KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
September 3, 2018
Natalie Cook Clark
Whether you grew up attending as a child or moved to Katy later in life, most residents have heard of the Katy Rice Harvest Festival. The almost 40-year event and city tradition is set for October 12-14, 2018 and plans are underway to return it to it's original glory.
Last summer Katy residents breathed a sigh of relief with the announcement that the City of Katy would pick up the much-loved Rice Harvest Festival previously managed by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce.
Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner announced that the event would go on with it's new name, "City of Katy Rice Festival" back in June as reported by Katy Magazine. "Our goal is to bring the festival back to its original form," says Mayor Chuck Brawner. "It will be a family-oriented event with only quality arts and craft vendors, live music, excellent food, and drinks and fun for the whole family." The city is also teaming of up the Rotary Club of Katy.
What to expect
The event was initially created to celebrate Katy's history and rice. Katy was 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 amongst our great commercial growth and development. The City of Katy Rice Festival will bring people together with great company, music, entertainment, food, crafts and more. The event over time has grown from a few booths and a stage and up to 300 booths and crowds up to 45-50,000.
"While we haven't been involved in the past, we want the event to continue it's iconic and long-lasting tradition to the city of Katy," said Kayce Reina, City of Katy's Director of Tourism and Marketing. "We are revitalizing it and focusing on our heritage and implementing quality standards to make this event one we can all be proud of. It has been a daunting task to put on this event in such a very short notice and having started from nothing."
In alignment with the city's goal they are bringing back some events sure to excite residents like the return of the popular rice cooking competition and student arts competition. They will introduce a new VIP area but all proceeds will be given back to the community in student scholarships and local charities through the Rotary Club of Katy.
The 3-day event starts the second weekend of October with the schedule as follows:
Friday October 12
Where: Avenue B and 3rd Street
What: Live music, carnival, food trucks, beer garden and more.
Saturday October 13
Where: 10th Street, Drexel, 5th Street & Avenue C
When: Parade starts a 9am. See the parade map here.
What: Don't miss a family favorite! Enjoy creative rice and Katy-themed entries. See who takes home the trophies!
Sunday October 14
Where: Downtown Historic Katy
What: The fun continues with food, entertainments and family activities.
This year's event is possible thanks to the generous help of the Rotary Club of Katy and all the many volunteers that it takes to make this event happen. Now is the time to get involved. The official Katy Rice Festival site is currently accepting applications for venders. "We're selecting arts and crafts made on a selective basis," says Reina. You can also sign up to volunteer and get involved in the beloved Katy tradition.
"At the end of it all we hope for a wonderful experience for everyone involved- patrons, volunteers, venders and guests. We want people to leave with a smile on their face and talking about coming back next year," said Reina. "I'm looking forward to showcasing what makes Katy unique and special, while paying tribute to our heritage."
Are you looking forward to this year's festival? Share your favorite Rice Festival memories below in the comments.