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DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE STAFF

BURNET — Despite 29 years of Bluebonnet Festival activities, the Burnet Chamber of Commerce staff and cadre of volunteers doesn’t rest on their floral laurels when it comes to the annual spring event.“We’re always looking to make it bigger and better but still keep that small-town charm, which makes it so special,” said Burnet Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Winkler. “Everybody in the community gets involved in the Bluebonnet Festival, which is a big reason it stays so vibrant.”

The 2013 event marks the 30th anniversary of the Bluebonnet Festival. It runs April 12-14 this year with a schedule packed with fun events.

“It does have something for everybody,” Winkler said.

Which might be one of the reasons The Picayune readers selected the Bluebonnet Festival as the “Locals Love Us” Best Community Event for Burnet.

“That’s exciting when it’s the people who are the ones who chose the Bluebonnet Festival,” Winkler said. “It means a lot to us that people took the time to vote for the festival.”

The Bluebonnet Festival stretches out over several days and across much of Burnet. While the Historic Downtown Square serves as the epicenter for the event, people can find things to do from the Burnet municipal airport to First Lutheran Church.

The festival attracts thousands of people, both local and visitors, to Burnet. Many have been coming back year after year, while for some, this 30th annual one might be their first. Whichever the case, organizers and volunteers want to make the Bluebonnet Festival something people remember and talk about for the other 51 weeks of the year.

Part of keeping the Bluebonnet Festival exciting for returnees and newcomers comes down to adding new events and tweaking others.

“We do look for things to add, but, at the same time, we don’t want to change the essence of what makes the Bluebonnet Festival so special,” Winkler said. “One of the things we’ve been able to do over the years is expand the entertainment and musical lineups. And we probably have one of the best pet parades around.”

It’s also a good bet the Bluebonnet Festival Grand Parade, 11 a.m. April 13, is one of the largest parades in Central Texas, if not the entire state. People arrive early to secure a spot on the parade route.

Plus, name one other event in Texas where you can enjoy a pet parade, a bicycling-decorating contest, vintage World War II airplanes, a train, gunfighters, a carnival, a destruction derby and a dog-house race in three days? Yeah, probably none.

The Burnet Bluebonnet Festival packs in all of that and much more in three days.

For more on the festival, go to www.bluebonnetfestival.org or call (512) 756-4279.

daniel@thepicayune.com