Moo-La Fest enjoyed by all ages; continues Saturday

Maci Guay
For the Empire-Tribune
Children of all ages --- and even some adults --- enjoyed the rides of Carnival Americana during Thursday evening's opening of the 2021 Moo-La Fest in Stephenville City Park.
Musicians Scott Kirby, Gabriel Donohue and Davin James opened for country music act Asleep at the Wheel at Birdsong Amphitheater on Thursday evening.
Carnival food was a hit with many of the Moo-La Fest attendees on Thursday evening's kickoff of the annual event.

The 2021 Moo-La Fest kicked off Thursday evening at the Stephenville City Park with hot air balloons, live music, carnival rides, food, merchants, and more right here in Stephenville.

Moo-La Fest is a celebration of America’s rich dairy heritage and provides features for everyone to enjoy.

Festival planners said they were "thrilled" to bring the Moo-La Fest back to Stephenville after not being able to produce it last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People attending the festival Thursday evening were excited to share their thoughts and feelings about Moo-La Fest.

“My favorite part of the entire festival is definitely the music," said Noah Solm.

Moo-La Fest is hosting concerts with bands such as Asleep at the Wheel, Phil Collins Experience and Elton Dan, playing on the Stephenville City Park Amphitheater.

Becky Hodges said that she was "overjoyed" to hear Asleep at Wheel, which provided the first concert of the festival on Thursday evening.

Another highlight of the festival for many people was the carnival food featuring hot dogs, corn dogs, funnel cakes and more.

“The food is very delicious," said Dylan Jones.

Piper, age 4, said that her favorite part was the “trucks,” a kiddie ride in the action-packed carnival.

There’s definitely something for everyone at this eventful festival, which continues on Saturday and wraps up Sunday.

Saturday's events will start with a hot air balloon fly-in at 6 a.m., followed by the Udderly Epic Fun Run at the City Park.

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.

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

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.

There is also a hot air balloon glow planned for 8-9 p.m. Saturday.

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

For more information on the festival, visit

Moo-La Fest schedule of events

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