Dubbed by organizers as “the largest crawfish festival in the South,” the Texas Crawfish & Music Festival is certainly a massive affair. From the 25 tons of crawfish served to the 44 bands performing to the hundreds of vendors spread throughout Preservation Park in Old Town Spring, nothing at the event is done on a small scale. The two-weekend festival kicked off last Friday and we were there on Saturday to sample the crawfish, brave the carnival rides and listen to some of the tunes performed on the three music stages.
The music ranged from indie to rock to country, with an emphasis on the country. The Bud Light Country stage drew the biggest crowd, particularly when Shooter Jennings hit the stage around 9 p.m.
We enjoyed checking out Magnolia's own Folk Family Revival on the Budweiser Crawfish stage―the band did a pleasing cover of Bob Dylan's “It Ain't Me Babe” during its hour-and-a-half set. Lead singer Mason Lankford has a strong, engaging voice and we couldn't help but dance ourselves to some of their original tunes. Each stage had a dance floor in front of it and many people took advantage, especially by the Zydeco stage where the music was more upbeat and danceable.
And of course, you can't go to a crawfish festival without sampling the crawfish. We opted for the tray, which consisted of 30 or 40 crawfish, for $16. Everything at the festival, except a few of the carnival games, is paid through tokens that must be purchased at booths spaced throughout the grounds. The crawfish was flavorful and spicy, but be forewarned, the crawfish vendors don't provide napkins. There's a water trough where you can wash your hands when you're done, but there's no soap so if you're the cleanly-type, you might want to come armed with hand sanitizer. (Though you can make the short hike to the petting zoo to use the hand sanitizer available there.)
The food options don't end with crawfish―there are a variety of vendors, the majority of which offer Bayou cuisine. But you can also find traditional Texas-festival fare like turkey legs, brisket tacos and a variety of meats that come on a stick. Drink options include beer, wine, soft drinks and frozen margaritas.
There are plenty of activities for children, including carnival and pony rides, a petting zoo, educational stations and a variety of games. On Saturdays, the festival runs from noon to midnight and you could certainly find enough to do to fill the entire time if you were so inclined. Just keep in mind that the $12 entry fee (children under 12 get in for free) only covers getting into the festival and seeing the musical performances. All of the other activities are priced separately.
Next weekend's musical lineup includes Filter, Fastball, Jason Boland, Honeybrowne, Leon Chavis & The Zydeco Flames and Jason Allen. Whether you're attending alone or with your family, there's sure to be plenty to keep you entertained.
The Texas Crawfish & Music Festival is located at Preservation Park at 130 Spring School Road, Spring. For a full schedule of Friday–Sunday's musical lineup, visit www.texascrawfishfestival.com