As the nation honors those who have died in military service on Memorial Day, dozens of events pop up this weekend to celebrate freedom and the unofficial start of the summer season.
Mardi Gras—“Fat Tuesday” in French, celebrates the final day of indulgence before Lent. In the United States, the most famous Mardi Gras fetes occur in New Orleans, but many Texas towns and cities get into the Mardi Gras spirit, as well–especially in Southeast Texas, where influences from Louisiana abound.
Women take a closer look at a piece of pottery at the Rockwall Founders Day Festival, which features all-day live music, gourmet food trucks, children's activities and a street fair of vendors. This year's event is on May 18. (Photo courtesy of the City of Rockwall Parks and Recreation)
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 ofÂ the townâ€™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 andÂ fried like a chickenâ€”and what a delicious mistake it turned out to be.
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.
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.
Growing up in Texas and learning about how this state became a nation for a time, I always wondered why people didn't make a bigger deal out of Texas Independence Day. It seems like a great time to celebrate what's great about Texas, doesn't it?
This year is an excellent chance to do just that, since the March 2 anniversary of the adoption of a declaration of independence falls on Saturday. Celebrations in Granbury, Gruene and Washington-on-the-Brazos offer a fun way to mark this historic occasion and show your Texas pride.
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 eventsâ€”or you can find more using the event search tool.
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.
Itâ€™s said that you canâ€™t get blood from a stone, but how about getting a horny toad out of one?
Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s said to have happened in Eastland, Texas, when the old courthouse was being torn down in 1928. A time capsule in the courthouseâ€™s cornerstone since 1897 was opened, and to the surprise of thousands of people gathered for the event, a horned lizard sealed up in the box 31 years ago was still alive. Named â€œOld Rip,â€ after Rip Van Winkle, the horny toad was taken on a national tour before dying less than a year later. (According to the story, that wasnâ€™t the end of his adventures.)
About a year after the Second Battle of Adobe Walls and later fighting in the Red River War, Quanah Parker and his band of Comanches surrendered themselves at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1875. During the next 35 years, Parker continued to represent his people, and also became known as a rancher, statesman and Native American Church leader. (Photo from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
The kids are back in school, and weâ€™re already working on the winter Texas Events Calendar, but hopefully thereâ€™s still room in everyoneâ€™s schedule for summerâ€™s last hurrah â€“ Labor Day!
In addition to the usual holiday celebrations, many communities choose this weekend to put on some of their biggest and most unique events.