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Mudbugs and Casey Donahew at Llano Crawfish Open

Mudbugs, mudbugs, and more mudbugs during the Llano Crawfish Open on Friday-Saturday, April 16-17, as well as live music, a cornhole tournament, children's activities, and more. File photo

While bluebonnets are a sign of spring in the Highland Lakes, the season will really start boiling when the Llano Crawfish Open hits Robinson City Park on Friday-Saturday, April 16-17.

The festival features live music with headliner Casey Donahew, a golf tournament, arts and crafts, cornhole, team roping, and a motorcycle fun run.

The biggest draw is the crawfish. Cooks boil and serve pounds and pounds of the crustacean along with potatoes and corn.

The main festival takes place at Robinson City Park on the banks of the Llano River, 100 Robinson Drive. It’s located about 2 miles west of downtown Llano on FM 152.

Admission on Friday, April 16, is free until 7 p.m. and $20 afterward. On Saturday, April 17, admission is $10 until 7 p.m. and $20 afterward. No ice chests or pets are allowed. The festival takes place rain or shine.

The Llano Crawfish Festival started in 1989 after some hunters from Beaumont and Llano residents came up with the idea to hold a golf tournament followed by a crawfish boil to raise funds toward a motorized wheelchair for a local man. The first one was so fun that the group pledged to hold another one the following year.

Since then, the Llano Crawfish Open has become one of the hallmark spring events of the Highland Lakes. Funds from the event continue to benefit Llano-area charities.

The festival features plenty of music, including a good dose of Zydeco with Sean Vidrine and Swampfyre and Cedryl Ballou and the Zydeco Trendsetters. The music cranks up at about noon on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday.

On Friday, Cole Whittlesey performs at 6:30 p.m. and 3 Chord Rodeo at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, the Caleb Young Band performs at 6:30 p.m., and Donahew takes the stage at 10 p.m.

The charity Crawfish Golf Open, a four-person scramble, is Friday and Saturday with shotgun starts at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. both days. The tournament takes place at the Llano River Golf Course, located adjacent to Robinson Park.

A cornhole tournament starts at 2 p.m. each day. The deadline to register is noon on both days. It costs $20 per person to enter. A team signup sheet is online, or you can contact Sandy Deatherage at 325-248-1541.

Team roping is Thursday-Sunday, April 15-18, at the rodeo arena adjacent to the park.

Visit the Llano Crawfish Open’s website for a full list of activities, times, and additional information.

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