Annual Hill Country festival returning for its 34th year in the heart of Dripping Springs
FOUNDERS DAY 2023
Update: Due to forecasts of severe weather, Friday's parade is canceled, according to a Facebook post by the festival. As of 2:37 pm on Friday, the only announced cancelation is the parade. The rest of the weekend's events are still on. Visit the Facebook page to confirm before you go.
Looking to escape the Fiesta crowds this weekend? Consider taking a drive to the Hill Country to check out a three-day affair of family-friendly fun, music, and community. And don’t forget your sunscreen.
The annual Founders Day Festival began in 1987 to commemorate the founding of Dripping Springs by the Moss, Wallace, and Pound families in 1850. The City of Dripping Springs and the Founders Day Commission partners for the celebration to encourage the local community to come together to share in the camaraderie of some classic Texan staples: barbecue, beer, local music, and local art.
This year, over 200 booths for local businesses will be set up at the festival, offering unique hand-crafted items like jewelry, clothing, pottery, and more. The Mighty Thomas Carnival brings plenty of thrilling attractions that are suitable for both children and adults, and the Dripping Springs Knights of Columbus will operate the Beer Both, serving the coldest beer for patrons.
A few tips before you go – parking on Ranch Road 12 is not allowed at any time, but there will be a free parking and shuttle service from Dripping Springs High School all day on Saturday. Limited general parking is available at the Veterans Memorial Park for $20.
Also, as much as we all love seeing your furry friends at festivals, it's best to leave them at home. The crowds throughout the weekend can get hectic, and the asphalt retains more heat than the surrounding air temperature which can be dangerous for your pet's paws.
Here’s a look at the different activities that will take place during the festival’s three-day downtown takeover.
Friday, April 28
The festival kicks off with the carnival opening its rides to the public at 4 pm, and the annual Grand Parade will travel down Mercer Street at 6:30 pm. The parade theme for the year is “Founders 34, Celebrations Galore!” with prizes awarded to the best-decorated floats. Local music can be heard throughout the evening until the festivities conclude at midnight.
Saturday, April 29
Day two of the festival is the most fun-filled, packed day thanks to the many local musicians, the barbecue cook off competition, and the local food, arts, and crafts vendors. If you’ve never witnessed the barbecue-cook off, you’ve been missing out on some of the best local barbecue from noteworthy Hill Country culinary talent.
The all-day music performances begin at 10:30 am with 15-year-old Dripping Springs native Logan Papp on the Main Stage, and Ben Mollica performing at the Buddy Stage at 11 am. Like Friday, Saturday’s festivities will end at midnight.
The full schedule for Main Stage musical acts are:
- 10:30-11:30 am – Logan Papp
- 12:00-2:00 pm – Ty Myers
- 2:30-3:30 pm – Lisa Littman Band
- 4:00-6:00 pm – Soul Fire
- 6:30-8:30 pm – Cody Widner
- 9:00-11:00 pm – Bobby Pounds
The full schedule for Buddy Stage performance acts are:
- 11:00 am to 12:00 pm – Ben Mollica
- 12:00-2:00 pm – Cunningham Sisters
- 2:15-2:45 pm – Head to Toe Dance
- 2:45-3:45 pm – Dripping Strings
- 4:00-5:30 pm – Southside Transmission
Sunday, April 30
A special church service will begin the final day of the Founders Festival from 10 am to 12 pm at the Main Stage, with official festival hours beginning at 11 am. Scheduled music performances for the day include Tone Junkies on the Main Stage and Deadbolt ATX at the Second Stage from 12-2 pm. The barbecue cook-off awards will be presented at 2:30 pm. The carnival and arts and crafts booths will be set up all day, but the carnival officially ends at 7 pm.
More information about the Founders Day Festival can be found at cityofdrippingsprings.com.