By Audrey Spencer
Killeen Daily Herald
From quilts to wine to chuckwagon cooking, there's lots to celebrate this spring in Central Texas. The following is a list of events and festivals happening from Killeen to Lampasas through early summer.
Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild annual show: Quilts will fill the Killeen Civic and Conference Center ballroom to be viewed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m today and Saturday. For a $6 admission, participants can view more than 150 judged quilts, 40 Hoffman Challenge Traveling Show quilts and more in different exhibits. They also can take part in a silent auction and visit vendors.
Opening of the Killeen Arts and Activities Center and the Green Avenue Farmers Market: The farmers market opens for its first public sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Crafts by local vendors and plants from the Bell County Master Gardeners will be available. There also will be free storytimes, puppet shows, facepainting and other children's activities.
Easter Egg Hunt: Starting at 10:30 a.m. April 7, activities for children age 10 and younger will be available at "Smallville," including a moonwalk, an appearance by the Easter bunny and arts and crafts activities. At 1 p.m., an Easter Egg Hunt kicks off at Lions Club Park.
Celebrate Killeen Festival: An opening night party including free food and live music is April 26 in downtown Killeen. There will be a free concert by Whiskey Myers April 27 at the Killeen Community Center ampitheater. Festivities will take place all day April 28, including a road race, barbecue cook-off, car show, bike show and more. At 8 p.m., "Captain America" will be shown at the ampitheater. For more information, go to www.ci.killeen.tx.us/index.php?section=288.
Rodeo Killeen 2012: Cowboys and cowgirls will compete May 24-26 during the rodeo in a range of events, including bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, team roping and more. May 24 is military appreciation night. May 25 is the Killeen Rodeo Star singing competition. For times and ticket information, go to www.rodeokilleen.com.
CenTex Race Series: A variety of road races will be at the Central Texas area throughout the season. Go to www.killeentexas.gov/index.php?section=30 for a full schedule of 5K and 10K races in Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Temple and other cities.
Citywide Garage Sale: Garage sale-hoppers can save time and gas by attending Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce's second annual Citywide Garage Sale at the Civic Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21. The deadline to sign up for selling space is April 16. For more information or to apply, go to www.copperascove.com or call (254) 547-7571.
Rabbit Fest: Thousands of people attend the annual Rabbit Fest at the Copperas Cove City Park on Avenue B each year. The festival includes carnival rides, arts and crafts, vendors, a petting zoo and other attractions. It runs from 5 to 11 p.m. May 17-18; 9 a.m. to midnight May 19; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 20. For more information, go to www.rabbitfest.com.
Boutique Wine Festival: The Vineyard at Florence will host its fourth annual boutique wine festival at noon April 7. The event includes wine tasting, food, music and festivities. Tickets are $35, including a Bordeaux glass, wine tote and chocolate pairing. Wines from the vineyard, as well as 40 samples from around the world, will be uncorked for tasting. The vineyard is at 8711 W. Farm-to-Market 487 in Florence. For more information, go to www.thevineyardatflorence.com/calendar or call (254) 793-3363.
Bloomin' Fest: The 11th annual Bloomin' Fest is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 7 at the Lampasas downtown square, with live music until 4 p.m. The festival is free and offers more than 100 arts and crafts, food, plants and flower vendors, and a children's area.
Sulphur Creek "Iron Chef" Chuck Wagon Cook Off: The wagon judging starts at 1 p.m. April 6 on the east side of Campbell Park. There is no admission fee and spectators are invited to observe how things were done back during the cattle drive era. On April 7, wagons will be cooking in the third annual cook-off. Lunch will be served at noon. Tickets are $10 per person. Cowboy music will be played and two cowboy poets will perform from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased locally through the Lampasas, Copperas Cove and Killeen Chambers of Commerce. For more information, go to www.RafterTS.com.
Chamber Golf Classic: On April 15, the Lampasas Chamber of Commerce will host its 16th annual Chamber Golf Classic. Three-person teams may enter to play at Hancock Park Municipal Golf Course. The three-person scramble will begin with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The entry fee per player is $50 and includes a goodie bag, mulligan, dinner and a chance to win door prizes, along with cash prizes to the first-, second- and third-place golfer in each flight. To enter, stop by the Hancock Park Golf Course or call the Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce at (512) 556-5172.
Wild West Casino Night: The Lampasas Chamber of Commerce will host a Casino Night April 21 at the American Veterans Hall to benefit the three major nonprofit organizations in the community: the chamber, the Lampasas Association for the Arts and Vision Lampasas. Entry is $25 per person and tickets may be purchased at the chamber.
Art in the Park: For the first time, the Lampasas Association for the Arts' annual Art in the Park event will be free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 28 at Campbell Park. Artists will host demonstrations, artisans will sell their work, and live entertainment and children's activities will be available for the public. Four new sculptures also will be introduced to the Hanna Springs Sculpture Garden. Local vineyards will host a wine tasting, and the Lucky Ranch Grill will sell food.
Sulphur Creek Car Cruise: The open-registration car show is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 2 at W.M. Brook Park. Bringing in around 100 entries, including antique and modern cars, motorcycles and trucks, the event is open to the public and includes food vendors.
Lampasas Riata Roundup Rodeo: The 11th annual Riata Roundup Rodeo is June 8-9 at Lometa Regional Park in Lometa. Tickets will be $6 for military on June 8. Non-military tickets are $10, and $5 for children age 12 and younger The rodeo also will have a rodeo queen contest. The events kick off at 8 p.m. June 8. There will be children's activities starting at 6 p.m. June 9 and will end with a concert by the Nick Lawrence Band.
Spring Ho Festival: The city's biggest event, the weeklong Spring Ho Festival, is slated for July 9-14. For its 40th year, the festival will offer arts and crafts, 5K and 10K races, a barbecue cook-off, street dances and more in the downtown square.
July 4 Parade/Fireworks: Gatesville's July 4 events will include a parade hosted by the local American Legion and a fireworks display put on by the city of Gatesville at the Gatesville Primary School parking lot on Hornet Way.