Victoria's Bootfest kicks it up a notch; fireworks show moved to Friday

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Oct. 3, 2012 at 5:03 a.m.
Updated Oct. 4, 2012 at 5:04 a.m.

Shine up your Ariats, Tony Lamas or Luccheses this weekend for Victoria's second annual Bootfest.

Although western footwear is the festival's focus, free music, food and fun are the biggest draws.

City officials have been working a year on organizing the event.

"We're going to have perfect festival weather this weekend," Convention and Visitors Bureau Director LaRue Roth said.

The free festival features boot making demonstrations, children's activities, arts and crafts vendors, a firework show, a full schedule of live music with Stoney LaRue and Easton Corbin headlining Friday and Saturday nights' concerts.

One last-minute change is the fireworks show. The big blast originally scheduled for Saturday night has moved to Friday night.

City officials decided to make the change after learning that a dry cool front will move Saturday evening into Victoria.

"We're going to have great weather for Bootfest, but if the north wind blows too hard Saturday night, the fireworks show cannot be shot," Roth said.

The Friday fireworks will be launched at 11 p.m. from the top of the One O'Connor Plaza building following the performance of Stoney LaRue.

O.C. Garza, Victoria's communications director, said the festival also doubled the number of children's attractions, as well as adding food and beverage vendors and a second stage.

"We're going to have great carnival food, free water courtesy of DeTar, and 70 vendors selling all kinds of things," Garza said.

Lawn chairs are encouraged for the concerts, but festival-goers should leave their pets and ice chests at home, Garza said.

Sunscreen and hats for Saturday might also be handy, Roth said.

"I think our joy will come in seeing a successful festival, how excited people in Victoria are, and showing new people the town." Roth said.

After the final musical acts, downtown businesses will offer more late-night entertainment, Garza said.

Because parking is limited, the city is encouraging people to take advantage of the park and ride service Saturday.

Garza said a constant rotation of four buses leaving from Riverside Park and the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center will make it easier to get in to and out of the festival Saturday. The shuttle service runs until midnight.

"It's a perfect size festival for downtown Victoria," Garza said. "We weren't really trying to make Bootfest any larger."

Last year's estimates were that about 20,000 people attended.

"The festival fits perfectly in DeLeon Plaza, and we can't really get any larger," Garza said. "We're trying to provide something for kids, adults and everyone in between."



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