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Written by Jane Kellogg Murray

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If you’re wondering why Friona—a place with only three fast-food burger joints—is dubbed the Cheeseburger Capital of Texas, we wouldn’t blame you. The answer lies in its location. Friona intersects three Texas industries, which also happen to be the three ingredients to a perfect cheeseburger: dairy, cattle, and wheat. On July 21, the town hosts its annual Friona Cheeseburger Festival to celebrate its uniquely delicious agricultural geography. The day of indulgence begins at 11:30 a.m. at Friona City Park, and $7 gets you a meal ticket to try up to four burgers. Expert burger chefs and amateurs alike can compete for cash prizes in the cheeseburger cookoff as long as they can crank out 200 one-third-pound burgers. Bring your appetite.

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We are constantly reminded that Marfa is no longer Texas’ best-kept secret, but rather a destination for art, music, and film lovers from across the globe. Exhibit A: the Marfa Film Festival. For five days, on July 11-15, filmmakers, film buffs, international press, and industry professionals flood the tiny desert town to view a curated mix of more than 50 feature films, shorts, music videos, and experimental works. Unlike other popular film festivals, this one screens one film at a time, so attendees can enjoy each showing “in that unhurried sun-drenched desert town at the end of the world kind of way”—true Marfa style. In previous years, the festival has featured the likes of Dennis Hopper, Larry McMurtry, and Heath Ledger. This year, for its 10th anniversary, the festival is celebrating women. On Friday night, there will be an alfresco picnic honoring the July birthday of Frida Kahlo, with interactive art installations dedicated to the prolific Mexican painter. In keeping with past years, classic movies will be screened outside in the starlit desert each evening. If you’re pining for more than just movies, the weekend has a reputation for memorable musical and theater performances, like a 2008 concert by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and last year’s private showing of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Keep your ears open for special events and happenings hosted by various Marfa hotspots throughout the weekend. So, whether you’re a cinephile or just a fan of the unique Marfa mindset, pack your bag for what is sure to be a weekend to remember. And book your stay early—as we all know, accommodations are sparse. Passes are $300 a pop.

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How do locals beat the blistering heat of Texas’ late summer months? On the water, of course. And every Saturday from July 7 to Aug. 11, you can escape the swelter on a tube in Fort Worth at the annual Rockin’ the River music series. Each night, five different bands serenade tubers on the Trinity River, with the final band finishing out the evening ashore. Tubes and watersport gear are available for rent—and there are plenty of food and beverage options for purchase. This summer’s lineup includes the likes of Cody Canada and The Departed, The Dirty River Boys, Jackie Venson, The Peterson Brothers, and local favorites Grady Spencer & The Work. Just as in years past, each fest ends with a fireworks show on the banks of the river. And don’t worry about summer showers—the party goes on rain or shine. Gates open at 1 p.m., with the first band kicking off around 2:15 p.m.; the event closes out a little after 9 p.m.

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Is there anything more all-American than a summer blueberry festival? Residents of Nacogdoches certainly think so, and you’d be quick to agree if you find yourself in their blueberry-lovin’ town on June 9. The Texas Blueberry Festival is a daylong, state-sanctioned celebration of the harvest—the only one in Texas. For 29 years, the indigo-toned superfood has attracted nearly 20,000 people annually to downtown Nacogdoches, where thousands of pounds of blueberries are sold in an eight-hour span. The pre-festival revelry kicks off Friday night, June 8, with a bluegrass concert in the park, and the party continues to the main event all day Saturday. Notable happenings include the Running (or walking) of the Blueberries 5K, a blueberry pancake breakfast, a pet parade, various cooking and eating contests (Blue Pies Smiling at Me pie-eating contest, anyone?), a bounce park, and arts and crafts. Throughout the day, local merchants and shops will open their doors to attendees with sales and specials inspired by the day. For those who’d rather forage for their spoils, festivalgoers can take free shuttles from downtown every 10 minutes to handpick blueberries from nearby farms. The entire day is family-friendly, and most of the events are free of charge—sweet in more ways than one.

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From May to July, driving through the Texas Hill Country smells a bit more magical thanks to fields of purple lavender that blanket farmland throughout the area. If you’re a lover of the fragrant herb, head to Blanco for the 14th annual Blanco Lavender Festival on June 8-10. The Blanco County Courthouse transforms into a lavender market, with goods sold by local makers and artists. Learn all about the plant inside the courthouse, where programming will run throughout the weekend. If you want to catch the action by car, area farms welcome visitors to experience the enchanting purple blooms up close—some provide live music and entertainment during the big weekend.

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To some urban Texans, associations of the Lone Star State as a place of outlaws and duels may seem like things of folklore. But for the residents of San Elizario, this history is palpable—and celebrated year after year at the Billy the Kid Festival. In 1876, the American gunslinger and outlaw paid a now-infamous visit to the El Paso County jail in San Elizario to break his friend Melquiades Segura out of the slammer. As the legend goes, Kid posed as a Texas Ranger to gain entry, turned his .44 on the jailer, and then he and Segura headed to Mexico. At the ninth annual event June 1-3, the small border town will celebrate the occasion with stick-ups and storytelling, plus folklorico dancing, a shotgun wedding, and an after-hours ghost tour. The weekend’s highlight will surely be the re-enactment of the jailbreak on the Main Street Stage at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Come dressed as your best Billy the Kid, and you’ll fit right in.

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After the longest day of the year rolls around on Thursday, there's still time to enjoy the long days of summer with watermelon seed-spitting contests in Luling, a wacky festival and race through Austin, and the oldest outdoor musical in Texas.

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The upcoming weekend features the Galveston Cajun Festival, fishing tournaments, a western swing festival, Stonewall's Peach Jamboree and Rodeo, and more.

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June is cooking up some delicious events this weekend, including the Chisholm Trail Roundup in Lockhart featuring the Barbecue Capital of Texas Championship Cookoff, the Czech Kolache Klobase Festival, and the Texas Blueberry Festival in Nacogdoches.


From the Neches River Rendezvous to the Round Top Music Festival, there’s plenty of summer fun to be had the first weekend of June.

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We're heading into a holiday weekend—the unofficial kickoff to summer. Here are 10 ways to get the most of your Memorial Day weekend, including a PGA tournament stop in Fort Worth, barbecue maestro Aaron Franklin's second annual Hot Luck Fest, and traditional charreada in Lewisville.

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Make the weekend count with our picks of the best festivals, concerts, and tournaments happening across the Lone Star State—from San Antonio's annual Culinaria Wine + Food Festival to the 34th annual Main Street Fest in Grapevine.

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