When it comes to enjoying the finer things in life, Salado is the place to be. Throughout the year, we celebrate our thriving arts community and love of delicious food and wine with festivals you won’t find anywhere else. Nestled on the banks of the pristine Salado Creek less than an hour north of Austin, getting here is a breeze. But with our friendly Texas hospitality, historic hotels and stellar shopping and dining, you’ll want to stick around for a while to rest, relax and recharge. To help you plan your visit, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite events that we know you’ll love.
Experience Fourth Fridays in Salado
February – November
With our one-of-a-kind art galleries and shops, Salado is undoubtedly a place for art lovers and window shoppers. Although you can stop by these spots nearly every day of the year, you’ve got to make sure you’re in town for the Royal Street Art Walk and Sip ‘n Shop. The art walk is an engaging visual arts experience that showcases the talents of our local artists, which you can see at such galleries as Salado Glassworks and the Ro Shaw Clay Studio. Take it all in, then find your way over to the art galleries and boutiques on Main Street, where you’ll browse for new treasures indulging in delicious wines at our wineries.
Both events, held on the fourth Friday of the month from February through November, offer a great way to delight in the very best of Salado.
Texas Rogue Wine and Art Fest
March 30 – 31
Savor a glass of your favorite style of wine and nibble on something delicious as you admire the works of artists from around Texas at the annual Texas Rogue Wine and Art Fest. Held at Salado Winery Co., this event serves up a treat for all your senses. Sample a long list of reds and whites from 20 of Texas’ best wineries and check out the vast array of ceramics, jewelry and home décor. Find a few things to take home with you and settle in for a full afternoon of live music under the warm spring sun. Bonus: you can even bring your well-behaved puppy, so long as they are on a leash.
Salado Springs Craft Beer Festival
June 14 – 15
Stouts, porters, amber ales and IPAs. If the thought of any of these makes your mouth water, then you won’t want to miss the Salado Springs Craft Beer Festival at Barrow Brewing Co. Fill your glass with delicious brews made by the best breweries in Central Texas, some of which might become your new favorites. Soak up the sunshine as you dip your toes into the cool waters of Salado Creek and savor tasty food truck fare as you listen to live music by regional bands. Then hit up the rock-climbing wall and cool off on the water slides, or soar high above Salado on a helicopter ride. Not only is this a great way to get to know the area’s top breweries, but a portion of ticket sales are donated to a local charity. So drink up to support a good cause. That’s what we call a win-win situation.
Salado Art Fair
August 2 – 4
When it comes to the arts in Salado, there’s no bigger deal than the Salado Art Fair. An institution for more than 50 years, the art fair brings more than 40 artists from around the country to the Salado Civic Center for three days of art exhibits and a silent auction. Meet the artists and admire their one-of-a-kind pieces, including everything from ceramics to fine oil paintings. To get the most out of the fair, attend the soiree where you’ll enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres as you rub elbows with the artists. See something you like as you’re making your way through the exhibits? Most of the works on display are for sale, so keep a keen eye out and you’ll find something amazing.
Chocolate and Wine Weekend
September 20 – 22
If you ask us, few things are better together than chocolate and wine. This heavenly combination is the tasty foundation of Chocolate and Wine Weekend, a three-day festival full of immersive wine and chocolate-themed events at various locations throughout town. Stomp grapes, check out artist demonstrations and judge delicious chocolates entered into a tasting contest. Once the sun sets, find your seat at a four-course dinner complete with food and wine pairings. When you want really to treat yourself, come to Salado for Chocolate and Wine Weekend.
Barton House Food & Wine Experience
Embark on a globe-trotting tasting adventure that’ll tease your taste buds and pamper your palate. The Barton House Food & Wine Experience brings exceptional wines and unique flavors from around the world to the table. Indulge in food and wine pairings, taste chef-prepared meals and attend seminars. There are even craft beer tastings, if that’s what you prefer. Admission for the general daytime tastings is separate from the seminars and wine dinners, so review the schedule before attending. Oh, and don’t leave without buying a few bottles of your favorite wine. You may not find this selection anywhere else.
Christmas in October
October 11 – 13
It’s never too early to celebrate Christmas, especially when there are cookies around. A Salado tradition, Christmas in October is our own soft launch of the holiday season. Shops from all around town set up festive booths and mini displays at The Venue, where you’ll find unique Christmas decorations, fall fashions, food and gifts. Even if you think it’s too early to start thinking about the holiday season, the aromas of fresh-baked cakes, cookies, brownies and other confections will tempt you through the door. Although you have plenty of choices in the impressive bake sale, we suggest you try our Mayor’s fudge (he’s famous for it around here).
Scottish Gathering and Highland Games
November 8 – 10
Billowing bagpipes, pounding drums, Highland dancers and men in kilts competing in traditional games of strength and skill. While this may sound like something you’re more likely to see in a Hollywood movie, it’s all part of the fun at the Scottish Gathering and Highland Games. Listen to live music and peruse the Celtic Marketplace. Watch the Scottish Gathering Parade march by, dance demonstrations and the pipe and drum contests. Packed with other attractions and events, including children’s athletic games and a dog show, this three-day festival has enough to see and do worthy of Texas’ oldest Scottish gathering.
Salado Christmas Stroll
First Two Weekends of December
Unwrap your holiday season with one of our favorite local traditions, the Salado Christmas Stroll. It all kicks off with an oh-so-festive parade starring more than 40 floats, vintage cars and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, with the Salado High School marching band providing the tunes. Follow the parade up with tours of historic homes, then get in some late evening shopping accompanied by holiday carolers along Main Street on Friday and Saturday. In with all this holiday revelry is a live nativity scene and a performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Tablerock Amphitheater. Given all the holiday fun, you won’t find any Scrooges in Salado.