October festivals in the West and beyond

Special to The Los Angeles Times

If you’re a fall season traveler and heading out in October, you may want to drop in on one of these festivals in the West and beyond.

Minot, North Dakota

September 30-October 4

Norsk Høstfest

North America’s biggest Scandinavian festival, in its 30th year, will feature the Beach Boys and Kenny Rogers, plus Nordic crafts, costumes, entertainment, art and food.

Nong Khai, Thailand


The Naga fireballs

An annual natural phenomenon during which hundreds of small, colorful fireballs rise out of the Mekong River and disappear into the air. Also: light-and-sound shows and a long-boat race.

Niagara Falls, New York

October 2-5

Niagara International Kite Festival

Kites from around the world fly over the Canadian and American sides of Niagara Falls while 30,000 spectators watch in awe.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

October 4-12

The International Balloon Fiesta

Myriad colorful balloons in a renowned mass ascension.

Denver, Colorado

October 9-11

Great American Beer Festival

Described as the Super Bowl of beer, this annual event doles out more than 1,800 types of beers from 450 breweries.

Santarém, Portugal

Mid-October to mid-November

National Gastronomy Festival. The country’s main fair showcases the flavors of the nation’s different regions. Go to the website for more information.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

October 17-19

Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

A celebration of local, organic and eco-friendly foods; chefs, sommeliers and artisan food producers lead classes, demonstrations and tastings.

Half Moon Bay, California

October 18-19

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

The 38th annual fall harvest celebration will include live music, a pumpkin parade, a haunted house, autumn crafts, home-style foods, pie-eating, carving and costume contests, a 5K and 10K run - and massive pumpkins.

Transylvania, Romania

October 27-November 4

Tours, shows and celebrations follow the footsteps of Bram Stoker’s novel character, Count Dracula.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

October 30-November 3

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

What’s said to be the largest boat show in the world is in its 49th year. The event will feature more than 1,600 vessels with 160 super yachts, marine supplies, accessories, electronics. Go to the boat show’s website for more information.

Los Angeles, California

October 30-November 9

AFI Fest

The American Film Institute’s event showcases the works of new and established filmmakers.

Madison, Wisconsin

October 31


Mostly college students fill State Street for the ultimate Halloween party.

West Hollywood, California

October 31

Halloween and Costume Carnaval

A huge, gay-friendly Halloween street party along Santa Monica Boulevard draws about 300,000 people, many of them outrageously costumed.

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