Spring brings more sunshine and warmer weather to the Lone Star State, making many residents and visitors anxious to get out and "do something" following the long winter. Luckily for them, spring is also a festive time in Texas, with numerous events and festivals held across the state from March through May.
The first three weeks of March in Houston mean the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This one-of-a-kind event features the second largest fair in North America, daily professional rodeo competitions, and some of the biggest names in music performing daily during the three week stretch.
South By Southwest (SXSW) is actually a music festival and conference that also incorporates film and other media. The music conference and festival has been staged annually since 1987, while the film conference and festival was added in 1994. Later, the interactive media conference and festival was added. Currently, all three conferences and festivals are held concurrently in Austin. Between the three events, South By Southwest has over 20,000 registrants each year.
Since it first began in 1958, the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup has attracted a wide variety of visitors, from serious snake hunters to curious onlookers. While the snakes are the main attraction, the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup entails a number of events beyond the actual snake hunt. There is the Rattlesnake Parade, Miss Snake Charmer Pageant, Rattlesnake Dance, guided bus tours, guided rattlesnake hunts, a barbecue cookoff and more.
What else would you expect to celebrate in a town named Shamrock? The annual Shamrock St. Patrick's Day Festival has grown into a two-day event featuring parades, music, motorcycle rally, beauty pageant, craft show, carnival and more.
The annual Strawberry Festival draws over 100,000 visitors to the tiny town of Poteet. This event, which has been held for nearly 60 years, attracts nationally-known country music stars and Tejano entertainers in addition to the carnival, art show, rodeo, dances, parade and “Taste of Texas” food show.
Billed as the largest Master Sand Sculpting Competition in the United States, SandFest attracts over 100,000 people to the shores of Port Aransas each year. Spanning three days and including five competitive divisions, SandFest offers a great outlet for sand sculptors, as well as plenty to see for those more interested in looking at - rather than building - sand sculptures. The event is free to the public and various vendors are onhand selling refreshments, curious and souvenirs.
Fiesta San Antonio is a massive festival featuring over 100 different events. Some of the most popular are the 10k and kids' runs, Fiesta Oyster Bake, Fiesta Mariachi Mass, Roundball Ruckus, arts fair, carnival and A Night in Old San Antonio.
Having run continuously since 1972, the Kerrville Folk Festival is the longest running festival of its type in North America. Lasting 18 days, the festival features over 100 songwriters, concerts, arts & crafts, kids concerts and more. The Kerrville Folk Festival begins in May and runs into June.
Started in 1966 by a handful of Ennis citizens with the cooperation of the Ennis Chamber of Commerce, the National Polka Festival was designed to reflect the town's Czech heritage. The event was an immediate success and has continued to grow throughout the decades. Today, it is one of the largest heritage festivals in the national, with over 50,000 people flocking to Ennis each year for Polka music, Czech food, dances, a fun run, parade and more.
One of the oldest cultural heritage festivals in the nation, Brenham's Maifest celebrates Washington County's German heritage. Parades, coronations, a carnival, live music and plenty of good food are just part of what visitors to Maifest can expect.