KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
October 7, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy’s most historic event opens today with the return of the much-anticipated carnival. The Katy Rice Festival’s 42nd year promises to be an event of fun and time to celebrate Katy. See what you need to know from entertainment lineup to parking directions.
Photo courtesy of the City of Katy.
Downtown Katy will be full of life this weekend (October 7-9, 2022) as the city gathers for the 42nd Katy Rice Festival. The historic event brings the community together each year to celebrate Katy’s history and to give back to the residents. The historic event has been known to bring in crowds from 45-50,000.
“The annual Katy Rice Festival which originates from our past years as Rice Farmers where the festival was their ‘sell-a-bration’ of harvesting for the year,” says Ashley Lipsman, City of Katy Tourism and Marketing Coordinator. “To commemorate what Katy is known for and touch on the culture and history of our city, we have highlighted a few aspects of ‘rice farming’ this year and hope to add additional features down the road.”
Free Admission Octoberfest is Tonight
It all starts tonight with Octoberfest from 6:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m on the Plaza in Downtown Katy. Tonight is free admission and families can enjoy food trucks, beer, live music and the carnival.
“We here at the City of Katy, along with our partners at the Rotary Club of Katy, are very excited about this year’s Katy Rice Festival,” says Katy Mayor William “Dusty” Thiele. “The net proceeds will benefit many Katy students and charities through scholarships and donations.”
This year’s event has over 130+ vendors booths and 25 different food trucks non-stop live entertainment on two main stages.
Local Students to Take the Stage
In addition to live music, there will be a KT Stage showcasing local Katy student talent.
The Carnival Returns
“We’ll have the football games going in the Sports tent and beer ready to pop the top. And of course, you can’t forget all the fun for the kids with the inflatable bounce houses, games, and carnival rides,” adds Lipsman.
The city hasn’t had a carnival at the festival for the last two seasons and this year’s return will mark the biggest carnival yet.
“We have expanded the area from previous years to bring in bigger and better rides with a wide variety of options,” says Lipsman.
The carnival also includes classic games like Balloon Pop, Water Race, and Ring-a-Bottle.
“We’re excited to bring in a variety of rides for the whole family to enjoy like the Super Jet Roller Coaster, Tornado, and 100 Foot Slide to things like the Dizzy Dragon, Sizzler, and Merry Go Round for the littles,” says Lipsman. “And of course, you can’t have a carnival without a Ferris Wheel.”
Rice Cooking and Art Contests The Katy Rice Festival will also hold the popular Art Contest and the Traditional Rice Cooking Contest, which will be on display during the festival inside the Visitor Center. Katy’s own professional art, Tyler Kay will be judging the Art Contest this year.
Where to Park
“Parking will quickly be limited in around the downtown area,” says Lipsman. “We recommend parking at the Merrell Center and using the complimentary shuttle service to get to the festival. Service will start 30 minutes prior to festival opening and end 30 minutes after festival closing each day.”
As Katy continues to grow, this is an opportunity for newcomers to come and experience the community and learn about its history through a fun event.
Celebrating 42 Years of Tradition
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 tradition of the Katy Rice Festival is a time-honored tradition and is anticipated with excitement each year by our citizens and their families. There will be something for everyone to enjoy,” says Mayor Thiele. Come out and join the excitement.”
Tickets for the carnival and games will only be available at the event and will be cash-only.
The Katy Rice Festival continues on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and then Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Adults are $10 each on Saturday and Sunday and children 12 and under are free.
For more info this weekend, follow Katy Rice Festival on social media.