Spring Happenings Around Brenham

Spring in Washington County is a magical time! It’s not too hot, not too cold, and the colorful show that the Texas wildflowers faithfully display each year is worthy of the hype. But bluebonnets aren’t all that’s happening around Brenham in the spring! Here are NINE annual events in Washington County that you can use to plan your next visit–plus a few of the most popular things you can do every week in the spring.  Make it a long weekend and enjoy all the live music, dining and shopping that the area has to offer.

Texas Independence Day Celebration

Texas Independence Day Celebration will look a different this year due to the extensive renovation projects happening at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Instead of the traditional celebration with vendors, performances and large-scale living history demonstrations, the celebration will begin on Independence Eve, with a concert on Friday night (March 1) and a few activities on Saturday, including a chili cook-off, ceremonies, and a gun salute. It will be a different Texas Independence Day than in the past, but once the renovation is complete in 2025, the traditional celebration will resume.

📍 23400 Park Road 12, Washington, Texas 77880
⏱️ Friday & Saturday, March 1-2

Texas Ranger Day, March 9

The 13th annual Texas Ranger Day at the historic Burton Railroad Depot is a day of family fun! Festivities include: Demonstrations by the Old West Rangers and the Legends of the Texas Rangers, folklife demonstrations including blacksmithing and chuckwagon cooking; kids activities; tours of the historic Railroad Depot; Burton Farmers Cotton Gin Tours (10am & 2pm); and live music.

📍 Burton Railroad Depot, 507 N Railroad Street, Burton Texas
⏱️ Saturday, March 9, 2024, noon to 5pm

Antique Rose Emporium Spring Celebration Weekend

The Antique Rose Emporium is gorgeous year round, but there is no time like spring, of course! The Spring Celebration Weekend includes an Artisan & Vintage Market, food trucks, and more blooms than you can imagine!

📍10000 FM 50, Brenham, Texas 77833-6453
⏱️ Saturday-Sunday, March 9-10, 2024

Antique Festivals

The Round Top Antique shows are just down the road, and some are even in Washington County! The La Bahia Antique Show is March 22-30. Burton is home to other antique events like Antiques at The Pavilions, as well as seasonal venues including Bayberry’s Antiques. Year round vintage & antique shopping includes The Nesting Company and Flown the Coop, both in Burton, and Leftovers Antiques‘ year round location between Brenham and Burton.

⏱️ March 16-30, 2024

Texas Historic Homes Tours in Independence

Located adjacent to Old Baylor Park in Independence, the Texas Historic Homes are open for tours on select weekends during the spring season. Observe the Texas Pioneer life at these historic homes and schoolhouse. Perfect for anyone who enjoys Texas history!

📍 Independence, Texas
⏱️ Saturdays, March 23 & 30, 2024; 10:00am-4:00pm

Texas Bluebonnet Festival in Chappell Hill

The Chappell Hill Historical Society will once again be hosting the Official State of Texas Bluebonnet Festival, April 13-14, 2024, in downtown historic Chappell Hill, Texas. Initially a small town antique festival has blossomed over the years and celebrates the official state flower, the bluebonnet. The Festival boasts more than 250 juried exhibitors (home décor, gardening, artists, craftsmen, jewelry, clothing, etc.), delicious country-style food, live entertainment and music, and tours of the historic community.

📍 Chappell Hill, Texas
⏱️ Saturday April 13, 2024; 9:00am-6:00pm
⏱️ Sunday April 14, 2024; 10:00am-5:00pm
Free admission, parking $10

Burton Cotton Gin Festival

Head to Burton, home of the 1914 Burton Farmers Gin, and celebrate the 35th Annual Burton Cotton Gin Festival! This is a FREE, family friendly event featuring a day full of fun and history. The day begins with a parade through Burton, and continues at the grounds of the Texas Cotton Gin Museum. Shop and eat in the Arts & Crafts Vendor Area, & Food Court. Watch Folklife skills demonstrations, such as Blacksmithing and butter churning, and spoon carving.

