Bring your boots to Bootfest

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

Sept. 26, 2012 at 4:26 a.m.
Updated Oct. 1, 2012 at 5:01 a.m.

Buff those boots to a glimmering shine and prepare for activities, food and live entertainment at Bootfest Oct. 5 and 6 at DeLeon Plaza in Victoria.

LaRue Roth, director of the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau, has been working hard with her team to top last year's two-day event, which attracted about 23,000 visitors, crafting the festival to include more entertainment for all ages.

This year, the event will host headliners including musician Stoney LaRue and country music star Eastin Corbin. Both musicians will perform free concerts in downtown Victoria on Friday and Saturday nights.

In addition, a secondary stage will host local groups including Scott Taylor Band, Clay Crockett & the Shotgun Riders, Black Dutch Sioux and Bart Crow.

Roth said the live entertainment will be playing from the time the plaza opens Friday night until the fireworks show from atop the One O'Connor Plaza building on the second night of the festival.

New attractions for Bootfest include a boot shiner, a washer tournament and a larger children's area.

Amy Mundy, one of the co-chairs of the children's area, said there shouldn't be as long a wait for some of the attractions as last year because there will be more activities for families to spend time at.

Roth said last year's bounce houses had children waiting in line for up to 45 minutes before having a chance to participate.

"We're sectioning off things by age, too," Mundy said. "All ages can have fun at the attractions."

She said last year's attractions were catered toward younger children or adults. So this year they are making sure there are activities for all ages.

Mundy, together with co-chair volunteers Darryl Lesak and Jewel Buchanan, have lined up entertainment for the entire family. A kid's stage will be set up for performances from local bands, drill teams and other dance groups.

Returning favorites include the Velcro wall, the mechanical bull, bounce houses, alligator slide and the water balls - big plastic balls filled with air that guests can crawl into as they float atop a pool a water.

Roth is optimistic Bootfest will draw more people than last year because people have been talking about the festival since last year's happened.

Mundy, the interim director of university advancement at the University of Houston-Victoria, added the children's area will have more help this year, which means she will have more time to explore Bootfest. This will be her second time to help with the festival.

She described this year's challenge as huge undertaking.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Easton Corbin. I'm a big fan," Mundy said. "The local bands in the parade and the kid's area will be a lot of fun, too. It's always nice to see people from the area."

Bootfest was the brainchild of the Bring Your Boots advertising campaign by the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau to draw more visitors to Victoria. The campaign began in early 2011.

Roth, who will be a part of Bootfest for the second time, described the festival as a Texas thing.

"You know, the boot scootin' boogie," she said. "It certainly is a part of our story. Our western heritage is part of our story."



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