It’s bluebonnet time in Texas, and it's the height of blooms for those bluebonnets too according to the Ennis Garden Club. The Ennis Bluebonnet Festival is a yearly event to celebrate the Texas state flower. The Ennis garden club begins scouting around the Ennis area and doing their flower dance to determine when the blooming will be at its height. Once they determine the prime time, they put together a bluebonnet trail that you can follow which takes you past the most scenic of bluebonnet fields. It’s quite a ride and well worth taking. The fresh aroma of millions of bluebonnets can only be experienced for a couple of short months before the bluebonnets fade away for another year. The time window opens and closes fast for the grandest experience.
The festival itself unfortunately has nothing to do with bluebonnets. There are no bluebonnet necklaces, blue pie, bluebonnet pictures, or sculptures. I didn’t even see any bluebonnet seed packets for sale. So if you're expecting a tribute to bluebonnets you won't find it at the festival. It’s your typical town festival with overpriced trailer food, and vendors selling the same trinkets you find at every festival. Most of those trinkets are the type you buy spontaneously, moved by emotion with the justification that you're supporting something great. You will probably discard most of them a few months later wondering why you even bought them in the first place.
There was also a live band, and if you are interested in that sort of entertainment, there is seating provided so you can stay all day and sit and watch. The band that was playing while we were there was pretty good though and probably would have been worth staying for if we had wanted to spend more time at the festival.
The festival usually has a small antique car show which is pretty good. This year they had an antique motorcycle show as well that we really enjoyed. Seeing some of the historic bikes renewed my desire to restore one someday. Probably won't ever happen but I can dream…
Bluebonnets Are The Texas State Flower
Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without a historical reference of the bluebonnet becoming the Texas state flower which is actually quite interesting. (Information gathered from State Symbols USA)
Texas designated the bluebonnet as the official state flower in 1901. Bluebonnet flowers were named for the blue color and sunbonnet-shaped petals (though not all bluebonnets are blue). Quote from Aggie Horticulture®; Texas Bluebonnets — Texas Pride: “In the spring of 1901, the Texas Legislature got down to the serious business of selecting a state floral emblem and the ensuing battle was hot and heavy. One legislator spoke emotionally in favor of the cotton boll since cotton was king in Texas in those days. Another, a young man from Uvalde, extolled the virtues of the cactus so eloquently, noting the hardy durability of the plant and the orchid-like beauty of its flowers, that he earned the nickname of “Cactus Jack” which stuck with him for the rest of his life. He was John Nance Garner and later became vice president of the United States.”
If you missed this year's prime time for bluebonnets and the festival then put it on your calendar for next year. It’s worth the experience.