Written by Erin Inks
Itâ€™s said that you canâ€™t get blood from a stone, but how about getting a horny toad out of one?
Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s said to have happened in Eastland, Texas, when the old courthouse was being torn down in 1928. A time capsule in the courthouseâ€™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 â€œOld Rip,â€ 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 wasnâ€™t the end of his adventures.)
About a year after the Second Battle of Adobe Walls and later fighting in the Red River War, Quanah Parker and his band of Comanches surrendered themselves at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1875. During the next 35 years, Parker continued to represent his people, and also became known as a rancher, statesman and Native American Church leader. (Photo from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
The kids are back in school, and weâ€™re already working on the winter Texas Events Calendar, but hopefully thereâ€™s still room in everyoneâ€™s schedule for summerâ€™s last hurrah â€“ Labor Day!
In addition to the usual holiday celebrations, many communities choose this weekend to put on some of their biggest and most unique events.
As musicians and fans roll in for the annual Navasota Blues Festival this Friday and Saturday, I wondered: How did this town get its title as the â€œBlues Capital of Texas?â€
A key figure in the area's music heritage is songster and blues musician Mance Lipscomb, who was born in Navasota in 1895 and spent much of his life as a tenant farmer before releasing his first album 1960. (The term â€œsongsterâ€ refers to traveling musicians who played in a wide variety of styles that influenced and blended with blues music as it's known today.) After being signed by a major label at age 65, Lipscomb became a regular at music festivals and blues clubs around the country before returning home to Navasota in his final years. Today, the city celebrates his musical legacy with a two-day festival featuring celebrated local and regional blues performers.
Howdy, folks! My name is Erin, and Iâ€™ve mostly worked behind the scenes here atÂ Texas HighwaysÂ as editor of the event listings on the website, as well as in the magazine and theÂ Texas Events Calendar. Iâ€™m excited to join the team on TexasHighways.com to highlight the wonderful events the Lone Star State has to offer on my newÂ blog, Texas To Do.
Letâ€™s get started with some picks for events happening around the state this weekend. If youâ€™ve never experienced the Texas Panhandle, this weekend would be a great time to make the drive to Dalhart for the XIT Rodeo and Reunion. Starting in 1937, cowboys who worked the once-sprawling XIT Ranch gathered here to reminisce with their families, and put on a rodeo and free barbecue for the public. Today, the event has grown into a massive affair that triples the size of the town, offering the Worldâ€™s Largest Free Barbecue, a fiddlersâ€™ contest, arts-and-crafts show, concerts and more. Check out the links below for details on the XIT Rodeo and Reunion, and other events this weekend.
Growing up in Texas and learning about how this state became a nation for a time, I always wondered why people didn't make a bigger deal out of Texas Independence Day. It seems like a great time to celebrate what's great about Texas, doesn't it?
This year is an excellent chance to do just that, since the March 2 anniversary of the adoption of a declaration of independence falls on Saturday. Celebrations in Granbury, Gruene and Washington-on-the-Brazos offer a fun way to mark this historic occasion and show your Texas pride.
Photo courtesy of Best Maid
What goes great with a green shirt and green beer on St. Patrick's Day? If you're in Mansfield, the answer is simple: pickles.
After the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863, it took two and a half years for the word that slaves were free to make it to Texas. The date that a Union general announced the news in Galveston on June 19, 1865 now known as Juneteenth is marked with celebrations across the state during the next two weekends.
We may be hard at work finishing up the summer edition of the Texas Highways Events Calendar, but our eyes are always on what's coming up next weekend. Now that spring is officially here, there are great annual events popping up all over the state, plus plenty of Easter activities happening this weekend.
It's shaping up to be a beautiful weekend, with the weather cooperating just in time for several wildflower festivals and peak blooms still to come in some areas.
Women take a closer look at a piece of pottery at the Rockwall Founders Day Festival, which features all-day live music, gourmet food trucks, children's activities and a street fair of vendors. This year's event is on May 18. (Photo courtesy of the City of Rockwall Parks and Recreation)