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Marble Falls MayFest Bigger and Better

The 2018 Marble Falls MayFest is Wednesday-Saturday, May 9-12, at Johnson Park. Staff photo Jennifer Greenwell

MARBLE FALLS — Many longtime residents have a routine when it comes to MayFest.

They’ll walk through the booths filled with items for sale with the hope of finding that must-have gift for a loved one or themselves.

They’ll head to the carnival to purchase their tickets or all-day bracelets to mount rides for the thrills and chills that only a Ferris wheel or a giant slide can bring.

They’ll grab their favorite blanket and make a beeline to the pavilion to listen to the free live music. On the way, they’ll stop by a food truck for a burger or roasted corn or a drink.

But the biggest reason they enjoy MayFest? It’s the chance to meet up with family members and longtime friends or make new friends, exchanging more than a casual “Hey, how’s it going?” as they hurriedly go about their workday.

MayFest, which is Wednesday-Saturday, May 9-12, at Johnson Park, 230 Avenue J, forces people to slow down, talk, and enjoy being in each other’s company.

Brandi Payne, the special events coordinator for the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, knows what this festival means to attendees. So her mission wasn’t to change it; it was to give people more opportunities to catch up, slow down, and enjoy.

“It’s a huge community and family event,” she said. “But this year, it’s much bigger. We’re going to have a lot more market vendors, more food vendors.”

The fun starts with the opening of the carnival from 5 p.m.-midnight Wednesday. It continues the same hours on Thursday and Friday then noon-midnight Saturday.

“There will be fantastic rides, as always, for children and adults,” Payne said.

Food vendors will be open for business from 5 p.m.-midnight Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday.

Payne advises attendees to come hungry for their favorites such as burgers, nachos, roasted corn on the cob, and funnel cakes. Expect to see more items that haven’t been at MayFest before, she added.

“We’re going to have more food vendors this year,” she said. “We’ll have a variety of food to cut down on the lines.”

Signups for the 5-on-5 volleyball and washer tournaments are at 11 a.m. Saturday with action beginning at noon. The cost to play in the double-elimination volleyball tournament is $20 per team, while a $15 registration per person is required in the washer tournament.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. Friday with Tejano Night featuring Rey Avila y Sus Legitimos Del Norte, a band that has played during MayFest for quite awhile. Most fans say the band, based in San Antonio, specializes in the Norteno Conjunto sound.

Saturday’s concerts are all about the Battle of the Bands beginning at 4 p.m.

The lineup includes:

• Garrett Simon Band, which specializes in Texas country;

• Damon Curtis Band, which plays country;

• Texas Crossing, a band “trying to bring back country music one song at a time;”

• Bury Me Not, a rock band;

• Barstool Brothers, a hard rock and blues rock band;

• Cottonwood Crows, which specializes in Texas country and Americana;

• and London Baileigh and Saguaro, a country band.

The seven bands will each play about a 25-minute set. Judges will cast their votes after the last performance. The winning band will take home $1,000 and hit the stage again at 10 p.m. to close out the live entertainment.

Payne said the bands applied and were chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.

“It’s a good way to get their music out there,” she said. “And who wouldn’t want to win a thousand dollars?”

Those attending the free concerts should bring blankets and lawn chairs.

The challenge of putting on this type of event is made easier thanks to people willing to volunteer. The chamber has created a signup list for those who want to volunteer. Simply go to marblefalls.org/mayfest, click on "Chamber Events" under "Happenings," and scroll to the day you’re available to volunteer to find an empty shift.

Those wishing to help with the beer garden need to be at least 18 years old. And individuals who are willing to stay and clean up are “always much appreciated,” Payne said.

Go to marblefalls.org/mayfest for more information.

For more big events, read our roundup of Highland Lakes festivals.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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