By Megan Wadding
Rainbow Ranch is a secluded LGBT country oasis, located in the small town of Groesbeck, Texas, about two-and-a-half hours north of Houston.
The Ranch, which is situated right alongside Lake Limestone, sits on 150 acres and includes 150 camping sites, RV spots, RV rentals, and tent sites, along with a total of eight cabins and a four-bedroom house that sleeps up to 15.
The campground holds numerous weekend-long events for both men and women year-round, including the men’s “Spring Bear Round-Up,” a Halloween trail-ride weekend, roller-skating parties, drag bingo, casino nights, “Fall Fur Fest,” a chili cook-off and ho down, and more.
Spring Womyn’s Fest, one of the Ranch’s largest events of the year, is taking place the weekend of April 21–23.
Susan Widmer, a long-time camper at the Ranch, took the lead this year in coordinating the Spring Womyn’s Fest weekend festivities.
The bi-annual event, which takes place in both April and again in September, is put together as a joint effort from a group of the women who stay at and visit the Ranch.
“Someone usually steps up and helps coordinate. I would say we take turns,” explains Widmer. “This will be my second time to help.”
Widmer and her wife, who live in Bayou Vista, have been going to Rainbow Ranch since September of 2013.
“We were invited by friends and never left,” says Widmer. “We fell in love with all the people of [Rainbow Ranch], and we have made lifelong friends.”
The weekend kicks off on Friday night in and around the Ranch’s large pavilion and pool, which are both positioned right beside the lake.
According to Widmer, there will be a casual Meet & Greet event being held for the campers as they roll in for the weekend, with a DJ and dancing in the pavilion, which is the center for all of Ranch activities. The large structure, which is surrounded by a deck, features a pool table, flat-screen televisions, a DJ booth, a dance floor complete with a disco ball, and roll-up doors on three sides, which gives a view to the swimming pool and Lake Limestone.
On Saturday morning, the day starts off with a Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar on the Ranch’s brand-new wraparound deck that offers views of the lake and pier.
Saturday afternoon will be filled with a multitude of outdoor games and activities around the pool, alongside the lake, and in the large open field on the property. The pool will be open all day.
“Plans are still in the works, [but] we will have a rings tournament, giant Jenga, and other fun games by the pavilion as well,” says Widmer. There will also be a massive kickball game being coordinated by campers.
Brad Camp, the owner of Rainbow Ranch since 2004, is excited to show off the latest renovations at the Ranch.
The sand volleyball court, situated alongside picturesque Lake Limestone, has been recently redone and is ready for some action.
“The court has just been cleaned and tilled,” he says. “The new deck on the pavilion is the beginning of a new outdoor kitchen and seating area.”
According to Widmer, festivities will continue into the evening with the “Deck Crawl,” a Rainbow Ranch tradition that involves a night of campsite hopping, with each participating campsite having its own fun theme and festivities. Attendees will be able to do the Crawl at their leisure, visiting with friends along the way.
Each campsite along the Crawl will feature food or snacks, drinks or shots, music, and decor that compliments its theme, according to Widmer.
“For example, [one site] is going to do a country/cowboy theme with BBQ appetizer and either a beer drink or a whiskey shot,” says Widmer.
Other themes for participating campsites so far include a Cajun theme, a “RUMmage” theme, and one theme that will be a surprise, according to Widmer.
In previous years, the Crawl has included about six stops, where attendees would do a shot and then move on to the next campsite. This year, the campers have decided to band together and do four major stops along the Crawl, combining their efforts in order to really amp up each participating campsite in accordance with their chosen theme. This will make for a more cohesive and fun event.
After the Crawl, attendees are encouraged to head back over to the pavilion to enjoy the DJ for another night of dancing and fun. Attendees are welcome to bring their own drinks.
“[The best part about] Womyn’s Fest is meeting new friends,” says Widmer, “and enjoying the festivities!”
Camp says that Spring Womyn’s Fest weekend always tends to sell out, so anyone interested in attending should book as soon as possible.
What: Spring Womyn’s Fest weekend at Rainbow Ranch Campground
When: April 21–23
Where: Rainbow Ranch Campground, LCR 800, Groesbeck, Texas