Founders Day: When Drippin comes out to play
Every year in April, downtown Dripping Springs celebrates its history with Founders Day. The three- day event features plenty of fun for the entire family, including a parade, a carnival, cookoffs, arts and crafts, food vendors, and lots of live entertainment.
A small town event when it began 18 years ago, Founders Day has grown into one the largest festivals in the Texas Hill Country, attracting over 4,000 visitors and participants.
The Festival draws a wide array of folks including competitive cooks and foodies who love the tastes of barbecue and the traditional fest offerings— arts and craft shoppers looking for that unique homemade item; music aficionados who enjoy a variety of tunes and entertainers; and kids who wait with anticipation for the opening parade and the rides at the carnival.
Yes, for some, the Founders Day Festival is a rite of spring during the bluebonnet season.
Expanded planned and safe parking for visitors and participants will be available at two
included fancy floats, unique antique cars and more as they made they way through downtown throwing candy to the mass crowds who came out for the special event.
Awards were handed out for the overall best entry, the most extravagant entry, the most relevant to the Festival theme and the best performance by an entry. The theme for the parade was “The Good Life.” Entry forms, along with the new rules for the parade, can be found on the Founders Day website.
The Dripping Springs CookOff Club was back with more than 120 cooks vying for top trophies and more than $4,500 in prize money. The streets were filled with flavors of aromatic woods smokierng in specially made barbeque pits. From Friday through Sunday, visitors sampled delicious fajitas, chicken, pork, brisket, chili, salsa and a variety of dishes from the potluck contest. Many cooks go all out to decorate and craft their cooking spots for competition in the best locations. The non- profit group Search and Rescue Team 8 will operate parking services at the Triangle and the DSISD Administration Building. All proceeds from the parking service will benefit the Search and Rescue Team 8.
The entertainment line-up was bigger and better this year with two stages on Mercer Street. The Main Stage was located on the west end of Mercer and a smaller stage closer to Mercer and RR 12. Bands played live Friday and Saturday nights for free. The line-up can be reviewed at www.foundersdayfestival.com.
While the cooks were competing for fajitas on Friday night, bands were gearing up to play on the Main Stage. Food vendors were set up for the event, and visitors treated themselves to savory fair food, like roasted corn, burgers, wraps, ice cream and more. Beer is available for sale to the public along with other beverages. The parade kicked off the celebration on Friday night and
campsite, best showmanship and best pit contests. The Cook-Off Club also hosted a live auction on Saturday when the cook s ’ awards were announced. Sunday afternoon was also the time for the everfunny and entertaining chicken clucking contest.
Saturday and Sunday, the Arts and Crafts vendors were busily setting up their tents for business on both sides of Mercer. There were over 85 different vendors selling custom made jewelry and clothing, original artwork, and sculptures, woodturnings, birdhouses, old fence furniture, games and a variety of activities and games for the kids. Looking for a special, new product? This year the DS Chamber of Commerce will hosted a variety of business vendors.
The Washer Pitching Contests started on Saturday next to the DS Rental Center “backyard” (also known as “Buddies”).
Safe parking for visitors and participants was available at The Triangle. The Veterans of Foreign Wars operated parking services at the Triangle. Prices for parking will be $5 per car and $15 for RV’s and $25 for motor homes that exceed 35 feet in length.
While Founders Day Festival hosts many activities, visitors are encouraged to simply enjoy the many sights, sounds, aromas and entertainers. For some folks, the Festival provides that “it just doesn’t get any better that this” feeling as it truly offers a time to kickback and relax. Posters, brochures and the website are available with more information about the weekend.
Log on to www.foundersdayfestival.com to see the full schedule, pick-up a brochure at most area retailers or call 858-4725. And, there is still time to volunteer if want to be really involved behind the scenes in the fun-filled weekend. the pie contest call Connie Austin at (512) 2649415 or Frances Busbey at 858-5667.