SAN ANTONIO – It may not be swimming season quite yet but there are plenty of things to do and festivals to attend around the Hill Country before the summer.
Spring is full of events in the Texas Hill Country — from chili cookoffs to a historic folk festival to a Fredericksburg festival honoring craft beer.
Here is a list of events worth checking out in the upcoming months:
- Candlelight Ranch Chili Cook-Off & Car Show - This event is a huge hit for the entire family and includes a fun competition from over 15 chili teams, more than 30 amazing cars to vote on, live music by country artist Pauline Reese, live painting by contemporary mixed-media artist, Zuzu, a silent auction, zip lines for the kids (ages 5 and above), face painting and more, according to the event website. The festival takes place from noon to 3:30 p.m. on March 5 at 6408 Muleshoe Bend Trail in Marble Falls. Individual tickets are $30 each and a family pack is $80.
- Bluebonnet Airshow - Join the Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force at the 31st Annual Bluebonnet Airshow. See classic World War II aircraft and high-performance planes put on an aerial demonstration and visit the local museum to see WWII-era planes, military vehicles, and wartime memorabilia. Tickets start at $10 for kids and $20 for adults with discounts for seniors and military members. Gates open at 9 a.m. and the aerial program starts at noon on March 18 at the airport in Burnet, located at 2402 S Water Street.
- Mud Dauber Festival & Chili Cook-Off - This festival takes place from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on March 18 at 412 Luckenbach Town Loop in Fredericksburg. General admission is $15. There will be live music, games, vendors and of course — lots of chili.
- Texas Country Music Festival - This festival in Brady, Texas takes place March 23-April 1. There will be 22 shows throughout the festival featuring dozens of artists and performers. Full schedule, venues, dates, and performance times can be found at HillBillyHits.com. Prices range from free to $35.
- Dripping Springs Brewer Festival - This brewer festival is expected to have 15 brewers providing up to 45 beer selections as part of the latest event in a lineup of gatherings that celebrates the area’s award-winning artisans. The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 25 at 311 Old Fitzhugh Road in Dripping Springs. General admission tickets are $25. This event is for 21+ only.
- Texas Fandango - The Texas Fandango is a vintage swap meet, vintage bike show, and vintage races all rolled into one fun-packed weekend, March 31- April 2, according to the event website. General admission is $20 but military and veterans with a valid ID get $10 admission. Children ages 12 and younger are free. The Fandango takes place at the Gillespie County Fairground in historic Fredericksburg.
- Bluebonnet Festival - An estimated 35,000 people visit Burnet every year for the Bluebonnet Festival. The 40th annual Bluebonnet Festival will take place April 7-9. The live music begins Friday evening and jams through Sunday afternoon. Friday and Saturday afternoon concerts are free. There is a $20 admission for Saturday night’s concert. Attendees can bring a cooler with drinks, excluding glass containers, for $5.
- New Braunfels Pet Fest - The third annual pet festival in New Braunfels is returning from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 15 at 111 Landa Street. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 3-17 and children 3 and younger are free. There will be contests and demonstrations, a silent auction, vendors, microchipping, on-site pet services and more.
- Founders Day Festival - Thousands of people will gather in Dripping Springs’ historic downtown district on April 28-30, for a festive celebration of heritage and pioneer spirit, according to the event website. The three-day celebration kicks off with the Grand Parade and includes: free music and entertainment, the Mighty Thomas Carnival, food, beer, street dances, cook-off competitions, over 150 arts and crafts booths and business vendors.
- Stonehenge Celtic Festival and Highland Games - World-class athletes will compete in nine events in the Highland Games at this Ingram festival. There will be food trucks, vendors, live music, pipers, dancers and more. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 29 at the Hill County Arts Foundation, located at 120 Point Theatre Road.
- Kids Fest - The 11th annual Kids Fest will take place April 29-30 at the New Braunfels Civic Center at 375 South Castell Avenue. General admission is $10 for adults and children ages 3 and younger are free. The event is described as the largest hands-on, creative festival for kids and parents in the Hill Country.
- Wein and Saengerfest - Raise your glass and join the celebration at Wein and Saengerfest! This annual festival brings together wine enthusiasts and music lovers for a day full of fun in the heart of historic, downtown New Braunfels. This year’s festival will take place May 6. You can sip on a variety of delicious wines and craft beers and enjoy live music performances from talented artists across the region. Admission is free.
- Kerrville Folk Festival - The 18-day Kerrville Folk Festival will kick off on May 25 and run through June 11. The festival offers concerts and activities for all ages that are focused on nurturing and developing artistic expression, especially the art of songwriting, according to the event website. Single-day ticket prices vary by the date.
- Old Town Street Festival - The Old Town Street Festival in Leander will take place on June 3. Texas musicians bring the stage to life all day while family-friendly activities delight both adults and children. Food vendors provide both healthy and indulgent choices, and local and regional wineries and breweries bring a special flair to Old Town, according to the event website. This year’s headliner is a Texas favorite, Dale Watson, followed by the afterparty featuring The SPAZMATICS.
- Fredericksburg Craft Beer Festival - Prost! Fredericksburg Craft Beer Festival is taking place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 10 at the Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg. General admission tickets are $20 per person. 2023 craft brewers have yet to be announced but more than 16 breweries participated in last year’s festival.
- Stonewall Peach JAMboree - The annual peach JAMboree and rodeo is returning for its 62nd year on June 16 and 17 at the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce Grounds, located at 250 Peach Street in Stonewall. Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for kids ages 2-12. This celebration of the annual peach crop includes peach judging, crowning of the Peach Queen, parade, peach eating, pit spitting, food, mutton bustin’, music and rodeo.
Founders Day Festival photo courtesy Dave Wilson.