Stay Close to Home This Summer and Enjoy Your Share of Crawfish, Tequila and Salsa Dancing 

Festivals for the Rest of Us

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Skipping out on that trip to the Hamptons with your BFFs this summer? Couldn't find one house for rent in all of Tuscany for the entire family? Or maybe you're just dreading the time it's going to take TSA to get you through airport security so you can board your flight to Milan or Minsk. Whatever the reason you've decided to forego a big vacation this summer, there's still plenty to do in and around the San Antonio area, especially if you're a fan of seasonal festivals. Here's a look at 14 you might want to circle on your calendar, unless, of course, that 17-hour road trip to Disney World with the kids screaming in the backseat is still an option.

>May 27-29 • Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival
Spend Memorial Day weekend sucking on crustaceans at this Cajun-inspired festival in the center of Fritztown. Along with the buckets of crawdads at your fingertips, enjoy tons of other festival foods and dance to live music by Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Bayou Roux and Kaylee Rutland. $5-$12, 6-11pm Fri, 11am-11pm Sat, noon-6pm Sun, Marktplatz, 126 W. Main St., Fredericksburg, (830) 433-5225, fbgcrawfish.com.

click to enlarge FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS
  • Festival of Flowers

>May 28 • Festival of Flowers
Celebrating its 19th year, this premiere gardening event will feature exhibitors, demonstrations, competitions and seminars on topics like butterfly gardening, natural pest control techniques and growing daylilies. Stop by and listen to the Organic Roundtable at 2 p.m. hosted by Bob Webster from Shades of Green, named Best Plant Nursery in our Best of San Antonio 2016 issue. $6, 9am-5pm, Alzafar Shrine Auditorium, 901 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 380-3532, safestivalofflowers.com.

>May 28-30 • Memorial Day Celebration!
Presented by Market Square and El Mercado Association, this three-day festival is the perfect way for both residents and tourists to get a taste of the kind of family-friendly fun that can be had in Downtown San Antonio when you mix live music, food booths and shopping. Free, noon-8pm Fri-Sun, Market Square, 514 W. Commerce St., (210) 207-8600, getcreativesanantonio.com.

> June 10-12 • Texas Folklife Festival
In its 45th year, the Texas Folklife Festival continues to share the state's rich culture and heritage with guests through an assortment of food, music, dance, arts and crafts. Entertainment and demos traditionally include Flemish folk dancing, mariachi performances, trick roping, cattle branding, wood carving and sheep shearing. $5-$12, 5-11pm Fri, 11am-11pm Sat, noon-7pm Sun, Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd., (210) 458-2224, texancultures.com.

click to enlarge Float Fest - PHOTO BY KODY MELTON
  • Photo by Kody Melton
  • Float Fest

> June 10-12 • Texas River Fest
Hop into an inner tube and take a ride down the Comal River on Friday and/or the Guadalupe River on Saturday and enjoy music while you float. After your trip down the river, shuttles will take you to Downtown New Braunfels or Gruene, where more music awaits. Sunday brunch rounds out the weekend. $25-$50, 4pm Fri, noon Sat, 5pm Sun, Rockin' R Comal (193 S. Liberty St.) and Rockin' R Gruene (1405 Gruene Road), New Braunfels, (830) 620-6262 and (830) 629-9999, texasriverfest.com.

click to enlarge BOOME BURGERS FEST
  • Boome Burgers Fest

> June 17-19 • Boerne Berges Fest
Learn about the German heritage around the Boerne area during this 50th annual three-day festival that features wheelbarrow races, bratwurst and watermelon eating contests, horseshoe tournaments, root beer drinking contests, Dachshund races, a parade and carnival, a Miss Berges Fest Pageant and much more. Free, noon-midnight Fri, noon-1am Sat, noon-6pm Sun, Kendall County Fairgrounds, 1307 River Road, Boerne, (830) 249-2839, bergesfest.com.

