No Hill Country village celebrates Independence Day like Wimberley does. Not nobody, not no how, because Wimberley does it over four days.
Wimberley has a patriotic jubilee of music, fun, and fireworks. It has a festival for children. It has a parade. It has a three-day rodeo. You can even learn about how wool goes from an animal to your sweater.
Why is Wimberley so special?
“Everybody here donates their time and invests in the community,” says John Palumbo, Jr., co-director of the Wimberley Chamber of Commerce. “The Jubilee is one of many ways our community gathers together.”
The fun starts on Wednesday, July 3, with the July Jubilee, held this year at the VFW Veterans Park at 4:30 p.m.
Visitors will enjoy carnival-style games, food and beverage booths, and arts and crafts vendors while being serenaded with live music by local favorite band Broken Glass.
This year’s Jubilee also features a mini-bull competition. These are half-sized bucking bulls with riders ages 7-14. Youngsters ride the mini-bulls just like adults, with the same relative sizes, and they need the same relative skills for a successful ride. The bulls are bred and trained by Marylaura and Dale Doherty of Big D Mini Bucking Bulls at Hunter’s Chase Farms in Wimberley.
It wouldn’t be Independence Day without fireworks and after the Broken Glass Band’s final performance of the night visitors will be treated to nearly an hour of colors bursting in the night sky.
July 4 begins with the annual Independence Day Parade at 10 a.m. winding through the downtown area from Lions Field.
After the parade, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a Children’s Festival will take place on the grounds behind Ino’z restaurant on The Square, along the banks of Cypress Creek.
The event will feature a bounce house, a dunk tank, face-painting, a musical-chairs cake walk, and games like Bean Bag Toss. It’s sponsored by the Wimberley charitable organization My Neighbors Keeper that helps people recover from tragedies such as house fires.
The Jubilee then continues with the Wimberley Community Chorus and Hill Country Community Band performing patriotic music at the First Baptist Church at 3 p.m.
That evening the Jubilee continues as the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6441 Rodeo begins at Veterans Park on Jacob’s Well Road when the gates open at 5:30 p.m. This year marks the 68th year for the popular rodeo, one of the largest outdoor rodeos in Texas and once voted the best in the state.
The three-day event (July 4 through 6) is sanctioned by the Cowboy’s Professional Rodeo Association and includes competitions in bull riding, tie-down calf roping, bareback and saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, women’s breakaway roping, and barrel racing. The rodeo producer is Bo Davis of Gonzales.
Kids get into the mix as well. Each night features two calf-scrambles, one for ages 5 to 8, another for ages 9 to 12. Children also get to try their hand at two mutton bustin’ trials every night.
The adult livestock action events begin at 8 p.m.
Throughout each evening, spectators will be entertained by Hall-of-Fame rodeo clown Leon Coffee.
And for the first time in years a boot-scootin’ dance will be held inside the VFW hall after the rodeo on Friday night. Music will be by the Ranch Rock Band.
Proceeds from the rodeo benefit the community, veterans, and active-duty servicemen and women.
But wait: there’s more.
The popular Wimberley Market Day will happen on July 6 at Lions Field just north of town on Ranch Road 2325. Market Day features nearly 500 booths of everything you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. Lions Field features several places for visitors to get food and beverages and be entertained with live music while they take a break from shopping.
Wimberley’s Markey Day attracts bargain hunters and treasure seekers from around the state, befitting an outdoor bazaar that happens to be the second largest in the state after Canton’s massive First Monday.
It may not be specifically patriotic, but do you want to meet some alpacas? You can do on that Saturday, July 6, while on a tour of the grounds and fiber arts studio at Old Oaks Ranch.
Wimberley is indeed a festival around Independence Day.