They say we do it bigger and better in Texas, and when it comes to having a good time the Lone Star State does excel. From celebrating our multicultural citizens and our favorite foods and drinks to giving a shout out to those darn pesky ‘skeeters, check out the top festivals in Texas in the summertime.
Luling Watermelon Thump
Rest assured that almost all 5500 residents of the quaint Luling community will be attending what they lovingly call The Luling Watermelon Thump over the course of the four-day celebration. True to its name, this annual event over the last weekend in June indeed features a watermelon eating and seed spitting contest, as well as a largest melon competition. The action kicks off on Thursday with a pageant and dance with live music, and the thrills like the watermelon bucking bull continue over the weekend. Smell the barbecue smoking and hear the screams of the carnival while mingling with some of the most welcoming folks in Texas.
Aqua Boom Festival in Kingsland
Certainly one of the biggest and most popular annual events in the Highland Lakes region over the July 4th weekend, the Aqua Boom Festival brings together the surrounding communities for four days of events and activities. It all kicks off with a huge cook off and parades for the newly crowned Aqua Boom Pageant winners, and there’s even a parade just for kids and pets, too! Between live music events, a spectacular air show, and a huge ski show on the lake, there will be dozens of other fun events including wacky raft races, a poker run on the river, a rubber ducky race, and much more. Food, crafts, and fun on the land and lakes – what more could you ask for in a Texas festival?
Great Texas Mosquito Festival in Clute
Next to rodeos and great barbecue, Texas may be best known as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Since we can’t beat them, why not join in and celebrate those blood suckers? Residents of Clute embraced the concept in 1981 by launching an annual Great Texas Mosquito Festival, which is now one of the most popular and unique events in the state. Every July this festival features plenty of ‘skeeters along with fajitas and BBQ cook-offs, a three-day carnival, and live entertainment from top national acts. Get competitive and enter the 5K Fun Run or one of the various tournaments – paintball, dodgeball, horseshoes, or washer pitching. You’re sure to also see a mosquito…or two!
Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio
Experience the rich and glorious history of the people of Texas at this annual festival featuring colorful native costumes and live music representing several culture’s unique heritage. Modeled after the Smithsonian event of the same name in Washington, DC, the Texas Folklife Festival takes place at the Institute of Texan Cultures each June and showcases more than 40 cultures from across the state. Historical re-inactions of skills like basket weaving and bread making are viewable amid the 50-plus vendors featuring authentic foods and handcrafted goods from the various community groups represented. Come out and get a taste of Texas!
Dr. Pepper Birthday Celebration in Dublin
Texas conceived and created, Dr. Pepper isn’t the official drink of the Lone Star State, but don’t tell the residents that! Each June, residents of Dublin celebrate their version of the nectar of the Gods with a huge birthday celebration, giving a nostalgic nod to the sweet, unique drink. Food vendors and free samples of Dr. Pepper are a given, as is the likelihood of a celebrity or two participating in one of the Fun Runs. Explore a bevy of crafts and arts booths, take a free tour of the Dr. Pepper Museum and the bottling plant, and enjoy live music all weekend. Children’s activities are as delightful as the beverage itself, with kids participating in their own backyard circus, Fun Runs, and a carnival that’s ‘just their size.’ This year’s birthday celebration is coming up on June 8th.
Tracey works to promote small town culture in Texas, and is the regular events blogger highlighting events and activities in the Highland Lakes of Central Texas.