Everything’s in the mix at 39th annual Oatmeal Festival
BERTRAM — For 39 years, people have celebrated Oatmeal, Texas, with all things oatmeal, including 100 pounds of oats dropped from the sky.
The annual Oatmeal Festival returns to the next-door towns of Oatmeal and Bertram on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 2-3. The event is sponsored by 3 Minute National Oats Co., and, in honor of its name, all events start three minutes past every half-hour or hour.
"You can spend a whole day in the Hill Country, enjoying the festival and not have much expense to it," said Otto Pfahl, an Oatmeal Festival Association board member. "You get to experience the old-time Bertram and Oatmeal, Texas, a couple of miles away."
And what an experience it is.
At 5:03 p.m. Friday, the festival gets going with a barbecue supper and arts and crafts vendors. The Miss Oatmeal and Mr. Groaty Oats pageants follow at 6:33 p.m. and 7:33 p.m. A dance with The Hired Guns hits the stage at 8:33, and a washer-pitching tournament heats up at 9:33 p.m. All the first-day action takes place at the Oatmeal Community Center, located on FM 243 in Oatmeal.
On Saturday, the festival moves to downtown Bertram on a trail ride from Oatmeal at 8:03 a.m.
The Run for Your Oats 3.3-mile race also takes to the streets at 8:03 a.m. in Bertram. There will be divisions for male and female and different age groups.
Arts and crafts vendors will start selling their wares in the morning.
Registration opens for the Oatmeal Bake-off at 9:03 a.m., and a costumed pet parade follows 30 minutes later. The grand parade featuring takes its turn at 10:33 a.m.
"You'll have some unique and unusual floats," Pfahl said.
Past floats have featured a giant dinosaur and a mobile dumpster.
The historic Globe Theatre, 132 W. Vaughan St. in Bertram, will host concerts featuring Jeff Hughes and Chaparral at 11:33 a.m., Big Anton and The Alley Cats at 1:33 p.m. and the CF Allan Band at 3:33 p.m. Admission is $5 for an all-day pass at the door. People also can check out an antique car show at the theater.
The Bertram School Homecoming is at 1:33 p.m.
Also on Saturday, there will be children’s games and even redneck games, including horseshoes played with toilet seats and plungers and a cow chip-tossing contest (self-explanatory). Registration for another washer-pitching contest starts at 11:03 a.m.
Music at Johnnie Mae Wheeler Park on East Vaughn Street starts at 11:33 a.m. with the Bluebonnet Pickers taking the stage at 12:03 p.m. Later that night is the main musical event and street dance, also on Vaughn Street, with Randall King at 8:03 p.m. and Zane Williams closing the show. Tickets for the street dance are $10 per person and can be purchased at the show. No glass containers are allowed.
Pfahl said vendors can sign up for a booth right up until 8 a.m. Saturday.
For more on the Oatmeal Festival, go to oatmealfestival.org. To register in advance for the Run for Your Oats race, go to runreg.com/oatmeal-festival.
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