April bursts with wildflowers, spring breezes and a slew of festivals celebrating everything from bluebonnets and berries to birds and bands. Here are 10 Texas festivals that beckon a flower-fringed trip through Texas this month.
Now-April 10: Fiesta San Antonio started in 1891 as a one-parade event to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, and has grown into a multi-event celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures. Today, Fiesta is known as one of the nation’s premier festivals and has an economic impact of more than $340 million, with funds raised through Fiesta events providing services to San Antonio citizens throughout the year. More at www.fiestasanantonio.org.
April 7-10: The MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival is returning to Downtown Fort Worth for its 35th year after a two-year Covid hiatus. The free, family-friendly, four-day festival will feature jury-selected local, regional and national visual artists, live music on four stages, authentic local cuisine, a revamped family-friendly “Makers Zone,” craft beer pavilions, wine tastings and more across 18 square blocks throughout downtown. This year, the festival’s outdoor gallery will feature more than 200 juried artists selected from more than 1,000 applications to exhibit their work, with an estimated $4 million worth of art expected to be sold across 15 artistic media categories. More at www.MainStreetArtsFest.org.
April 8-10: The 39th Annual Bluebonnet Festival celebrates the most beloved flower in the Lone Star State in the town that’s officially recognized as the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas” by the Texas Legislature. Come out to this exciting small-town flower festival that attracts some 30,000 people with family-friendly fun in the form of a Bluebonnet Festival Grand Parade, a stellar line-up of musical artists like headliner Reckless Kelly, the Bluebonnet Biergarten, 5K and 10K runs, a carnival, food, a pet parade, children’s activities, shopping and more. More at bluebonnetfestival.org.
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April 8-10: Texas SandFest, the largest native-sand sculpture competition in the United States, returns to the shores of Port Aransas for a three-day event (rain or shine). Port Aransas’ shoreline will once again be transformed with astounding sand sculptures crafted by master and semi-pro sculptors alike. What once began as a small local competition in 1997 has grown into an internationally recognized family event that draws renowned sand sculptors and tens of thousands of visitors from around the world each year. The event raises funds for local charities and scholarships for high school students. Spectators can enjoy onsite offerings by various food vendors, live music, kids’ activities, shopping and more during the festival. For more information, go to www.portaransas.org.
April 9-10: Come celebrate the state flower in the quaint, historic town of Chappell Hill at the Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas. Originally a small-town antique festival, this family-friendly festival has blossomed over the years with thousands of visitors making the annual pilgrimage to Washington County to hunt for the state flower. Expect 250 juried exhibitors featuring home accessories, gardening, artists, craftsmen, clothing, jewelry and more –– plus country-style food, live music, train rides, face painting and more. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the festival is free; parking is $10. More at www.chappellhillmuseum.org.
April 21-24: Galveston Island is one of the top locations in the country for birding and the 20th Anniversary FeatherFest is one of the best opportunities to view everything from egrets and herons to pelicans and raptors. Expect birding workshops, photography field trips, raptor shows, evening social events and FledglingFest activities for youth ages 6 and up. More at galvestonfeatherfest.com.
RELATED: Becoming a Birder at Galveston’s FeatherFest
April 21-24: Old Settler’s Music Festival has grown from a one-day bluegrass festival into a nationally renowned four-day event attracting thousands of loyal roots-music fans. This year’s 35th anniversary celebration unfolds on 145 acres in Tilmon, Texas, just southeast of Lockhart, and will feature more than 30 award-winning roots, bluegrass and Americana artists performing on two large stages and two intimate campground stages. The festival’s talent caliber and laid-back, family-friendly vibe have earned Old Settler’s a top-five spot on USA Today’s list of North America’s 10 best festivals, and many festivalgoers return annually for amazing performances by both legendary and up-and-coming bluegrass, folk and Americana artists such as Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Béla Fleck, Alison Krauss and the McCrary Sisters, and homegrown favorites including Sarah Jarosz, Shakey Graves, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Shinyribs. More at oldsettlersmusicfest.org.
April 22-24: The Austin Reggae Fest returns to an in-person experience unfolding at Auditorium Shores this year with a talented lineup including The Expendables and Mykal Rose, Julian Marley and more. Reggae Fest features three days of reggae, tons of talent, and more than 50 vendors selling food and arts and crafts while raising funds for the Capital Area Food Bank and supporting their mission of feeding thousands of hungry families in Travis County and beyond. More at www.austinreggaefest.com/.
April 22-24: Go to Georgetown for three days of red poppy fun at its annual Red Poppy Festival. The three-day, fun-filled event takes place in the town known as the Red Poppy Capital of Texas because it’s one of the few places in the country where red poppies grow naturally every spring. As Georgetown celebrates its signature flowers’ vivid blooming, festival favorites include a Red Poppy Parade, artisan market, kids’ fun zone, food, a car show, pet parade, live music from an impressive roster of artists including Jack Ingram, Peterson Brothers, Dysfunkshun Junkshun and more –– all unfolding around the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.” More at poppy.georgetown.org.
April 22-24: Bursting with fun for the whole family, head to the 75th Strawberry Festival taking place in petite Poteet –– located in the heart of the Artesian Belt and recognized as the “Strawberry Capital of Texas.” What began in 1948 as an effort to provide returning Word War II veterans an incentive to return to the farms has become a full-fledged festival attracting 100,000 people and raising critical funds for scholarships, farmers, non-profits and small businesses in the area. At this flavorful festival, expect something for the whole family including live music with nationally known Western and Tejano music stars, regional bands, a carnival, various contests and rodeo performances. More at https://strawberryfestival.com/.
If You Go
San Antonio is 1.5 hours from Austin.
Fort Worth is 2 hours, 45 minutes from Austin.
Burnet is 1 hour, 10 minutes from Austin.
Port Aransas is 3.5 hours from Austin.
Chappell Hill is 1 hour, 35 minutes from Austin.
Galveston is 3.5 hours from Austin.
Tilmon is 1 hour from Austin.
Georgetown is 30 minutes from Austin.
Poteet is 2 hours from Austin.