Home Latest Goodbye Riverfest tradition, hello Gaillardia Fest

Goodbye Riverfest tradition, hello Gaillardia Fest

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Riverfest has been held at Sewell Park for the past 16 years.
Riverfest has been held at Sewell Park for the past 16 years.
Photo By Ali Mumbach

Texas State’s annual Riverfest is coming to an end after 16 years and is set to be replaced with a brand new festival.

Riverfest has been Texas State’s annual spring concert and festival held at Sewell Park to provide students the opportunity to relax by the river and listen to music before finals. However, the traditional concept is now transitioning to a new spring festival hoping to attract a larger audience.

Gaillardia Fest is arranged to last all day April 27, and will be held in Lot B of Bobcat Stadium, where alumni tailgating takes place.

The Student Association for Campus Activities will now be hosting Gaillardia Fest after 16 years of sponsoring Riverfest. The name of the new festival stems from the Gaillardia, the school flower. The organization’s primary goal is to promote school spirit.

Destiny McCalla, pride and traditions coordinator for SACA, said Riverfest was fun to host but did not bring in large amounts or diverse groups of students. The majority of the time, attendees included those who listened to the specific alternative artists performing.

“We just wanted to present this new event (which would) hopefully attract more of the student body and be more of a representative of the students we have here,” McCalla said.

A lot of the details are still in the works, but music will remain a major component of the festival. Student performances will be added. SACA’s goal is to make the event take on a more cultural initiative, including various cultural organizations, vendors, food and activities to get people involved rather than just listen to music.

Gaillardia Fest was set to premier in place of Riverfest in 2018, but issues arose with getting approvals from the school and organizations that were going to be a part of the event.

Another initiative being pushed with the new event is creating a more inclusive environment for the San Marcos community as a whole, rather than solely Texas State students. All people are welcome for a small entrance fee.

Some students are disappointed Riverfest no longer exists, but are looking forward to the new change.

Maria Arroyo, finance senior, said she was a bit upset when she heard Riverfest was canceled, but liked the idea of the new event.

“I’ve been to Riverfest the past two years and I was upset when I saw they were canceling it, but the fact they’re improving it sounds cool,” Arroyo said. “It’s pretty nice, especially if they are trying to add more activities and cultural events.”

Amber Olivo, microbiology junior, said she went to Riverfest last year, and is curious about the new festival.

“I personally liked Riverfest and I’m a little sad to know they’re not doing it this spring, but I love that SACA wants to try something new that involves cultural awareness and students performing,” Oliva said. “That is definitely something I think this campus needs more of.”

While the river is no longer an aspect, the event will be a carnival-like setup with a main stage, various vendors and booths set up around the lot. Entry is free for Texas State students.

SACA is currently trying to secure and obtain approval from performers, vendors and all who will be involved. Details regarding performers, vendors and organizations will be announced March 27.

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