Every spring thousands of Texans go out on the highways and byways of Texas to view the splendor of wild flower blossoms. Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja spp), Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta), Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) and many other wildflowers dot the landscape from East Texas to the Big Bend, from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle – High Plains. The primary flower; the main flower; the state flower of Texas, is the Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis).
The best place to view these springtime beauties is as much a matter civic pride as anything else. The Chambers of Commerce from ever town of any size in the Texas Hill country claim to be the best, producing wild flower tour maps and festivals of all kinds promoting their area as the best of the best examples of Bluebonnet Blossoms.
However there is only one "Official" Bluebonnet Festival in Texas.In Washington County at the small town of Chappell Hill is the "Bluebonnet Festival of Texas".
This small historic town was founded in 1847 and was a thriving community. It served as a shipping point for cotton and other crops, a financial center and had two small schools of higher learning. A changing post Civil War economy and the 1867 Yellow Fever epidemic nearly wiped the town out.
Today Chappell Hill has a population of about 600 Texans, 25 Historical Markers and 10 National Register sites, including the Main Street Historical District.
On one April weekend every spring the population of Chappell Hill grows 10 fold, as cow pastures become parking lots and Main Street becomes a vendor's mall of fine crafts and gaudy gee-gaws of every description. Ever wondered where to get a Texas Flag necktie, a wind chime made out of Lone Star beer cans, a pair of Bluebonnet earrings, or a beautiful oil painting featuring the holy trinity of the Texas Hill country; Barns, Barbed Wire and Bluebonnets?
Chappell (Chapel) Hill is located at U.S. Highway 290 and FM 1155, fifty-seven miles northwest of Houston in southeastern Washington County.
On Festival weekend go early. If you are not early and coming out of the Houston area get in the right lane of U.S. Highway 290 at least five miles before the right turn into Chappell Hill. The traffic really stacks up. Rain or shine take an umbrella.
On days other than Festival weekend, don't blink or you'll miss it.
For more information go to this website:
Update: 10 April 2020