Texans pop over to Georgetown for the annual Red Poppy Festival
The signature blue and pink wildflowers seem to have faded from most of Austin proper, but things have turned red in Georgetown. This field day won't put you to sleep, though. The Georgetown Red Poppy Festival brings a parade, music, and more for a lovely suburban retreat from April 28-30.
The main draw are, of course, the bright blooms that visitors can tour using a map of about 100 square blocks. These flowers, which were sent home to Georgetown from Belgium by a soldier during WWI, are now maintained by civilians with an interest in preserving local history. Seed packets to plant in November are available at the Georgetown Visitors Center.
Besides the self-guided flower tour, the flowers are mostly a springboard into Central Texans' favorite things and outdoor festival staples. Some Texans may have visited the suburb earlier in April for the inaugural Two Step Inn festival, which brought some big names in country music and crowds befitting the lineup. The Red Poppy Festival takes a much more local approach for a lower-key visit.
Friday's schedule stays short and simple, with a food and artisan market starting at 6 pm and a concert by funky Austin-based "show band" Dysfunkshun Junkshun at 7 pm.
Saturday is the main event, kicking off at 10 am with a parade and market, and a car show an hour later with awards in the afternoon). The rest of the day belongs to the music, with song and dance performances from jazz bands, local theater groups, Ford Elementary, and more. Children are welcome and invited to hang out at the the "Kids Zone" both weekend days. The main concert, starting at 6 pm, features Alphine band Walburg Boys, country singer Wynn Williams, and well-known Texas folk duo Jamestown Revival.
On Sunday, stunts are pulled at multiple BMX shows and maybe even by talented furry guests at the pet parade. Kids into heavy machinery can get up close and personal with a variety of city and construction vehicles during "Touch-A-Truck," and visitors of all ages may see something culturally new to them including clogging, Zydeco (Louisiana Creole folk), and Indian street dancers.
This is a good excuse to wander around the small town, and the festival provides a guide to local eateries and hotels. It also offers a free shuttle on Saturday.
More information about the festival, schedules, and the surrounding area is available at poppy.georgetown.org.