Water Safety Day on May 19 at the Georgetown Recreation Center

The Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department will host a free Water Safety Day event from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at the Georgetown Recreation Center outdoor pool, 1003 N. Austin Ave.

The educational family event is designed to increase public awareness about drowning prevention and water safety as we head into the summer swim season. Attendees will learn important safety topics such as drowning prevention, water rescue skills, and proper life jacket use.

Participating organizations include the Georgetown Fire Department, Georgetown Camp Goodwater, Georgetown Adventure Camp, Georgetown Learn to Swim, Colin’s Hope and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Once attendees visit all of the organizations, they will receive a discount on a seasonal swim pass or summer swim lessons. Attendees are also welcome to stay and swim, and daily pool fees will be waived for this event. Children age 6 and younger must have a guardian actively participating with them in the water at all times.

For more information, visit parks.georgetown.org or contact Georgetown Parks and Recreation Aquatics at (512) 930-3541.

City of Georgetown hosts ‘Coco’ on May 11

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department presents “Coco” (PG) on Friday, May 11, in San Gabriel Park. The event will take place on the soccer fields located behind the Georgetown Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.

This is a free community event. The event starts at sunset, about 8:15 p.m. Moviegoers are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and picnics, and are encouraged to arrive early for free popcorn and children’s activities and games beginning at 7:30 p.m.

For details, visit parks.georgetown.org/sunset-movie-series.

Upcoming Movies:

June 23
“Moana” (PG)
Williams Drive Pool

July 20
“The Sandlot” (PG)
San Gabriel Park

Aug. 17
“A Wrinkle in Time” (PG)
San Gabriel Park

City Council election day is May 5

Election day for the District 1 City Council race is Saturday, May 5.

Incumbent Anna Eby and Mary Calixtro are on the ballot for the District 1 seat.

Kevin Pitts ran unopposed for the District 5 seat currently held by Ty Gipson, who did not seek re-election.

Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing single-member districts. To see maps of council districts, go to maps.georgetown.org/council-district-maps.

Votes will be canvassed at a special City Council meeting at 6 p.m. May 16 in City Council Chambers, 101 E. Seventh St. During that meeting, newly elected City Council members will be sworn in, and the council will select its mayor pro tem.

To see vote center locations on election day, go to wilco.org/elections.

Online payments limited Sunday

Access to online bill payments will be limited Sunday, May 6, from 5 a.m.-3 p.m. while electrical work is being completed for the City’s new civic center project at Ninth and Martin Luther King Jr. streets. The electrical work will also affect phone service at city facilities. However, 911 calls should not be affected by the electrical work.

During the planned outage customers will not be able to pay utility bills, Library or Municipal Court payments, and the Animal Shelter will not be processing city licenses or adoptions. Registration and payments at the Recreation and Tennis centers are not expected to be affected.

Access to City websites at Georgetown.org should not be affected except for some online payments.

Public Wi-Fi on the Square and in City facilities will also be shut down during the outage.

The Airport Terminal, Animal Shelter, Public Library, Recreation Center and Tennis Center will be open during their normal hours Sunday.

City, nonprofits celebrate Preservation Month in May

In May, the City of Georgetown, The Williamson Museum, and Preservation Georgetown will host a series of Preservation Month events in Georgetown to celebrate Preservation Month.

Events include:

  • May 1: Rededication of the Emzy Taylor historical marker at 5:30 p.m. at Seventh Street and Austin Avenue in front of Burger University.
  • May 5: Plein Air Painting with Preservation Georgetown at Grace Heritage Center, 817 S. Main St.
  • May 12: Historic Walking Tours at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., beginning at Founders Park, 814 S. Church St.
  • May 17: Texas Treasures Award presented by the Main Street Program during Preservation Georgetown’s Third Thursday event. Two businesses that have operated in Georgetown for more than 50 years will be recognized.
  • May 19: “Marking History,” highlighting historical figures around downtown, The Williamson Museum

Preservation Month helps celebrate preservation projects throughout the city, including the rehabilitation of Grace Heritage Center and Founders Park, which were completed last year.

To join the theme of Preservation Month, take a “This Place Matters” photo at a place you love and post it on social media. Download a sign at savingplaces.org. Go to williamsonmuseum.org or georgetownheritagesociety.org for details on events. More information about the City’s historic resources can be found at historic.georgetown.org.

Adults with Disabilities Dance at Georgetown Community Center on May 4

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a dance for adults age 18 and older with disabilities Friday, May 4, from 6-8 p.m. at the Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow St. The theme is Fiesta.

Admission is $5 for participants and includes a meal. Advanced registration is recommended. Only cash or check will be taken at the door. There is no charge for family members or caregivers, and they must remain present at all times.

For more information and to register, call (512) 930-3596 or visit parks.georgetown.org.

