The unique flavors of Monroe-West Monroe aren’t just found in its delectable cuisine, charming antique shops, and homegrown country music. Throughout the fall, the twin cities host a calendar’s worth of one-of-a-kind festivals that showcase the best of North Louisiana. Stomp grapes at an award-winning winery or show off your curling skills at a “chilly” summer festival.
When you’re not at a spirited celebration, you can admire the picturesque scenery of the Ouachita River and Bayou Desiard, or the hauntingly beautiful bald cypress trees and distinct local architecture. From concerts and gourmet food to ice-cold brews and sophisticated wines, read on to discover an event you’ll love in Monroe-West Monroe.
Snow in the South may seem too good to be true, but Monroe is where the magic happens. Take the edge off the summertime sizzle at the inaugural ChillFest celebration. Downtown Monroe will become a one-day winter wonderland, where you can enjoy all things cold. Pause for a moment as you cool down in the snow flurries, then play the day away in the freeze tag tournament or the human curling competition. Browse the makers’ fair featuring works by local artists and let your kids bounce out their energy on the inflatables before ordering up a refreshing snow cone, ice cream or frozen daiquiri.
All the frigid fun culminates in a live show by The Cleverlys at The Hub Music Hall. The group’s hilarious performance will have you singing and laughing with their bluegrass covers of hit singles, like Flo Rida’s hit “Low.” Take a break from summer’s heat and chill out in downtown Monroe at ChillFest this August.
Red Grape Harvest Celebration
Get ready for grape-stomping, wine-drinking fun! Bring your family and friends to Landry Vineyards in West Monroe for the Red Grape Harvest Celebration. Stomp grapes, take a wagon tour through the vineyard, participate in a free wine tasting and enjoy the country and classic rock musical stylings of the Mike McKenzie Band. Jambalaya, cheese trays, four types of boudin, and even wine bellinis will satisfy your hunger, but you’re also free to bring your own food, along with lawn chairs and blankets. Ladies, don your best Lucille Ball costume from the famous I love Lucy grape stomping episode for the chance to win a prize.
Landry Vineyards is located on 20 acres of rolling northern Louisiana terrain. Take in the spectacular views when you stop by for a tasting or one of the tours held on Saturday or come by for a tasting of the winery’s diverse selection of reds and whites. The winery also hosts frequent concerts and other family-friendly events, so there’s always a reason to visit.
It doesn’t get much better than a day filled with food and country music, except for when it’s all for a good cause. This is what you’ll get at Bayou Stock, an annual outdoor music festival held in nearby Sterlington. Pioneered by hometown boy turned country music star Dylan Scott, it’s a way to give back to his community. Experience high-octane performances by Scott and country singers Neal McCoy, Chris Lane, and Jon Langston. Tailgating is encouraged, and food trucks will be on site at the Sterlington Sports Complex to provide plenty of food to fuel your evening.
North Delta Food & Wine Festival
October 4 - 13
Indulge in a week of exceptional wines and enticing cuisine during the North Delta Food & Wine Festival. This foodie extravaganza kicks off with Restaurant Week, when local restaurants provide special menus from Oct. 4 – 11. For a truly epicurean evening, attend the Grand Tasting (Oct. 4). Watch the sunset over Bayou Desiard while you sample small bites of savory and sweet creations from renowned local chefs. These tasty tidbits are paired with complimentary wines, providing a sophisticated night of delightful dining.
Rounding out this culinary celebration is Brew on the Bridge (Oct. 12). Since the festival is also a fundraiser for the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, this particular event will have a dash of artsy flair. Sample local craft beer on the Endom Bridge and taste creative concoctions from local food trucks. As you enjoy your brews and bites, watch 12 artists paint the Ouachita River in a live art demonstration. There will also be a fish cook-off competition between the mayors of Monroe and West Monroe, adding just a touch of competitive flavor to the day.
Blues, Brews, and BBQ
Great music, delicious beer, and mouthwatering barbecue. What else can you ask for? Blues, Brews, and BBQ brings all these things together at the Downtown RiverMarket in Monroe during a one-day, early November celebration of brews, food, and the arts. Stroll along the picturesque Ouachita River as you sample the wares of local homebrewers. Try something new from one of the many food trucks and check out the rib cook-off. There will even be live blues music performances by several artists throughout the day, so you’ll be serenaded as you sip and shop from local artisans and vendors.
With an eclectic array of events, Monroe-West Monroe is the place to be to celebrate autumn. Plan your visit here.