2-day Half Moon festival focuses on family fun (video)
July 5, 2013 at 2:05 a.m.
Updated July 6, 2013 at 2:06 a.m.
SHINER - Texans think beer when they hear the name Shiner. They envision mustard-colored paper with a ram's head wrapped around a brown bottle of cold beer.
But the more than 4,000 Shiner residents and their many family members who have moved away think of home when they hear the word Shiner.
"It's a time for families and friends to come together, as well as a homecoming for many," said Julie Boehm, chairwoman of the two-day celebration. "It's also a popular weekend for class reunions."
Boehm, 34, has been involved with the event for three years. She moved to Shiner from Houston about 10 years ago after she met her husband at Bocktoberfest, a now-defunct music festival formerly hosted by the Spoetzl Brewery.
Robert Bradfield, a Shiner native who lives in Round Rock, plans his family trips home on July Fourth weekends as often as possible.
"It's an opportunity to get with good people I haven't seen in a long time, enjoy live music and drink good old Shiner beer," Bradfield said.
Boehm and her team of 19 directors and numerous other volunteers have planned the event since January.
Fence panels erected this year should make the event more enjoyable for everyone, Boehm said. Children can run around safely, and parents can have peace of mind knowing cars cannot drive through the event area.
Boehm hopes this year's event is uneventful in some ways.
Two years ago, she went into labor during the festival. Volunteers had to abandon a computerized judging program for a barbecue contest Boehm developed because no one knew how to use it.
Last year, Jeff Pesek, the chamber president, accidentally hit himself in the head hammering a T-post into the ground. He ended up in the hospital.
"We don't need a third event," Boehm said.
She was busy many hours before the festival started Friday afternoon, helping other volunteers and exhibitors set up the area in Green-Dickson Park.
Friday's festivities included a carnival, dunk tank, salsa and margarita contests, music by DJ Reid and plenty of beer.
On Saturday, she will be geared up for another busy day that will end with the annual fireworks show.
The 30-minute fireworks display sponsored by the Spoetzl Brewery begins just after dark on the hill above the park.
"The fireworks are a big draw," Boehm said. "It compares to big city shows."
Last year's event, which was only one day in Welhausen Park on a city block near downtown, attracted 2,500 festival-goers. The chamber hopes to double the attendance this year.