Upcoming dances:

Aug. 3
All Stars

Oct. 26
Haunted Mansion

Garey Park to open June 9

The City will celebrate the grand opening of Garey Park on June 9.

At 525-acres, Garey Park is one of the largest city parks in the state and is roughly 1.5 times the size of Zilker Park in Austin.

The park, which is located along the South San Gabriel River at 6540 RM 2243, was donated by Jack and Cammy Garey in 2004 along with $5 million for park development. In 2008 voters approved a bond for an additional $10 million for the park’s construction.

“The City is thankful for this tremendous gift from the Gareys that has become a public park for all of us to enjoy,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “Garey Park will be a regional destination for outdoor recreation as well as a beautiful Hill Country setting for special events. With features similar to those found in state parks, this park is surely a gem for the City of Georgetown, and one that our residents and visitors will enjoy for many years to come.”

Amenities at the park include a playground, a splash pad, a dog park, an equestrian arena, the Garey House event space, pavilions, 3 miles of hiking trails, and 6 miles of equestrian trails.

Other facilities include an entry gate, restrooms, and a maintenance facility.

“I am looking forward to the seeing the finished project and enjoying the park,” Jack Garey said. “There is a lot for everyone to enjoy.”

The City broke ground on the park in March 2017. Construction was completed by Ritter-Botkin Prime Construction Co. of Pflugerville and Austin-based Halff Associates completed the park’s design.

Details for the grand opening celebration are still being finalized.

Early voting for City Council race begins April 23

Early voting starts Monday, April 23, for the City Council Election in Georgetown. The early in-person voting period is April 23-28 and April 30-May 1. Election Day is May 5.

For voters in the City of Georgetown, the May 5 ballot includes the District 1 seat. Incumbent Anna Eby and Mary Calixtro will be on the ballot.

Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing single-member districts. To see maps of council districts, go to maps.georgetown.org/council-district-maps.

To see early voting locations or vote center locations on election day, go to wilco.org/elections. Voters may go to any early voting location in Williamson County to cast a ballot during the early voting period. On election day, voters may cast ballots at any Vote Center location in Williamson County.

Red Poppy Festival in downtown Georgetown on April 27-29

Joe Nichols
Joe Nichols

The 19th annual Red Poppy Festival is April 27-29. The signature festival on the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas starts Friday night and runs all weekend with three days of music, entertainment, family fun, and features more than 120 arts and craft vendors.

Joe Nichols is the headliner Saturday night. Matthew McQueen will open for Nichols at 6 p.m. Longtime festival favorite Dysfunkshun Junkshun is back for the Friday night concert at 7 p.m. There is no admission charge for the concerts or other festival activities. Feel free to bring your own chair and cooler if you are coming for the day.

Other festival highlights include the Red Poppy Parade on Saturday at 10 a.m., and the Car Show on Saturday at 11 a.m. On Sunday, come see the One-in-the-Hole ball drop with 28,000 ping pong balls dropped on Austin Avenue 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.

The Red Poppy Festival is on track to become a zero-waste event. Food vendors are using compostable plates, dishes, drinking straws, napkins, cutlery, and cups. Look for recycling and composting eco-stations and help the festival to become zero waste. In 2017, attendees helped divert nearly 70 percent of waste generated at the event from the landfill.

Entries for the Red Poppy Taste Awards, a cooking competition featuring all things poppies in sweet and savory foods, must be submitted on April 25. Winners will be announced on stage Saturday night. For more information, visit redpoppyfestival.com/things-to-do/red-poppy-taste-awards.

For a full schedule and all the details, go to RedPoppyFestival.com.

The Red Poppy Bike Ride will be held Saturday, April 21, the week before the festival, and the Red Poppy 5K will be held Sunday April 22.

The official 2018 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 redpoppyfestival.com/things-to-do/red-poppy-tour.)

Street Closures

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 redpoppyfestival.com/things-to-do/parade. Detailed street closure information can be found at redpoppyfestival.com/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.

Event Parking

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 27.

For a complete schedule and all the details, go to RedPoppyFestival.com.

Earth Day programs focus on Monarch butterflies

The Georgetown Public Library along with the Southwestern University Environmental Studies Program and Smith Library Center are co-sponsoring a group of Earth Day events at the Georgetown library, 402 W. Eighth St.

The library will also host two stand-alone discussions on Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior.” Southwestern University Economics Professor Emily Northrop and Georgetown Assistant Library Director Sally Miculek will lead a book discussion Tuesday, April 17. The second book discussion Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m. will be led by Smith Library Center Director Carol Fonken and Georgetown Fine Arts Librarian Dana Hendrix.

On Monday, April 30, at 7 p.m. David Wolfe, director of conservation strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund, will present “Monarch Butterflies: Threats and What You Can Do to Help.” Northrop will also present a talk on Tuesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. titled “Reducing CO2 Pollution for Monarchs and Humans.”

For more information, visit library.georgetown.org/flight-behavior.