By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS - This year's Spring Ho festival will continue the 39-year tradition of showcasing the city to all. Events, including a carnival, parade, music, dancing and fireworks, start Monday and wrap up July 10.
"The festival originated to draw attention to the natural springs that are here," said Spring Ho Committee Chairman Dean Tomme. "Years ago, people came from quite a distance to soak in the springs."
The springs are the reason that Lampasas was founded, and a reason settlers continued to come Lampasas, he said. Also during the mid-1900s people used to venture to Lampasas because the springs were rumored to be rejuvenating.
Now the committee just wants to showcase what a wonderful community Lampasas is, not only to its residents but to visitors as well, Tomme said.
"It is not just a hometown deal, we invite everyone from Copperas Cove to Killeen and Austin residents too, so they can come see what small-town life is all about," he said. "It is a small-town atmosphere ... and people are welcome."
The festival is geared toward the family with a carnival that starts on Thursday and runs until July 10, a county fair shows off exhibits all week long, a beauty pageant for juniors and teens, a two-day barbecue cook-off, dances, a fireworks display on Wednesday, and live music most of the week.
"As a child, if you grow up in Lampasas, you wait all year long for it," said Casey Smart, a member of the 12-person volunteer committee that organizes the event. "There are a lot of things for the children to do. It is focused around kids and families for sure."
One of the biggest events is the parade.
"The parade is probably what brings the most people into town," Smart said. "It is one the largest parades in Texas."
There are more than 100 organizations participating in the parade this year, which includes almost every organization in Lampasas, she said. Parade participants range from gymnastic groups to little league teams to high school bands to nonprofit clubs.
"Every club and organization in town has a float, so people are either watching it or in it," Smart said.
This year, the parade will be on a different route due to construction on Key Avenue, Smart said.
It starts on Western and travel down North Street to Chestnut where it turns left on Third Street and goes to Hackberry Street, where it will turn left again.
Another big attraction is the arts and craft fair that takes place July 8to 10 at W.M. Brook Park. There are 167 vendors this year that will set up along Sulphur Creek, Smart said.
Spring Ho events take place throughout the city, with kids activities at Gavin Garrett Soccer Field on July 8, the barbecue cook-off behind the county annex on July 8 to 9, and at the Lampasas County Court House Square, which hosts music and dancing July 8 to 9.
"The Friday night street dance features Jake Hooker and the Outsiders," Tomme said. "They are a western swing country act. And then the Kiwanis Club has a semi-local band Cotton Owens and the Backroads Band."
The show is a lot of fun for those who want to dance, but is also a relaxing time for people who just want to watch the show with their families, Smart said.
Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcoveeditor.
Lampasas Spring Ho happenings
6:45 p.m. - Mac Holcomb, Little Miss Spring Ho 2005 at the Ruth Eakin Outdoor Theatre
7:15 p.m. - Spring Ho Opening Ceremony at the Ruth Eakin Outdoor Theatre
7:30 p.m. - Spring Ho Beauty Pageant at the Ruth Eakin Outdoor Theatre (free with badges or $3 without badges)
7 p.m. - KCYL/Q102 Hayloft Party and Texaco Country Showdown Talent Contest at the Ruth Eakin Outdoor Theatre. ($3 with badge and $4 without badge)
8 to 10 a.m. - Kiddie Fishing Derby for ages 5 to 12
4 to 7 p.m. - Country Fair Registration at Community Room at First Texas Bank Lampasas
7 p.m. - Gospel Night at the Ruth Eakin Outdoor Theatre
9:15 p.m. - Fireworks display at W.M. Brook Park
9 a.m. to noon - Judging of Exhibits
2 p.m. to 7 p.m. - County Fair Exhibits in the Community Room at First Texas Bank
6 p.m. to closing - Carnival
7 p.m. - Dance Contest at AMVETS Hall on Highway 281 South. (free with badge or $3 without badge)
All day - Experience 2011 Sculptures at Hanna Springs Sculpture Farden at Campbell Park
All day - Arts and Crafts Fair and Concessions at W.M. Brook Park
8:30 a.m. - Pet Parade Registration at the corner of Second Street and Live Oak
8:30 a.m. - Diaper Derby at the Courtyard Square Bandstand
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. - County Fair Exhibits in the Community Room at First Texas Bank
9 a.m. - Pet Parade Judging at the Corner of Second and Live Oak.
9:30 a.m. - Pet Parade at the Courtyard Square Bandstand
Noon to 10 p.m. - Barbecue Cookoff on 4th Street behind the Lampasas County Annex
Kids' Day Activities at Gavin Garrett Soccer Field
Noon - Kids' Day Activities for 3 to 10 year olds by the Boys and Girls' Club
Noon to 2 p.m. - Face Painting, Balloon Figures, and Water Polo
2 p.m. - Corn Shucking Contest
Noon to 4 p.m. - Keystone Square Museum exhibits at 303 S. Western St.
Entertainment at the gazebo in the park
3 to 4 p.m. - Daecee and Daelyn Ellis
4 to 5 p.m. - LHS Jazz Band Ensemble
5 to 6 p.m. - Megan Blair
6 to 7 p.m. - Jordan and Mykenzie Cummings
6 p.m. to Closing - Carnival at W.M. Brook Park
8 p.m. to midnight - Spring Ho Dance featuring Jake Hooker and the Outsiders at the Courtyard Square (tickets are $10).
All Day Arts and Crafts Fair, and concessions at W.M. Brook Park
6 to 7:30 a.m. - Registration for 10k and 1 mile runs at Hancock Park
8 a.m. - 31st Annual 10k and 1 Mile Run at Hancock Park
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Barbecue Cookoff on 4th Street behind the Lampasas County Annex
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - County Fair Exhibits in the community room at First Texas Bank
11 a.m. to Closing - Carnival at W.M. Brook Park
11 a.m. - Grand Parade
12:30 p.m. - Washer pitching at Gavin Garret Soccer Field
12:30 p.m. - Horseshoe pitching at Hancock Park
Noon to 4 p.m. - Keystone Square Museum Exhibits at 303 S. Western St.
3 p.m. - Water Sports at Hanna Springs Pool
Entertainment at the gazebo in the park
3 to 4 p.m. - The Kerly Girls
4 to 5 p.m. - Lindsey Cox
5 to 6 p.m. - Megan Blair
6 to 7 p.m. - That Lometa Sound
8 p.m. - Kiwanis Club Dance featuring Cotton Owens and the Backroads Band at the Courtyard Square (tickets are $10)
All day - Arts and crafts fair and concessions at W.M. Brook Park
Noon to closing - Carnival at W.M. Brook Park
1 to 4 p.m. - Keystone Museum exhibits, 303 S. Western St.
4 p.m. - Rubber Duck Derby at W.M. Brook Park Dam