It’s festival season which means that in the next few months, cities all over Texas will be throwing awesome parties celebrating the best things about Texas. Now this list isn’t comprehensive, but there are enough cool festivals here to keep you and your family busy partyin’ almost every weekend this April through July.
RED POPPY FEST – Georgetown, TX
When: April 22-24
Each year Georgetown, TX throws a huge weekend-long celebration in April when the red poppies bloom to celebrate their title as “The Red Poppy Capital of Texas.” The 17th Annual Red Poppy Fest includes all kinds of fun events and activities from a classic car show to a self-guided red poppy tour through town. There will be food vendors, live entertainment and a craft fair. All guests are invited to wear red and attend the “Paint the Town Red” parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday – which is actually being hosted by Mr. Chet Garner, himself! And to add to the weekend’s celebration, there will be a performance by country superstar Tracy Lawrence on Saturday night. Find more information here.
TEXAS SANDFEST – Port Aransas, TX
When: April 29 – May 1
This beach festival is all about sand, fun and a little competition. Texas Sandfest is a three-day competition where you can watch as pro sand sculptors create mind-blowing castles and sculptures out of the sand on the Port Aransas beach. Not a pro? That’s alright – they also have competitions on Saturday for amateurs, kids and teens. The festival includes craft and jewelry vendors, live music, a Beer and Wine Garden, and more! Purchase tickets here.
TEXAS CRAB FESTIVAL – Crystal Beach, TX
When: May 6-8
Admission: Fri. or Sat. entry is $11.54, Sun. is free
Join the city of Crystal Beach for a three-day festival of family fun and lots of seafood at The 31st Annual Texas Crab Festival . The festival features all kinds of activities from a Texas 2-Step Dance Contest to a Crab Gumbo Cook-off. And the Wiener-Dog Race is a can’t miss event! There will also be a 5K Run, a 1K Walk (for those too full of crab to be athletic) and live music. Find more information here.
TACOFEST – Fort Worth, TX
When: May 7
Admission: $10 – $50, price depends on pass purchased
If you aren’t getting enough tacos in your diet, then head to the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth for a taco fiesta! This celebration of Cinco De Mayo hosted by Fort Worth Weekly lasts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features live music, mariachi bands, vendors and of course lots and lots of tacos from area restaurants and food trucks. At TacoFest, there will also be a celebrity judged taco competition, and from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. is unlimited taco sampling. “Taco” ’bout a good time…(sorry, couldn’t help myself!) Click here to purchase tickets.
HOUSTON CRAWFISH, CRAB & GRILL FESTIVAL – Houston, TX
When: May 14
Admission: $20 before event, $25 at the gate
Calling all foodies: This is a party dedicated to Houston’s finest Cajun and New Orleans-inspired eats. HCCGF is a weekend designed for the purpose of stuffing your face with all the scrumptious crawfish specialties, mouth-watering crab dishes and fantastic grilled foods you want from area restaurants and caterers while honoring the culture that created these amazing meals. And what pairs perfectly with delicious Cajun food? Why, live performances from R&B, Reggae and Soul musicians all weekend. Just be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting covered with butter from your crawfish boil. Click here to purchase tickets.
GENERAL SAM HOUSTON FOLK FESTIVAL – Huntsville, TX
When: May 13-15
Admission: $3 – $5, price depends on age
The town of Huntsville, TX is hosting the 17th Annual General Sam Houston Folk Festival to celebrate one of their most historic citizens. This year’s festival features historical reenactments, craft vendors, live entertainment and more on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. There will also be opportunities to learn more about Sam Houston and Texas history from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sons of the Republic. Click here for more information.
MAIN STREET FEST – Grapevine, TX
When: May 20-21
Admission: $5 – $15, price varies depending on time
The 32nd Annual Main Street Festival promises to be a blast for kids and adults. Mom and Dad can enjoy a selection of over 80 craft brew beers or a glass of wine from the Grapevine wineries while kids check out the KidZone, museum exhibits and kids shows. There will also be a Carnival and Midway with rides and games for families to enjoy, lots of shopping and live entertainment. You can find more information here.
STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL – Pasadena, TX
When: May 20-22
Admission: $5 – $30, price varies depending on price and day
This is one sweet celebration! The Strawberry Festival has been going since 1974 and is one of the biggest traditions in Pasadena which is deemed the “The Strawberry Capital of the South.” The three-day festival starts with an Opening Strawberry Festival Parade and the unveiling of the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake, which is a 2073 sq. ft. cake that is made each year and served throughout the festival. The festival also features a mud volleyball tournament in a 3-foot mud pit, a carnival, performances by Aaron Watson and Eric Paslay, and much more. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for area colleges. Learn more here.
THE NATIONAL POLKA FESTIVAL – Ennis, TX
When: May 27-29
Admission: $8 – $25, price varies depending on day
Get your polka on and join the people of Ennis as they celebrate Czech heritage at the 50th Annual National Polka Festival. The three-day festival kicks off with a Polka dance competition, then on Saturday morning guests are invited to watch the free parade through downtown. The festival also features a Kolache-eating contest, a 5K and a weekend full of live music from polka bands including Grammy Award-winning Brave Combo.
TASTE OF DALLAS – Dallas, TX
When: June 3-5
Admission: $14 – $50, price varies depending on pass purchased
The residents of Dallas come together every year in Fair Park to experience the best music, food and arts the city has to offer. At this year’s 30th Taste of Dallas festival there is something for everyone like a Kids Zone with a petting zoo and inflatable slides, the Foodie Experience complete with free samples of the area’s best foods, wines and beers, and the Main Stage where a free music festival will be hosted all weekend. In celebration of Taste of Dallas‘s 30th birthday, a cake has been created by “The Cake Boss’s” Carlos Bake Shop and will be passed out at the festival. You can purchase tickets here.
TOMATO FEST – Jacksonville, TX
When: June 11
Come join the “Tomato Capital of the World” for a day of music, fun and — of course — LOTS of tomatoes at The 32nd Annual Tomato Fest! Events include a Tomato Peeling Contest, in which contestants peel tomatoes with their teeth; a Tomato Shoot, where kids use BB-Guns to shoot tomatoes and a Salsa Contest. There will be a Farmer’s Market where you can buy some of those famous Jacksonville tomatoes, and you can also eat your weight in fried green tomatoes. Learn more about the event here.
TEXAS FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL – San Antonio, TX
When: June 10-12
Admission: $5 – $12, price varies depending on age and day
The Texas Folklife Festival was modeled after a celebration of cultures at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Throughout the weekend, the festival celebrates the differences of over 40 different ethnic groups. The Folklife Festival showcases ethnic heritages through foods, crafts, entertainment and more on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures. Tickets can be purchased at the gates on the day of the event or here.
2ND ANNUAL ROUTE 66 FESTIVAL – Amarillo, TX
When: June 18
The 2nd Annual Route 66 Festival will really help you “get your kicks!” This free festival features all the things you need to celebrate Historic Route 66 from Antiques to Classic Cars. There will also be a Swap Meet, food, live music, shopping and more! So grab your family and plan a road trip to this iconic highway. Check this site to find out more information.
WATERMELON THUMP – Luling, TX
When: June 23-26
Admission: $5 – $15, prices varies depending on day
The Watermelon Thump has been a beloved tradition in Luling since 1954. Start practicing your seed-spittin’ skills in preparation for the World Championship Seed Spitting Contest, and practice polishing off melons promptly because the Watermelon Eating Contest is judged on speed not quantity. The festival also features a mechanical bull, carnival rides, craft fair, live music and more! Learn more here.
GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE – Longview, TX
When: July 22-24
Admission: $12, $15 at gate
Take flight with the city of Longview at the Great Texas Balloon Race. During this three-day festival guests can get up close and personal with giant, colorful hot air balloons and watch as they soar over the festival grounds. A highlight of this festival is the Special Shapes Spectacular, an event when hot air balloons in fun shapes float above the grounds and the Balloon Glow when the hot air balloons are lit at night. There will also be live performances by Aaron Watson and Restless Hearts. Find more information here.