Katy Rice Festival Going Virtual This Weekend

By George Slaughter

The pandemic has caused the Katy Rice Festival to go online this weekend, but the show is still going on.

The festival begins at 9 a.m. Friday with a virtual market being launched on the Katy Rice Festival website. At 7 p.m., country musician Hayden Baker will give a livestream performance on Facebook. Baker grew up in Katy and performed at last year’s festival.

On Saturday, virtual registration for what is being cast as a Press Restart 2021 Fun Run begins at 9 a.m. Fun run participants can sign up for a one-mile run/walk, a 5K run/walk, or a 10K run/walk to be done at their leisure on a course of their choosing. The $35 registration fee supports Katy Independent School District student scholarships, along with other charities. Fun run registration deadline is December 11.

When participants finish their runs, they are invited to post their pictures on the Rotary Club of Katy Facebook page. The fun run also features a contest in which winners receive a $100 gift card. To be eligible to win, participants must complete and submit their run results between December 19-January 3. Winners will be announced on January 7, 2021.

Awards will also be given for the most festive dressed kid, the most festive dressed adult, and the most festive run course. Pickup and delivery arrangements for participant shirts and promotional items will be announced at a later date.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a Houston-based variety band, will give a livestream performance on Facebook at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Other activities include a scavenger hunt and a photo contest. The scavenger hunt began Monday. The game card can be accessed here.

The game has 10 riddles, the answers for which are Katy locations one must visit. When a participant visits those locations, he or she will find a clue word posted somewhere on or near that site.

After completing the form with locations and clue words, a participant must either scan or take a picture of the completed form and send it to katyricefestival@cityofkaty.com. All correct game cards will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize. Deadline for all entries is 12 p.m. Sunday. The winner will be announced on the Katy Rice Festival Facebook page at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The festival also features a photo contest, sponsored by Keep Katy Beautiful. A pumpkin patch has been staged in front of Katy City Hall, 901 Avenue C, for photo opportunities. To enter the contest, post the photo on Facebook or Instagram. If using Facebook, tag “Keep Katy Beautiful,” and if using Instagram, tag @KeepKaty Beautiful. Participants are also asked to use the hashtags #keepkatybeautiful and #kkbfallphotocontest, and set the photo settings to “public” so people can see it.

The photo contest ends at 12 p.m. Tuesday. Keep Katy Beautiful will pick runs the best and cutest photos, and announce the winners Wednesday, October 14. Winners will receive KKB swag and a gift card from salt and sugar Texas. For more information about the photo contest, contact keep Katy beautiful at 281-391-4717 or kkb@cityofkaty.com.

In past years, the festival drew between tens of thousands of visitors each year to downtown Katy. Many attendees come from across Texas, and from other states. The first such celebration, called a “Sellabration,” was held in 1978. Its purpose was to honor the local rice farmers and their contributions to the local economy.

The festival became known as the Rice Harvest Festival when it was held the second weekend of October, 1981. The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce staged the festival for many years before the City of Katy and Rotary Club of Katy took over the event in 2018 and slightly changed the name.