (Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Ave.; www.crescentcitybluesfest.com) —Barbecue vendors offer the festival’s yummy eats, and enjoy an art market and live music. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free.
Oct. 19 — Boo Carre Halloween Haunt (Dutch Alley, French Quarter; www.frenchmarket.org) — Come out to the French Market. There’s live music and lots of activities for the kiddos. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.
Oct. 25-27 — Boo at the Zoo (Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St.; www.audubonnatureinstitute.org/batz) — The Halloween party is for children 12 years and younger and includes trick-or-treat houses, a “ghost” train, haunted house, entertainment, games and treats. $20, free for children 11 months and younger.
Oct. 25-27 — Park-A-Boo Halloween Festival (Lafreniere Park, 300 Downs Blvd., Metairie; www.park-a-boo.com) — The event is for children 13 and younger and includes trick-or-treating, a haunted house, games, balloon sculptures, face painting, a costume contest and entertainment. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday. $8, $6 for children 12 and younger, free for children 2 and younger.
Oct. 25-27 — Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (New Orleans City Park; www.voodoofestival.com) — More than 65 bands perform diverse genres of music at this annual Halloween weekend music festival. There also are art, food and drink vendors, special activities and exhibits. Costumes are encouraged. Hours and admissions TBA.
Oct. 26-27 — Fallin’ for Madisonville Arts & Crafts Show (Madisonville Park & Playground, Madisonville) — The Pumpkin Patch Festival provides 1,000 pumpkins for children to decorate and take home. The festival also has food, amusement rides, live music and 100 arts and crafts vendors. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $5, free for children 12 and younger.
Oct. 26-27 — Rougarou Fest (Festival grounds, 7856 Main St., Houma; www.rougaroufest.org) — This festival celebrates the folklore of southeast Louisiana’s bayous and includes a costume contest, live music, a parade, a bayou symposium and more. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free.
Oct. 31-Nov. 3 — The Weekend Soiree presents “Bedlam in the Big Easy” (Le Pavillon, 833 Poydras St.; www.theweekendsoiree.com) — The four-day celebration for lesbians includes more than 50 activities, workshops covering workouts, wellness and creativity as well as networking and support events. There’s also a healing village and a marketplace of crafts from LGBTQ artists, tours, speed dating, entertainment and more. Hours vary. $349 (until April 5), $499 for weekend pass; individual event tickets vary.
See you in NOLA!
Sharon Denise Talbot