Spring events across the Lone Star State celebrate rattlesnakes, onions, bluebonnets and more.
Texas Independence Day Celebrations
Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site
Step back in time and celebrate Texas-style Independence Day with authentic music, traditional crafts, living history presentations, military encampments and commemorative programs to honor the cold March day in 1836 when 59 delegates met in what is now Washington, Texas, to declare independence from Mexico. All events are at the state historic site, which includes Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm and the Star of the Republic Museum.
World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup
Founded in 1958 to control the growing rattlesnake population around Sweetwater, the annual festival now draws more than 40,000 visitors to the central Texas town. Event highlights include the Miss Snake Charmer beauty pageant and parade, guided snake hunts, deep-fried rattlesnake meat, snake safety demonstrations and traditional carnival-style events.
Texas Onion Fest
If you’re not concerned about a bad case of onion breath, consider entering the onion-eating contest at the Texas Onion Fest. Last year’s champ quickly consumed a pound of sliced onions at the festival dedicated to the Texas 1015, a variety of sweet onion developed in Weslaco in 1983. Other attractions include dancing horse shows, an onion recipe contest, live music, arts and crafts, a car show and children’s events.
Texas Dogwood Trails Festival
March 21-23, 28-30, April 4-6
For more than 75 years, residents of east Texas have flocked to Palestine to celebrate the natural beauty of hundreds of blooming dogwood trees. More than 5 ½ miles of hard-surface trails wind through Davey Dogwood Park, the base of events that span three weekends. A festival, parade, arts and crafts, excursion train ride, live music and tours complement the dense white dogwood blooms.
An event organized in 1948 to encourage World War II veterans to return to family farms, has grown into one of the largest events in South Texas. An auction of fresh strawberries and winning entries in the Taste of Texas Food Show fund college scholarships for local students. Organizers expect 100,000 visitors to enjoy fresh strawberries, nationally known country western and Tejano music on 14 stages, rodeos, gunslingers, a carnival, contests and plenty of food.
A parade in 1891 to honor the heroes from the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto has evolved into one of the nation’s premier festivals with more than 100 unique events, each produced by a nonprofit organization. Carnivals, sports, fireworks, ethnic feasts and several parades highlight the 11-day event that centers around the San Antonio River Walk.
Rolling hills carpeted by bluebonnets draw more than 30,000 visitors to the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas” each April to celebrate the showy spring flower with parades, live music, a dog-house race and wiener-dog races, a 5K run, golf tournament, pancake breakfast and gunfights shootout re-enactment.
Bob Wills Day
Each April, the Panhandle town celebrates the music and legacy of Bob Wills, who blended frontier fiddling with the brass instruments and Big Band jazz. The weekend-long event features a downtown parade, pancake breakfasts and a barbecue dinner, campground jam sessions and a fiddling contest that showcases the talents of musicians from ages 5 to 75.
Burton Cotton Gin Festival
Celebrate the history and legacy of the last surviving turn of the century cotton gin in America during a two-day festival featuring all-things cotton. Folk life demonstrations, a tractor pull, antique tractor and engine displays, a car show, arts, crafts, food, a parade and tours the 1914 Burton Farmers Gin highlight the event held annually the third weekend in April.