Juneteenth celebration June 16

The 66th annual Juneteenth celebration in Georgetown is Saturday, June 16, at the Georgetown Community Center at 445 E. Morrow St. in San Gabriel Park. The Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association hosts the annual public event which is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Juneteenth event schedule

The event starts at 11 a.m. with a special program until 12:30 p.m.

The event also includes jewelry and specialty items vendors, food vendors, college readiness information, representatives from area nonprofits, a DJ, music from “The Groovers,” and games for youth and adults.

Juneteenth history

Juneteenth marks the day on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston and reported that the Civil War was over and slavery had ended. The Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves had been in effect since January 1, 1863, but word did not reach Texas for more than two years. Juneteenth was declared an official state holiday in Texas in 1980.

Contact information

For more information, please contact Paulette Taylor, president of GCCMA, at (512) 863-2109.

Music on the Square summer concerts start June 8

The Music on the Square summer concerts start on Friday, June 8, on the Courthouse lawn. These free concerts start at 6:30 p.m. each Friday, with the exception of First Fridays, in June, July and August. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, grab dinner-to-go from a local restaurant, and enjoy an evening of great live music.

Here’s the lineup:

  • June 8: Jeremy McBee
  • June 15: Georgetown Fire Department Pipes & Drums
  • June 22: Bluegrass Showmen
  • June 29: Xander Ortiz
  • July 13: Lexxi Garza
  • July 20: Wilson String Band
  • July 27: The Staylyns
  • Aug. 10: Roland Waits & The Wayward Travelers
  • Aug. 17: Mr. Thrill (Engelbert Humperdinck and Neil Diamond songs)
  • Aug. 24: Steel Country Outlaws
  • Aug. 31: Them Duqaines

Concerts are sponsored by the Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Williamson Museum.

For a complete schedule, go to the Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau website at VisitGeorgetown.com.

GTX Residents: Free Spay/Neuter Clinic for Cats

Be a part of the solution: spay/neuter your pets, and adopt from animal shelters!

Kitten season is in full swing, and there are plenty of babies to visit and adopt.  To keep the kitten population from becoming overwhelming, the Georgetown Animal Shelter is holding the third and final free spay/neuter clinic for cats on June 23. The goal of the clinics is to reduce the cat population in Georgetown.  This is the sixth year that the shelter has offered free spay/neuter clinics for cats, and it seems to be making a difference in the number of kittens ending up at the shelter.

Spay and neuter surgeries and a rabies vaccination will be provided at no charge. Other services available at the clinic include a combo test (feline AIDS/leukemia test) for $20, an FVRCP vaccine for $5, microchip for $10, e-collar for $10, pain medication for $5, or cat carrier for $5.

Appointments are required for the free clinics, which are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are not necessarily for low-income cat owners. Cats or kittens must be at least three months old.

The clinic is offered only for cats whose owners live in the Georgetown City Limits, so bring your driver’s license or other form of ID that shows your current address.

Additionally, the shelter continues to offer low-cost vaccine clinics every few months, which are walk-up clinics for vaccinations only (not spay/neuter surgeries).  Dates for the shot clinics can be found at pets.georgetown.org/programs/low-cost-shots.

Call (512) 930-3592 to schedule your cat for surgery. All spay or neuter surgeries will be done by a licensed veterinarian.

The spay and neuter clinic will be held at the City of Georgetown Animal Shelter at 110 W.L. Walden Drive near the McMaster Athletic Fields. Contact the shelter at (512) 930-3592 or by email at animalsvc@georgetown.org. The City of Georgetown Animal Shelter website is pets.georgetown.org.

Urban forester hosts information session on tree ordinance

Georgetown Urban Forester Heather McFarling will present an information session about the City’s tree ordinance Tuesday, June 5, at 6 p.m. at the Parks and Recreation Administration Building, 1101 N. College St.

The session will cover information about the City’s tree ordinance, which covers every new subdivision platted in the city limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. The ordinance also covers all new commercial development projects within the city limits and ETJ.

The session will also include some information about selecting tree species and tree planting.

To see a copy of the tree ordinance in the Unified Development Code, please visit library.municode.com/tx/Georgetown.

Census: Georgetown is Sixth Fastest-Growing City in U.S.

