By CLINT FOSTER
Mineral Wells is gearing up for this year’s edition of the Crazy Water Festival, celebrating 134 years of the crazy mineral water that is such a vital part of the city’s history.
The Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce will serve as the main sponsor of the 2013 festival, which is set for two days this year – Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12 – in the home of Crazy Water, Mineral Wells. The festival promises to be fun for all ages and perhaps the biggest incarnation of the event since its 1979 beginning.
Festival Chair and co-owner of Famous Water, Carol Elder, said the family aspect of the festival is a big part of what makes it so great.
“You have great things for the kids and great, enjoyable areas for adults too,” she said. “It’s not just a kids festival, it’s not just an adult festival, it’s fun for the whole family. Even in the beer garden, it’s still a family atmosphere.”
The festival kicks off on Friday night with the Crazy Car Cruise – a parade through town of some of the finest classic and custom-built cars in the area. After the cruise, there will be a concert at the historic outdoor amphitheater behind the Little Rock Schoolhouse – the first-ever public school building in Mineral Wells.
But the festival’s biggest day is Saturday, which begins with the Crazy 5K Run, followed by the official festival opening at 9 a.m. on the festival’s main grounds adjacent to the Famous Mineral Water Company at 209 N.W. 6th Street.
In addition to a large array of vendors and activities for all ages, the festival itself will feature sidewalk chalk art created by around 60 regional artists – which will benefit the Disaster Relief Team of Palo Pinto County – and live music from a plethora of groups including 50 Thick, Kevin Rowe and the Prodigal Sons and Adam Hull and the Handsome Half Breeds, among others. The festival will also boast the Crazy Dunking Booth and the return of Crazy Water Rahr Beer in the Beer Garden.
One new feature at this year’s festival will be the Crazy Water bath house facility. Although it won’t be open yet, Elder said guests will have the opportunity to view the new building, which has been made to feel like an authentic early 1900’s era bath house.
Also Community Animal Rescue Effort will be at the 95.9 FM the Ranch booth on 1st Avenue. They will pass out pamhplets about CARE and talk about the necessity to spay or neuter pets. A CARE representative said they also may bring a few animals that are up for adoption.
Elder said this year the festival is expecting between 60 to 100 student volunteers from Mineral Wells Junior High and Mineral Wells High School in addition to another 60 to 100 adult volunteers who will host different areas of the festival.
Last year’s festival put around $27,000 back into the community: a number that Elder hopes to surpass this year.
“Every year that amount increase,” she said. “We hope to break that this year.”
Former Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Watson said the festival should have a significant positive impact on the local economy.
“The Crazy Water Festival generates substantial economic activity from both tourists and locals as they prepare for the festival,” she said. “About 9,500 people attended last year, with an estimated 25 to 30 percent from out of the area. It also fills dozens of hotel rooms, so you are talking about a substantial impact for a weekend event.
The chamber could not be prouder to sponsor the festival and acknowledges the leadership of Carol Elder in making it a success.”
Admission to the festival is $3, with $1 off per canned food item donated to support local food banks.
For more information on the 134th Crazy Water Festival, visit www.mineralwellstx.com or become a fan of the festival on Facebook.
Below is the complete list of bands set to play at the festival:
• Friday, Oct. 11:
Amanda Reddin, 6:30-7 p.m.
50 Thick, 7:15-8:30 p.m.
•Saturday, Oct. 12:
G-Men, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
The Morgan Baker Band, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Jimmy Baldwin, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Adam Hull and the Handsome Half-Breeds, 1-2 p.m.
Kevin Rowe and the Prodigal Sons, 2:15-3:30 p.m.
50 Thick, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
Morgan Baker, 9:30-10 a.m.
Adam Hull, 10:15-10:45 a.m.
G-Men, 11-11:30 a.m.
Steve Long, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
James Dunning of the Lost Immigrants, 1:45-2:45 p.m.
Jimmy Baldin, 3-4 p.m.
Kevin Rowe and the Prodigal Sons, 4:15-4:45 p.m.
Anita Presser, 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Lorraine Crutcher, 12-12:30 p.m.
Greg Gilbert, 12:45-1:45 p.m.
Ukulele Daily-Michael Anderson, 2-2:30 p.m.
Steve Long, 2:45-3:45 p.m.