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Written by Matt Joyce

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Happy Birthday to Woody Guthrie! The folk troubadour was born on this day in 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma. At the age of 17, he moved to Pampa in the Texas Panhandle, where he experienced the hardship of the Dust Bowl—an event that made a lasting impact on his worldview and songwriting.

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Nevena Christi points to a label painted on a brick wall inside the El Paso workshop of Rocketbuster Handmade Custom Boots. “Wildcat,” it says. Elsewhere in the 1900 warehouse, similar labels mark sections for ocelots, badgers, and rats. “The building was a trappers’ warehouse,” Nevena explains. “The names of animals are written all over the walls, so the building has always had a history in leather, let’s put it that way.”

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The Texas music scene is heading out west later this month—or at least a big chunk of it. About 55 Texas acts are making the trek to Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, Marathon, and Lajitas for the Viva Big Bend Music Festival, taking place July 22-27. 

English rock star Phil Collins, a dedicated Alamo history buff, is donating his treasure trove of Alamo Battle and Texas Revoluation artifacts to the State of Texas, the Texas General Land Office has announced. 

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is adding 120 acres to the future Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, including lakefront acreage that will give park visitors access to Tucker Lake. 

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A new grassroots festival is launching in Austin to showcase a relatively little-known style of Mexican folk music called huapango

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The general public will have its first chance to check out the new Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco on Saturday, which is National Train Day. 

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Austin’s largest hotel is quickly taking shape in downtown. Developers of the JW Marriott Austin say they’re moving up the previously announced opening date by a couple of weeks to February 20. 

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We have good news for peach enthusiasts in the Hill Country, East Texas, and beyond: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension reports that most Texas peach orchards survived the April 15 freeze without damage.

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Supporters of the National Park Service and its parks and historic sites in Texas are gearing up for 2016, the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service. 

The Galveston-Bolivar ferry remains closed Monday morning as a result of an oil spill in Galveston Bay. The Texas Department of Transportation, which runs the ferry, says the U.S. Coast Guard requested that ferry service be suspended in the aftermath of the Saturday afternoon spill.

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If you’re getting ready to hit the road for a spring trip, be sure to check out the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Wildflower Sightings” website. The page identifies the locations of particularly scenic wildflower spots around the state.

 

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