The Quick Guide to the Top US October Festivals

Hold it! Don’t put that party dress away quite yet. October is the time for one final showdown before Nature puts on that dreadful chilly white coat. There is a little time left to enjoy the ultimate warm days and outdoor events. Do it all in music, food, and style as we walk you through the best US October festivals. You will be gone till November.

1. Austin City Limits Festival

Austin, TX – October 3 – 5,

This US October festival takes place in Texas during the first and second weekends of the month. It used to celebrate Texan music but grew to become an international event for serious music fans. Come meet artists, try some of Austin’s best food and have some quaint family-time with the kids. Unlike the Coachella or SXSW, this October festival claims to stay true to its roots, away from all excesses. Still, given the easy-going reputation of Austin, you know what to expect.

2. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque, NM – October 4 – 21

Have you ever seen a hot air balloon up close? Have you seen one take off while you stand just feet away? Better yet, don’t you want to ride one? The hottest October festival of Albuquerque is your chance to fulfill that dream. For two weeks starting October 4th, a colorful rainbow will paint the skies of the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico. All day long, events go on, from the early morning Mass Ascension to daytime races to late fireworks.

3. NYC Wine and Food Festival

New York City, NY – October 16

Foodies, celebrity chefs, and cocktail mixologists: UNITE! Unlike the rest of the US October festivals featured here, this is a charitable feast and drink celebration. Its goal? Ending world hunger. Yes, there is some irony in the culinary jet-set gathering to eat and drink in the name of fighting hunger. But the money raised serves a great cause, right? Also don’t think the festival is only for the wealthiest; there are events under… $100, so everyone can take part in the cause.

4. Fantasy Fest October Festival

Key West, FL – October 17-26

Can’t wait until the end of the month to start the costumed craze? Fantasy Fest and its 10 days of revelry, and insane masquerade parties might just be for you, but not safe for everyone. From homemade bikini contests to tropical drinks, this US October festival is a Caribbean carnival with a Mardi Gras flavor. To top it all, the madness is set in Key West, one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the country.

5. Life is Beautiful

Las Vegas, NV – October 24 – 26

Who says Sin City, means epic party in the desert! This October festival is a tribute to music, food, and [insert what Vegas evokes to you]. This newcomer (this year is the second edition) on the festival scene lives up to its motto: showing off the tasteful beauty of life. Come relax in pop-up urban parks, or admire jaw-dropping street art. True to Vegas’s spirit, expect endless music, food and entertainment.

6. The Village Halloween Parade

New York City, NY – October 31

Halloween. NYC. Enough said! Awake that inner child, dress him up, and set him off on this epic trick-or-treat route. From 7pm to 10 pm on October 31st, ghouls, puppets, bands and millions of participants will flood the streets of the Big Apple. This US October festival claims to be “the nation’s most wildly creative public participatory event in the greatest city in the world!”

7. Voodoo Experience

New Orleans, LA – October 31

Halloween in New Orleans is sure to be tainted with mysticism and black magic. Add to it the local festive spirit and watch the Big Easy rise from the dead to party. This US October festival combines music festival and Halloween into stages that cater to all tastes. For 3 days, local and world-famous names perform for your entertainment. Among the greatest, Pearl Jam and Snoop Dogg.

For more information on amazing US October festivals, check out Fest300. Tell us what is your favorite festival and what you are doing this October.