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.
The accordion has long been a fixture in traditional music like conjunto, zydeco, and polka, and on June 1, the bellows-driven instrument will take center stage at the Accordion Kings & Queens concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston.
Texas Folklife, an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving and showcasing Lone Star culture, puts on the free, family-friendly show, which is now in its 24th year. Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Texas polka band Czechaholics, and Lubbock-based Tejano-conjunto band The Hometown Boys headline this year’s show.
The concert also features the championship round of “The Big Squeeze,” an annual statewide youth accordion competition that began in February with a field of 33 contestants.
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.
The array of cultures that make up the Lone Star State will be on display June 7-9 at the Texas Folklife Festival, a celebration of our diverse heritage now in its 42nd year. Groups from around the state representing cultures such as Native American, Czech, Colombian, Filipino, Lebanese, and Polish will meet at the 23-acre festival grounds at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio. Along with food booths, craft demonstrations, and a carnival, the festival also features eight stages for music and dance. Director Jo Ann Andera says it’s difficult for ethnic groups to maintain their traditional cultures when younger generations lose interest, and the festival provides a venue for those committed to their heritage. “We’ve got six or seven participants who have been with us all 42 years, and we have some that started last year—and they all love it,” Jo Ann says.
TH Traveler is saddling a pack camel and venturing to the Pecos River valley to join the history buffs at Fort Lancaster State Historic Site’s Frontier Jubilee. The annual event starts on Friday, May 17, with educational programs for area school groups, followed by a public day on Saturday that’s free to all (including a free barbecue lunch). On hand will be “living historians” to educate visitors about the life and times of Fort Lancaster, which the United States established in 1855 to protect the route between San Antonio and El Paso. Along with learning about life at the fort in the mid-19th Century, displays will cover topics like the Texas Camel Corps, Native Americans, Buffalo Soldiers, and the U.S. Cavalry. “The mission of these events is to give the visitor an enriching, cultural experience more encompassing than anything you might find in a classroom or book,” says Nash Traylor, the site’s events coordinator.
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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