POPPtoberFest in downtown Georgetown Oct. 1-3

Celebrate the City of Georgetown’s POPPtoberFest event on the most beautiful town square in Texas. The festival, this year’s rescheduled Red Poppy Festival, kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, and runs through 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, with three days of music, entertainment, family fun, and more than 75 arts and craft vendors.

Event schedule

Dale Watson is the headliner Saturday night and takes the stage at 9:30 p.m. Two Tons of Steel and Brave Combo will open for Watson at 7:45 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. Longtime festival favorite Dysfunkshun Junkshun is back for the Friday night concert at 7 p.m. The Peterson Brothers Band will perform 1:30 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission charge for the concerts or other festival activities. Feel free to bring your own chair and cooler (no glass) if you are coming for the day.

Other festival highlights include the Car Show at 10 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, come see the pet parade and meet City vehicles at 11 a.m. And make sure to stop by the City of Georgetown booth at Eighth Street and Austin Avenue to charge your devices, relax in the shade, and meet City staff.

The Kid’s Fun Zone is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The Fun Zone is free and includes an obstacle course, a huge slide, a bounce house, a basketball game, and a toddler playground.

The City is offering a variety of options for visitors to get to POPPtoberFest.

Several free public parking lots are available throughout downtown, as well as a shuttle option Saturday.

“We’re hoping for perfect, fall weather for our POPPtober event,” Tourism Manager Cari Miller said. “Georgetown may feel like a small town, but this is going to be a big party. Folks need to plan to arrive early, be patient, and be prepared to be amongst hundreds of people, especially Saturday night.”

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.

Attendees are asked to be courteous when parking on neighborhood streets and avoid blocking driveways or parking in fire lanes. Illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed.

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 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30.

Free shuttle on Saturday

A free shuttle will run 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. 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.

There will be no GoGeo fixed-route bus services. People with a qualifying disability may receive paratransit services until 7 p.m. Friday. Eligible riders pay $2 per trip and must make a reservation 24 hours in advance. More information at gogeo.georgetown.org.

Street closures

Austin Avenue closes Friday morning: Starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, 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 11 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3.

Other streets around the Courthouse Square will close at 6 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, to allow for vendor set-up. Streets around the Square will remain closed through 11 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3.

COVID-19 safety

Vendor tents will be spread out to at least 6 feet apart, allowing for increased social distancing between artists and attendees. The City will have hand-sanitizing stations throughout the festival.

While masks are not required outdoors or in City facilities, some private businesses may require them. Masks are encouraged whenever people cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance from others, regardless of vaccination status or whether indoors or outside. Complimentary masks will be available at the Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St., and the City of Georgetown booth located at Eighth Street and Austin Avenue.

The City is asking festival attendees to:

  • Stay home if they are sick or think they might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet away from others not in their group.
  • Wash/sanitize their hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Be respectful of the decisions of private business owners and individuals.

For a complete schedule and more details, including information on parking and road closures, visit POPPtoberFest.com.

Hunt for treasures at downtown Spring Fling on April 24

The City of Georgetown is hosting a Spring Fling on April 24 in downtown Georgetown.

Participants can search for hidden treasures throughout downtown while shopping and dining at downtown businesses with spring specials.

There will be a total of 20 treasure boxes hidden outdoors on public property (e.g. sidewalks, sculptures, around the Courthouse) between Sixth and Ninth streets and Church and Rock streets. There will be a message inside each treasure box with your prize details. Prizes include:

  • One pack of two Beer Crawl tickets and two commemorative T-shirts
  • Two sets of Inner Space Cavern family of four tickets
  • One Brazos Market gift card for $25
  • One The Knitting Cup gift card for $25
  • One All Things Kids gift card for $25
  • One TrueCore Fitness gift card for $25
  • Thirteen vouchers for a Visitors Center gift item of your choice

For a full list of participating restaurants and retailers with spring specials, go to visit.georgetown.org/spring-fling-april-24.

As a reminder, this year’s Red Poppy Fest, originally scheduled for April 23-25, has been rescheduled to POPPtober Fest and will be held on the Square Oct. 1-3. Updates about POPPtober Fest will be posted to facebook.com/VisitGeorgetownTX.

Experience the Lights

Celebrate this holiday season in Georgetown with twinkling lights, local shopping and dining, and music around the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.

