Red Poppy The 2017 Red Poppy Festival Classic Car & Truck Show will display and award classic cars, made in 1991 or earlier, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 29.[/caption]

Posed photos in roadside bluebonnet patches can mark the start of spring in Texas. But Georgetown, dubbed the “Red Poppy Capital of Texas” by the state Legislature, honors another colorful flower—the Papaver rhoeas, also known as the red poppy.

Georgetown will hold its 18th annual Red Poppy Festival on April 28-30. The event includes a self-guided Red Poppy Tour for photo opportunities. The city has created an interactive map with red poppy locations downtown.

Cari Miller, who has coordinated the event for the past 14 years, said the Red Poppy Festival is the greatest weekend to be a resident of Georgetown.

“The most rewarding part of it, to me, is overlooking the crowd and seeing how happy everyone is,” she said. “I think it’s pride in the city that makes people so happy; it’s one of the few times in the city everyone comes together to celebrate the beauty of Georgetown.”

Last year, Georgetown began an initiative to make the Red Poppy Festival a zero-waste event.

“It was very successful,” said Beth Wade, an information specialist for the city of Georgetown. “Our goal is to have 90 percent of the waste created at the festival diverted from the landfill by 2021. It’s pretty cool what we are doing.”

Jordan Fengel, the city’s solid waste recycling coordinator, said almost all of the materials in the food court this year will be compostable.

The Red Poppy 5K offers a fun run that passes scenic views of red poppy patches. If eventgoers prefer racing on wheels, participants in Saturday’s Red Poppy Ride can take a 14-, 40-, 63- or 100-mile tour of town with more chances to spot the blossoms. The races start at 9 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively, at Georgetown High School.

Those curious about the flower’s culinary opportunities or looking to taste the rouge bloom can visit the city’s third annual Poppy Taste Awards—in which residents create recipes using the flower’s seeds, stems or petals. There will also be a food court offering local cuisine.

The Red Poppy Festival Parade starting at 10 a.m. Saturday hosts floats, marching bands, color guards, the Georgettes, Sparklers and others decked out in red.

Red Poppy Diamond Rio, an American country music band, who rose to fame in the 90s, will headline the festival on Saturday night.[/caption]

More activities include musical performances on three stages, vendor booths and a children’s zone with child- friendly activities.

The red poppy rose to international significance in 1921 when the American Legion, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Field,” began displaying poppy wreaths to commemorate American soldiers killed in World War I.

Around that time, Henry Purl Compton, who served in the American Expeditionary Forces during the war, sent a small batch of seeds to his mother—who planted them at her home, which is now 507 E. Seventh St. Over time, the flowers have naturally spread across the city to citizens’ yards, public parks and even to the sides of highways.

“We have more poppies blooming than ever,” Miller said. “Georgetown residents are very proud of that. And they’re beautiful flowers that really brighten the city.”

Compton’s great-grandchildren, who do not live locally, will attend the festival for the first time. Miller said the appearance is because of an interested family member who reached out to the city.

“The whole family will be in the parade,” Miller said. “We’re really very excited to have that honor.”

Red poppy parade, parking & Stage map RED POPPY STAGE


7 p.m. Groove Knight


11:30 a.m. Walburg Boys
1 p.m. Wound Loose Band
3 p.m. car show awards
6 p.m. Michael Hamilton
7:20 p.m. Red Poppy Taste Awards presentation
7:30 p.m. Blue Water Highway
9:20 p.m. national anthem
9:30 p.m. Diamond Rio


11 a.m. Garrett Ford and The Limestone Cowboys
12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Kevin Fitzpatrick Trick Roper Show
1 p.m. King V Blues
3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Matthew McQueen



11 a.m. Xander Ortiz
Noon Bob & Johnny
1 p.m. Memphis Kee
2 p.m. Midnight Butterfly
3 p.m. Velvet Sparrow
4 p.m. John McDonough
5 p.m. Katie & Caleigh


11 a.m. Justice Kaigler
Noon Dino from One Resistance Music
1 p.m. Morgan Nicole
2 p.m. Kate Elizabeth
3 p.m. Zero Gravity
4 p.m. Avery Logan



10:45 a.m. Performing Arts Studio
11:45 a.m. Georgetown Dance Conservatory
12:30 p.m. McCoy, Cooper and Ford elementary choirs
2 p.m. Arts Avenue For Kids
3 p.m. Dolce Music Studio
3:45 p.m. Sue’s Dance
4:30 p.m. Not Past 11


11:30 a.m. Georgetown Ballet
12:30 p.m. Irish Dance Center
1 p.m. Georgetown High School Jazz Band
2:15 p.m. coloring contest awards
2:30 p.m. Clickety Cloggers
3:15 p.m. Dance Empowerment
4 p.m. East View High School Jazz Band



6 p.m. festival opens
6 p.m. arts and crafts booths, food court open
9 p.m. arts and crafts booths, food court close


10 a.m. festival, arts and crafts booths, food court and children’s area open
10 a.m. “Paint the Georgetown Red” parade
11 a.m. car show opens
3 p.m. car show awards
7 p.m. children’s area closes


11 a.m. festival opens
2 p.m. Kiwanis’ One in the Hole Ball Drop (Austin Avenue)
5 p.m. festival closes

Flash Transportation will provide a free shuttle from First Baptist Church, 1333 W. University Ave., to the Red Poppy Festival from 9 a.m. until after the end of the day. Free parking is available at the Williamson County Parking Garage at Rock and Fourth streets, at Sixth and Rock streets, and at Austin Avenue and Fifth Street on the West side of Austin Avenue near The Monument Café. Handicap-accessible parking is available at 10th and Main streets. For more information, call 800-436-8696, email [email protected] or visit