Twenty minutes east of Dallas lies an adorable lakeside town reminiscent of Stars Hollow. Rockwall, Texas was founded in 1873 and hosts a Founders Day Festival every year to commemorate. (And yes, that does bring this mega Vampire Diaries fan joy.) The event is held at beautiful Harry Myers Park, which is hilly with lots of shady trees and a sparkling pond. Founders Day is hands-down one of my favorite events of the year!
The event is free to attend except for $5 parking. You receive a card so you don’t have to pay for parking again if you want to leave and come back later in the day. There’s also a shuttle service that runs from historic downtown Rockwall (where the farmers market is held) to Founders Day Festival. In recent years, the Festival changed its layout and I like this year’s layout so much better!
The first thing you see upon arrival is the food trucks in the parking lot. There was a great variety this year: Papa Bears Fruit Stand (with lots of delicious drinks), Legacy BBQ TX, Kona Ice (shaved ice), a roasted corn and turkey leg stand, a kettle corn truck, a fun truck with fried oreos, curly fries, and corn dogs, Sno Cones Gone Wild, La Rosita (Mexican food), and a stand with mini doughnuts. I forgot to take photos of the food trucks but you can see them all at the beginning of my Facebook live:
My friend Kenya and I got a bunch of items to share: chicken tacos and steak quesadilla from La Rosita, pork belly from Legacy BBQ, and a corn cup from the corn stand. The steak quesadilla and pork belly are absolute musts. Wow, wow, wow.
I’m sad that we didn’t get fried oreos or mini doughnuts but I honestly was just too full after lunch! We did, however, manage to get some Sno Cones and guys, these were not your average sno cones! Kenya got the spicy mango sno cone and I, being a respectable food blogger known for farm to table cuisine and fancy dinner parties, ordered the gummy sno cone in strawberry and you know what? I’m not sorry. It was amazing! The syrup they used is so high-quality. It honestly tasted like Hawaiian Fruit Punch. You could even slurp it with a straw! Kenya loved hers too. Highly recommend stopping at this truck on a balmy day if you see it around town!
Besides tons of fun food options, Founders Day Festival has live music all day. Seriously, all day! From opening at 10 am until 10 pm. The stage is down by the pond with tons and tons of space for you to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs and camp out for the day. The music ranged quite a bit – everything from Michael Bublé to country.
There’s lots of fun things for kids to do at Founders Day. There’s what I can only describe as Bouncy Castle Row, loads of adorable bounce houses in the shadiest part of the park. There was also a face painting stand and Harry Myers has a super cute splash pad, which happens to be right where they set up the kid zone. So smart!
The event is dog-friendly, though I didn’t take Henry because it was much too hot for him. Shopping is set up to the right of the entrance, with items like candles and t-shirts and floppy hats. Personally, I like to go to Founders Day for lunch, before it gets too crowded, but the headlining band always takes the stage at night.
You can get more information about Founders Day here and learn more about Rockwall here.