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Written by Jane Kellogg Murray

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Formula 1, Chip and Jo have fun, and the State Fair's not done this weekend.

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Fall family fun this weekend includes the Rockport-Fulton Seafair, Punkin' Days in Floydada (known as "Pumpkin Capital, USA"), and El Paso's Chalk the Block street painting festival.

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Fall in love with Texas all over again this first weekend of October, as pumpkin patches and fall festivals help to ring in the season.

As Texas' blistering summer heat begins to subside, find yourself outdoors this weekend at events like the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival, the six-weekend Beachtoberfest in Port Aransas, and—everyone's favorite—the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.

As the weather starts to cool down, it’s time to get out and enjoy all autumn has to offer. We’ve rounded up a massive list of festive events from all over the state, including pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides, and Oktoberfests.

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It all started in 1831 when Mexico gave the people of Gonzales a cannon to ward off Indian attacks. Four years later, with talk of independence among the Texas colonists, Mexican troops came to get the howitzer back and were greeted by a lone star flag of defiance: “Come and Take It.” Today, the cannon sits in the Gonzales Memorial Museum and the taunting words of the 1835 flag is the town’s banner. The cannon and the catchphrase are so omnipresent the people behind “I (heart) NY” think Gonzales maybe oughta tone it down a bit.

But the slogan is reborn with new energy every year at the Come and Take It Celebration, a three-day festival that swells with Texas pride. Held the first full weekend of October for the past 62 years, the festivities take place in downtown Gonzales this year on Oct. 5-7, in one of Gonzales' two town squares, so there’s plenty of room for carnival rides, live country music, a classic car show, food and drink vendors, plus the popular flying chicken contest. (That’s flying, not frying, unfortunately.) Be sure to follow signs because you don’t want to confuse the snake exhibit with the petting zoo.

The 200-entry downtown parade, with its crazy floats and the newly-crowned Miss Gonzales, starts Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Later in the day, attention moves to Pioneer Village, the frontier life recreation site on the outskirts of town, for a re-enactment of the battle of Oct. 2, 1835, when the first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired.

Each night ends with country dancing in the streets, with Marty Raybon’s Shenandoah headlining on Friday, and Gene Watson and Eddy Raven playing the old hits on Saturday. For conjunto dancers, Ricky Narajo y los Gamblers play earlier on Saturday.

Because this festival is downtown and not in a field or fairgrounds, there’s no sense of captivity. There are tons of great restaurants and bars to explore just steps away from the funnel cakes.

Fall is in the air—with pumpkins as far as the eye can see at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, competitive lumberjacks at the Texas State Forest Festival, and the rhythmic sound of oom-pah-pah at Addison Oktoberfest.

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From Oklahoma! to the Texas-Oklahoma border, there's plenty to celebrate the weekend across the Lone Star State.

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Learn how to time your wildflower seed sowing for a bountiful spring, indulge in kolaches in Caldwell, and explore a new Dalí exhibit at the Meadows Museum in Dallas.


What do flip flops, oatmeal, rodeos, sorghum, and animatronic dinosaurs have in common? They're all the centerpiece of events happening across Texas this Labor Day weekend.

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On Nov. 17-18, the sounds of Native American drums will lead visitors to “experience Mother Earth’s heartbeat” at the Sacred Springs Powwow in San Marcos near the headwaters of the San Marcos River. The event expects to feature more than 100 dancers in vibrant regalia along with Native American history presentations. Taste favorite dishes like fry bread, and shop for handmade goods. The event is produced by the Indigenous Cultures Institute—a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the culture, arts, and traditions of distinct indigenous groups originally from South Texas and northeastern Mexico that are collectively known as Coahuiltecans.

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A few miles north of Waco, Homestead Heritage—an agrarian and artisan community consisting of a few hundred families—welcomes visitors for a taste of the simple life at its annual Homestead Fair on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 23-24. Members of the community drive modern vehicles and use technology, but adopt plain dress and traditional values, and strive to master the skills of self-sufficiency—a lifestyle that draws thousands of tourists every year. At the 31st annual event, learn how to milk a cow, lend a hand at an old-fashioned timber frame barn raising, and watch a master craftsman fashion a fine Windsor chair straight from a rough log. Each day in the craft pavilion, you’ll find a wide variety of ongoing homestead craft demonstrations—pottery, quilting, weaving, broom making, basket weaving, leatherwork, and more; learn how to make your own holiday gifts, or purchase one of these specialty items onsite. Sip on hand-pressed apple cider, snack on cheeses aged in Homestead’s own climate-controlled cheese cave, and take a horse-drawn hayride around the farm, which houses numerous structures built before the American Revolution, including a water-powered gristmill.

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