The 18th annual Red Poppy Festival on the downtown Square in Georgetown is this weekend on April 28-30. The biggest annual festival on the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas starts on Friday night with three days of music, entertainment and family fun.
Diamond Rio is the headliner at the Saturday night street dance and Blue Water Highway starts the concert on Saturday night. The Friday night concert features Groove Knight. There is no admission charge for the concerts or other festival activities such as the car show, parade, Red Poppy Kid’s Fun Zone or vendor booths. Bring your own chair if you are coming to listen to the music.
Other festival highlights include the Red Poppy Bike Ride on Saturday at 8 a.m., the Red Poppy 5k run on Saturday at 9 a.m., the Red Poppy Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m., and the Car Show on Saturday at 11 a.m. On Sunday, don’t miss Kevin Fitzpatrick doing amazing rope tricks at 12:30, 2:30, and 4 p.m. Come to watch and participate in the One-in-the-Hole ball drop with 28,000 ping pong balls on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Red Poppy Kid’s Fun Zone is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Fun Zone includes an obstacle course, a huge slide, a bounce house, a basketball game and a toddler playground.
Tours of the historic Shotgun House, located at 801 West St. will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday during the festival. The house features historic reflections and artifacts from the African American community. Teacakes and lemonade will be available for purchase.
The Red Poppy Festival is on track to become a Zero Waste event by 2021, which means that 90 percent of the waste from the event is recycled or composted. Food vendors are using only compostable plates, dishes, drinking straws, napkins, and cutlery and recyclable cups. Look for recycling and composting eco-stations and help the festival to become Zero Waste. You can start by bringing your own reusable shopping bags from home. In 2016, attendees helped divert 54 percent of waste generated at the event from the landfill.
Winners of the Red Poppy Taste Awards, a cooking competition featuring poppies in sweet and savory foods, will be announced on stage during the Saturday night concert.
For a full schedule and all the details, go to RedPoppyFestival.com.
The official 2017 Red Poppy Festival poster is on sale for $5 each at the Visitor Center at 103 W. Seventh St. T-shirts are available for purchase at the festival.
Where are the poppies? For a map showing the locations of red poppies in Georgetown, stop by the Visitors Center at 103 W. Seventh St. (Or see an online map at poppy.georgetown.org/things-to-do/red-poppy-tour.)
Austin Avenue closes Friday morning: Starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 28, Austin Avenue will be closed from Sixth to Ninth streets. Traffic will be detoured to Rock Street. (This is to allow the placement of the main festival stage.) Austin Avenue will be closed through Sunday at 11 p.m.
Other streets around the Courthouse Square will close at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 28 to allow for vendor set-up. Streets around the Square will remain closed through Sunday at 11 p.m. An expanded street closure area will be in effect on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon) for the Red Poppy Parade. To see the parade route, go to poppy.georgetown.org/things-to-do/parade. Detailed street closure information can be found at poppy.georgetown.org/parking.
Free Shuttle on Saturday
A free shuttle will run on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to midnight. The shuttle will pick up and drop off passengers at the First Baptist Church located at 1333 W. University Ave. The drop-off location is at the corner of Austin Avenue and Ninth Street.
The Williamson County parking garage at Rock and Fourth streets and the public parking lot on Austin Avenue between Fifth and Fourth streets (next to The Monument Cafe) will be open during the festival. Public parking lots on Martin Luther King Jr. Street at West Eighth and West Sixth streets are also available. There is no charge for parking.
Handicap parking is available at the parking lot at 10th and Main streets.
The City parking lot at Sixth and Main streets will be closed starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 28.
For a complete schedule and all the details, go to RedPoppyFestival.com.