It wouldn’t be summer without festivals, and luckily, there are almost too many to choose from here in Texas. Whether you want to spend a weekend chowing down on some of the state’s best barbecue, watching calf roping and bull riding, or listening to some old-fashioned blues music, there’s a celebration for nearly everything in the Lone Star State – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The following are 11 unique, fun-filled festivals taking place over the next month or so that promise to be a fun time for the whole family:
1. Alamo Watermelon Festival (Alamo)
The festivities kick off at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. Enjoy live music performances, sample some delicious barbecue (and enter your own concoctions) in the cook-off, and partake in various contests including archery, seed-spitting, and watermelon eating. The location is 800 E. Main St, Alamo, TX 78516.
2. Tops in Texas Rodeo (Jacksonville)
This year is the 56th annual Tops in Texas Rodeo, and it's shaping up to be a great one indeed. Saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bull riding, calf roping, bareback riding, and barrel racing are some of the activities taking place on the weekend of May 17-19. Click
for more information and a map with directions to the venue.
3. Pasadena Strawberry Festival (Pasadena)
Home of the world's largest strawberry shortcake, no town loves the sweet summer fruit quite like Pasadena. The festival takes place on May 18-20, and consists of parades, a beauty pageant, fun run, mud volleyball, BBQ cook-off, live music, and more. All the fun takes place at the Pasadena Fairgrounds, or 7603 Red Bluff Rd, Pasadena, Texas 77507.
4. Simply Texas Blues Festival (San Angelo)
If you're a fan of the blues, this festival is definitely for you. Hosted by the San Angelo Blues Society, the event has been going on for ten years with no signs of stopping anytime soon. This year's featured artists are John Nemeth, Michael Milligan and T. Gozney Thornton, and it's expected to be a great show as always. The festival address is 123 S Chadbourne St, San Angelo, TX 76903, and May 19 is the big day.
5. The Great Texas BBQ Fest (Houston)
Barbecue is pretty much our middle name here in Texas. We eat, sleep, and breathe it - so why not take a weekend to celebrate it? May 19 and 20 is when all the fun takes place at 401 Franklin Street, Houston, TX 77201. 20 teams will go head-to-head to see who can serve up the most delicious meat, with a $20,000 cash prize awarded to the winner. You'll get to sample their creations, of course, as well as food from some of the most noteworthy BBQ joints in the state. There will be beer and live music as well, making for a weekend sure to be enjoyed by all.
6. Memorial Day Weekend (Granbury)
Patriotism runs deep into our core here in Texas, so attending a Memorial Day festival is a no-brainer. These types of celebrations tend to be the best in smaller towns, and Granbury's is no exception. The festivities kick off on Saturday, May 26, with family activities, arts and crafts booths, food vendors, live music, vintage military vehicles, a hot dog eating contest, and more. The official ceremony paying homage to all those who fought and died will take place the following Monday in the town square.
7. Texas Salsa Fest (San Antonio)
The Texas Salsa Fest hasn't been around for a long time (this is only the second year!), but it's undoubtedly a good time for all who attend. You'll get to sample salsas from commercial brands, restaurants, and ordinary citizens as well as indulge in delicious local cuisine and cold beer to help alleviate the spiciness a bit. There will also be live music, salsa dancing, art, games, and much more. It's all happening from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, at Hemisfair Park (434 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78205.)
8. El Paso Balloon Festival (El Paso)
This is easily one of the most anticipated events of the year by El Paso residents. Nothing signifies the start of summer quite like watching hundreds of hot air balloons fill the sky with a breathtaking sunset behind them. The exact date for this year is TBA, but it will be sometime later this month. You won't want to miss this weekend-long event.
9. Summer at the Arboretum (Dallas)
An ongoing event lasting until July 31, Summer at the Arboretum is yet another spectacular festival put on by the Dallas Botanical Garden. There are events nearly every weekend, from wine sampling to petting zoos and everything in between. A full schedule can be found
, and the arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.
10. Market Day on Main (Marble Falls)
Marble Falls is one of the most "Texas" towns in the state. With beautiful scenery, a quaint town square, down-home cafes, and friendly locals, nothing encompasses the spirit of the Lone Star State quite like this little community does. Market Day on Main is no exception - with 70 different vendors selling everything from handcrafted leather goods to vintage art pieces, you're bound to walk away with some unique treasures. Oh, and don't forget to stop at Blue Bonnet Cafe for a piece of pie while you're in town.
11. Blanco Lavender Festival (Blanco)
The 14th annual Lavender Festival is being held on June 8-10, and y'all won't want to miss it. You'll get to visit local farms, learn all about growing your own lavender, listen to live music, and sample local food, wine, and beer. More information
How many of these festivals have you been to? What’s your favorite summer festival in Texas?