Yesterday the U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates showing that Georgetown is ranked sixth on the list of fastest-growing cities in the country with a population of more than 50,000. Georgetown’s growth rate was 5.4 percent from July 1, 2016, through July 1, 2017, resulting in a population estimate of 70,685.

Georgetown was the fifth fastest-growing city in the U.S. on the list released last year by the Census for the period from July 1, 2015 through July 1, 2016. Georgetown was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. on the list released in 2016 and was the second fastest-growing city in the prior year.

Georgetown’s population was 47,400 in the 2010 decennial census. According to today’s estimate, Georgetown added 23,285 residents with a growth rate of 49 percent from 2010 to 2017.

The news release from the Census about the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. in 2016 to 2017 is at www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/estimates-cities.html.

City receives recognition for transparency from Texas Comptroller

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced the City of Georgetown is the latest local government entity to achieve specific transparency goals through the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars program. Georgetown received a star in the area of debt obligations, which recognizes entities whose websites show visual and narrative detail on outstanding debt, tax-supported debt obligations, historical bond elections and more.

“By providing taxpayers with essential debt information in a variety of formats, Georgetown has shown a true commitment to Texas taxpayers. This effort achieves the goals set by our Transparency Stars program,” Hegar said. “I am pleased to award Georgetown a star for its accomplishments.”

The Transparency Stars recognizes local government entities that provide easy online access to important financial data. Georgetown is one of 27 cities in Texas to receive the debt obligations star.

Georgetown’s debt transparency website is finance.georgetown.org/debt-transparency. The site features access to financial reports, graphs of financial information, and downloadable data on the City’s debt obligations.

The Comptroller’s office launched the Transparency Stars program in March 2016 to recognize cities, counties and school districts making important strides to greater government transparency. Local government entities can apply for stars in the areas of traditional finances, contracts and procurement, economic development, public pensions, and debt obligations.

After receiving an initial star for Traditional Finances, remaining stars may be awarded in any order. The City received the Traditional Finances star in 2017. For more information on the program, including specific guidelines and information on how to apply, visit the Comptroller’s Transparency Stars website at comptroller.texas.gov/transparency/local/stars.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn to speak at Memorial Day Ceremony

The annual Memorial Day ceremony in Georgetown will be held at Georgetown-Williamson County Veterans Memorial Plaza in Sun City Texas. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 28. This annual service to honor the men and women of our armed forces who have given their lives in service to our country is free and open to the public.

The guest speaker is U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. Music will be provided by the 36th Infantry Division Band of the Texas Army National Guard.

The program begins with a presentation involving color guards from the East View and Georgetown high schools. The ceremony also includes singing of the national anthem, presentation of wreaths at both Memorial Walls, and sounding of taps.

Seven-hundred folding chairs will be placed at the Memorial, or guests are invited to bring their folding chairs and sit under the trees. The Community Association will serve refreshments on the Social Center patio after the ceremony.

The event is free and open to the public. Please join us to pay tribute to our country’s fallen servicemen and women.

Georgetown-Williamson County Veterans Memorial Plaza is located at 2 Texas Drive, behind the Social Center in the Sun City neighborhood in Georgetown.

In case of rain, the event will be held in the Social Center Ballroom and seating will be limited to 600.

Memorial Day facility closings and pool schedule

City of Georgetown offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, May 28, for the Memorial Day holiday. This includes the following:

  • Airport Terminal, 500 Terminal Drive
  • Animal Shelter, 110 W.L. Walden Drive
  • City Hall, 113 E. Eighth St.
  • Historic Light and Water Works Building, 406 W. Eighth St.
  • Library, 402 W. Eighth St.
  • Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Ave.
  • Municipal Court, 101 E. Seventh St.
  • Parks and Recreation Administration, 1101 N. College St.
  • Planning Department, 406 W. Eighth St.
  • Public Safety Operations and Training Center, Police Records and Fire Support Services offices, 3500 D.B. Wood Road
  • Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Ave.
  • Tennis Center, 400 Serenada Drive

The Visitors Center, located at 103 W. Seventh St., will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, May 28.

GoGeo bus service

There will be no service Monday, May 28.

Pools open Memorial Day weekend

All seasonal outdoor pools will open Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, but will close May 29-31. The pools will reopen June 1 and remain open for normal summer hours. Below are hours for City pools on Memorial Day.