To keep the community safe, the City is putting a new twist to our traditional Lighting of the Square event. The lights around the Square and County Courthouse will be turned on in mid-November, which the City will capture and share on social media through a video featuring the countdown, lighting, and music. The Square will light up each night through Jan. 2, so visitors can come enjoy the lights and local flavor throughout the holiday season.

Additionally, the weekend after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27-29), the Square will have hot chocolate and kettle corn vendors downtown to help visitors get into the holiday spirit.

“In consultation with medical experts, City Council, City Manager David Morgan, and City staff, our solution is as close to our normal Lighting of the Square as we can get while keeping our community as safe as possible,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “In fact, the additional offerings this year should make the holiday season on the Square one of the best ever. Having a countdown video along with a modified, enhanced, weekend-long celebration gives people options based on their level of comfort. This plan helps spread out the time in which people can experience our beautiful, sparkling, winter wonderland of a Square at this time of year.”

People coming to the Square to enjoy the lights need to comply with existing local and statewide orders, including wearing a mask wherever they are unable to keep six feet of distance from people outside their household.

The lights around the Square are supported by the City of Georgetown, and Williamson County provides the lights on the courthouse.

For details on holiday events and activities in Georgetown, visit visit.georgetown.org or call the Georgetown Convention & Visitors Bureau at 512-930-3545.

Vote for the Best of Georgetown, TX

Voting for the annual Best of Georgetown, TX contest is now underway.

Now is your chance to tell us your favorite Georgetown businesses and organizations. What is the best boutique in Georgetown? Who gives the best hair cut? Where is the best live entertainment? What about the best bed and breakfast?

Tell us before voting ends on Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m.

For more information on the Best of Georgetown, TX contest, please visit Bestof.Georgetown.org.

The list of winners will be posted Oct. 30 at Bestof.Georgetown.org.

Winning businesses receive window decals as well as certificates showing their award and category. In addition, the business names will be listed on the 2020 winners’ flyer at the Visitors Center and on the Bestof.Georgetown.org website for one year. Winners will have access to the Best of Georgetown 2020 logo for use in their websites and printed material.

The annual Best of Georgetown, TX contest is sponsored by the City of Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau.

2020 Red Poppy Festival canceled

The 21st annual Red Poppy Festival, which was rescheduled from April to October, has been canceled due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. City Council unanimously directed staff to cancel the event during its July 14 meeting.

“We reluctantly canceled POPPtober fest out of an abundance of caution for public safety. It was clear we really had no choice,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “We’re looking forward to the best Red Poppy Festival ever in April 2021.”

Next year’s festival is scheduled for April 23 to 25.

The City offered an interim virtual festival for fans to celebrate from home, featuring live music from Dysfunkshun Junkshun, a video replay of the 2019 Red Poppy Parade, and a presentation of the history of red poppies in Georgetown by The Daytripper star Chet Garner.

Special T-shirts commemorating the 2020 Red Poppy Festival: Virtual Edition, were available for purchase. T-shirt sales raised $2,675, all of which benefited The Caring Place.

For more information about the Red Poppy Festival, visit RedPoppyFestival.com.

City Council also agreed with staff recommendations to limit outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people, which is in line with the governor’s most recent orders. The City is exploring ways to encourage shopping small and additional opportunities for outdoor dining.

For more information about the City’s response to COVID-19, visit https://georgetown.org/coronavirus-information/.

Red Poppy Festival goes virtual

The 21st annual Red Poppy Festival is going virtual due to COVID-19.

While the festival has been rescheduled to Oct. 23-25, the City is offering an interim virtual festival for fans to celebrate from home.

The online festival will include live music from Dysfunkshun Junkshun, a video replay of the 2019 Red Poppy Parade, and a presentation of the history of red poppies in Georgetown by The Daytripper star Chet Garner.

Special T-shirts commemorating the 2020 Red Poppy Festival: Virtual Edition, will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit The Caring Place. For more information, visit cityofgeorgetowntx.formstack.com/forms/2020redpoppyfestivalvirtualedition.

Join the event on Facebook for updates on the celebration and to watch the virtual events and videos.

