Peruse our database of Texas events – from community plays and cook-offs to mega-festivals and touring productions. We highlight a few of options here.
Embrace the Mosquito
When founders of Clute’s summertime festival set out to name their new event in 1980, someone jokingly suggested that the town was best known for its blood-sucking skeeters. Well, the name stuck, and 33 years later, The Great Texas Mosquito Festival is a thriving summer tradition.
About 15,000 people turn out each year for the event, which takes place July 25-27 this year at Clute Municipal Park. The festival offers summer favorites like a barbecue and fajita cook-off, horseshoe-and washer-pitching contests, concerts, and a carnival.
But it’s the wacky mosquito-themed events that generate the most buzz. The “Mosquito Calling Contest” challenges contestants on their creative calls. And then there’s the “Mosquito Legs Contest.”
“You have some people with the skinniest legs possible,” explains Angel Cowley, executive director of the Clute Visitors Bureau, “and some with not-so-skinny legs. But they think their legs look like mosquitos’, so they enter the contest too.”
The Panhandle’s Notorious Weather
The Texas Panhandle can rightfully lay claim to some of the craziest weather around. From blizzards to hailstorms, tornadoes, and wildfires, Panhandle folks are accustomed to coping with extremes. The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon focuses on local weather in Wild and Wacky Weather on the Panhandle Plains.
The exhibit walks visitors through notorious weather events in the region’s history, such as devastating blizzards of the 1880s, the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, widespread flash-flooding of 1978, and damaging wildfires of 2011. There’s also a demonstration of National Weather Service monitoring instruments, as well as a display that simulates the TV news coverage and sounds of an approaching tornado.
“It’s a departure from what we normally do,” says Stephanie Price, marketing and communications manager for the museum. “It was a neat way for us to incorporate science into the museum in a historical way.”
The exhibit runs through February 1.
We’re packing our glow sticks and venturing to Lampasas this month for the annual Moonlight Swim at Hancock Springs pool. The city will keep the pool open until 11 p.m. on June 22 and July 20 for the third season of the new summer tradition.
Along with the rare chance to swim the 68-degree pool after dark, the Saturday night events also include a potluck dinner and live music. The Sieker Band and Steve Mitchell will perform at the June and July events, respectively.
“Bring your favorite dish,” says Micky Tower, director of the Lampasas Parks and Recreation Department. “The city will provide the drinks, and it will be a picnic atmosphere. The band comes in and starts at 8, and we’ll listen to live music and go swimming.” Sounds like a plan.
For more information, call 512/556-6831.
On June 19, 1865, U.S. officials arrived in Galveston to notify Texans of the freedom of all slaves, more than two months after the Civil War ended and more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Communities large and small across Texas celebrate the liberating event every year with Juneteenth parades, fairs, dances, and more.
In Galveston, 10 days of activities include a June 19th reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Ashton Villa and a procession that follows the route of the first documented celebration of emancipation in Texas. In Elgin, girls ages 6 to 18 will compete in Miss Juneteenth pageants on June 6, followed by a parade, fair, and street dance at Veterans Memorial Park on June 8. “We’ve been commemorating our heritage with a Juneteenth celebration ever since we found out we were actually free,” says Bettye Lofton, president of Elgin Juneteenth.
Want more? Go to the Events Calendar.
For a free printed copy of an even more detailed, quarterly schedule of events, write to Texas Events Calendar, Box 149249, Austin 78714-9249. Or, call 800/452-9292 from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, between 8-6 Central.
For Texas travel questions, call 800/452-9292 to reach a TxDOT Travel Information Center, where a professional travel counselor will provide routing assistance, advise you of any emergency road conditions, and send brochures (including the official Texas State Travel Guide and map, accommodations guide, and quarterly Texas Events Calendar).
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