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Festival offers food, fun despite bad weather

April 28, 1997

By Elizabeth Case

Lariat Reporter

Rain and cold weather plagued the 36th annual Brazos River Festival Saturday and Sunday.

The festival was held on the grounds of Fort Fisher along the Brazos River.

Tickets included admission to tour Waco's historic homes.

'Normally we have about 40,000 visitors,' Kathy Keathley, chairman of the event, said.

However, Saturday afternoon Keathley estimated that about 1,000 people had come out.

'Over 3,000 volunteers are involved, the second largest number of volunteers for an event like this in Texas,' Keathley said.

The festival featured food booths, live entertainment and arts and crafts booths. A 'fun run' and canoe race were also part of the festivities.

Anyone who enjoys ballpark or carnival food, would have enjoyed the typical funnel cakes, corn dogs and nachos featured at the festival. Those a bit more daring could enjoy emu sausage wraps and cappuccino.

Food was not the only attraction. Over 100 artists displayed their work, ranging from chain saw sculpture to jewelry. Pat Green, a local favorite, was one of the musicians on a schedule of performers that included a variety of jazz, country, Cajun and rock and roll music.

This year, Keathley said that the children's area was expanded, and several new food booths were added, such as the cappuccino booth. Another change from years past was the live entertainment lasting throughout the event rather than just having one big name performer.

Proceeds from this event go toward the Historic Waco Foundation for the maintenance of Waco's historic homes.

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