By George Slaughter
Katy residents and visitors had much to enjoy at the annual Katy Rice Festival, which continues through tomorrow.
Friday evening featured live music, food trucks, a beer garden, and a carnival. Saturday’s events began with a parade that ran east on 10th Street to Drexel Drive, when it turned south and proceeded to 5th Street. There, it turned west, passing by the judges’ stage, at the East Avenue intersection, and then turned north, for the last leg, along Avenue C.
Saturday’s festival attractions, opened after the parade’s conclusion, included arts and crafts for sale, and the First Service Kids Zone, which featured fun for all ages, including a crafts tent, an inflatables section, and a trackless train. The Kids Zone is on the grass lot at 4th Street and Avenue A.
Saturday’s festivities also included live music performances, food and beverage stations, along with a wine grotto.
The Katy Police Department helped staff a dunking booth on the eastern side of the designated festival area, near the Kid’s Zone. Proceeds from the dunking booth benefit Special Olympics Texas. Meanwhile, the Katy Fire Department parked one of its fire trucks on the western side of the festival area, near City Hall, for people to see.
Inside City Hall itself were the winning entries from the Katy Rice Festival Student Art Contest. The best of show winner is an acrylic on reinforced burlap image, entitled “From Field to Table,” and was created by a seventh-grade student at Memorial Parkway Junior High School.
The American Legion Post 164 of Katy sponsored a booth to encourage support for the Wreaths Across America Project, in which wreaths are placed at the graves of all veterans buried at Katy’s Magnolia Cemetery.
Katy Responds also sponsored a booth to encourage support for helping Katy-area households that are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Chelsea Lucas, office manager, said approximately 1,500 Katy-area households still need help.
The festival is the culmination of a year’s worth of planning and many volunteer hours. The city took over festival sponsorship last year from the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. The Katy Rotary Club administers the proceeds, which benefit student scholarships and local charities.
Tickets are $5 for adults, while children 12 and under are admitted free. The festival concludes Sunday, with gates open from 12 to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the website.