By Audrey Spencer
The Cove Herald
LAMPASAS — Music, vendors and events will fill the city next week as its 40th annual Spring Ho festival begins.
The festival, which starts Monday and runs through July 15, features a variety of performances, contests and attractions, many free of charge.
"It's pretty unique," said Jody Cummings, chairman of this year's event. "There's a lot of fun stuff that only comes around once a year."
Live music and an opening ceremony kick off the fest at 6:45 p.m. Monday, followed by the Spring Ho Beauty Pageant at 7:30 p.m. at the Ruth Eakin Outdoor Theater.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Hayloft Party & Texaco Country Showdown Talent Contest takes place at the outdoor theater.
"That's how LeAnn Rimes got her start," said Cummings about the contest. "The winner gets to go to a higher level. After four wins, they get a recording contract."
After sunset Wednesday, H-E-B sponsors a fireworks show, which will be visible throughout the downtown area. The show will start at "roughly 9:15, or when it looks dark enough and someone says 'go,'" said Cummings.
Thursday evening, a full-size carnival will open at 6 p.m. in the Amvets parking lot, where U.S. Highway 281 splits from U.S. Highway 183. The carnival operates through Sunday, as will vendor booths throughout W.M. Brook Park in the same area.
"We have 150 food and arts and craft vendors that set up," said Cunnings.
Beginning at noon Friday, Gavin Garrett Soccer Field will host activities for children, including face painting, water polo and a corn-shucking contest.
There also will be a street dance for a $10 entry fee featuring Brian Keane at 9 p.m. and the Granger Smith Band at 10:30 p.m.
On tap for Saturday are a 10-K, 5-K and one-mile run; registration starts at 6 a.m. The festival's parade kicks off at 11 a.m. starting at the corner of Western and North streets. Many floats will be decorated to match this year's Love, Peace and Springs "hippie" theme, said Cummings.
Another street dance takes place Saturday, featuring the Jarrett Schaub Band, starting at 8 p.m.
The carnival, concession stands and vendor booths will operate from noon to closing on Sunday.
Also available during the week, and throughout the summer, are the springs for which the festival was named, including a spring-fed swimming pool.
As a precaution for the heat, emergency medical services will be on hand at the festival for assistance.
"It's always hot," said Cummings with a laugh. "We do have some people who get overheated, so we have an area they can go to cool off."
Other events during Spring Ho include a barbecue cookoff and local musician performances.
Contact Audrey Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.
Spring Ho schedule
For a full schedule or more information about Spring Ho festival, go to www.springho.com.