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Written by Jane Kellogg Murray

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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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Spend this Mother's Day weekend at one of these family friendly events—including the annual Texas Crab Festival, Beaumont's Maypole Festival, and a fun run through the scenic flower fields of Wildseed Farms.

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Spring into Cinco de Mayo weekend with annual favorites like the Port Neches RiverFest, Plano's AsiaFest, and the 20th annual Lavender Festival at Becker Vineyards.

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Close out the month of April with Galveston's Third Coast Music Festival (featuring the infamous Galveston Island Beach Revue), the Big Bend Open Road Race (the most challenging race of its kind in the U.S.), and Texas SandFest in Port Aransas—the largest master sand sculpting competition in the country.

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It's the busiest event weekend of the year—kicking off with Fiesta San Antonio, Fort Worth's Main Street Arts Festival, and the Old Settler’s Music Festival in Dale.

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While you’re on the road hunting for bloomin' bluebonnets this weekend, consider adding these weekend activities to your to-do list, including the wacky Houston Art Car Parade, the Poteet Strawberry Festival, and Schulenburg Sausagefest.

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More events than you can shake a stick at—Galveston's first Tall Ships Challenge, the kickoff weekend for the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, wildflower celebrations, and more.

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Flowers, antiques, and a medieval renaissance fair usher in the month of April.

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Spring heads into high gear with music festivals, art festivals, and bacon and brew festivals.

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The Nature Conservancy of Texas’ annual Austin luncheon, March 20 at the JW Marriott Austin Downtown, will feature speaker National Geographic photographer and avid conservationist Joel Sartore as he takes the audience into his ambitious National Geographic Photo Ark project that was started 11 years ago in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. Since beginning this project, he’s visited more than 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. To date, Sartore has captured more than 7,500 images of wildlife, putting him over half way to reaching his goal of documenting 12,000 unique species.

The event will also highlight the Conservancy’s most recent efforts to protect Texas’ iconic lands and waters. Since its founding in 1964, The Nature Conservancy in Texas has established 38 nature preserves and conservation properties, more than 130 easements and has helped expand more than a dozen state and federal parks. In total, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 900,000 acres in Texas.

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Austin's biggest event of the year kicks off this weekend, and while thousands are filtering in to take advantage of all South by Southwest has to offer, you don't need a $1600 badge to enjoy some of the fun. The festival has more free programming than ever this year—from three days of concerts featuring the likes of Shakey Graves and Shinyribs, to panels, kid-friendly screenings, and poster shows. We curated a few big highlights below, but to take advantage of these free events, you’ll need to sign up for a Guest Pass, so ... get to it.

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