By Theresa D. McClellan
For the Fort Bend Star
All it took was an electronic traffic sign announcing the first Missouri City Texas Festival for Jeanette White of Rosharon to urge her family to check out the fun Saturday afternoon.
“I was shopping in Missouri City, it was a nice day. I saw the sign and I said let’s go for it,” said the mom who danced in the grass with her 5-year-old son Benjamin White as her husband looked on from a nearby picnic table.
The White family was among an estimated 1,000 folks who made their way to the Sienna Springs neighborhood for the outdoor festival near the new Houston Community College campus.
“I didn’t know about it. This was fun. Next year I’ll be ready with my lawn chair,” Jeanette White said.
Lawn chairs dotted the field while some opted for blankets in the grass as they listened to an array of bands from Austin and Houston.
The city festival attracted 13 artisans and nine food vendors.
“Fort Bend County is thriving and we wanted to jump on that and attract residents who live, work and play here,” said Cory Stottlemyer, Missouri City’s media relations specialist.
“We have a diverse range of recreational events. We will have a cake-decorating Mother’s Day event, a job fair and Community Night Out,” added Stacie Walker, director of Communications for the city. “We want to show off Missouri City as a premier community.”
The festival attracted families with children, outdoor music lovers and artisans.
Decked out in her bride’s veil and hair flowers, Audrey Kay Fueller of Rosenberg snagged a picnic table with four of her best friends. They came to hear the headliner, Bluewater Highway Band. With just a week away from her wedding, the bride-to be, Audrey Kay Bialas, laughed, drank and swayed her head to the music playing onstage.
“I got my girls here, the music is great, the band is great and it’s a great area. It’s a perfect way of celebrating my last week of being a Fueller,” she said.
Not everyone was thrilled.
“This is sleeping music, “ said Winson Ned of Missouri City. “If they had a little zydeco and some barbecue, this place would be jumping. We came out to support the city, but we need better entertainment.”
It was just the first year and organizers said they were pleased with the turnout and expect it to grow. To attract attention the city sent out more than 50,000 fliers, contacted homeowners associations and attracted local vendors as well as entertainers from Austin and Tennessee.
A last minute crowd pleaser was five-minute visual artist Ange Hillz, who approached the stage with a black canvas and a multitude of paint hues. With the music of Jimi Hendrix blaring in the background, vivid splotches of colors flew in the air from his fingertips as Hillz bobbed and weaved while recreating the image of the iconic guitarist on an upside down canvas.
Squeals of delight and applause poured from the audience as Hillz righted the canvas and the Hendrix image appeared complete with an MCTX 2017 banner.
“Ya’ll make sure to come back next year and lets get ready for our next artist,” said the emcee.