NEWS FROM KATY MAGAZINE
October 7, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy’s most historic event opens today with the return of the long-awaited carnival. The 42nd year of the Katy Rice Festival promises to be an event of fun and time to celebrate Katy. See what you need to know, from entertainment listings to parking directions.
Photo courtesy of the City of Katy.
Downtown Katy will be buzzing with life this weekend (October 7-9, 2022) when the city comes together for the 42nd Annual Katy Rice Festival. The historic event brings the community together each year to celebrate Katy’s story and give back to residents. The historic event has been known to draw crowds of 45 to 50,000.
“Katy’s annual rice festival, which originates from our later years as rice farmers, where the festival was their ‘seller’ of the year’s crop,” says Ashley Lipsman, city of Katy tourism and marketing coordinator . “To commemorate what Katy is known for and touch on our city’s culture and history, we’ve highlighted some aspects of ‘farming rice’ this year and look forward to adding additional features in the future.”
Free admission Octoberfest is tonight
It all kicks off tonight with the October festival from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Plaza in downtown Katy. This night is free admission and families can enjoy food trucks, beer, live music and the carnival.
“Here in the City of Katy, along with our members at the Rotary Club of Katy, we are very excited about this year’s Katy Rice Festival,” says Katy Mayor William “Dusty” Thiele. “Net proceeds will benefit many Katy students and charities through scholarships and donations.”
This year’s event features more than 130 vendor booths and 25 different food trucks with non-stop live entertainment on two main stages.
Local students to take the stage
In addition to live music, there will be a KT Stage showcasing the talent of local Katy students.
the carnival is back
“We will have football games in the sports tent and beer ready to go. And of course, you can’t forget all the fun for the kids with the bouncy houses, games and rides,” adds Lipsman.
The city has not had a carnival at the festival for the past two seasons and this year’s return will mark the biggest carnival yet.
“We have expanded the area from previous years to bring in bigger and better attractions with a wide variety of options,” says Lipsman.
The carnival also includes classic games like Balloon Pop, Water Race, and Ring-a-Bottle.
“We’re excited to bring a variety of rides for the whole family to enjoy, like the Super Jet Roller Coaster, Tornado and 100 Foot Slide, to things like Dizzy Dragon, Sizzler and Merry Go Round for the little ones,” says Lip Man. And of course you can’t have a carnival without a Ferris wheel.”
Rice and Art Cooking Contests
The Katy Rice Festival will also hold the Folk Art Contest and the Traditional Rice Cooking Contest, which will be on display during the festival inside the Visitor Center. Katy’s own art professional, Tyler Kay, will be judging this year’s art contest.
where to park
“Parking will quickly become limited around downtown,” says Lipsman. “We recommend parking at the Merrell Center and using the courtesy shuttle to get to the festival. The service will start 30 minutes before the festival opens and end 30 minutes after the festival closes each day.
As Katy continues to grow, this is an opportunity for newcomers to come and experience the community and learn about its history through a fun event.
Celebrating 42 Years of Tradition
The Katy Rice Festival began in 1980 and was initially created to celebrate Katy’s history and rice. Katy was known as the “Rice Capital of the World” and remnants of that history can still be seen from I-10 in the form of rice silos amid the city’s commercial growth and development.
“The Katy Rice Festival tradition is a time-honored tradition and is eagerly anticipated by our citizens and their families each year. There will be something for everyone to enjoy,” says Mayor Thiele. Come join the excitement.”
Tickets for the carnival and games will only be available at the event and will be cash only.
The Katy Rice Festival continues on Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and then on Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm Tickets can be purchased at the door. Adults are $10 each on Saturday and Sunday and kids 12 and under are free.
For more information this weekend, follow Katy Rice Festival on social networks
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