Dublin Dr. Pepper Festival

Last weekend we drove 2 hours outside of Dallas to check out the Dr. Pepper Festival in Dublin, TX. I’m not sure how I learned about the event, but I bookmarked it months ago and wanted to make the long trip out there to see what it was all about. I had no idea what it would be like, as the website really wasn’t very clear, but I gave them a call to find out when things were going on and when we would need to be there by to check out all of the action, and we loaded up T1 and headed out with some friends on a little Texas roadtrip adventure.

Hard to believe, but Dublin is actually smaller than my hometown! Although there are more buildings and shops there, so I think they just have smaller city boundaries than we do (our city boundaries are like 20 miles wide every way!)

The friends who agreed to go with us. J, the husband, works with TH and they are quite possibly the chicest and most fashionable couple we know.

A little family photo.

One of my favorite things about J and L is that they are GREAT posers. They love to pose next to the things they see when they travel, something TH definitely does not get excited about.

The website said they were going to be handing out free Dr. Pepper but apparently we missed that part. We could have tried to slip one of these in our purse but they looked kind of old and unappetizing.

T1 did great!

They had all kinds of Dr. Pepper flavored products to try, including Dr. Pepper jerky. I liked it, and I’m pretty picky about jerky. I didn’t really think it tasted like Dr. Pepper though.

We got there after the sand sculpter finished creating his masterpiece. Who do you think has the honor of knocking it down at the end of the day?

As I said before, I called to find out what time we would be okay to arrive by, because the website was unclear and I wanted to make sure that we wouldn’t be too late. I was told that things don’t shut down until 5, so we figured getting there around 3:30 would work great. We bought some frostys, ate our jerky, and slowly made our way over to the line for the plant tour, the part we were most excited for. A lady in an official looking tshirt turned around and told us that she was the end of the line and no one else was allowed to go on a tour!

Suddenly I became my mother’s daughter and I marched right into the store and told them very firmly that I had done my homework to make sure we had arrived there on time, we had driven 2 hours, and that we came anticipating a tour of the plant. A very nice employee (I believe his name was Kenny) pulled me aside and told me that we could have a special little tour of our own if we came back in 15 minutes after the crowd had gone. We were so grateful and the tour was actually really cool! Very short, but that’s exactly how we liked it to be. The machines they are using to bottle the glass bottles are incredibly old.

This is the lineup of drinks that this plant produces. After visiting this plant I really want to go visit The Soda Gallery in Dallas.

I’m awful with details so I can’t remember much about the tour and the history of the plant, but they take you into this little museum room filled with memorabilia that the original owner collected over time. My favorite part was getting a glimpse of some of the “fail” products that they attempted, as well as the products that have attempted to imitate the taste of Dr. Pepper over time.

We finished our day off with a Big Red and got back in the car for our 2 hour drive home. Wouldn’t have been the same without that extra special private tour that the employees at the factory gave us! A nice little reminder that small town folk are the best. :)

I would love to go to more events like this, but I’m never sure how to find them. Any tips for me for future adventures?

36 thoughts on “Dublin Dr. Pepper Festival

  1. Looks like fun and a gorgeous day. I was wondering what the heck was going on when I saw that Dr. Pepper jerky on your food blog… makes a little more sense now :)

  2. Yay for the Imperial Sugar bags! I live in Sugar Land so that is a huge deal to us! Love the picture.

  3. I miss Big Red so much.

    Kelli Nicole Reply:

    What is this Big Red stuff? I saw it when I was out the other day, but have never heard of it before this post.

    Midgetkeeper Reply:

    It is pretty much the most amazing soda ever! It tastes almost like bubble gum. I’ve only found it in TX and miss it so much :(

    Kelli Nicole Reply:

    I guess that would explain why I don’t know what it is!

    schmei Reply:

    We had Big Red in southern Ohio, where I grew up.

    Big Red + Vanilla ice cream = crazy delicious.

  4. Looks like a fun afternoon! One of the best resources for having adventures in your own city is TimeOut. At least in London, in addition to special articles and features, they have great weekly listings for things happening every week. I love it because it classifies the activities in several ways (by day, by interest, by neighbourhood, family friendly, free, etc). We subscribe to the weekly magazine, because I find that having the hard copy around encourages us to actually read it and pick things to do. It’s a great resource, especially when you are new to a city (as you will be to Chicago!).

  5. I drive through Dublin every time I go home to visit my mom, and when I was younger, it was to visit my dad going the opposite direction, so I’ve probably been through there many hundreds of times but I’ve never gone on a tour, although I keep saying I will.

    As to knowing about upcoming events, do you read the Dallas Observer? If you go online they have an entire section on their website where you can filter for events going on- filter by free, family, weekend, type of event, whatever.

    Also, I love Jazz Under the Stars. It’s every Thursday night, and it’s free. It’s on the lawn next to the Dallas Museum of Art, people bring their kids,dogs, food, and picnic blankets and just chill out. Very family friendly. And speaking of the DMA, have you ever gone to their Late Nights? They’re the second Friday of the month I believe, and they run from 6 to midnight. T1 would be free, and you and TH would be $10 each. In return, there are usually at least 3 different events going on at the start of every hour, and they give you a detailed program. There are lots of things for kids/families to do at the beginning of the night, there are always at least three different musical acts and two dance performances, and then just tons of other random stuff from arts and crafts to yoga to DJ’s spinning music in the art galleries and karaoke going on outside with free popcorn. I *love* Late Nights.