📍 Burton, Texas
⏱️ April 20, 2024, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Brenham Maifest

Children in traditional Bavarian clothing dancing around the Maypole in Fireman's Park at Maifest

A very colorful scene unfolds the first weekend in May with Maifest, a celebration highlighting Brenham’s German heritage. Brenham Maifest includes a parade and Junior & Senior Coronations and features authentic German food, music and drink, and carnival rides at historic Fireman’s Park.

📍 Parade: Downtown Brenham, Texas;
⏱️ Saturday, May 4, 2024, 10:30am
📍 Other Festivities: Fireman’s Park
⏱️ May 3-4, 2024

Chappell Hill Art Walk

📍 Chappell Hill, Texas
⏱️ Saturday May 25, 2024

Weekly Happenings

Some of our favorite spring happenings are so good, we have to share them every week! Antique carousel rides ($1 each), free entry to the Brenham Fire Museum (open Saturdays and the entire week of Spring Break), and the live demonstrations every weekend at Barrington Plantation, which is located within Washington-on-the-Brazos historical site are a few. And you can’t miss Blue Bell, of course! The Parlor and Country Store are open weekdays, serving $1 scoops with a smile.

In addition to these spring happenings around Brenham, we have many daily events that include live music, theatre, and retail specials. See our full calendar of events here. Spring is the busiest season to visit the area, so make reservations with your favorite lodging partner soon!

Finding Holiday Magic in Brenham & Washington County

This is my favorite time of year … waiting and anticipating the first cold snap of the season … when the air turns crisp, leaves begin to float gracefully to the ground, coffee tastes better and animals and children alike seem to get a boost of extra playfulness. It’s magical.

Sounds a bit like the opening of a Hallmark movie, but … it is real. Brenham and Washington County can’t be replicated. This is true Texas. Unapologetically Americana. Authentic.

Fall wouldn’t be complete in Brenham without candy-littered streets from the annual homecoming parade, including of course, homecoming queen hopefuls waving from convertibles. It doesn’t get much more Americana than this, right?

October boasts creatively dressed scarecrows posed in front of Downtown Brenham shops. Each one lovingly put together by dozens of schoolchildren and individuals alike, who have put their hearts into these straw creations, in hopes of winning one of the many prizes. Local spirit and pride are reflected in each entry.

Our community of Chappell Hill, located just 15 minutes east of Brenham, throws its annual Scarecrow Festival. This popular event draws huge crowds to its tiny town to shop, eat and welcome the season with a smile. Tent-lined streets are full of holiday shoppers, happy to escape big city mass merchandise to enjoy unique street vendors and small-town life.

November continues the holiday spirit with Christmas at the Mansion, a home tour and Christmas fair held at Brenham’s beautiful Giddings Stone Mansion. The mansion’s exterior and eight rooms will feature different holiday themes, designed and decorated by Jennifer Hermann of Hermann Furniture.  There is inspiration at every turn.  Self-guided tours are available all weekend and even two separate seatings for a special lunch on Saturday (reservations required).

Antique Rose Emporium’s 32nd Annual Fall Festival of Roses is a favorite outdoor experience in November. Breathing in the cool rose scented air while taking in spectacular blooms and learning how to care for them is a unique seasonal event not to be missed.

And, what we’ve all been looking forward to all year long … the Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade in Downtown Brenham … an event that will melt the heart of even the worst Scrooge. Downtown Brenham comes to life with residents and visitors mingling on the streets and throughout the shops. No crowded malls here, just a hometown atmosphere of genuine Christmas spirit. Brenham’s Downtown shopkeepers dazzle and surprise unsuspecting visitors with unique finds. Inside some of the antique architecture, new hip ventures are alive and well and waiting to be discovered.

The Stroll is kicked off with the tree lighting ceremony where onlookers are serenaded by a Girl Scout choir singing carols. As night continues to fall, the parade begins. Beautifully decorated and fully lit floats, marching bands, horses and dancers parade through Downtown, all to the delight of friends, family and visitors. And of course, the man of the hour SANTA makes his grand entrance to the squeals of excited children lining the streets, frantically waving to him as he passes by, perched atop a Fire Truck.

People passing, children laughing, meeting smile after smile … doesn’t just happen in a song or a Hallmark movie. It’s in Brenham, Texas and Washington County … where It’s a Wonderful Life!

Sorry, couldn’t help myself!

Photos by: Natalie Lange