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11 Unforgettable Texas Festivals That You Can’t Miss

Texas like to do things big.

So when a festival comes around you’re always in for a big event.

In this post, we’re uncovering 11 unforgettable events in Texas that you need to experience.

From food, films, fishing and even renaissance fairs, this list really has something for everyone.

Have YOU been to any of these?

1. Texas State Fair – Dallas

Time of year: Late September to Mid-October

The Texas State Fair in Dallas is a family-friendly extravaganza known for its 55-foot tall iconic Big Tex statue. 

This fair offers thrilling rides and unique fair foods, like deep-fried everything, that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Livestock shows and live music performances are major highlights, along with arts and crafts exhibits. 

There are also cooking contests, car shows, and educational exhibits. 

With its wide variety of attractions and activities, the Texas State Fair is an event that captures the heart and soul of Texas culture.

2. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – Houston

Time of year: February/March

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the largest rodeos in the world. 

This event features exciting rodeo competitions, livestock auctions, and concerts by top artists. 

Carnival rides and games add to the fun, while educational exhibits about agriculture and livestock provide learning opportunities for all ages. 

There’s also a wide variety of food options, from classic rodeo fare to unique culinary creations. 

With its mix of entertainment, education, and thrilling competitions, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is an event you don’t want to miss.

Related Reading: Best Rodeos That Every Texan Should Visit AT LEAST Once

3. Texas Renaissance Festival – Todd Mission

Time of year: October/November

Step back in time at the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, an immersive event featuring jousting, costumed performers, medieval games, and artisan crafts. 

It’s the largest Renaissance-themed attraction in the United States!

The festival is spread over several themed weekends, each offering unique experiences like pirate adventures, Celtic celebrations, and barbarian invasions. 

Visitors can enjoy live entertainment, delicious medieval-style food, and unique shopping opportunities from numerous artisans. 

The festival grounds are designed to resemble a 16th-century village, providing a magical setting for all the activities. 

With its engaging performances and historical ambiance, the Texas Renaissance Festival attracts thousands of visitors each year.

4. Fiesta San Antonio – San Antonio

Time of year: April

Fiesta San Antonio is a vibrant celebration of the diverse cultures in San Antonio. 

This festival includes colorful parades, live music, delicious food, and various cultural events. 

One of the main highlights is the famous Battle of Flowers Parade, which features elaborate floats, marching bands, and flower-filled decorations. 

The festival also includes events like the Fiesta Flambeau Parade and NIOSA (Night in Old San Antonio), offering something for everyone. 

With its lively atmosphere and rich cultural heritage, Fiesta San Antonio is an unforgettable experience that showcases the heart and soul of the city.

5. Wurstfest – New Braunfels

Time of year: Early November

Wurstfest is a 10-day celebration of German culture held in New Braunfels. 

This festival is filled with plenty of sausage, beer, and polka music, reflecting the area’s rich German heritage. 

Visitors can enjoy traditional German entertainment, including folk dancing, oompah bands, and carnival rides. 

There are also numerous food and drink options, from classic bratwurst to local craft beers. 

Wurstfest is known for its festive atmosphere and friendly crowds, making it a perfect event for families and groups of friends. 

With its blend of cultural heritage and lively fun, Wurstfest is a must-visit festival in Texas.

6. Terlingua Chili Cook-Off – Terlingua

Time of year: First Saturday of November

The Terlingua Chili Cook-Off is a spicy competition in the desert, attracting chili enthusiasts from across the country. 

This quirky event features contestants vying for the title of the best chili recipe. 

Besides the fierce cooking competition, the festival includes live music, dancing, and a festive atmosphere. 

Attendees can sample different chili recipes, enjoy cold beverages, and mingle with fellow chili lovers. 


The unique desert setting and lively activities make the Terlingua Chili Cook-Off a memorable experience. 

It’s a fun and flavorful event that captures the adventurous spirit of Texas.

7. Texas Sandfest – Port Aransas

Time of year: Late April

Texas SandFest, held on the sandy shores of Port Aransas, is one of the largest sand sculpting competitions in the country. 

This festival features incredible sand sculptures created by artists from around the world. 

Visitors can marvel at the intricate designs and massive sculptures, which often depict elaborate scenes and characters. 

In addition to the sand art, the festival includes live music, food vendors, and activities for all ages. 

There are also sand sculpting lessons for those who want to try their hand at creating their own masterpieces. 

With its stunning art and beachside fun, Texas SandFest is a must-see event.

8. Oktoberfest – Fredericksburg

Time of year: October

Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg is a lively festival that celebrates the town’s rich German heritage. 

Held in the heart of Texas Hill Country, this event features traditional German music, food, and beer. 

Attendees can enjoy polka and waltz dancing, as well as performances by authentic German bands. 

The festival also includes artisan vendors offering unique crafts and goods. 

Family-friendly activities, such as a children’s area with games and entertainment, make it a fun event for all ages. 

With its festive atmosphere and cultural celebrations, Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg is a beloved fall event that attracts visitors from near and far.

9. Texas International Fishing Tournament (TIFT) – South Padre Island

Time of year: Early August

The Texas International Fishing Tournament (TIFT) is the largest and most prestigious fishing tournament in Texas. 

Held annually since 1934, it attracts anglers of all ages and skill levels. 

Participants compete in various categories, including offshore, bay, and junior divisions. 

The tournament spans several days of intense fishing action, culminating in exciting awards ceremonies. 

In addition to the competition, TIFT features family-friendly activities such as a fun fish fry, kids’ fishing clinics, and live entertainment. 

This event is a highlight of the Texas fishing calendar, drawing fishing enthusiasts from all over to South Padre Island.

10. Pecan Street Festival – Austin

Time of year: May and September

The Pecan Street Festival in Austin is one of the largest and longest-running arts and crafts festivals in the nation. 

Held on Sixth Street, it features local artists, live music, street performers, and food vendors, celebrating Austin’s eclectic spirit. 

Visitors can browse unique handmade crafts, enjoy various musical performances, and taste delicious food from local vendors. 

The festival also includes activities for kids, making it a family-friendly event. 

With its vibrant atmosphere and diverse offerings, the Pecan Street Festival is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the creative side of Austin.

11. South by Southwest (SXSW) – Austin

Time of year: March

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a massive event in Austin celebrating music, film, and interactive media. 

Attracting artists, filmmakers, and tech enthusiasts from around the world, SXSW offers something for everyone. 

Key attractions include live performances from famous and upcoming musicians, film screenings of new and innovative movies, and panel discussions with industry leaders. 

There are also numerous networking opportunities, making it a great event for professionals. 

With its vibrant atmosphere and diverse activities, SXSW is a must-visit for anyone interested in arts and technology.

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Tom Jackson

Tom was born in San Antonio but spent most of his childhood in Dallas, he has lived in several cities across Texas and joined the team in 2024 to create travel guides on Texas.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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