Whether you get your fill of polka and sausage at Wurstfest, trek to Terlingua to taste chili or watch beautiful butterflies and birds in deep South Texas, one thing is for sure: November brings a bounty of fun to the Lone Star State. Below are a dozen road trip-worthy festivals to put on your radar this month.
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: Out in West Texas, in the tiny town of Terlingua, one of the state’s most sizzling traditions unfolds. The 52nd Frank X. Tolbert and Wick Fowler Original Terlingua International Championship Chili and BBQ Cook-Off is the grand-daddy of all chili cookoffs, brimming with four days of live music, cookoffs spanning chili to barbecue, a margarita mix-off, a salsa contest, an art show, Texas authors and more. More at abowlofred.com.
Nov. 1-4: Dust off your boots and two-step your way to Gruene, Hondo, South Blanco and Stonewall for Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel’s Texas Dance Hall Tour. Taking place at four historic dance halls in the Texas Hill Country including Gruene Dance Hall, Quihi Dance Hall, Twin Sisters Dance Hall and Albert Ice House, western swing and country music lovers won’t want to miss this epic Texas Dance Hall Tour. More at texasdancehalltour.com.
Nov. 2-3: The 24fps International Short Film Festival is not a traditional short film festival. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the 24fps Short Film Festival continues to present challenging and progressive programs of short films by aspiring and established artists from around the world. The juried competition, which features 30 selected films and exhibitions, takes place in the landmark Paramount Theatre, a restored 1930s movie palace and live performance venue. More at 24fpsfest.com.
Nov. 2-4: Hit the road to UtopiaFest, celebrating 10 years of music, art and nature at Reveille Peak Ranch. What started as a small gathering of music lovers on a ranch in Utopia has evolved into a community of thinkers, doers and creators. This year’s festival will feature more than 35 bands including headliners STS9, Lukas Nelson and Patty Griffin as well as workshops, art installations, camping and glamping, health and wellness, a Texas wine and craft beer grove, disc golf, glass blowing and a kids zone. Find tickets, packages and shuttles to and from Austin at utopiafest.com.
Nov. 2-4: Stop to smell the roses at the Antique Rose Emporium’s 2018 Fall Festival of Roses and Heritage Rose Foundation Conference located in Independence, just northeast of Brenham. The festival blossoms with knowledgeable speakers, panel discussions and more. More at antiqueroseemporium.com/events.
Nov. 2-11: Locate your lederhosen or don your dirndl — it’s time for the epic Bavarian bash known as Wurstfest. At this annual “10-day salute to sausage,” you can get your fill of German food, beer, culture and the finest in Alpine- and Bavarian-style entertainment. Whether you come for the sausage and sauerkraut, the music and dancing or the carnival rides, you’ll find it all at Wurstfest located near the headwaters of the Comal River in Landa Park. Tickets are $12 online before Nov. 1 and $15 at the gate (free for children 12 and younger). Admission is free 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 2, 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 5-7 and 3-10 p.m. Nov. 11. More at wurstfest.com.
Nov. 3-6: For the best butterflying in America, head to the 23rd Annual Texas Butterfly Festival in Mission, renowned for a volume and variety of wild, free-flying butterflies that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. Registrants will spend three days exploring public and private lands, taking field trips and guided tours and seeing more than 60 species in a day. Don’t miss the Texas Butterfly Festival’s free Community Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3, where budding naturalists can make their own banana brew for butterflies, enjoy “wild things” arts and crafts and climb the Hungry Caterpillar playscape. More at texasbutterflyfestival.com.
Nov. 7-11: The 25th annual RGV Birding Festival, situated in the center of the Rio Grande Valley, offers great birds, world-class professional tour guides, educational seminars and more than 60 vendors at the Birders Bazaar while promoting awareness of the area’s unique eco-resources to thousands of birders. More at rgvbf.org.
Nov. 9-10: Cruise on over to the Bastrop Area Cruisers’ 13th Annual Veterans “Heroes & Hotrods” Car Show. Expect to see classic street rods and flashy muscle cars, a veterans march and tribute ceremony, awards, live entertainment, kids activities and more. Proceeds benefit veterans’ organizations, auto tech scholarships and various charities. The cruise-in starts at 4 p.m. Friday and lasts until 10 p.m., and the car show takes place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. More at bastropareacruisers.com.
Nov. 9-11: Kid ‘n’ Ewe and Lamas too, Boerne’s 30th annual three-day event, is Texas’ premier fiber arts festival for spinners, weavers, knitters, crocheters, felters and anyone who enjoys the wide variety of fiber arts. At this free and family-friendly event, you can shop for tools and supplies at the Hill Country Youth Event Center, learn something new at workshops taught by talented artists or visit the animals in livestock show. More at kidnewe.com.
Nov. 10-11: The Dallas Arboretum presents Veterans Day Weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, offering complimentary admission all weekend long for active duty and retired military personal. Stroll past breathtaking fall floral displays, pose with pumpkins in the acclaimed pumpkin village and enjoy live music concerts all weekend including Reckless Angels, Carswell Air Force Base Choir, the Fort Hood 1st Division Calvary Band and more. More at dallasarboretum.org.
Nov. 16-18: Experience three full days of fun at the annual Ranch Hand Weekend, a festival honoring the city’s rich cultural heritage as one of the mainstays of the Texas ranching industry with food, live music, cooking demonstrations, art, storytelling, book signings by local authors and more. Don’t miss the 28th annual Ranch Hand Breakfast, an authentic cowboy breakfast cooked and served outdoors at historic King Ranch, from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, while enjoying team roping, historical exhibits, cowboy poetry and more ($6 per person, free for 3 and under). More at ranchhandfestival.com.
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