Drippings Springs cancels Founders Day festival for the second year in a row

Founders Day 2019 included a live wedding to honor Dripping Springs as the wedding capital of Texas. (Courtesy Al Gawlick Photography)
Founders Day 2019 included a live wedding to honor Dripping Springs as the wedding capital of Texas. (Courtesy Al Gawlick Photography)

Founders Day 2019 included a live wedding to honor Dripping Springs as the wedding capital of Texas. (Courtesy Al Gawlick Photography)

For the second year in a row, Dripping Springs’s annual spring festival, Founders Day, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dripping Springs City Council approved the festival’s cancellation Jan. 19, based on a recommendation by the Founders Day Commission.

Traditionally, Founders Day celebrates the 1850 founding of Dripping Springs by the Moss, Wallace and Pound families. The two-day festival offers live music, arts and retail booths, food, games, a parade and opportunities to help local nonprofit organizations.

Founders Day Commission Chair Brenda Medcalf said the festival typically takes about 12 months to plan, Without knowing how a festival would run in 2021, the group has not been able to organize sponsorships, vendors and activities as they have in the past, she said.

“I'm disappointed,” Mayor Bill Foulds said. “I feel like there was a way that we could have this event, but it would have taken a whole lot of planning, and unfortunately, that planning didn't get done earlier.”


Jake Adams, Founders Day Commission vice chair, said there is no group of people more disappointed about the decision than the members of the commission. However, after pushing back their decision numerous times in the hopes that COVID-19 conditions locally would show signs of improvement, he said the commission decided holding a festival this spring was not feasible and was in the best interest of public health.

“It was truly with heavy hearts that we had to come to that decision, but certainly it wasn't a lack of trying to make it happen or future planning,” he said. “We looked at everything from hosting virtual music sessions to spreading out the days to mitigate the traffic flow to eliminating some of the components. We kept coming back to our commissioners meeting thinking that maybe the trend would slow down and we could make this event happen. Unfortunately, things are just trending in the wrong direction.”

Council Member Travis Crow, who was the lone vote against the motion to cancel, said that he thinks the vote was a little premature and the council could have held off for another few weeks to see if conditions improved in Travis and Hays counties.

“I think we can cancel this at any time,” he said. “I believe in safety and all that, but I think we might be able to wait another month and then really get a better idea on how this vaccine is getting [out to people] and everything else. Safety is still the primary concern for all of us.”
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


MOST RECENT

If approved, the bill would also establish goals for emissions reductions by 2030, 2040 and 2050. (Courtesy James Talarico)
After Winter Storm Uri, Rep. James Talarico files climate action plan in Texas House

The Texas Climate Action Act would require the development of a climate action plan to help alleviate future climate-related disasters and establish goals for reducing emissions for 2030, 2040 and 2050.

The 3.9-mile stretch of Hwy. 290 through the Y at Oak Hill was ranked the 43rd worst stretch of road in the state by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The report was issued in December, but used data from before the pandemic in 2019. (Courtesy Falcon Sky Photography)
$674 million Oak Hill Parkway project set to begin in South Austin, but opponents are not giving up the fight

TxDOT says the highway widening is long overdue for a stretch of road that reached capacity in the 1990s, but some residents, environmental groups and politicians say the project is too big, too expensive and too harmful to the environment.

A tree with fallen branches has fallen on a car in North Austin in the midst of Winter Storm Uri.
Does your emergency repair need a city permit? Here is how you can find out

The city of Austin has directed additional funds into programs to help some homeowners with repairs following February's winter storm.

Sunset Valley Police Chief Lenn Carter led emergency efforts in the city during and after the Feb. 15 winter storm. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sunset Valley approves emergency declaration, reviews city operations during Austin-area outages

The city provided a review of operations during last week's winter storm and is seeking feedback on resident experiences.

Photo of Judge Brown in a mask and orange vest with megaphone
Travis County and 3 Central Texas neighbors to pilot mass vaccination site

Some 3,000 people will be vaccinated at a drive-thru event at the Circuit of The Americas this weekend.

Ally Medical Emergency Room opened on Menchaca Road this winter. (Courtesy Ally Medical Emergency Room)
Con Madre Kitchen opens, new local emergency room and more Southwest Austin business news

A new restaurant and emergency room opened, and a Dripping Springs fundraiser was rescheduled for early March.

The Rastegar project will total 530,000 square feet of industrial space. (Rendering courtesy Rastegar Property Co.)
50-acre industrial project coming to Southeast Austin along SH 130

The Rastegar Property Co. project will total 530,000 square feet of industrial space.

Austin Water has lifted its boil-water notice for the city of Austin. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Water lifts boil-water notice for all customers

Water quality tests have shown that city water is now safe to drink, and Austin Water continues to repair water mains and leaks.

Photo of school site from the air
Construction of Cypress Springs Elementary is over halfway done

Dripping Springs ISD's fifth elementary school is set to be substantially complete this summer.

Boil-water notices are still in place for some Austin residents. (Courtesy Pexels)
Austin dealing with ‘tens of thousands’ of water main breaks, officials say

Austin's water director said water main breaks during the winter storm were the likely culprit behind the draining of the city's reserves.

Photo of a desk with vials of Moderna vaccines on top
Austin Public Health resumes vaccinations, testing after weather-related delays

APH is currently in the process of rescheduling 3,300 vaccine appointments that were postponed beginning on Feb. 13.