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Art City Austin

Written by | Published April 12, 2013

In Austin, artists and musicians are finalizing prepwork for this weekend’s Arts City Austin Festival (April 13-14), which transforms the streets surrounding City Hall and the 2nd Street entertainment district into an outdoor art fair. Among the reasons to go: Hundreds of artists will display their works throughout the festival grounds, more than 150 pieces of art enliven the galleries inside City Hall, local food trailers offer sustenance and libations, musicians perform non-stop, and perhaps best of all-the weather promises to be spectacular!  Tickets cost $8; free admission for kids age 12 and younger. It’s also free if you ride your bike!

 

Interactive kids' activities at Art City Austin

First produced in 1951 as the Texas Fine Arts Association’s Spring Juried Art Fair, the event—renamed Art City Austin— moved downtown in 2008. It’s organized by Art Alliance Austin, which works to advance the city “by integrating art, culture, and creativity into public life.” See www.artallianceaustin.org,

Celebrating Texas wildflower season

Written by | Published April 11, 2013

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.

Boquillas border crossing opens in Big Bend

Written by | Published April 10, 2013

The United States and Mexican governments opened the Boquillas border crossing on Wednesday, reestablishing tourist access between the two countries in Big Bend National Park.

Spring bloom update from Wildflower Center

Written by | Published April 9, 2013

Texas wildflowers are so delicately beautiful that it’s no surprise their annual blooms are subject to the whims of spring weather.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 27 years since musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds started showing up on TV and radio with songs to discourage littering as part of the Don’t mess with Texas campaign.

The campaign was a big success and grew into a household slogan in Texas, and even beyond. But at the same time, the state’s population has grown (at a pace of 1,000 people per day currently), and a younger generation of Texans doesn’t necessarily relate the slogan with its anti-littering message.

Last-minute travel?

Written by | Published March 28, 2013

Sometimes, part of the fun of taking a vacation is the planning—researching itineraries, hotels, restaurants; making plans for special activities; even reconnecting with friends in a different environment. On the flip side, then there are the pleasures associated with last-minute travel—the fun and freedom of spontaneity, the relaxation of expectations, and the refreshing sense that all is right with the world when something serendipitous unfolds.

Spring events in bloom

Written by | Published March 26, 2013


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.

Dallas International Film Fest gears up

Written by | Published March 25, 2013

The Dallas Film Society is busy preparing for this year’s Dallas International Film Festival, which kicks off next week.

The event runs April 4-14 and features 175 films at venues across the city. I had a chance to interview Lee Papert, festival executive director, by email recently, and here’s what he had to say about the event.

In Houston this Saturday, March 23, from 11-2, the always zany and creative Orange Show Foundation hosts its annual Easter Orange Hunt, when kids of all ages can tour the Orange Show site—a veritable playground of whirligigs, moats, and brightly tiled and painted structures—and collect eggs, candy, and (of course) oranges. Also on March 23, the Orange Show will also host its first annual PEEPS Art Contest. Using Peeps marshmallow treats, contestants will make sculptures, costumes, and other works of art, following the lead of similar contests in Washington, D.C., Denver, and Westminster, Maryland. If you’d like to submit an entry, bring it to the Orange Show for judging by noon on Saturday. Winners will receive Peeps prizes, gift cards, and recognition on the Orange Show website, www.orangeshow.org.

a Peeps creation from the Westminster competition

Go outdoors!

Written by | Published March 15, 2013

The Vernal Equinox and the first official day of spring—March 20—is so close we can taste it. Well, FEEL it (in the sun's warm rays on our skin), SEE it (in the leaves budding out on even the pecans, which somehow know when the chance of frost has passed), and SMELL it (in the fragrance of all those flowers). It's tough to be inside in weather this glorious. So get on out there. We just received word that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's "Texas Outdoor Family" program, which kicked off a few years ago to encourage people to enjoy the great outdoors, has expanded this year to include themed weekends organized around such topics as learning to mountain bike. On March 23-24, at Stephen F. Austin State Park, groups of up to six participants ($65 for all!) can learn basic camping skills (such as how to pitch a tent, build a campfire, and go geocaching) along with mountain biking safety, etiquette, and rules of the (off)road. Amazingly, most equipment—including tents, handheld GPS untis, cookware, lanterns, and bikes—are provided. You're on your own for food, clothing, and sleeping bag. Sign up for this program or others by calling 512/389-8903; www.tpwd.state.txus/calendar/texas-outdoor-family-stephen-f.-austin-state-park-houston-1.

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.

Here's another example of the enduring appeal of "retro." There's a new drive-in movie theater scheduled to open adjacent to downtown Fort Worth this spring.

The Coyote Drive-In is building a 20-acre complex in the Trinity Uptown neighborhood, across the river from downtown. Two of the three screens will be six stories tall (that's relatively big), and the complex will accommodate up to 1,300 cars. Audio will be broadcast on an FM radio signal.

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