>June 18 • Tequila, Taco and Cerveza Fest
If you thought barbacoa and Big Red went well together, check out this tasty festival also taking place in El Paso, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Denver and Phoenix. Showcasing a diverse selection of Mexican beers and more than 60 different tequilas from around the world, the festival will also feature food trucks, live bands, Chihuahua racing and a "tequila Olympics." $30-$40, 2-10pm, Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall, 3201 E. Houston St., (210) 226-1177, tequilatacocervezafest.com.

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>June 18 • Summer Solstice Film Festival
This second annual summer film festival will make you work for your movies. Once on the host farm, visitors will be given a map and invited to participate in a scavenger hunt where they'll search for short artist-made films set up in viewing spaces like chicken coops and tool sheds. If cinema tracking isn't for you, kick back in the main field and watch a series of feature-length art films, create spin art or help paint a hip-hop mural. Free, 4pm-midnight, Habitable Spaces, 3050 FM 1104, Kingsbury, habitablespaces.org.

>July 4 • 4th of July Celebration
Celebrate America's independence with games, live music and food vendors throughout the day. Sponsored by the San Antonio Parks Foundation and the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, the outdoor event includes the H-E-B Fireworks Extravaganza, a Salute to the Red, White and Blue Parade and the Rio San Antonio Cruises All-American Kid's Zone. Opening ceremonies start at noon. Free, noon, Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati, (210) 207-7275, saparksfoundation.org.

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> July 5-17 • Cactus Pear Music Festival
The chamber music festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with performances by festival artistic director and violinist Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio and other chamber musicians from around the world, including violinist Colin Sorgi, cellist Lachezar Kostov and pianist Ellen Pavliska. During the festival, performances will take place in San Antonio (Coker UMC), Boerne (First UMC), Kerrville (First Presbyterian Church) and New Braunfels (McKenna Event Center). $23 adults, $5 students, see website for dates, times and locations, (210) 838-2218, cpmf.us.

>July 16-17 • Float Fest
Tube down the San Marcos River and then enjoy some musical performances from various groups, including Blue Healer, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Kongos, Pop Pistol, Nina Diaz and Metric. Spend a bit more to go camping on the grounds. $60-$299, 10am tubing, 2pm-12am Sat concerts, 2-11pm Sun concerts, Cool River Ranch, 601 Dupuy Ranch Road, San Marcos, (512) 212-0449, floatfest.net.

> July 29-31; August 5-6 • Mozart Festival Texas
If you're only familiar with Mozart's "Requiem in D Minor," culture up and attend at least one of these five concerts where some of the 18th-century composer's most beloved work will be performed by musicians around Texas. They include cellist Douglas Harvey, pianist Rick Rowley, violinist Richard Kilmer and clarinetist Gary Fair. $10-$85, 8pm Fri-Sat, 3pm Sun, University of the Incarnate Word Concert Hall, 4301 Broadway, (210) 829-3855, mozartfestivaltexas.org.

click to enlarge SALSA FEST
  • Salsa Fest

>August 11-14 • San Antonio Salsa Festival
Dance until the early morning hours with well-known dancers like Osmar Perrones, Tamara Livolsi and Majesty in Motion. Register for workshops and learn about the art of salsa dancing before hitting the dance floor with live bands and disc jockeys like DJ Muñeco Caliente and DJ Gonzo. $30-$230, times to be announced, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, 600 E. Market St., (210) 224-1234, bigsalsafestival.com.

>August 19-21 • Lone Star Gourd Festival
Have you ever been interested in the ancient art of decorating gourds? Take classes and talk to experts at this arts festival and learn how to make art with gourds through a number of techniques, including carving, burning, painting, dyeing and sculpting. $5 (free for attendees 17 and under), 9am-5pm Fri-Sat, 9am-3pm Sun, New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center, 375 S. Castell Ave., New Braunfels, (830) 221-4011, texasgourdsociety.org.

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