Can you really say you’ve fully experienced the Texas Hill Country before you’ve visited at least one of the festivals held in the area?
From the artful and the delicious to the quirky and earthy, the Hill Country is rich with events that celebrate nearly every interest… and tastebud!
At TheTexasWildflower.com, our comprehensive list of Texas Hill Country festivals and events is always one of our most popular articles. But, to help you narrow in on some family favorites, we’ve narrowed that master list down to 10 stellar festivals worth checking out in 2022.
Grab the kids and go fly a kite in Zilker Park! Yes, you’ll want to make plans to attend the nation’s oldest kite festival for a day of kite flying contests, food, games, and more.
Founded in 1929, this colorful festival is a family favorite. You’re welcome to simply watch hundreds of colorful kites fill the sky or you can enter clever kite contests for high-flying achievements like the “steadiest kite” or the “most unusual kite.”
Grenwelge Park, Llano
If you, like us once, were to hear one of the original LEAF festival organizers describe this event as being “like nothing else in Texas,” you might think it was hype. But trust us: it’s not. Yes, this festival needs to be on your must-see list. It centers on art made of natural materials—often those found on location in Llano like rocks, dirt, vegetation, and water.
LEAF also hosts the World Champion Rock Stacking Competition where rocks are stacked in gravity-defying columns, arches, and sculptures. Visitors are encouraged to create their own rock stacks, too. In addition to the art, there is also great music and delicious food.
JLK Event Center, Llano
What’s the Hill Country without a little fiddle music? Hear the best of the best fiddle players around at this year’s festival. In 2022, the event will also feature the 44th Annual Llano Open Fiddle Contest with youth, senior, open, and accompanist divisions.
Bring your fiddle and join in or simply sit back and enjoy the concerts.
Located in “The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas,” the Red Poppy Festival celebrates Georgetown’s red poppy season. The sweet flower typically blooms in mid-late March through mid-late April, depending upon the weather.
There’s an especially interesting back story to the blooms, which aren’t native to the area. A Georgetown son, Henry Purl Compton, once sent poppy seeds to his mother after World War I. She planted them at her house at 507 East 7th Street. They then spread throughout the town, marking Georgetown as the Red Poppy Capital of Texas. And the festival? Well, this family-friendly fair features a parade, car show, live music, cooking contests, food vendors, artisan booths, and a Kid’s Zone.
Quiet Valley Ranch, Kerrville
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Kerrville Folk Festival. It’s also the longest continuously running music festival in North America.
For 18 straight days and nights, the festival celebrates songwriters and music performers. But it also includes wine and craft beer tastings, food and craft vendors, impromptu jam sessions, workshops, bike rides, and yoga sessions. Fill your creativity cup and be inspired by the amazing talent on the various stages during the day and around campfires in the evening.
Blanco and environs
You don’t have to travel to France to find fields of lavender. Blooming from May through July, lavender is increasingly abundant in the Hill Country. And the Lavender Festival in Blanco celebrates everything delightfully related to this medicinal and culinary herb.
Tour a nearby lavender farm where fields of blooms await. Or head to the acclaimed Lavender Market on the grounds of the historic Blanco County Courthouse. There, you can purchase lavender-related products, crafts, and culinary delights from select vendors and artists. And don’t forget the lavender lemonade!
Everything promises to be just “peachy” at the 61st Annual Peach Jamboree and Rodeo. Help celebrate the late spring peach crop with a basket-full of events. Expect peach judging and eating, the crowning of the Peach Queen, a pit spitting contest, mutton bustin’, and a rodeo. Scheduled evening performances include Aaron Watson and Reckless Kelly, and a dance follows the 8:00 p.m. rodeo.
Designated as the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” the town of Bandera offers a more low-key festival honoring the determined, independent personality of the cowboy. There is a complimentary chuckwagon breakfast, ranch rodeos, music, storytellers, gunfighters, and two-stepping at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the stick horse races and the cowboy dress-up contests.
Come out and celebrate the rich German culture that infuses many Hill Country towns during the legendary annual Wurstfest Festival. Enjoy good food, music, dancing, carnival rides, and games as well as German, Texan, and other domestic beer. You won’t want to miss the Masskrugstemmen, where competitors test their strength and endurance by seeing whose outstretched arm can hold a full stein of beer the longest.
For a truly memorable, old-fashioned Christmas, kick off the holiday season in Boerne at the town’s renowned Dickens on Main celebration. Beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving and continuing for two consecutive weekends, the celebration includes children’s activities, horse-drawn carriages, live performances, and snow! Photos with Santa, a 60-foot snowslide, and ice sculptures round out the offerings, making this free winter wonderland one that the whole family will enjoy.
This article was written by Michelle Marroquin, a San Antonio writer, and produced in collaboration with TheTexasWildflower.com.