With cooler weather, Galveston comes alive in the fall with its popular outdoor events and festivals – some popular traditions and activities that both locals and visitors look forward to every year. As the leaves turn colors and as the beach crowds wane, the focus is now more on the arts, theater, music, dining, sightseeing, bike-riding and walking along the Seawall to enjoy the cool breezes. And then there are the holiday events – from the spooks and ghosts of Halloween to the island’s longstanding “Dickens on The Strand” festival.
Here are seven highlights of just some of the things you can do in Galveston this fall:
Harvest Moon Regatta (Oct. 5)
Come out and watch as hundreds of sail boats take to the Gulf of Mexico for the annual Harvest Moon Regatta. This year, the race will start and finish in Galveston, with the start of the race located at 25th and Seawall Blvd. The boats will race on a distance established before the start between 100 and 170 miles.
ArtWalk (Oct. 14)
For over 25 years, the Galveston Art Center has produced an ArtWalk on Saturday nights in the heart of the historic district. Now spreading to other parts of the Island, ArtWalk occurs approximately every six weeks. Not a street festival, ArtWalk takes place in existing commercial galleries, non-profit arts spaces and what are called "other walls" — restaurants and retail stores. One of the Galveston Arts Center's largest programs, ArtWalk promotes visual art and supports our arts-based community, offering alternative places to see and learn about art.
Galveston Greek Festival (Oct. 14-15)
Galveston’s lively Greek Festival brings together top Greek dishes along with a variety of Greek ornaments, icons, jewelry and artwork that will please the most discerning shoppers. In its 34th year, the festival will include traditional foods like beef souvlaki, gyro, pastitsio, tiropites (cheese puff triangles) and favorites spanakopita (spinach triangles), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and keftedes (meat balls). And don’t forget the Greek salad with olives and feta cheese.
Galveston Heritage Day (Oct. 21)
This annual event is a celebration of Texas immigration in Galveston. Enjoy music, food and entertainment from numerous cultural groups and associations throughout the day while learning more about the early days of Galveston's immigration movement. Admission is absolutely free from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Hendley Green for fantastic live music, delicious food trucks, captivating craft beers and much more!
20th Annual ARToberFEST (Oct. 21-22)
Sponsored by the The Grand 1894 Opera House, ARToberFEST is the island’s biggest art event bringing together more than 125 artists from all over the country, each showcasing their creations – paintings, sculptures, drawings and more. Enjoy the bursts of colors from the artistic works while “sipping and strolling.” Have children? ARToberFEST offers a wonderful kids area that encourages them to create their own paintings and other works of art.
36th Annual Galveston Island Oktoberfest (Oct. 27-28)
Oktoberfest has been bringing Galvestonians, visitors of German heritage and those who just enjoy a great time together for 36 consecutive years. This fun, family festival weekend will feature continuous live entertainment on two stages, authentic German food and libations, Cake Wheel, fine arts, crafts and gifts; an exciting auction, exciting family and children's activities and much more. Oktoberfest will be held on the grounds of and streets adjacent to First Lutheran Church, 24th and Winnie - in historic downtown Galveston. Admission is free. German costumes encouraged.
Mini-Monster Bash (Oct. 28)
Saengerfest Park will be the central location for fun. There will be games, arts and crafts, face painting, balloon artists, and a costume contest. Contestants will compete for Cutest, Scariest, and Most Creative for age groups 0-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-11. The festival will be free to the public and include Trick or Treat Stops at local businesses throughout Downtown Galveston.