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RipFest Honors a Texas Legend

Written by , published October 4, 2012

It’s said that you can’t get blood from a stone, but how about getting a horny toad out of one?

That’s what’s said to have happened in Eastland, Texas, when the old courthouse was being torn down in 1928. A time capsule in the courthouse’s cornerstone since 1897 was opened, and to the surprise of thousands of people gathered for the event, a horned lizard sealed up in the box 31 years ago was still alive. Named “Old Rip,” after Rip Van Winkle, the horny toad was taken on a national tour before dying less than a year later. (According to the story, that wasn’t the end of his adventures.)

Today, Old Rip lies in state in a casket at the Eastland County Courthouse, and the city celebrates this legendary lizard at RipFest each October.  This year’s event on Saturday, Oct. 6, features a full day of activities, including a parade, car show, bull riding, live entertainment.

If you'd prefer to make some weekend plans that aren't reptile-related, don't fret -- there are lots of options. It's officially fall, which means Texas is buzzing with big events to choose from:

Gonzales: Come and Take It Festival, Oct. 5-7

Gruene: Music and Wine Festival, Oct. 4-7

Huntsville: Fair on the Square, Oct. 5-6

Rockport: Seafair, Oct. 5-7

Southlake: Southlake Oktoberfest, Oct. 4-6

Waco: Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo, Oct. 4-13

Victoria: Bootfest, Oct. 5-6


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