Rabbit Fest Opens Thursday
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The 43rd annual Rabbit Fest will take over Copperas Cove City Park from Thursday through Sunday, May 18-21.
While the weekend will feature the market vendors, food vendor, live entertainment, fireworks, and carnival that the community has seen every year since 1981 (with the exception of 2020), there will be some changes this year that festivalgoers will see at the gates.
For the first time in decades, admission prices to the festival have increased.
Admission is $10 per carload per day, up from $5 per carload. Walk-ins are now $5 per person, up from $1. Weekend passes for the festival are $25.
The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the event, gave an explanation several weeks ago on social media for the price increases.
“The festival is not a Parks and Recreation event. It is put on by the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has to pay to rent the park. The fees collected go toward expenses to put the festival on. Rental, staff, insurance, Porta potties, hand washing stations, light towers, electricity, supplies etc. Unfortunately, prices for everything have gone up so we had to raise prices to cover increases we have to pay. IF there are any funds left over, it goes back to the chamber to cover future expenses of events and operations. The Chamber of Commerce is not for profit.”
Gates open Thursday at 4 p.m., with an opening ceremony featuring the Copperas Cove High School choir and JROTC at 5:30 p.m. at Fester’s Stage.
Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce interim president Nancy Nelson wanted to clarify that the chamber does not rent Copperas Cove City Park.
However, "We are paying for direct city support. Also keep in mind we have not raised prices for many years and we are staying comparable to others."
By "others" Nelson meant there are other local festivals which charge for parking and/or admission.
For example, Harker Heights holds an annual Food, Wine & Brew Fest, which is held at a public park in Harker Heights. That festival charges $25 for parking, but admission otherwise is free. The one-day festival features Texas wines and craft brews, as well as food and vendors and live music.
Carnival Wristbands: $30 on Thursday, $35 Friday-Sunday
Crabtree Amusements will bring the carnival and games for all ages throughout the weekend, with tickets and wristbands available ($30 on Thursday, $35 Friday-Sunday).
The entertainment schedule along with a vendor list can be found in the annual Rabbit Fest section inserted into next week’s publication and available at the festival.
Car Show Returns!
On Saturday, the Rabbit Fest car show will be held, with registration from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., and the show from 1-5 p.m. Registration fee is $25.
This year’s headline entertainer for Saturday evening is the band Incognito, which will take the stage at Fester’s House from 8-10 p.m.
Festivalgoers along with those in surrounding neighborhoods will be able to witness the fireworks show at Rabbit Fest, on Saturday evening around 9 p.m.
Rabbit Fest Parade - "Year of the Rabbit"
The annual Rabbit Fest parade is set for Saturday, May 20, starting at 10 a.m. when the procession will make its way along Avenue D from the high school parking lot and end at Cove Terrace Shopping Center.
This year’s theme is “The Year of the Rabbit” and more entries are welcome, according to a social media post by the chamber. Parade lineup starts at 8 a.m. at the Copperas Cove High School parking lot on Avenue D, with the parade starting at 10 a.m. Those who are interested in participating should contact the chamber at (254) 547-7574 or complete the form online at www.copperascove.com/rabbit-fest.
Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is 108-year-old Copperas Cove resident, Dorothy Redifer.
Thursday 5-9 p.m.
Friday 5-11 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.