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 Go to or for details on events. More information about the City’s historic resources can be found at

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

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

To see early voting locations or vote center locations on election day, go to 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

For a full schedule and all the details, go to

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

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 Detailed street closure information can be found at

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

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


Williams Drive Study projects considered for federal funding

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will host a public meeting Tuesday, April 10, to seek public input on its Regional Arterials Plan and its 2019-22 Transportation Improvement Program, which includes a recommendation for $1.38 million of federal funding for access management improvements on Williams Drive in 2019.

The meeting will be from 4-7 p.m. in the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

The projects proposed for federal funding came from the Williams Drive Study adopted by City Council in 2017.

Since the plan’s adoption, the City completed an update to the City’s traffic signal coordination system as well as installed flashing yellow arrows along Williams Drive, from I-35 to Jim Hogg Road to alleviate turning conflicts and improve light wait times.

Work will commence this summer on the Rivery Boulevard extension project and expected to be completed by mid-2019, creating additional connectivity to Northwest Boulevard and eventually over I-35. Recommendations resulting from the Williams Drive Study have been incorporated into the design of Rivery Boulevard. Following the completion of Rivery Boulevard in mid-2019, the City will begin constructing the Northwest Boulevard Bridge, which will provide a parallel route to Williams Drive from Austin Avenue to Lakeway Drive.

The City has begun work to incorporate the land use findings from the Centers Area of the Williams Drive Study as part of the update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan update, which will include additional outreach opportunities.

Visit for more information and to take the online survey. Comments can also be emailed to These opportunities will be available until Friday, May 11.

I-35 to close for power line installation April 8

Interstate 35 in Georgetown will be closed in both directions early Sunday morning to allow electric crews to extend an overhead power line across the roadway. The closure on April 8 starts at 7 a.m. and should take less than 30 minutes.

The closure will affect the I-35 main lanes and access roads between SE Inner Loop and Westinghouse Road.

Arts and Culture Board seeks mural proposals

The City of Georgetown’s Arts and Culture Board has issued a call for artist proposals for a 21-by-15-foot mural to be located on the building at 215 W. Eighth St. The mural will be on the side of the building that faces Rock Street.

The goal of the mural is to provide public art that represents the City’s vision of “honoring the past and innovating the future.”

The call for art includes a $3,000 award for the artist and up to $1,500 in material reimbursements. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. on April 6. Artists may submit up to two proposals.

The artist will be selected by the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board and the building owner.

For more information about the project, including submittal requirements, go to

Austin Avenue lane closures April 2 and 6

Austin Avenue in downtown Georgetown will be reduced to one lane in each direction on April 2 and April 6. The lane closures on Austin Avenue from Sixth Street to Seventh Street are for construction work at the Lockett Building, located on the Square on the northwest corner of Seventh Street and Austin Avenue.

The lane closures will be in effect on April 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on April 6 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Warning signs and barricades will direct traffic to one northbound lane and one southbound lane on Austin Avenue at those times.

The lane closures are to allow space for a crane to lift a heating and air conditioning unit from the roof of the Lockett Building on April 2. A crane will lift a new unit onto the roof on April 6.