June is the first month of summer vacation for families everywhere, and those heading to Texas will have plenty of festivals and events to choose from to fill out their vacation itinerary. From a folk festival in Kerrville to the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Pepper in Dublin, Texas has all sorts of great events.
First celebrated in 1972, the Kerrville Folk Festival is the longest running folk music festival in North America. The festival usually takes place from late May through early June and runs 18 consecutive days and nights at the Quiet Valley Ranch near Kerrville, Texas.
On evenings throughout the festival, over 100 singers and songwriters will perform, and during the daytime, activities include children's concerts, competitions, classes for harmonica and guitar, bike rides, and other small performances. Attendees can also camp out in the campgrounds for the duration of the festival, and many artists make impromptu performances around campfires here.
Kerrville is located an hour outside of San Antonio and about two hours from Austin. Tickets are required to attend the Kerrvile Folk Festival and can be purchased for one, three, or all days of the event.
Aransas Pass' annual Shrimporee offers entertainment, food, music and more for three days in early June each year. Highlights of the festival, which is billed as the "Largest Shrimp Festival in the World," include a carnival, kid's fish tank, shrimp cook-off, petting zoo, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and a farmer's market.
Each year, Shrimporee takes over the Aransas Pass Community Park in downtown Aransas Pass starting on the first Friday of the month at 6 p.m. and ending in the early evening on the following Sunday. Tickets are required for several activities—including the carnival and petting zoo—but the parade and many of the performances are free to attend.
Held in early May each year at the Wise County Fairgrounds in Decatur (northwest of Dallas), the Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games feature three days of dancing, athletic competitions, bagpipe band contests, dog show, fiddle and harp competitions, ethnic foods, and Celtic art.
The festival also features camping as well as special classes on Scottish crafts, sports, and dancing. The Highland Games typically being on Friday evening and continue through to the award ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, musical and dance performances typically begin on Saturday morning and continue through to the early afternoon on Sunday.
Sponsored by the Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio's Texas Folklife Festival is an annual celebration of the diverse cultures that combine to make Texas unique. The festival features live music, costumes, arts & crafts, local cuisines, and more for three days in early June each year.
The Texas Folklife Festival features over 250 organizations representing over 40 cultural groups in Texas that offer attendees the chance to experience music and entertainment on six stages, sample over 100 authentic foods, and browse arts made by nearly 60 artists from around the state.
The Texas Folklife Festival is typically held at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute of Texan Cultures campus. Tickets are required to attend and can be purchased online before you go.
Albany's Fort Griffin Fandangle is the oldest outdoor theatrical performance in Texas, held each year during the last two full weekends of June.
The performance celebrates Texas' history and features a cast of 300 townspeople, Native Americans, cowboys, and soldiers as well as a herd of longhorn cattle, a stagecoach, and a train in a retelling of the frontier days of Texas history.
The Fort Griffin Fandangle is held at the Prairie Theater in Albany, Texas—about 135 miles west of Fort Worth and 35 miles northwest of Abilene. Tickets must be reserved in advance and are available online.
Held in Bowie—the town named after the legendary figure—Jim Bowie Days showcases the cowboy culture of Texas with a week of events including a rodeo, a bass fishing tournament, an exhibit of Native American artifacts, an antique car show, and even a pet parade.
Jim Bowie Days usually take place over the last full week of June and starts with the annual bass tournament on Lake Amon G. Carter early Sunday morning. Most events of the festival are free to attend, but a small fee may be charged to enjoy the rodeo or enter the contests and tournaments of the event.
Luling's annual Watermelon Thump is a four-day celebration of everyone's favorite summer treat—watermelon—that takes place over the last full weekend in June each year. The festival includes a carnival, kiddie rides, food booths, live entertainment, watermelon seed spitting contest, watermelon eating contest, and more.
The Watermelon Thump kicks off with a free concert on Thursday night and continues with ticketed events throughout the weekend. Guests can also stop by the exhibitor's market or explore a carnival full of kids' entertainment during the event.
Held each year in Dublin, the Dr. Pepper Birthday Celebration pays homage to a true Texas original—Dr. Pepper. During the birthday celebration, visitors are treated to free tours of the bottling plant and museum, and carnival games and food booths are also on site to enjoy.
The Dr. Pepper Birthday Celebration usually takes place over the course of a week in mid-June each year. The event also features several Fun Runs, free concerts, and an arts and crafts vendor fair as well as a Dr. Pepper birthday cake and soda-themed costumes.