2020 Red Poppy Festival: Virtual Edition schedule

Friday, April 24
7 p.m. Virtual Concert by Dysfunkshun Junkshun

Saturday, April 25
10 a.m. Virtual Parade Video Watch Party
2 p.m. Video with Chet Garner as Okra Compton: Fun Poppy History & Coloring Contest Winners
6 p.m. YouTube Playlist Featuring originally scheduled Saturday night entertainers, including, Matthew McQueen, Dale Watson, and Mark Chesnutt

WHERE:        Live streamed on the 2020 Red Poppy Festival: Virtual Edition Facebook event

Mark Chesnutt to headline Red Poppy Festival

This year the City of Georgetown celebrates the Red Poppy Festival with Saturday night headliner country music singer Mark Chesnutt.

Chesnutt’s No. 1 singles include “Brother Jukebox,” “I’ll Think of Something,” “It Sure is Monday,” and “I Just Wanted You to Know.”

This signature festival on the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas runs April 24-26 with live music, entertainment, family fun, food, and more than 120 arts and craft vendors.

The Friday night concert features Dysfunkshun Junkshun. Other festival highlights include the Red Poppy Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the Car Show at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The official 2020 Red Poppy Festival poster is on sale for $5 starting April 3 at the Visitors Center at 103 W. Seventh St. The poster artist, Aisling Kelleher, will be at the Visitors Center April 3 from 6-8 p.m. signing posters. The first 50 posters are free.

For all the details, go to RedPoppyFestival.com.

Lighting of the Square on Nov. 29

Celebrate the holiday season at the annual Lighting of the Square event on the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 29.  The event will be held on the east steps of the historic Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Main St. The festivities include entertainment from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Mayor Dale Ross and Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell will flip the switch illuminating the courthouse lights and grounds, as well as the lights around the Square, at approximately 6 p.m. Stores will be open late.

Entertainment during the event will be provided by the Austin Carolers, and complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Swing by The Williamson Museum where children will be able to make a craft from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The museum is free and open to the public.

Toy donations the Georgetown Police Department Blue Santa and to Williamson County Brown Santa are encouraged. More information and applications are available bluesanta.georgetown.org for Blue Santa or at wilco.org/brownsanta for Brown Santa.

After the lighting, Williamson County Brown Santa will offer the option for visitors to take photos with Santa inside the courthouse from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for a donation of an unwrapped toy, wrapping paper or a monetary donation. Enter the courthouse on the south side on Eighth Street.

Free parking for the event can be found at Sixth and Main streets, Seventh and Rock streets, Austin Avenue and Fifth Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Street and Seventh and Eighth streets, and the parking garage located at Fourth and Rock streets.

The lights around the Square are supported by the City of Georgetown, and Williamson County provides the lights on the courthouse.

For details on holiday events and activities in Georgetown, call the Georgetown Convention & Visitors Bureau at (512) 930-3545, or visit VisitGeorgetown.com.

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Day event on Nov. 17

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will make a stop in Georgetown on Nov. 17 on its way to Washington, D.C., from Carson National Forest in New Mexico. The tree will be parked on Main Street between Seventh and Eighth streets from 4-5 p.m.

To celebrate, the City is hosting U.S. Capitol Tree Day in Georgetown on the Square from 2-5 p.m.

During the event, visitors will be able to meet Santa Claus and his two reindeer with his antique sleigh, participate in children’s crafts, and purchase U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise and Georgetown collectible ornaments.

The 60-foot tree will be making stops for community celebrations throughout its journey from New Mexico to the U.S. Capitol from Nov. 11-25. The journey will culminate with the official tree lighting on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building in early December.

For more information about the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, visit uscapitolchristmastree.com.

Vote for the Best of Georgetown, TX in September

Where is the best boutique in Georgetown? Where is the best live entertainment? The best hotel or bed and breakfast? The best hair cut?

Tell us your favorites during the month of September in the Best of Georgetown, TX contest.

This year’s contest will have two phases— a nominations phase and a voting phase. Nominations will be accepted from 9 a.m. on Sept. 1 until noon on Sept. 7. A business or organization must receive three nominations in an individual category to be on the ballot for the voting phase. Nominations will not be counted toward the final vote total.

The voting phase begins Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. and ends on Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m.

To nominate businesses for the Best of Georgetown, TX contest, please visit Bestof.Georgetown.org.

The list of winners will be posted at Bestof.Georgetown.org.

Winning businesses receive window decals as well as certificates showing their award and category. In addition, the business name will be listed on the 2019 winners’ flyer at the Visitors Center and on the Bestof.Georgetown.org website for one year. Winners will have access to the Best of Georgetown 2019 logo for use in their websites and printed material.

The annual Best of Georgetown, TX contest is sponsored by the City of Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau.