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Texas Events Calendar Major And Unique Events 2012 ,
published on Feb 23, 2012
	Please Note: Event dates were correct at the time of compilation and are subject to change. Please confirm dates in advance by using the contact information listed or by contacting the local chamber of commerce or convention and visitors bureau.
Provided by and Texas Tourism 

JANUARY 6—ARLINGTON: AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Postseason college football game at Cowboys Stadium. 817/892-5000 or 888/792-BOWL 13-15—FRISCO: Winter Games of Texas Patterned after the Olympic Games and the U.S. Olympic Sports Festivals, the Winter Games of Texas provide a forum for competition among Texas' Olympic hopefuls, amateur and recreational athletes. 877/463-7472 13-FEB. 4—FORT WORTH: Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Established in 1896, this popular event attracts nearly 1 million people from around the world to the Will Rogers Memorial Center for the nation's oldest livestock show and daily performances of the world's original indoor rodeo. 817/877-2420 14-28—MISSION: Texas Citrus Fiesta This celebration of the Rio Grande Valley's winter bounty features the Product Costume Show, coronation of King Citrus and Queen Citrianna, the Parade of Oranges, a carnival, cook-offs and more. 956/585-9724 19-FEB. 19—LAREDO: Washington’s Birthday Celebration Thousands enjoy this monthlong celebration, founded in 1898, which is the largest celebration of its kind in the United States. Includes parades, a carnival, air show, fireworks, live concerts, Jalapeno Festival, the International Bridge Ceremony and more. The main weekend for events is Feb. 17-19. Visit website or call for specific dates, times and locations. 956/722-0589 21—PORT ARTHUR: Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame Show Includes a concert and induction ceremony into the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame. Bob Bowers Civic Center. 800/235-7822 28—EMORY: Eagle Fest Bus and barge tours take visitors to see the majestic bald eagles in their natural habitat. Also enjoy live raptor exhibits, flight demonstrations, music, arts and crafts, and food vendors. Eagle Fest headquarters is at Rains High S chool, 1759 W. U.S. 69. 903/473-3913 FEBRUARY 9-26—SAN ANTONIO: San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Enjoy star-studded concerts, carnival, livestock centers and professional rodeo performances. AT&T Center. 10-21—GALVESTON: Mardi Gras Galveston The island celebrates its 101st Mardi Gras with spectacular parades, elaborate masked balls, flamboyant costumes and live entertainment. Historic downtown. 409/797-5143 888-425-4753 14-24—SAN ANGELO: San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Features PRCA rodeo action, carnival, parade, live entertainment and more. San Angelo Coliseum. 325/653-7785 16-19—PORT ARTHUR: Mardi Gras Southeast Features headliner bands, parades, carnival rides, arts and crafts, strolling entertainment and more. Downtown, along Procter Street. 409/721-8717 17-19—JEFFERSON: Mardi Gras Upriver Celebrate Mardi Gras at this festival that recalls the days when steamboats came up the river to Port Jefferson from New Orleans. Includes parades and live entertainment. 903/796-4378 19-26—BROWNSVILLE: Charro Days Fiesta In its 75th year, this festival celebrates the spirit of the cultures of Texas and Mexico. Events include street dances, live music, carnival, an illuminated night parade, golf tournament and more. Various locations. 956/542-4245 24-26—ALPINE: 25th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering This is the second largest cowboy poetry gathering in the country, second only to that of Elko, Nevada. Celebrate the oral traditions of the American cowboy with poetry, music, chuck wagon breakfasts and more. Sul Ross State University. 