Community Crossroads: Country music festival, Bootfest, returns to Victoria

VICTORIA, Texas – The city-run country music festival, Bootfest, is set to return to downtown Victoria after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Joel Novosad, director of the City of Victoria Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and Explore Victoria, joined us on Community Crossroads to discuss the return of Bootfest and other events and happenings with the City of Victoria.

The following is a transcript:

Carolina Astrain: Welcome back. We’re joined now by Joel Novosad here to talk to us about what the City of Victoria has planned. And Joel, as we’re now kind of all re-immersing ourselves into society with vaccinations coming up or yeah, going up, what can we look forward to as far as city event?

Joel Novosad: Well, we had an exciting announcement just a few weeks ago at the beginning of June, that Bootfest 2021 is returning to downtown Victoria. So get excited for that. October 1st and 2nd in downtown Victoria. Victoria’s largest free festival is returning again. It’s going to be a free event, great live music, great family-friendly activities, food and merchandise vendors. Um, all the typical things that you can expect from a great Bootfest, including a few new things that we’re looking to add this year. Also, engaging some of the downtown areas with some live user performance areas to gauge cause we blocked got a lot of great new businesses in downtown Victoria. So we’re very excited to see the return of Bootfest. We’ll be on the lookout for entertainment announcements, registrations for the car, truck, and motorcycle show, and washers tournament. Some of our regular favorites are turning for this year. So if you go to ExploreVictoriaTexas.com, and if you actually go to Bootfest.org, that will directly link you to our website, and you can go and learn more about Bootfest there.

Astrain: Well, I’m so excited about the return of Bootfest. My first one was in 2012. I think I got my first pair of cowgirl boots from Cavender’s. This is year nine or ten for the festival?

Novosad: Actually, last year was supposed to be our 10th year anniversary. Unfortunately, we did cancel the event due to COVID-19, which most events throughout the state did. So we were really in line with what a lot of other events were doing. So it was a great year to have offered group and think about what we’d like to do for this year. So we’re very excited, uh, for this year’s event. Again, October 1st and 2nd in downtown Victoria.

Astrain: And there’s still time to become a vendor?

Novosad: Actually,  those applications are closing, have closed, but there is a waiting list. So you can contact the Victoria Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. You go to our website, Bootfest.org, or contact the CVB at 361-485-3116. We can get you an application and there is an opportunity to still get in as a vendor if there are any openings.

Astrain: And this weekend, we were lucky. The timing works out with the airing of this show is the 4th of July blastoff.

Novosad: Yes, the Miller Lite Blastoff at the community center. Very excited about that. There’s actually also right now running the big Texas fund carnival that’s happening at the community center, a lot of great rides games, food, fair foods, those kinds of favorites are happening at the community center, but yes, a Miller Lite Blastoff a great annual event taking place the community center, a wonderful performance by Bag of Donuts. It’s going to be a New Orleans premier party band.

Astrain: You’ve seen them before?

Novosad: Yes. Yeah, they are a really eclectic fun group. It’s going to be a really fun show, sponsored by Glazer’s Distributing, also going to be the fireworks show, of course, taking place at  9:30 p.m. So be there for that again, a free event, uh, at the Victoria Community Center and also taking place at the Big Texas Fun Carnival. Now that is a ticketed event. Rides are ticketed, there are wristband sales, uh, but the Miller Lite Blastoff is a free event. And if your children, family want to go check out the carnival, that’ll be happening as well.

Astrain: Also, if you live in this city, you can’t do fireworks, right?

Novosad: Absolutely not.

Astrain: So this is your way of getting that patriotic fun and not getting in trouble.

Novosad: Absolutely. We definitely encourage you if you’re in the fireworks mood to come out to the Miller Lite Blastoff at the Victoria Community Center.

Astrain: Well, great. I’m so excited to hear about the Bootfest lineup once it’s posted, once it’s made public. I know y’all always strive for a diverse lineup, so I’m excited to see the fruits of y’all’s labor. And what else can we expect? I heard something about a birding deck.

Novosad: Yeah, so there are some great promotions that our office, the City of Victoria Convention and Visitors’ Bureau has put together in partnership with some other agencies. And so we have the birding deck at the Athey Nature Sanctuary at the Hiller House. Check that out a great family attraction. Also at the Museum of the Coastal Bend running through this summer, the Explore Victoria Mammoth Hunt, where you can request mammoth, a mammoth hunting atlatl spear throwing, $1 for three throws. And if you hit the bullseye, you get a free voucher for a barbecue sandwich to Uncle Mutt’s Barbecue. So that’s running through the summer as well. So those promotions and more at ExploreVictoriaTexas.com.

Astrain: I’m going to check all of that out. Thank you so much for joining us, Joel, and don’t go anywhere coming up. We’ll hear from Christine Krause, the owner of the second-oldest dance hall in Texas.