As the crisp autumn air ushers into Derby City it brings along with it annual fall favorites — like Oktoberfest, Harvest Homecoming, the Jack O’Lantern Spectacular, and the St. James Art Fair.
Louisville wouldn’t be the same without these annual traditions, but there are a few other festivals that take a little different approach to the standard autumnal celebrations.
🥭 Pawpaw Festival
Saturday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
For the first time ever, the Louisville Nature Center is pulling out all the stops to celebrate this regional tropical fruit. It looks like a small, green potato, but tastes like a cross between a mango and a banana.
What to expect: Workshops, guided hikes, foraging, live music
🐐 Goatman Festival
Friday, Oct. 13 + Saturday, Oct. 14
Ain’t no party like a cryptid party. The Legend at Pope Lick Park is honoring the most famous Louisville monster in history, the Goatman — AKA the Pope Lick Monster. The event is free and features showings of the 1988 “Legend of the Pope Lick Monster” film and a Q+A with actual Goatman hunters.
What to expect: Free movies, celebrities, cryptid vendors, music, a horror hike, escape games
🦇 Kentucky Bat Festival
Saturday, Oct. 21, 4-7 p.m.
Most people believe they’re creepy — thanks Dracula — but Second Chances Wildlife Center loves them. This annual event, dedicated to the only flying mammal around, is held at EP Tom Sawyer State Park and offers a rare opportunity to meet social media star and “batfluencer” Pepperoni. Tickets are $15-$35 and benefit the wildlife rescue organization.
What to expect: Live bat meetings, a silent auction, presentations, BBQ, local beer
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder… Check out these other unconventional fall festivals happening throughout the region: