Written by Matt Joyce
Parishioners spill out of the heavy wooden doors of San Elizario presidio chapel and into the village plaza. The December night is cold and blustery, but twinkling lights, glowing luminarias, and tinseled Christmas trees warm the atmosphere. So do spicy bowls of menudo and steaming cups of champurrado, a hot cocoa-and-cinnamon drink thickened with corn masa.
You could argue that San Antonio had a head start in Texas Highways’ countdown of the Texas Top 40 travel destinations. As a historic frontier hub and the state’s oldest big city, San Antonio has captured our collective imagination for centuries. San Antonio’s heritage of fortitude, culture, and diversity embodies Texas spirit at its best—from the Alamo defenders to the Chili Queens to the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
Greenville will host the inaugural Bob Wills Fiddle Festival and Contest this weekend, celebrating fiddle music and the legacy of the “King of Western Swing.”
The smell of corn chips permeated the Garcia household in the formative days of the family corn-chip business. “I would go to school and the kids would tell me, ‘Man, you smell good,” recalls Miguel Garcia, who woke up early to fry corn chips in the family kitchen to help make enough for his father, Julio, to sell at a convenience store and for his mother, Lilia, to deliver for catering jobs.
Concordia Cemetery in central El Paso doesn’t look like much at first sight. The disparate collection of headstones, crosses, and mausoleums stakes out a 52-acre expanse of dusty desert in the shadows of residential neighborhoods, a carpet wholesale warehouse, and Interstate 10.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
A new grassroots festival is launching in Austin to showcase a relatively little-known style of Mexican folk music called huapango.
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.