15 Festivals to Kick Off Your Summer!

Summer is so close, you can taste it (and feel it in those blazing 87 degree days) — but it’s still spring. Instead of getting the summer blues, check out this list of 15 rockin’ festivals around the state to keep you partying until spring is over and help you welcome in the gloriously hot days of summer!

Taste of Irving – May 20

Picture by City of Irving.

Food is the big event at this festival (and that’s honestly the best part of any festival, right?) Sample gourmet dishes from 24 local restaurants, purchase some of their signature dishes for only $5 and watch food demonstrations by chefs from the Art Institute of Dallas’s International Culinary School! Besides the food fun, there will also be live music, a craft show and a fun zone for kids!

Scarborough Renaissance Festival – until May 29

Picture by Pongo.

Jousting knights,  mystical mermaids, dazzling princesses, epic sword fights…sound like a fantasy? It’s also a normal day at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie. Step into an enchanted fairytale and become a part of the magic at this recreation of a 16th Century English Village under the reign of King Henry VII. From sword fights and historic demonstrations to all the food you can imagine (including giant turkey legs), this festival is one awesome adventure! And with themed weekends, you never know what you’ll discover!

Kerrville Folk Festival – May 25 – June 11

This is one festival that keeps rockin’ and rollin’ — for 18 continuous days! Join Kerrville in this huge gathering of singer-songwriters for TONS of live music as well as multiple workshops including blues guitar, ukulele and songwriting workshops! To add to the musical fun, there are also Canoe Trips on the Guadalupe each Friday and a 26-mile Hill Country bike ride every Saturday. Hit up the festival on Memorial Day weekend to take part in the Texas Wines & Texas Craft Beers seminars!

Houston Greek Festival – May 19-21

Picture by Alexandra Maria Photography.

It’s time to get your Greek on at this Houston fest where you can learn all about the Greek culture. Enjoy traditional dances, handmade Greek crafts and jewelry, a Non-Greeks dance competition and, of course, all the delicious Greek foods and pastries! Ticket proceeds from this year’s festival benefit the Ronald McDonald House Houston.

National Polka Fest – May 26-28

Picture by Ashley Colunga.

Grab your dancing shoes and head to this festival celebrating Polka music and the Czech heritage! The festivities start on Friday night with a Polka dance and guests are encouraged to wear traditional Czech costumes. The fun continues on Saturday and Sunday with a parade, live Polka music, kolache-eating contests and so much more! You’ve gotta “Czech” it out!

Big Pines Blues Festival – June 2- 3

If there’s two things you can count on finding in Longview, TX, it’s BIG pines and a BIG sound! Since 2006, this Blues festival has been showcasing blues legends and newcomers, alike! The festival begins with performances by new artists on Friday night. On Saturday, enjoy music by 2016 Blues Hall of Fame member Elvin BishopJohnny and the Nightcrawlers, and Jimmy Wallace and the Stratoblasters!

West Texas Swing Festival – June 7-10

Picture by Snyder Chamber of Commerce.

Grab your boots and dance partner and make your way out west to Snyder, TX for this weekend celebrating the official music of Texas: Western Swing! Dance the days away to live music by Rance Norton, Jody Nix, Jake Hooker and more! Besides tons of two-stepping, you can also browse through the Craft Fair!

Chisholm Trail Round-up – June 8-10

This festival is a Rodeo, mixed with a Carnival in the Barbecue Capital of Texas — Lockhart! Join the community for three days of fun, food, craft fairs, washer throwing and golf tournaments! There will also be live music by country artists including Justin TrevinoNathan Colt Young and Reckless Kelly.

Shrimporee – June 9-11

With a name like that, you know this is gonna be one EPIC festival. Head to Port Aransas on June 9-11 for shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp. At this coastal celebration, you can enter a shrimp eating contest, enjoy a shrimp boil, watch the Miss Shrimporee Contest or even partake in the Outhouse Race! Or you can just grab a shrimp cocktail and relax to live music from over a dozen musicians!

Blanco Lavender Festival – June 9

Picture by Willard Gibbons.

This may be one of the best smelling festivals in Texas! Blanco is hosting its 13th Annual Lavender Festival, and it’s your one-stop shop for all things lavender! There will be a lavender market outside the Historic Old Blanco County Courthouse, but you can also visit the local farms to see the lavender growing, and possibly even pick your own! Attend the lectures by guest speakers about lavender, gardening and bee-keeping, or relax with a “Lavender Lizzie” from Real Ale Brewing and listen to live music.

Wine & Clay Festival – June 10-11

Enjoy a luxurious evening in the Texas Panhandle! Sip some of Llano Estacado Winery’s finest wines in Slanton, TX while you view artworks, handcrafted jewelry, pottery and more!

Jacksonville Tomato Fest – June 5 -10

Picture by April Barbe.

Join the folks of Jacksonville, TX, for their 33rd Annual Tomato Fest when the mayor proclaims the city “Tomatoville” for the week! There will be all sorts of fun events (like a Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday and a Golf Tournament on Friday) leading up to the big festival on Saturday! The Tomato Fest will be ripe with all kinds of opportunities to enjoy tomatoes, including Tomato Eating, Salsa and Home Grown Tomatoes Contests. The kids can also join in the fun with Tomato Peeling, Tomato Shoot and Tomato Packing Contests. And of course, you can gorge yourself on fried green tomatoes among other delicious foods!

Boerne Berges Fest – June 16-18

Picture by Boerne Berges Fest.

Boerne is hosting its 51st Berges Fest and you’re invited to help them honor all things German! There will be a Parade to kick-off the festival, then throughout the weekend activities include a Bratwurst Eating Contest, Daschund Races, a Root Beer Drinking Contest, Wheelbarrow Races and more! There will also be a carnival and live music.

Stonewall Peach JAMboree – June 16-17

Picture by Stonewall Chamber of Commerce.

If you love peaches, this is the JAMboree for you! At this fest in Stonewall, you’ll find peaches galore in the form of ice cream, cobblers and, of course, fresh peaches. Compete in the peach salsa, baking or preserves contests to put your peachy skills to the test, hit the rides at the carnival or stop by the rodeo to watch the mutton bustin!

Bandera Riverfest – June 24

Picture by Jackie Demers.

Mosey on down to Cowboy town to join in the fun on the Medina River. You’ll find a little bit of everything — from a water-themed rodeo (with events like “tube roping”) to contests for your furry friends (Water Fetch competition anyone?). Show off your talent at the Bandera Idol competition, or your food-eating skills at the Watermelon or HotDog eating contests! Add in a BBQ Cook-Off, the “Anything That Floats” Regata and an Arts & Craft Show, and you’ve got yourself an epic day!