800/561-3712 28-MARCH 18—HOUSTON: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Features a parade kick-off, rodeo action, livestock shows, the Cinch RodeoHouston S uper Shootout, the Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, headliner concerts, sheep-dog trials, trail rides and more. Reliant Park. 832/667-1000 MARCH 1-4—HIDALGO: Borderfest This festival celebrates the culture, food, art and entertainment of a different country every year. Includes live music, parades, carnival, pageants, car shows, strolling acts and more. (2010 event was March 4-7) 956/843-2286 1-4—FULTON: Oysterfest This salute to the oyster industry features plenty of food, oyster eating and shucking contests, entertainment, arts and crafts, and a carnival. Fulton Navigation Park. 361/463-9955 2-4—DALLAS: North Texas Irish Festival The festival is one of the largest Celtic cultural events in the nation and features many of the top Irish musicians and dancers in the world, plus a variety of cultural presentations on eight stages. Now in its 30th year, the festival's theme for 2012 is "Harps and Fiddles." 214/821-4173 3-4—WASHINGTON: Texas Independence Day Celebration This event celebrates the 176th anniversary of the historic March 2, 1836 meeting that produced the documents that declared Texas independent from Mexico and gave rise to the Republic of Texas. Features costumed re-enactors, period craft demonstrations, military encampments and Texas tunes. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. 888/273-6426 936/878-2214 3-4—SAN ANTONIO: “Remembering the Alamo” Weekend Through dramatic re-enactments, experience the final two days of the Alamo before it fell to Mexican General Santa Anna’s army. Includes cannon and drill demonstrations, costumed re-enactors, marches, music, pioneer craft demonstrations and more. Alamo Plaza. 210/273-1730 9-11—SWEETWATER: World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup Includes snake-handling demonstrations, weigh-ins of snakes, cook-offs, beard contest, Miss Snake Charmer Pageant, carnival, dance, and a show of coins, guns and knives. Don't forget to try the deep-fried rattlesnake meat. Nolan County Coliseum at Newman Park. 325/235-5488 9-18—AUSTIN: South by Southwest Noted filmmakers, musicians and multimedia artists from around the world converge to showcase music, film and interactive media during this internationally recognized event. Austin Convention Center and more than 50 venues. 512/467-7979 9-18—MERCEDES: Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show This event dates to 1940 and is one of the largest in South Texas. 1000 N. Texas Ave. E-mail: 9-24—AUSTIN: Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo PCRA competitors hit the arena, and area students exhibit prize livestock. Also includes headliner concerts, a carnival, barbecue cook-off, pig races and other special events. Travis County Exposition Center. 512/919-3000 15-17—DUBLIN: St. Patrick's Festival Includes a traditional stew cook-off, parade, Highland games, live entertainment, pageants, carnival and more. Dublin City Park. (2011 event was March 17-19) 254/445-3422 23-APRIL 7—WOODVILLE: Tyler County Dogwood Festival Celebrates local heritage and the blooming of the region’s dogwood trees with a parade, pageant, rodeo, 5K fun run, fireworks, Festival of the Arts, Western Weekend and more. 409/283-2272 or 800/323-0389 E-mail: 24-25—GOLIAD: Goliad Massacre Re-enactment On S aturday, wander the tents at this re-creation of the occupation of the fort by Colonel Fannin and the Goliad Massacre, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Candlelight tours will be conducted 7-9 p.m. Saturday evening. The next day, the massacre re-enactment begins at 10 a.m., with a memorial service and pilgrimage to the Fannin Memorial afterward. Presidio La Bahia National Historic Landmark. 361/645-3752 24-25—WESLACO: Texas Onion Fest Celebrates the development of the world-famous Texas 1015 Onion. Includes cooking contests, music, strolling entertainers, rides, dances, pageant, car shows, arts and crafts, games and more. Weslaco City Park, 300 S. Airport Drive. 