Budafest reinvented: New holiday festival to replace Budafest after 33 years

In the aftermath of the most recent Budafest cancellation, the City of Buda issued a press release on Aug. 18 announcing the transference of management of the Christmas festival from the Budafest committee to the city’s tourism department.

According to the press release from Buda public information officer David Marino, the new holiday festival “will replace the annual ‘Budafest’ celebration.”

“With the city’s continued growth and higher attendance at local events, the Budafest Committee determined that the city would be able to provide additional resources to ensure the festival’s continued success,” the press release stated.

Marino said the name of the new festival has not yet been decided on but that the title “Budafest” will be retired.

Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams said, “Budafest has been an integral part of Buda for years and an important part of the holiday season to our citizens.”

Budafest organizer Bert Bronaugh said he felt the event “will be in good hands” as he and fellow committee members Eileen Conley and Elaine Purvis hand the reins over to city staff.

“I feel encouraged about the future of the Budafest tradition,” Bronough said. “The spirit that was brought to this event over the past 33 years was embraced by the city, and it will be in good hands.”

Marino added that the nature of the new holiday festival would be similar to Budafest since it will include “a Christmas parade, entertainment, carnival and over 125 artisans selling handcrafted items.”

Santa Claus will also be on hand for pictures with the kiddos at the new holiday festival, which will be held during the first weekend in December, the same weekend during which Budafest was traditionally held.

Marino confirmed that the city currently plans to hold the event the same weekend due to vendor and attendee expectations, but said that “there are several factors that we consider when deciding when to hold an event.”

When asked about the possibility of a repeat performance of the cancellation confusion that occurred with Budafest last year, Marino said, “We’re looking at a number of different options that would hopefully keep us from canceling in the future.”

Some of those options include renting a large tent to shelter vendors. But, according to Marino, “these details are still being worked out.”

Marino did say that vendors who were supposed to take part in last year’s event would receive a $40 credit toward registration for the new holiday event this December.

Williams said the city’s tourism and parks departments are coordinating “to shape a new holiday tradition we can all be proud of and we look forward to carrying on the tradition started by the original Budafest group.”

“Budafest is a time honored tradition,” Lysa Gonzalez, director of tourism in Buda said. “It’s important to our community and the city that we honor the legacy that the Budafest committee has worked so hard to build over the years.”

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