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Celebrating Texas wildflower season

Written by , published April 11, 2013

It's shaping up to be a beautiful weekend, with the weather cooperating just in time for several wildflower festivals and peak blooms still to come in some areas.

On April 13-14, Chappell Hill hosts its 49th annual Bluebonnet Festival, named the Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas by the Texas Legislature. The event features live entertainment, historical tours, food and vendors from 9 a.m. until the early evening, when you'll want to get out for a sunset drive of wildflower country. The surrounding area tends to put on an impressive show  each year, and the area visitor bureau's Wildflower Watch shows lots of ongoing blooms.

 Indian blanket, coreopsis and a few bluebonnets put on a colorful show between Brady and Llano last year along SH 71.

Not to be outdone, Burnet and Llano counties share the title of “The Bluebonnet Capital of Texas”—and Burnet is where you can also find this weekend’s 30th annual Burnet Wildflower Festival. Visitors can enjoy an air show, grand parade, carnival, car show, live music and entertainment, street dances, a pet parade, doghouse races, wiener dog races and vendors from April 12-14.

Also in the Hill Country, the Wine and Wildflower Trail makes a great case for visiting some of the region's wineries at the height of spring scenery. Through April 14, visitors can sample wines at any of the area's 32 participating wineries (remember to bring a designated driver!), get discounts on wine bottles and take home a packet of wildflower seeds as a reminder of the trip. Tickets are available on the Texas Hill Country Wineries website. If your journey takes you to Fredericksburg, also plan to make a stop at the Wildflower Celebration at Wildseed Farms or join the fun at the  Bluebonnet Tractor Ride on April 13.

In Ennis (which claims the official Bluebonnet City title), Texas Bluebonnet Trails season has begun, with the estimated peak for bluebonnets coming next week. Last year there was a breathtaking field of bluebonnets just east of town, which you can see in this video--there’s no guarantee that area will give an encore performance this year, but you never know!  Maps and updates on the best current driving routes in the area are available from the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau website. The city also hosts the Bluebonnet Trails Festival on April 20-21.

Resources for wildflower sightings

Visit TxDOT’s Drive Texas wildflowers page at  or call the 24-hour automated hotline at 800/452-9292 for reports on the locations of scenic spring wildflowers.

User-submitted tips and maps on wildflowers also are available at www.texasbluebonnetsightings.com.

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