956/968-2102 E-mail: or APRIL 7-MAY 28—WAXAHACHIE: Scarborough Renaissance Festival View a variety of performances, visit more than 200 shops, enjoy games and rides, and sample foods with Renaissance flair. Open Saturdays and Sundays, plus Memorial Day. Off I-35E. at Exit 399 and Exit 399-A. 972/938-3247 13-15—POTEET: Strawberry Festival Includes strawberry judging and auction, concerts with nationally known country-western and Tejano stars, a parade, fireworks, the Taste of Texas Food Show, carnival, dancers, gunslingers, clowns, puppets, various contests and rodeo performances. Strawberry Festival Grounds, 9199 Hwy. 16. 888/742-8144 or 888/742-8144 13-15—BURNET: Bluebonnet Festival Enjoy this festival in the Texas Hill Country as the state flower, the bluebonnet, is in full bloom. Downtown Square. (2010 dates were April 9-11) 14-15—CHAPPELL HILL: Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas Features vendor booths, food, live entertainment and music in the heart of bluebonnet country. 979/836-6033 or 979/277-1122 E-mail: 14-15—Booming ‘N’ Blooming: Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Festival Enjoy guided van tours to view one of North America's most endangered birds on their "booming grounds," bird walking tours and native plant walking tours. Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge. 979/234-3021 E-mail: 19-29—SAN ANTONIO: Fiesta San Antonio Includes exciting carnivals, spectacular sports, fantastic fireworks, lively entertainment, ethnic feasts, art exhibits and parades that glide down San Antonio's River Walk and downtown streets. More than 100 unique events, each produced by a nonprofit organization that gives back to this vibrant city, satisfy every taste and interest. 210/227-5191E-mail: 19-MAY 6—CORPUS CHRISTI: Buc Days Includes a trail ride, PRCA rodeo, carnival, music, mariachi and folklorico competitions, the Las Doñas De La Corte coronation pageant, illuminated night parade and more. Corpus Christi Bayfront. 19-22—DRIFTWOOD: Old Settler’s Music Festival Dozens of acts on several stages deliver one of the best roots-music festival experiences in the United States. Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch, FM 1826 southwest of Austin in Driftwood. www.oldsettlersmusicfest.orgE-mail: 20-22—PORT ARANSAS: Texas SandFest This event is the largest Master Sand S culpting Competition in the U.S. and the qualifying event for the world championships. Also includes free sand-sculpting lessons, amateur and professional contests, live entertainment, vendors and more. E-mail: 21-22—ENNIS: Bluebonnet Trails Festival This event pays tribute to the Texas state flower with guided and self-paced tours. Bus tours available by advance reservation. Sponsored by the Ennis Garden Club. Maps and other information available at the downtown Ennis Garden Club Headquarter Tent or the Ennis Visitor Center. 972/878-4748 or 888/366-4748E-mail: 21-22 AND 28-29—HOUSTON: Houston International Festival Downtown is filled with ethnic food booths, arts and crafts, kiosks, interesting exhibits and 1,800 performers. This year’s festival spotlights Argentina. 713/654-8808 25-28— FORT STOCKTON: Big Bend Open-Road Race Enthusiasts call this one of the most exciting open-road races in the world. The event draws racers from around the U.S. to match their skills against the 118 miles of twists, turns and elevation changes. The route follows Highway 285 from Fort Stockton to Sanderson and back. 432/336-3331 ext. 238 26-29—HALLETTSVILLE: Texas State Championship Fiddlers Frolic and Songwriters Serenade Founded in 1871, this contest attracts some of the best fiddlers in the United States and around the globe. Also enjoy a carnival, arts and crafts, horseshoe and washer contests, cook-offs and the Texas Fiddlers Hall of Fame. Knights of Columbus Hall, 321 U.S. 77. or 361/798-2311 or 361/798-9105 27-29—MUENSTER: Germanfest Celebrate the unique German Heritage of this North Texas community with music, food, a fun run, bike rally, contests and more. 940/759-2227 27-28—HUNTSVILLE: General Sam Houston Folk Festival Celebrates Texas History and the life of Gen. Sam Houston. Includes life-skill demonstrations, authentic 19th-century dress, continuous entertainment and hands-on activities. Sam Houston Memorial Museum. (2011 event was April 29-May 1) 936/294-1832 BASTROP: Yesterfest Includes music, vendors and entertainment in celebration of Bastrop's culture and heritage. Old Town Bastrop. (2011 event was April 30) 512/321-6600 E-mail: MAY 3-6—JEFFERSON: Historic Home Tours and Spring Festival Tour four of Jefferson's most beautiful and historic homes adorned with fresh flowers and period antiques. Docents dressed in Victorian attire lead guests through the homes and reveal the history of each. Includes a colorful parade, twilight garden tours, the Diamond Bessie Murder Trial play, and a Civil War re-enactment. 