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Written by Lois Rodriguez

SXSW photo by Will van Overbeek

South by Southwest returns to Austin March 10–19, and it’s bound to be as surprising as ever. Secret John Legend concerts? A pop-up “Mr. Robot” carnival—Ferris wheel and all? A panel featuring both Michelle Obama and Missy Elliott? Who can keep track? The festival has seemingly seen it all in its 31-year history, but every year it returns with bigger and better surprises. Here are some tips on how to take it all in.

yearofrooster

Happy Lunar New Year! Festivals featuring lion and dragon dancers, firecrackers and great food mark the changeover from the Year of the Monkey to the Year of the Rooster. Here are a few celebrations happening across the state.

elpasoholocaustOne of the deepest scars in the history of humankind is the Holocaust. Friday, January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day that marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. It’s set aside, by the United Nations General Assembly, as a day to never forget the Nazi-era victims while sharing messages of tolerance, peace and hope for the future.

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On Feb. 5, the nation’s eyes will be locked on Houston and the gridiron victories and defeats of Super Bowl LI.

Boomtown6When the Lucas Gusher sprang forth oil at Spindletop on Jan. 10, 1901, the area exploded with opportunities. This Saturday, Jan. 7, that anniversary will be celebrated with a multitude of events at the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum at Lamar University. Here’s what else there is to do in Beaumont.

Market Day on Jackson Street Harlingen TX V5A1275 PMDBrick-paved roads, family-run businesses, cozy eateries, and revitalized buildings are among the charming images that come to mind when picturing quintessential Texas main streets. Here, boutiques, gift shops, and antiques stores draw visitors from across the state and sometimes the globe, whether for a pair of custom snakeskin boots such as those found on Exchange Avenue in Fort Worth, or a piece of hand-blown glass art from Main Street in Salado.

cowboysMain Street. For many Texans, these words evoke memories of Saturday shopping trips, favorite lunch counters, and afternoon movies with friends. In the old days, every town had a main street or main drag, those few blocks where a town’s social, cultural, and economic threads wove together—the community’s heart and soul.

StoneEmily Roberts Stone, who most recently served as senior managing editor for the Houston Metro office of Community Impact Newspaper, joins the Texas Highways staff as its new editor.

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The Christmas spirit isn’t found wrapped beautifully underneath a holiday tree. While those gifts definitely bring some happiness, the true joys come from time spent with loved ones and creating new memories.

Here are a few holiday experiences for you to enjoy.

nationalmuseum3Today on the 75th anniversary of the event, Fredericksburg's National Museum of the Pacific War remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor through “real-time” Twitter postings and a webinar, as well as, shared accounts at the museum.

48B JFK2The nation and the world were shaken just after noon on Nov. 22, 1963. President John F. Kennedy had been shot. Tuesday marks the 53rd anniversary of that fateful day.

Zilker Tree and Austin Trail of Lights Photo by Jared TennantEvery year since 1967, the Zilker Tree has acted as a beacon of holiday cheer on the south lawn of Zilker Park, its more than 3,000 lights twinkling in the winter darkness. This year marks its 50th anniversary, during which time it, along with the Trail of Lights, has become an entrenched part of Austin history and culture.

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