Founders Day: When Drip­pin comes out to play

Guide to Dripping Springs - - 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.

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