Hundreds of people flooded Downtown Kingsville for the 2019 Ranch Hand Festival on Saturday, which featured live music, dance lessons, food, games and multiple other activities for attendees to enjoy following the 29th Annual Ranch Hand Breakfast.
“It was a very big success,” Kingsville Tourism Director Janine Reyes said. “We already had a lot of vendors call and ask when our next big event is so they can take part in it. A lot of the vendors reported selling out their products, so there was a lot of participation this year.”
From the Train Depot Museum and Kleberg Bank at the intersection of Pfc. Daniel Alarcon Street and Kleberg Avenue to the HEB parking lot on Eighth Street, Downtown Kingsville was closed to traffic so the public could freely walk as they made their way around dozens of vendors, booths and food trucks, as well as browse the local downtown shops.
“I am enjoying my time here,” Ydanissa Gonzalez, a native of Raymondville said of the festival. “It has been a lot of fun. I like all of the smells; honestly, the food smells fantastic. And the music has just been super great. I really love live music, so that makes it better.”
Gonzalez said it was her first time attending the event, and after her experience, she is looking forward to making the short trip back next year.
“The drive’s not too far from where I’m from, and the weather is amazing out right now,” Gonzalez said. “So, I don’t see myself questioning why I would want to come back.”
Gonzalez said she also enjoyed seeing the smiling faces at the Kids’ Corral, including acts on the young performers stage located at the intersection of North Seventh Street and Kleberg Avenue.
In the Kids’ Corral, children of all ages took part in activities throughout the event, including painting, carnival games, face painting, horse rides and jumping inside inflatable obstacle courses.
Also at the Kids’ Corral was the young performers stage, where many of the area’s dancing, singing and acting groups showcased their talents for all to see.
Down Seventh Street and around Yoakum Avenue was the third annual Ranch Hand Roundup Car Show, which had as many as 75 cars on display including Hot Rods, classic cars, low riders, motorcycles, trucks and muscle cars.
A total of 35 trophies were handed out to participants, with most of the entries in the show from Kingsville’s own car club, United Aggression. The Best in Show award was given to Raul Vela, for his 1935 Dodge Sedan.
When the festivities ended downtown, the J.K. Northway had a packed house for the benefit concert headlined by platinum recording artist Mark Chesnutt.
The concert, which included opening acts Felix Truvere and Lauren Corzine, benefited the Kingsville Independent School District Education Foundation.
Reyes said there are no specifics yet on the total number of attendees for the concert, but they were able to sell out of VIP tickets.
“It was about 1,000 people,” Reyes said. “We know that the non-profit was able to raise about $40,000, and our goal was $20,000, so we are very pleased with that. It was a great night and everybody had a great time.”
Reyes said last year’s event was record breaking for all involved, and after speaking with officials at the King Ranch, this year was no different.
“We’re seeing it continue to grow,” Reyes said. “We’re very pleased with the crowds and attendance and can’t wait for next year. We’re already planning for it.”