Moo-La Fest 2021 promises something fun for all ages

E-T staff report
Terry Adams Jr., center, performs the music of Phil Collins for the tribute band The Phil Collins Experience. The band is part of the live entertainment scheduled for the upcoming 2021 Moo-La Fest.
Asleep at the Wheel is part of the Texstar Ford Summer Nights Concert Series at the Birdsong Amphitheater in Stephenville City Park for the 2021 Moo-La Fest. The group is scheduled to perform on Thursday, June 3.
The Decades Show, a premier Dallas variety show band, plays hits from the 60’s,70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s to today.
Dallas singer Michael Hix performs the best songs from Bruno Mars, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Bobby Darrin, Michael Bublé and many more.
An Elton Dan show pays tribute to one of the all-time greatest artists ever: Elton John. To date Elton Dan and The Rocket Band have performed in 19 states.
Gypsies, Doves and Dreams is a heartfelt tribute to the lyrical genius of Stevie Nicks. The band is fronted by Kansas City native and tribute show pioneer Kim Osborne.
A balloon glow is part of the festivities each evening for the 2021 Moo-La Fest scheduled for Thursday through Saturday at Stephenville City Park.

Moo-La Fest is back and scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at the Stephenville City Park.

With live music, colorful hot air balloons, twilight balloon glows, a carnival, lots of food, dairy activities and more, this year's festival promises to offer something for everyone.

"We have lots of fun new things this coming year," Julie Smith, Tourism and Visitor Bureau manager, said at a recent Stephenville City Council meeting.

Moo-La Fest is touted as a salute to the region's rich dairy heritage.

The festival kicks off Thursday with Carnival Americana from 6-10 p.m. Based in Fort Worth, Carnival Americana is one of the country's leading producers of carnival midways offering the best in amusement rides, games and concessions.

Live music starts at 8 p.m. with Scott Kirby, who will be joined by Gabriel Donohue and Davin James, opening for Asleep at the Wheel at Birdsong Amphitheater.

Taking the stage at 8:30 will be legendary group Asleep at the Wheel for the Texstar Ford Summer Nights Concert Series.

The group, currently marking its 50th year, has constantly toured at a national level throughout its history with anywhere from seven to 15 of the finest players group founder Ray Benson could talk into jumping into a bus.

Over its history, Asleep at The Wheel has garnered 10 GRAMMY Awards and released more than 25 studio and live albums. To commemorate its 50th year, the group is releasing a new, three-song EP, "Better Times."

At dusk on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, those attending can wrap up the evening with a hot air balloon glow from 8-9 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the carnival, various vendors, Grub Zone and beer sales will be available from 4-11 p.m.

Kicking off Friday's entertainment will be Dallas singer Michael Hix from 4-5 p.m.

Dubbed one of the top-rated performers in Dallas, Hix's vocal abilities range from baritone to a high soprano. At his show, the audience can expect to hear songs by Bruno Mars, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Michael Bublé and more.

To wrap up Friday's live music, The Phil Collins Experience will take the stage at 8:30 p.m. offering a show that is a recreation of Phil Collins in his prime, performing all the greatest hits from his award-winning career as a solo artist and with the band Genesis.

The role of Collins is performed by KC Magazine's 2020 Best Male Vocalist Terry Adams Jr. The British-born and raised front man "will make fans forget that he's not Phil." 

With a 12-piece band and back-up singers, Adams is a world-class drummer himself and plays drums left-handed like Collins for a true experience. 

Saturday's events will start bright and early with a hot air balloon fly-in at 6 a.m., followed by the Udderly Epic Fun Run at the City Park with the start and finish line located at NYC Complex concessions.

Check-in on site will start at 8 a.m. The fun run will start after the hot air balloons ascend from City Park at 8:30 a.m. Registration fee is $30 per person. The route is a little less than a mile and will have three udderly fun dairy stations. 

For more information about the run, call (254) 918-1296 or email cblack@stephenvilletx.gov

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the dairy area will feature the Southwest Dairy Farmers Mobile Classroom. The traveling classroom features a milking parlor with a live cow and an oral presentation. A trained instructor demonstrates how to milk a cow, describes how milk goes from the farm to the consumer, and then answers questions from the audience. 

Also featured on Saturday is the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, Texas Forts Trail Wine Festival. 

The wine festival is a separate, ticketed event with tickets available in advance or day of. Check out Texas Forts Trail Wine Festival on Facebook for ticket purchases, call (800) 484-1462, or email tft@texasfortstrail.com.

With a purchase of a wine festival ticket, patrons will receive entry into the wine festival (come and go) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., two tastings per winery and a commemorative wine glass to keep. All wineries are local Texas wineries.

Afternoon entertainment kicks off with West Texas performer Holli Garet from San Angelo at 2 p.m. followed by the Decades Band at 4 p.m. The Decades Band, a premier variety show act from Dallas, plays hits from the 60’s,70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s to today.

The Party Machine takes over from 6-7 p.m. along with Pinspiration from 6-9 p.m.

Wrapping up the day's entertainment is Elton Dan, an Elton John tribute, as well as Gypsies, Doves and Dreams, a tribute to Stevie Nicks.

Elton Dan, the lead singer of Elton Dan & the Rocket Band, has been playing the piano since he was 10. The first concert he attended was the Orange County Symphony, but the concert that made an impression on him was seeing Elton John live at Caesar’s Palace.

Elton Dan and the Rocket Band play songs for seven of Elton John's albums, including crowd favorites “Bennie and the Jets”, “Bitch is Back”, and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".

Gypsies, Doves and Dreams is fronted by Kansas City native and tribute show pioneer Kim Osborne, who portrays the mystery, emotion, and power of Nicks' songs.

The festival wraps up on Sunday with the carnival available from noon to 6 p.m.

For more information on the festival, visit visitstephenville.com/moo-la-fest/

Moo-La Fest schedule of events

Thursday, June 3

• 6-10 p.m.: Carnival Americana

• 8-8:30 p.m.: Scott Kirby and Davin James

• 8-9 p.m.: Hot air balloon glow

• 8:30-10 p.m.: Asleep at the Wheel

Friday, June 4

• 4-5 p.m.: Michael Hix

• 4-11 p.m.: Carnival Americana, vendors, Grub Zone, beverage sales

• 6-9 p.m.: Pinspiration

• 8-9 p.m.: Hot air balloon glow

• 8:30-10:30 p.m.: Phil Collins Experience

Saturday, June 5

• 6-7 a.m.: Hot air balloon fly-in

• 8-11 a.m.: Udderly Epic Fun Run

• 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Dairy area featuring the Longhorn herd from the Texas State Historical Association and Southwest Dairy Farmers mobile classroom.

• 10 a.m.-11 p.m.: Carnival, vendors, Grub Zone, Texas State Historical Association

• 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, Texas Forts Trail Wine Festival

• 1-11 p.m.: Beverage sales

• 2-3 p.m.: Holli Garret

• 4-5 p.m.: The Decades Show

• 6-7 p.m.: Party Machine

• 6-9 p.m.: Pinspiration

• 8-9 p.m.: Hot air balloon glow

• 8:30-10:30 p.m.: Elton Dan and Gypsies, Doves and Dreams

Sunday, June 6

• Noon-6 p.m.: Carnival Americana