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Big As Texas Music and Food Festival: A Rainy Yet Heartfelt Celebration

Festivals attendees pose for a picture.

CONROE, TEXAS - This past weekend, the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, transformed into a bustling hub of live music, art, and Texan culture as it hosted the Big As Texas Music and Food Festival. The event, spanning three days, aimed to promote the prevention of suicide and support professional mental health charities, though this noble cause was not as prominently featured on-site as one might have hoped. Attending on Sunday, the final day of the festival, provided a mix of memorable musical performances and unexpected weather challenges.

Sunday’s festivities were marred by a heavy rain delay, which unfortunately led to the cancellation of the highly anticipated Smithfield performance. Despite the weather's unpredictability, two main stages situated at opposite corners of the fairgrounds ensured a steady flow of music, keeping the spirits high for those who braved the elements.

Throughout the day, the festival grounds saw a modest turnout, likely influenced by the intermittent rain and the fact that it was Mother’s Day. The venue, large and spacious, might have felt underpopulated, but the true fans who attended made up for it with their enthusiasm and resilience. Many attendees slogged through the mud without hesitation, although a pair of rain boots would have been a wise accessory for the day.

A highlight of the event was a live mural painting that beautifully captured Texan pride with depictions of bluebonnets and longhorns, adding a touch of visual art to the musical landscape. Vendors lined the grounds, predominantly selling cowboy hats and offering mobile boutique experiences, which added to the festival's charm.

The lineup on Sunday featured an array of talented artists who delivered exceptional performances despite the weather. Kate Watson, a promising female newcomer, captivated the audience with her fresh sound. Braxton Keith brought a southern rock flair to the stage, while Scotty Alexander impressed everyone with his fantastic fiddle skills. Drake Milligan, whose style pays homage to Elvis Presley, added a unique twist to the country genre, making for a memorable set.

One notable observation was the festival's lack of visible promotion for its core cause – suicide prevention. There was no signage related to mental health or the national lifeline, 988, anywhere on the grounds. Without prior knowledge or a visit to the festival's website, attendees might have missed the crucial message altogether. This absence was a surprising oversight, considering the importance of the cause.

Despite these shortcomings, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The medium to small-sized crowd at the expansive venue created an intimate yet spacious environment. People were friendly and supportive, embodying the community spirit that is at the heart of such events.

The Big As Texas Music and Food Festival may have faced some challenges, but it succeeded in providing a platform for incredible Texan talent and celebrating the state's vibrant culture. With a bit more emphasis on its mental health mission on-site, future iterations of the festival could truly make an even bigger impact. For those who attended, it was a wet yet wonderful experience that showcased the best of Texas – rain, mud, and all.

Have you heard of the national suicide and crisis lifeline, 988?

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