KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
October 5, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
The Katy Rice Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary October 9-11. However, the traditional Katy event, which typically brings in crowds of 45-50,000, has been forced online because of the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
Katy Rice Festival Goes Virtual
“During this pandemic we have looked at all options as far as trying to hold our City of Katy Rice Festival,” says Mayor Bill Hastings. “This is an event we cannot control numbers of participants or social distancing.”
The City, which partners with The Rotary Club of Katy, started planning for a virtual event over the summer. The online Katy Rice Festival will include a virtual craft market, live-stream bands, and other fun activities.
“It was certainly a tough decision,” says Kayce Reina, Katy’s Director of Tourism, Marketing & Public Relations. “But the health and safety of our patrons, vendors, artists, volunteers, partners, staff and the entire Katy community is our highest priority. There is so much uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 situation, and many events and festivals across the state have cancelled.”
The Katy Rice Festival is adding to its rich history by hosting its first community-wide scavenger hunt. 10 Katy locations are described in challenging riddles for participants to solve. The answers lead to locations where a secret “clue word” is revealed. Once competitors have all of the words on their game card completed, they email it to be entered in a drawing for a prize. The scavenger hunt opened on October 3. Final entries are due by Sunday, October 11 at 9 a.m.
Although the popular Rice Festival parade was canceled this year, the scavenger hunt activity is a great way to safely visit some of the city’s most celebrated sites.
Celebrating 40 Years
The Katy Rice Festival started in 1980 and was initially created to celebrate Katy's history and rice. Katy was known as the "Rice Capital of the World" and the remnants of that history can still be seen from I-10 in the form of the rice silos among the town's commercial growth and development.
The Katy Rice Festival brings the community together each year to celebrate Katy’s history and to give back to the residents. All net proceeds from the festival benefit The Rotary Club of Katy scholarship fund and provide donations to the local Katy community.
To attend the virtual Katy Rice Festival, visit their website.
The scavenger hunt and updates can be found on the festival’s official Facebook page. The City also encourages people to share memories or photos of Katy’s past on their social media site.