Cari Miller, tourism manager at the Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau, said event organizers are marking the occasion by having all parade participants wear birthday hats and holding birthday-themed activities and photo opportunities in the South Main Arts District.
Additionally, this year’s festival—which will take place April 28-30—will be set apart by its lineup of artisan vendors and variety of music performances, Miller said.
“We have a lot of new vendors coming in, and I’m really excited to see what they bring,” Miller said.
American folk duo Jamestown Revival will headline the free-to-attend festival, taking the stage at 9:30 p.m. April 29. It will be preceded on the main Red Poppy Stage by performances from Walburg Boys at 6 p.m. and Wynn Williams at 7:45 p.m.
On April 28, Dysfunkshun Junkshun, which Miller called a Georgetown favorite, will kick off the festivities at 7 p.m. with a high-energy show featuring a mix of rhythm and blues, hip hop, Motown, and classic rock.
Throughout the weekend, other musical acts will take the Red Poppy Stage and the Mayfair Stage. On the Celebrate Stage, local groups slated to perform include Acrotex, Performing Arts Studio, Georgetown Palace Theater and the Sun City Georgettes.
The festival will also include a return of the pet parade sponsored by Wag Heaven and a revival of the BMX bike trick show, last seen in 2016.
Other festival activities include a car show; a food court; and a kids fun zone coordinated by the YMCA with pedal cars, bounce houses, and arts and crafts activities.
For Miller, the 2023 festival marks her 20th year as the event’s organizer. In that time, she said the city has been able to bring more opportunities to attendees.
While the parade map and parking options remain the same for this year’s festival, Miller said there are changes to the city’s free shuttle service. The shuttle, which will only be available April 29, will run between FBG Church at 1333 W. University Ave. and the Georgetown Library parking lot downtown, she said.
“Come prepared to have a great time in some comfortable, cool clothes because hopefully the weather will be really nice and comfortable,” Miller said.
A full schedule is available at https://poppy.georgetown.org.
Red Poppy Rewind
The origin of red poppy flowers in Georgetown dates back to World War I, when soldier Henry Purl Compton—who was known as Okra—sent home seeds to his mother, who planted them in her lawn on Seventh Street. Since then, the flowers have bloomed and spread every year from February-April, according to the city.