With Texas' statewide mask mandate having ended this week and hopes of more venues opening to full capacity, many of us probably assumed Bloomin' Temple would make a triumphant return this year.

Sadly, those hopes were dashed late Friday morning.

At 11:332 AM, I received an email from the City of Temple confirming that this year's festival has been cancelled.

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City of Temple Public Relations Coordinator Cody Weems had the tough job of breaking the bad news, writing that Temple Parks and Rec will not host the event this year, but are preparing for Bloomin' Temple to return in 2022.

“Our goal is to provide unique, fun and entertaining events for all of Temple to enjoy,” said Senior Special Events Coordinator Holly Leiferman. “Summer 2021 will be a lot of fun as everyone starts getting back in the groove, and the events team has already begun discussions for the 2022 festival.”

Bloomin' Temple had been scheduled to take place in April at the MLK fairgrounds, which I've loved in recent years, by the way. It's such a better space than was used for the event in the past. According to Weems, the event has drawn over 12,000 attendees each year. We've had some great live music out there in recent years, and it seemed like the festival could only keep getting bigger and better.

While this is certainly not the news anyone wanted today, at least planners are keeping public health and safety top of mind. Still, it's not quite Spring in Central Texas until Bloomin' Temple happens.

“A number of factors went into this decision, including COVID-19 protocols, entertainment availability and ongoing infrastructure projects in the downtown area,” Parks & Recreation Director Kevin Beavers said. “We will continue developing safe, alternative programming for our residents as we look forward to being with everyone again in the future.”

Meanwhile, Temple Parks & Rec has plans in the works for smaller events, and we'll let you know about those as soon as we get word.

Again, Spring just isn't the same without Bloomin' Temple, but at least we can look forward to Spring Break and bluebonnet season.

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