Bluebonnet Festival in full swing this week

The Bluebonnet Festival Grand Parade is always an exciting part of the event. This year's parade will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13.

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

The Bluebonnet Festival will be in full swing this Friday, April 12 around Burnet’s Historic Square, bringing three days of entertainment for residents and visitors to the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas for its 36th year.

The Bluebonnet Festival has welcomed approximately 30,000 visitors per year, and Burnet Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Winkler expects an even bigger turn out for 2019.

“I think this year we will have more visitors than ever,” Winkler said. “With the projection of the wildflowers and the festival being around for 36 years, I think it will bring more people in.”

The festival will feature 200 different vendors around the square and down Jackson Street, children’s activities, the famous Weiner Dog Races, and continuous live music, including a free concert and street dance with Gary P. Nunn on Friday, and Shotgun Rider, who will open up for Mike Ryan, on Saturday night.

Tickets for Saturday night’s concert will be available at the gates; tickets are $15 each, and a $5 cooler fee will be added to those who bring their own refreshments.

Texas Country Music legend Gary P. Nunn recently announced his coming retirement, making his Friday concert even more special. What better place to celebrate Texas Country Music than small town Burnet?

“We wanted to get him (Nunn) before he retired, and with Shotgun Rider and Mike Ryan on Saturday, we are reaching out to both generations,” Winkler said. “There will be something for everybody.”

“Something for everybody” applies to the many activities, vendors, carnival rides, and various local musicians that visitors will be able to encounter all weekend. The event schedule is jam-packed with entertainment for people of every walk of life.

The Mighty Thomas Carnival will take place Thursday night through Sunday at various prices per day, and before Saturday night's concert, the Burnet County Rodeo Arena will host the 27th annual Demolition Derby. Gates open at 5 p.m., the event starts at 6 p.m., and tickets are available at the gate. Kids ages five and under get free admission, ages six to nine are $5, and ages ten and up are $15.

The Derby is a BYOB event, and a $10 cooler fee applies. No bottles are allowed on the rodeo grounds. Various entertainment during the event include a Kids Power Wheel Race, and the Mrs. Demo Derby contest. For more information about the Demolition Derby, contact Rustey Ward at 512-234-0794 or Brent Nichols at 512-663-2856.

The work that goes into the Bluebonnet Festival is endless, as planning for the next year begins immediately after the current festival wraps up, and Winkler relies on her Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Bluebonnet Festival Executive Committee to ensure the event runs smoothly each year.

“The Board of Directors is really instrumental in planning, and the executive committee is great with organizing and getting everything together,” Winkler said. “And they also help with their boots on the ground during the festival; our two co-chairs, Angela Moore and Suzanne Brown, have helped tremendously being part of the community.

“The festival has grown and grown.”

The Bluebonnet Festival is a favorite event held dear to the hearts of many, and being a part of the town since 1983, it has seen the growth of the community and its residents over generations.

“What I love about the Bluebonnet Festival is that it is all really traditional, and though we have new things, we keep doing what we have done for 36 years,” Winkler said. “A lot of people went as kids and look forward to bringing their kids now.

“We’ve introduced new elements but still throw back to everyone’s childhood and include fun and new things to explore,” Winkler added.

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