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Crowd excitement helps kick off the Bootfest

By Camille Doty
Oct. 21, 2011 at 5:21 a.m.
Updated Oct. 22, 2011 at 5:22 a.m.

A trickle of pedestrians strolled by the food vendors on Main Street in the opening hours of Bootfest. Ice cream, turkey legs, tacos, beer and Cuban sandwiches were on the menu.

SATURDAY EVENTS

10 a.m.: Festival opens: corral (kid's activities) opens. Includes a bouncy house, rock climbing wall, mechanical bull and other activities

10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Boot crafters, DeLeon Plaza

10 a.m.-10 p.m.: Arts and crafts vendor booths, Bridge and Constitution streets

10-11 a.m.: Branding wall activity and living history presenter, Victoria County Courthouse lawn

10 a.m.: Dark branding wall exhibit, Victoria County Courthouse lawn

10 a.m.-10 p.m.: Food vendors, Main Street

10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.: Radio Disney performances on the kid's stage, 205 N. Bridge St., county annex building parking lot

2 p.m.: Boot artisan judging begins, DeLeon Plaza

Noon-3 p.m.: Performances by Clay Crockett and The Shotgun Riders, The Scott Taylor Band, and Curtis & Luckey, concert stage

5 p.m.: Award presentations for boot artisans, concert stage

7-8:30 p.m.: Whiskey Myers, concert stage

8:30 p.m.: Josh Abbott Band, concert stage

10 p.m.: Fireworks extravaganza (launched from the One O'Connor Plaza rooftop)

10:30 p.m.: Festival ends

11:30 p.m.: *Park and ride shuttle service ends

*A Free Park & Ride Shuttle Service will be available continuously through the festival on Saturday. Park and Ride locations include: Patti Dodson Health Center parking lot, 2805 N. Navarro St.; and Citizens Medical Center parking lot, 2701 Hospital Drive.

Clara Payne doesn't need any particular reason to wear hot pink. It's been her favorite color for the past 20 years. She said it's a part of her signature look.

Friday evening gave her a reason to wear her bubble gum boots to the Bootfest.

With her husband out of town for the weekend, Payne said, "Guess I'll be going to the Bootfest. I love stuff like this." She also said she loves country music.

Payne was one of a few hundred people attending the inaugural event. The crowd attending the event got larger as the night passed.

Spectators filled the area all around DeLeon Plaza in downtown Victoria, eating, dancing and shopping. To add to the festival flavor, there was a custom-made boot shop.

Bands Curtis & Luckey, JB & the Moonshine Band, and Wade Bowen also performed on stage.

O.C. Garza, the city's communications director, said the great weather and country and western music are ideal factors for a large turnout.

"I think it's going to get crowded," he said,

Raul Villalobos, from Victoria, brought his family along with no expectation. He was pleased.

Villalobos said he met people from Houston and San Antonio at the Bootfest. He said the festival is a good idea for tourists. Villalobos said he plans to go to the festival both days because of the nice variety. On Saturday, he plans on going to the sheriff's office open house.

"It's pretty neat to be able to learn about the community and have fun," he said.

Michelle Vasquez said she's glad she can stay in town for a festival because, in the past, she's had to go out of town. The 22-year-old Victoria College student said she enjoyed the food and the music.

Vasquez said she hopes the festival puts Victoria on the map as a destination for people wanting a signature event.

"If Yorktown can have a fest, we can too," she said.

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