Skip to content

Written by Erin Inks

This tabletop model at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza shows the positions of the president's car as three shots were fired from the building, then known as the Texas School Book Depository.

With nearly the same lineup playing through two weekends this year (Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 11-13), the Austin City Limits Music Festival offers a rare chance to offer some first-hand recommendations for what to do at an event that's usually a one-time-only experience. While I didn't get to see all (or even most) of the 130-plus acts on the festival's eight stages last weekend, there are a lot of things I'd do or see again – and maybe a few things I'd do differently.

 

If you visit downtown Austin this fall, you might wonder "why is there a big, white tree hovering over the water?"

 

Freedom Over Texas, Houston's Fourth of July celebration, includes a huge firworks show over downtown. (Photo by Richard Carson)

From big-name concerts to small-town celebrations, there are plenty of places to celebrate America's birthday Texas-style this Fourth of July. Here are my top three picks for sure-fire fun this weekend:

A cook-off competitor fries up his best chicken-fried steaks in Lamesa.

The West Texas town of Lamesa, about 60 miles south of Lubbock,serves up its annual Chicken-Fried Steak Festival this weekend in celebration of the town’s claim as the birthplace of the Texas delicacy. According to local legend, short-order cook James Donald Perkins accidentally made the first dish of its kind in 1911 when he misinterpreted an order for chicken and fried steak at a small restaurant called Ethel's Home Cooking. Instead of making two separate items, he thought the customer wanted a steak battered and fried like a chicken—and what a delicious mistake it turned out to be.

 

(Fireworks explode over Waterway Square at the Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in The Woodlands./Photo courtesy of The Woodlands CVB)

Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial start of summer with a full roster of hot events this weekend.

Just north of Houston, The Woodlands boasts two nights of dazzling fireworks displays in Waterway Square on Saturday and Sunday at their Memorial Day Weekend Celebration. Families can enjoy live music and other activities from 6-9 p.m. before the sky lights up.

Granbury officials say their big Memorial Day Celebration will go on as planned after a devastating tornado ripped through the edge of town last week. The Historic Granbury Square was untouched, and the city is welcoming visitors Saturday through Monday for live music, contests, arts and crafts, ceremonies and more. This year’s theme is “Balconies, Bands and Boats.”

And in Kerrville, it’s a great time to take in the local art and music scene while the Kerrville Folk Festival and several art shows cross paths. The Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair and the Texas Masters of Fine Art and Craft Show both stay only for Memorial Day weekend, but the music festival goes through June 9. If you go, be sure to make time for the Southwest Gourd Fine Art Show and other exhibits at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center.

Other events coming up this holiday weekend include:

Anthony: KLAQ Balloon Fiesta

Dallas: Dallas International Festival

El Paso: Neon Desert Music Festival

Ennis: National Polka Festival

Farmers Branch: Liberty Fest

Fort Worth: Crowne Plaza Invitational

Fredericksburg: Crawfish Festival

Rockport: Rockport Festival of Wines

San Antonio: Memorial Day Arts and Crafts Show

 

Fat Tuesday isn't until Feb. 12, but why wait until then to let the good times roll? Mardi Gras events are popping up across Texas this weekend, complete with parades, costumes, and Cajun-style food and music. Festivities include:

It's shaping up to be another busy weekend in Texas for Santa with dozens of events to get people jingling all the way to Christmas. If you're looking for a place to get in the holiday spirit, check out the list below for tips on what's happening this Friday and Saturday, or browse all the December listings here.

Families enjoy the big sleigh at Lubbock's Winter Wonderland at Vintage Township. (Texas Highways photo/Kevin Stillman)

Tomorrow it will officially be December (though I could have sworn it came a few days earlier judging from how much Christmas music I've heard already), and cities across the state are ready to spread the holiday cheer with a huge weekend of Christmas festivals and parades. Check out the list below for a small selection of events—or you can find more using the event search tool.

Move over, Cowboys Stadium—Texas has a new premier sports facility.

Tearing up the floor at Wurstfest. If you can't polka or two-step, just wait for the next Chicken Dance.

It's become a yearly tradition for us to head down to Wurstfest in New Braunfels to share the joys of beer, sausage and polka with a few friends. Both the Longhorns and the Aggies had won football games when we went this Saturday, so the grounds were extra-packed with jovial fans--and a few in burnt orange even offering congratulations to those in maroon after their team beat No. 1 Alabama. Usually we'd park somewhere in town and trek on foot to the festival, but this time we caught the Wurst Wagen from the park-and-ride at the New Braunfels VFW, which was worth the money: $20 each for parking, admission, a ride to the front gate and some drink tickets, which saved us from standing in a couple of long lines at the event.

It's pretty rare that I'm drawn to an event on the strength of a poster alone, but then I saw this:

Lightning! A famous scientific rivalry! …Fictitious metal?

Back to top