In November, a cornucopia of fall fun
November brings a bounty of fun with a diverse lineup of festivals celebrating everything from sausage and chili to films and flowers. Here are a dozen road trip-worthy festivals unfolding across the state this month.
Oct. 30-Nov. 2: Celebrating chili is a big thing in tiny Terlingua as the 53rd Frank X. Tolbert and Wick Fowler International Championship Chili Cook-Off and BBQ unfolds. Make the trek to West Texas for the granddaddy of all chili cookoffs, sizzling with four days of live music, cookoffs spanning chili to barbecue, a margarita mixoff, a salsa contest, an art show, Texas authors and more. More at abowlofred.com.
Oct. 31-Nov. 3
Since 2007, the Rockport Film Festival has brought the best of independent cinema to the Texas Coast while giving back — proceeds go toward everything from low-cost programs of the Rotary Club of Rockport to cultural and community programming and more. The event kicks off with a Red Carpet Event on Thursday, and films screen all day Friday and Saturday. Single film block tickets are $5 each, Red Carpet tickets are $75 and VIP Passes are $100. More at rockportfilmfestival.org.
Nov. 1-3: Stop to smell the roses at the 32nd annual Fall Festival of Roses, which blossoms with knowledgeable speakers, panel discussions and more. Expect free lectures, open sessions and daily drawings for free roses. More at aregardens.com.
Nov. 1-3: San Antonio will host Day of the Dead with a full weekend of celebrating and remembering on Friday and Saturday from 6-11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The historic La Villita neighborhood will serve as the home of Day of the Dead with kids activities, performances, live music, drinks and treats, altars, artistic exhibitions and opportunities to learn about the historic and cultural importance of Mexico’s Día de los Muertos celebration. San Antonio’s first-ever Catrinas on the River Parade will start at 7 p.m. Nov. 1, with the city’s famous barges showcasing the colorful hallmarks of the holiday down the River Walk — skeletons, skulls, candles, incense, marigolds, pan de muerto and more. The parade will kick off at the Arneson Theatre with La Danza de Las Mojigangas (traditional giant dancing skeleton figures). A Celebrating Life 5K run-walk race will take place at the Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries Nov. 2. More at dodsat.com.
Nov. 1-10: Sprechen sie fun? Head to Wurstfest for the annual “10-day salute to sausage,” where you can fill up on all of the German food, beer, music and dancing you can handle. The unique cultural celebration brings the finest in Alpine- and Bavarian-style entertainment to the Wurstfest Grounds in Landa Park. Tickets are $12 online before Oct. 31, $15 at the gate and free for children 12 and younger. Admission is free on Nov. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m., Nov. 4-6 from 5 to 10 p.m., and Nov. 10 from 3 to 10 p.m. More at wurstfest.com.
Nov. 6-10: The 26th annual RGV Birding Festival, situated in the center of the Rio Grande Valley, is a stellar place for birders to add 30-plus new birds to their life list with world-class professional tour guides, educational seminars and daily field trips. Registration is $25. More at rgvbf.org.
Nov. 8-9: Film buffs should attend the 21st annual 24fps Short Film Festival at the historic Paramount Theatre. Since its inception in 1999, the festival has presented programs of short films by aspiring and established artists from around the world. All films selected in the juried competitions are made outside the major worldwide film studio system and are competing for cash awards in six categories, and past winners have gone on to win Oscars and have showings at other major film festivals. Tickets are $10 for each session or $20 for a weekend pass. More at 24fpsfest.com.
Nov. 8-10: The 31st annual Kid ‘n’ Ewe and Lamas Too Festival is the state’s 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 the livestock show. More at kidnewe.com.
Nov. 9-10: Make a beeline to the Bastrop Area Cruisers’ 14th Annual “Heroes & Hotrods” Veterans Weekend Car Show. In the past two years, the event has averaged 400 vehicles on the show field. 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 the car show takes place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. More at bastropareacruisers.com.
Nov. 14-16: The 11th annual Utopiafest is a family-friendly music festival brimming with outdoor activities, thought-provoking workshops and lectures, curated food and beverages from the Hill Country and more taking place an hour from Austin at Reveille Peak Ranch. This year’s festival will feature more than 30 bands, two main stages, hiking and biking, yoga, disc golf, free car camping and parking, hassle-free tent rentals and more. Find tickets, packages and more at utopiafest.com.
Nov. 15-16: Step back in time at the popular annual Pioneer Days honoring the history of Texas, Cleburne and the Chisholm Trail with period attire and demonstrations, entertainment, kids activities and food vendors on the grounds of the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum. The event, taking place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, is free. More at jcchisholmtrail.com.
Nov. 22-24: The city of Kingsville celebrates the 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 29th annual Ranch Hand Breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Saturday, featuring a heaping plate of eggs, refried beans, biscuits ’n’ gravy, sausage, tortillas, coffee and juice accompanied by team roping demonstrations, reenactors, musical entertainment, cowboy poetry and more ($6 per person). More at ranchandweekend.com.