Q. How did the Rice Harvest Festival begin?
A. “Sellabration” – a weekend event to honor the local rice farmers and their contributions to the local economy – was begun by the Tri-County Optimists in the late 1970’s. Just as the Tri-County Optimists determined “Sellabration” outgrew them, a nucleus of Katy folks joined forces and adopted the event. The Westside Art Guild was excited about giving artists another avenue to show their work, the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce was excited about promoting the Katy area and the City of Katy was very receptive to the idea of a festival.
Q. When was the first festival held?
A. The second weekend of October, 1981, the streets around the square in historic downtown Katy were transformed into the first official Rice Harvest Festival.
Q. Who comes to the Festival?
A. Everyone. People of all ages, especially families, come from the surrounding Katy areas, across Texas and many states. The Rice Harvest Festival brings 40,000 to 50,000 people to Katy for the big weekend.
Q. What is the admission price to Rice Harvest Festival?
A. Young families like the fact that children age 10 and under are admitted free of charge. Others recognize the $8 gate admission fee is one of the best entertainment bargains in the area. Once inside the Festival, individuals may sample all of the live and free entertainment on any or all of the two stages. They have access to some of the finest crafts available in the nearly 300 craft booths. And, the food tastes better at Rice Harvest Festival.
Q. Do I have to pay extra to watch the live entertainment?
A. The $8 admission fee allows individuals a full day of activities including the continuous live entertainment on two stages.
Q. Are pets allowed?
A. Pets are welcome – please keep on a leash or carry them. No exotic pets please
Q. Who participates in the Festival?
A. People from the Katy area, primarily. The KISD High School Project Graduation parents man the eight gates. Non-profit organizations such as the Katy Volunteer Fire Department, VFW, Elks, Knights of Columbus, school groups and churches have booths, provide entertainers or voluneer. Over 60 non-profit organizations benefit directly from the Katy Rice Harvest Festival.
Q. Where is the Festival?
A. The festival is held on the streets of historic downtown Katy between 1st Street and 4th Street and Ave A to Ave D. The downtown area is located about one mile north of I-10 at Exit # 741.
Q. Where can I park?
A. Parking is available free of charge at Katy Mills Mall (I-10 and Pin Oak). The parking area is noted on the Festival Parking Map on www.riceharvestfestival.org. Free Shuttle service is provided to and from the parking areas to the Festival grounds. Signs will direct you to the free shuttle parking. The Church of Christ at 5th Street and East Avenue has also graciously provided parking for Festival guests in their Church parking lot. We do ask that you do not park in the lot before 11:30 AM on Sunday.
Q. Are there handicap accomodations?
A. Handicap parking is provided on Ave A just south of 3rd Street. A legal handicap permit visibly displayed is required for entry into the handicap lot. Handicap accessible portable toilets are located Gate 7 and Gate 8.
Q. How is the Festival advertised?
A. Marketing is directed to the four million people of Houston and the surrounding areas. However, ads are featured in national and Texas magazines such as AAA, Texas Highways, Travel Section – Austin American Statesman, American Profile Magazine and Texas Travel Log. Local papers, television and radio ads complete the advertising campaign.
Q. What can I sell?
A. The Katy Rice Harvest Festival is a family-oriented event aimed at presenting entertainment and activities suitable for the entire family, including minors. Handcrafted arts and crafts and selected imports and commercial items are permitted. Items that include nudity, profanity, obscenity or otherwise objectionalbe material is prohibitied. Craft and Business Vendors are not allowed to give, sell, cook or display any type of food or drink in their booths. Packaged food for consumption outside of the festival is allowable. Additionally, the sale or distribution of carbonated drinks, water or alcoholic beverages by any vendor is prohibited.
Q. What kind of food is sold at the Festival?
A. Barbecue, Funnel Cakes, Boudain Balls, Roasted Corn, Sausage on a Stick, Chicken on a Stick, Turkey Legs, Pizza, Cajun Pistols, Kettle Korn and much much more.
Q. If I submit my application on-line can I be assured that the transaction is secure?
A. Transactions on the Chamber website are secure.
Q. How do I get to perform at the Rice Harvest Festival?
A. Amateur entertainers need to fill out an application, submit a photo, brief biography and send the completed package to the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd Ste B206, Katy, Texas 77494. First time amateur RHF performers need to submit an Audition Demo. Questions can be directed to Turney Entertainment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Professional Entertainers need to contact Mark Taylor of the Brock Agency at Ibookbands@aol.com
Q. If I perform, do I pay to get in the Festival?
A. Performers must be registered and enter at the assigned gate or they will be charged an admission fee. Family and friends who come to the Festival to watch the performance must pay an admission fee. However, children age 10 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.