  6. Psst… we live 25 miles from Dublin! I actually was the editor of the weekly newspaper there fore a few years. Wish I had known you were going to be so close. We could have let the babies play!!

  7. I love the family picture! I think it’s great that you’re that much shorter than TH. Makes me happy about the difference in height between me and my hubby. What a fun little trip! I’m like you, wanting to go out and do things, but never sure how to find out about them. I’ve decided I’m going to act like I’m on vacation (Ha!) here and find out about things like I was coming to visit.

  8. You can always check out the websites for any city that has one, they usually list events like this, or maybe the website for the local chamber of commerce!

  9. I love Dublin Dr. Pepper! Real sugar…mmmm.

    You should take a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery if you are ever in Brenham, Texas. It is further south, in between Austin and Houston.

    Fredericksburg and Wimberly Texas are both cute Hill Country towns. Fredericksburg is always having little festivals, like Oktoberfest, and it is a really cute small town in general.

    I am assuming you’ve already been to Fort Worth’s Old Town too, right?

  10. I like Diet Dr. Pepper occasionally. For those who drink alcoholic beverages, it’s GREAT with a little whiskey :D

    Jenna, I wanted to share… ever since your post about mean people, I’ve been scanning through all the comments to find them and defend you. Haha, is that weird? I’ll be part of a super-secret-ninja-anti-mean-people defense team!

    (Well, at least when I can… “I don’t know nuthin ’bout birthin’ no babies.”)

    Jenna Reply:

    I’ll admit that yesterday I was feeling a little blue. I’m not sure why, but the critical comments were really getting to me. Then I woke up to all of these wonderful comments from you and Hailey (and I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting to name) and things felt so much better! You really did make a difference in my day today. (Which is helpful because I get a lot more done when I’m not pooh-poohing around the house like Eeyore.)

    I added you to my blog roll on my food blog if that’s okay. I’m flying in to Spokane next Friday, I’ll send a little wave in your direction when I land. :)

    Sarah for Real Reply:

    No feeling mopey Jenna, that would mean the negative people win! (Well, it’s ok to feel mopey because of fatigue and hormones and all that… but NOT because of those mean people.) I’ll do what I can to discredit those mean commenters with intelligence and kindness :D

    You just keep doing your thing because the rest of us really enjoy it.

    Thanks for adding me to your blog roll! I’ll wave back on Friday! Are you flying with T1 and TH?

  11. OMG!! You need to get a Dublin Dr Pepper!!!!!!!!! They are the best! I hope you got to try one.. they are different than the ones they sell at the stores they have pure cane sugar in them.. NOM NOM NOM! I hope you got to try one! You must before you leave TX! (If you did then disregard my freak out :) )

  12. love this. used to live in stephenville and got spoiled by having constant access to the dublin dr. pepper. i’m convinced they put crack in the stuff… love. it. so glad you had some fun – you are adorable and i love your posts.

  13. I love Diet Dr. Pepper something fierce–this trip looks like so much fun. I’m thinking Chicago probably has some amazing things like this as well :)

  14. This looks like so much fun! I must tell my mum since Dr. Pepper is her absolute favorite. Perhaps we could go one year…though we live nowhere near Texas. Y’all look like you are having a fabulous time and you’re all so perty and handsome!

  15. How fun! I love that you did this! Carl and I always try to find new events to go to around NC and we have found some fun ones! Thank you for sharing and I love your little family! :)

  16. I’ in Houston but within a 15 min drive (if that) to Sugar Land and theres the old sugar factory int he heart of it, but its closed down now. I’m going to have to look into going to this festival – I ‘ve heard good things about Blue Bell but never gone myself

  17. First – the photo of you holding a Big Red is a really really nice shot of you. You look great and SO HAPPY.

    In response to your question, I use CitySearch and TimeOut (which both have Chicago versions, but don’t know about Dallas) to find fun adventures. Also, I subscribe to the distribution lists of a couple of museums in NYC which email out their monthly calendars. Sometimes, they have free or open to the public events that we like to check out.

  18. I grew up in Dublin, and my daddy was the art director at Dublin Dr Pepper for many, many years! I can’t tell you how many of those things I’ve been to and worked at! Thanks for posting! It was nice to see my hometown through someone else’s eyes. :)

  19. I live in Stephenville and drink Dublin Dr. Pepper like it’s my job. I recently found out that Dairy Queen has it and DQ happy hour is now the highlight of my day. Sadly, I didn’t get to go to the festival because I had to go to a wedding that day, (not that I don’t love weddings, but I didn’t even really know those people and the Dr. and I have a close personal relationship).

  20. I came across your site while looking up Dublin. My mom grew up there and I visited there plenty when I was a kid.
    We took my mom to her h.s. reunion a couple of years ago. It was the first time I had been back in about 15 years. We missed the Dr. Pepper festival by one day!! I was disappointed but I did get some Dublin Dr. Pepper at Hard Eight BBQ in Stephenville(which was a great find for BBQ for me and my virgin Texas BBQ wife).
    Thanks for the pictures. I’d love to get back there soon.

    P.S. For the people asking about Big Red. My wife has heard me talk about it and she actually came across some at Walmart here in Michigan! What a treat.

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