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Katy Families Step into the Past with Free Katy Folk Life Festival


March 13, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy families can soon step back in time during a popular and free event. The 37th Annual Katy ISD Folk Life Festival offers a hands-on experience into the lives of early Texas pioneers.

Photo of Cane Island Volunteer from Katy ISD.

The 37th annual Folk Life Festival is Saturday, April 1, 2023 at the Katy ISD’s Kenneth D. Welch Outdoor Learning Center (6301 S. Stadium Lane) 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. It’s free entry for all and introduces Katy families to hands on activities that shows them what it was like to live in Texas in the 1800’s.

“The Folk Life Festival brings together many amazing volunteers who are able to share their knowledge and skills with the visitors,” says Paul Dunk, Specialist at the Outdoor Learning Center. “It offers guests a look into the past so they can see what life was like for those living in Texas long ago.”

The Folk Life Festival debuted in 1986 and was originally part of the Republic of Texas Sesquicentennial celebration in 1986 and was a combined effort between the Katy Heritage Society and the Outdoor Learning Center. After that, the event was continued by Katy ISD and continues to serve and educate the community to this day.

For the first time, this year the talented Morton Ranch High School Mariachi Band will perform from 10:30-11:00 a.m. The City of Katy will also have an On-Site Museum as well.

“The festival is a great kid-friendly event with many hands-on activities for young children to enjoy,” says Dunk.

Events and Activities Include:

  • Texas Pioneer Soldier Re-enactments

  • Blacksmith Demonstration

  • Honey Bee Keeping

  • Chuck Wagon

  • Dulcimer Players

  • Quilting Spinning Weaving

  • Farm Animals

  • One-Room School House

  • Native American Culture

  • Texas Cowboy Camp

  • Tin Punching

  • Pioneer Games

  • Corn Shelling/Grinding

  • Rag Doll Making

  • Arts and Crafts

The Cane Island Volunteers Bring Re-Enactments

Katy families love the hands-on activities and the demonstrations by the Cane Island Volunteers.

“The Cane Island Volunteers are a group of colonial Texas reenactors who have been a part of the Folk Life Festival since the very beginning,” says Dunk. “They are led by Kenneth D. Welch, who is the namesake of the Outdoor Learning Center, and Scott Griffin who was a longtime Texas History teacher at Katy Junior High.”

The Cane Island Volunteers camp portrays a unit of volunteer militia from the Texas Revolution period.

““The Katy ISD Welch Outdoor Learning Center Folk Life Festival is a great way to spend your Saturday as you step back in time to enjoy a unique lesson in Texas History,” says Dunk. “Chick-fil-A will be providing concessions on site and entry to the event is free of charge.”


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