Everything You Need to Know About Dripping Springs Founders Day
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Everything You Need to Know About Dripping Springs Founders Day!

an illustrative logo of the festival

Each April, thousands flock to Dripping Springs, TX for the town’s largest annual community event to celebrate the history, the heritage and the families that founded Dripping Springs in the 1850s. This year, the 3-day long festival will take place in the heart of Dripping Springs all throughout historic downtown from April 26-28, 2019.

Once just a festival for locals, now it attracts visitors from all over to celebrate the original founders of Dripping Springs. The family friendly event includes The Mighty Thomas Carnival, cook-off competitions and arts and crafts and business vendors, live music and a community parade.

The festivities begin Friday afternoon with the parade where dozens of floats meander down historic Mercer Street. Folks line the street in their lawn chairs to watch the impressive procession, collect candy, and other gifts being tossed from the uniquely decorated floats.

This year, there will be something very exciting taking place during the parade and a first ever for the 3 -day festival; Whim Hospitality, a local event planning and design company, will host a live wedding on a parade float during the Dripping Springs Founders Day Parade. This will be an impressive spectacle you don’t want to miss! Dripping Springs is the official Wedding Capital of Texas®, so it’s very appropriate that a local couple from Dripping Springs will tie the knot strolling down Mercer Street in their hometown festival in the Wedding Capital of Texas®.

two Ferris wheels lit up at night
Photo: Jerry Moreno Photography  

Once the parade (and the nuptials!) wrap-up, the food and beer vendors open their booths for folks to come eat and drink to their hearts content. The end of the parade also sparks the start of the weekend long live music schedule taking place in downtown Drippin'.

Mercer Street shuts down for all the festivities; vendors fill the streets, folks will be grilling meats and various foods including traditional festival fare like turkey legs and funnel cakes, and delicious smells will be permeating through this little Hill Country town. Among the vendors, booths and camps, the businesses along Mercer Street will also be open for patrons to come and shop. Make sure to check-out some of the boutiques that will be stocked with Founders Day and Dripping Springs, TX branded hats and t-shirts. Or stop by the Barbershop or Acopon Brewing for an ice cold craft beer.

a family walking down the street headed towards a carnival

One of the biggest Founders Day attractions is the Mighty Thomas Carnival. The kiddos will be delighted as they take part in the thrills of the carnival. Take a ride on the Ferris Wheel and see miles of the gorgeous Hill Country landscape or try your hand at one of the many games like ring toss to see what prizes you can win. While Founders Day is free, tickets to the carnival must be purchased, either beforehand or the day of.

Pre-sale tickets can be purchased for half price at the following locations before noon on April 26th:

South Star Bank - 10901 US-290 Austin, Texas (at Fitzhugh Road)

Lone Star Capital Bank - 401 US-290 Dripping Springs

Prosperity Bank - 721 W Highway 290 Dripping Springs

Security State Bank - 1500 US-290 Dripping Springs

Wells Fargo Bank - 401 W. Mercer St Dripping Springs

Pioneer Bank - 100 Creek Road Dripping Springs

Martin's Wellness Dripping Springs Pharmacy - 100 Commons Rd #1 Dripping Springs

Cedar Valley Grocery - 12009 W. Hwy 290 Austin

City of Dripping Springs - 511 Mercer St. Dripping Springs

an illustrative poster with high steppers with poms poms

While the kiddos enjoy the Mighty Thomas Carnival, cooking teams will be camped out all weekend long, smoking and grilling various meats to BBQ perfection. At stake (pun intended) is yearlong bragging rights; BBQ teams compete in the cook-offs in several different categories including brisket, chicken, pork spareribs, beans, chili, and salsas.

There is also a competition for best showmanship and even best pit.

Beyond the grill, folks will also be competing for the best margarita as well a local favorite competition, chicken clucking. Participants are judged on, you guessed it, chicken clucking, or crowing like a rooster.

From Friday til Sunday, there is live music on the Founders Day stage located in right in the midst of all the action in downtown Dripping Springs. Make sure to bring your boots, because a Founders Day tradition is two-steppin’ on historic Mercer Street until the stars begin to shine.

On Sunday morning there will be a community-wide church service on the main stage with live music to follow. The carnival and craft vendors will resume business after Sunday service as well. Sunday is also known as the wristband day. With the purchase of a $18 wristband, you have full access to all the carnival rides all day long. It’s a great and inexpensive way to enjoy all that the carnival has to offer, from the flying helicopters, to the zipper, the Pharaoh’s boat and more.

Traffic in around Dripping Springs during Founders Day weekend can get pretty congested, but you can avoid some of the chaos downtown by parking at the Dripping Springs High School on Mighty Tiger Lane and taking a shuttle provided by the Rotary Club to the festivities.

Founders Day Festival is a jam-packed weekend full of fun and celebration and it wouldn’t be possible without the City of Dripping Springs and the 12 member Founders Day Commission. Oh and of course the founding families of Dripping Springs!

Have a fun and safe Founders Day 2019!

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