Celebrate wildflowers at Hill Country events

Be sure to take some of the Hill Country backroads as you travel between wildflower celebration events this weekend. Photo by Suzanne Freeman

Be sure to take some of the Hill Country backroads as you travel between wildflower celebration events this weekend. Photo by Suzanne Freeman

Recent rains have given a much-needed boost to the 2013 wildflower crop, creating a beautiful backdrop for this weekend’s spring celebrations. Beginning Friday, Burnet hosts its annual three-day Bluebonnet Festival on April 11-14 in Burnet. Most of the events will be found on the Square with a few scattered about in other parts of town.

The festival draws thousands of folks to Burnet to watch the wiener-dog races, compete in the bike-decorating contest, take in the 5K runs and dog-house racing (yeah, you read that right). You also might find yourself in an Old West shootout. There’s even a rubber ducky race.

Officials kick off the 30th annual Bluebonnet Festival on April 12 at 5:30 p.m. on the Square. There even will be a Highland Lakes Commemorative Air Force flyover to make it all official. Vendors and booths will line up around the Square to offer shopping opportunities throughout the weekend.

There’s lots of live music and an authentic destruction derby in which people actually try to hit each other’s cars with their own. Music begins with Tommy Hooker on the main stage 8-11 p.m. April 12 for the kick-off street dance. Jerry Martin and Kyle Park headline the April 13 performance on the main stage from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. For the April 13 show, there is a $10 cover charge.

The big day is April 13 when things start running, literally, with a Kids K at 8 a.m.

For more, go to www.bluebonnetfestival.org or call the Burnet Chamber of Commerce at (512) 756-4297.

WILDSEED FARMS WILDFLOWER CELEBRATION

The annual Wildseed Farms Wildflower Celebration began April 6 and runs through April 21 this year.

The largest working wild-seed farm in the country, Wildseed Farms has 200-plus acres of wildflowers growing at its Hill Country headquarters just outside Fredericksburg. You’ll find rows and rows of wildflowers. You can stroll wildflower trails, pick your own bouquets, shop at Blossoms Boutique and Lantana Nursery or relax in the Brewbonnet Biergarten.

Located seven miles east of Fredericksburg on U.S. 290 at 100 Legacy Drive, Wildseed Farms provides a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of planting, caring for and raising native wildflowers and other plants. For more information, go to www.wildseedfarms.com or call 1-800-848-0078.

BLUEBONNET TRACTOR RIDE

If you like old tractors and wildflowers, then mark April 13 on your calendar and make plans to attend — and participate in — the 2013 Bluebonnet Tractor Ride in Gillespie County.

The Hill Country Antique Tractor and Engine Club sponsors the jaunt, which takes drivers and fans through the Texas countryside during the height of bluebonnet season.

For individuals with a classic tractor, it’s a great excuse to get it out on the road and show it off. Any antique vehicle is welcome to join, although the speed limit will be about 5 mph — the speed of the slowest tractor.

Fees range from $15 to $35 per person and include the ride, a souvenir cap and a meal. You also can ride on the People Mover for $15 with the meal. The cost for the meal alone is $10.

For more information, check out the tractor ride webpage or call Regina Weidenfeller at (830) 889-9348.

THE BEST PART!

The best part of all these celebrations is riding the roads to get to them. The Highland Lakes is one of the hot spots noted for a bumper crop of bluebonnets and other widlflowers this year, so get on over here!

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