Seasonal Outdoor Pools: The Village, River Ridge, and Williams Drive pools will be open 1 to 7 p.m. on Monday, May 28. The Tennis Center Pool will be closed on Monday, May 28.

Outdoor Play Pool at the Recreation Center will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. The play pool will be closed May 27-May 31 and will reopen for normal hours Friday, June 1.

Splash pads: The splash pads at San Jose Park, 1707 San Jose St. and Downtown, 816 S. Main St. are both open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day through Sept. 30.

For details, go to parks.georgetown.org/aquatics or call (512) 930-3596.

Solid waste and recycling

There will be normal solid waste and recycling collection for City of Georgetown customers on Monday, May 28. Carts should be at the curb by 7 a.m. on pickup day. The Collection Station at 250 W.L. Walden Drive will be open normal hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Monday, May 28, for the Memorial Day holiday.

Garey Park Grand Opening Celebration planned for June 9

The City will celebrate the grand opening of Garey Park on June 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

“We are excited to celebrate the opening of this green oasis within our city that is sure to become a regional destination for outdoor recreation and special events,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “We hope many of you are able to join us for this historic event.”

Park gates will open at 9 a.m. for the event that will feature tours of Garey House, food trucks, pony rides, a petting zoo, fly fishing demos from the San Gabriel Fly Fishers, information from the Good Water Master Naturalists about wildlife viewing and the nature trail along the river, a temporary tattoo station from the Georgetown Public Library and more. The Georgetown Animal Shelter and Ride On Center for Kids will also be at the park for the opening event.

The ribbon cutting will be at 10 a.m., and other activities will be available throughout the event. The park will remain open to visitors until 8 p.m.

Amenities at the park include a playground, a splash pad, a dog park, an equestrian arena, the Garey House event space, pavilions, two fishing ponds, 4.7 miles of hiking trails, and 4.2 miles of equestrian trails.

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. To maintain and plan programs for the City’s largest park, Garey Park will be staffed with six full-time and three part-time employees, including a park foreman, recreation coordinator, recreation specialist and group sales and servicing coordinator.

To help offset some of the operating and maintenance costs, there will be an entry fee for residents of $5 for two people, and for nonresidents of $10 for two people. Each additional person will be $2. The City is also offering annual park passes for $100 for residents and $150 nonresidents. These fees only cover a portion of the City’s annual operating costs and will allow the City to run this regional park in a manner in which Georgetown and the Garey family can be proud.

Park entrance fees will be waived for the first two weeks of operations. Park admission fees will begin on June 25. No admission fees will be collected on Tuesdays from Sept. 1-May 31. Park hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. from April 1-Sept. 30 and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. from Oct. 1-March 31.

The park, which is located along the South San Gabriel River at 6450 RM 2243, was donated by Jack and Camille Garey in 2004 along with $5 million for park development. In 2008 Georgetown voters approved a bond for an additional $10 million for the park’s construction. The total project cost of $15 million included $1.5 million for design and $13.5 million for construction.

For more information about the park, visit parks.georgetown.org/gareypark.

Breakfast Bites: New Ways of Connecting with Old Buildings

Emily Koller The next Breakfast Bites meeting on May 30 will feature Emily Koller, on the topic of New Ways of Connecting with Old Buildings. The informal meeting opens at 8 a.m. in the Friends Room at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. The talk will start at 8:30 a.m. Coffee and light breakfast snacks will be provided.

Koller will provide an overview of DowntownTX.org, a place-based real estate tool for historic downtowns. Georgetown was one of the first Main Street cities to be featured on the site. The website is designed as a statewide resource for investors, downtown developers, entrepreneurs, as well as community-minded individuals looking to be part of downtown’s transformation.

Koller works with the Texas Historical Commission as a planner to develop the Town Square Initiative and assist Texas Main Street cities with their downtown planning needs. She has worked as a Main Street director for an urban program on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as a city planner in Tulsa and San Marcos.

At the May 30 meeting, there will be updates from City staff on:

  • Art Center and Public Library events
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau updates
  • City Hall campus project update

Also, learn about updates from downtown partner organizations and find out about new businesses in the downtown district that have opened or are under construction.

Breakfast Bites is a quarterly meeting of the Georgetown Main Street Program. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29, to Kim McAuliffe, downtown development manager for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 930-2027 or at kim.mcauliffe@georgetown.org.