903-665-3733 4-5—BRENHAM: Maifest This German festival features colorful parades, spectacular pageants, food, crafts and exhibits. Enjoy polkas, waltzes and country music. Downtown Brenham. 979/836-3339 or 888/273-6426 4-6—ARLINGTON: Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games Hosts a Highland dance championship, athletic competitions, Scottish food and ale, fiddlers, children’s activities, Ceilidh and more. Maverick Stadium, University of Texas at Arlington. 800/363-7268 4-6—SAN MARCOS: Viva! Cinco de Mayo and State Menudo Cook-off Includes music, a parade, state championship menudo cook-off, folklorico dancers and pageant. On the grounds of the Hays County Civic Center. 512/395-5332 10-12—ABILENE: Western Heritage Classic Preserves the heritage of the ranch cowboy. Features a parade, ranch rodeo, world’s largest bit and spur show, Western art, nightly dances and much more. Taylor County Expo Center. 325/677-4376 18-20—PASADENA: Strawberry Festival Known as the "Home of the World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake," this event offers a wide variety of food, arts and crafts, activities and entertainment. Parade is on May 12, with the main festival running May 18-20. Pasadena Convention Center and Fairgrounds, 7603 Red Bluff Road. 281/991-9500E-mail: or 21-27—FORT WORTH: Crowne Plaza Invitational This golf tournament, held annually at the Colonial Country Club since 1946, is the longest-running event on the PGA tour that’s still being held at its original site. 817/927-4299 or 817/840-2219E-mail: 24-JUNE 10—KERRVILLE: Kerrville Folk Festival This Texas Hill Country based international songwriter's festival features more than 100 songwriters and their bands. Includes concerts, arts and crafts, kids’ concerts, food and camping. Quiet Valley Ranch. 830/257-3600 25-27—ENNIS: National Polka Festival Features authentic cuisine, sounds and costumes of Czech and Slovak heritage, parade, live bands, and arts and crafts. Downtown Ennis and Czech Halls. 972/878-4748E-mail: 25-27—KERRVILLE: Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair Features arts and crafts, music, food and fun for the entire family, including a children's activity area. Occurs during the Kerrville Folk Festival (May 24-June 10). River Star Arts and Events Center, 4000 Riverside Drive. 830/896-5711 E-mail: JUNE 1-AUG. 31—CANYON: Texas Musical Drama Enjoy an evening of music, dance and entertainment provided by 80 professional performers every Tuesday through Sunday night during the summer. Dinner, catered by the Big Texan Steak Ranch, can be purchased before the show. Pioneer Amphitheatre at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. 806/655-2181 8-10—ARANSAS PASS: Shrimporee The largest shrimp festival in Texas offers live entertainment and dancing all weekend, culinary events, carnival rides and a parade. Johnson Community Park. 361/758-2750 8-10—SAN ANTONIO: Texas Folklife Festival The signature event of UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures features performances, special events and food representing dozens of ethnic groups. UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Durango Blvd. 210/458-2224 11-13—CRYSTAL BEACH: Texas Crab Festival Includes food and craft booths along with live entertainment, contests and a carnival. Gregory Park. 409/684-5940 11-13—LONGVIEW: AlleyFest Celebrate the arts with vendors at Alley Art, plus the Alley Run 5K and 10K, children’s activities and live music. Downtown Longview. 903/237-4040E-mail: 21-23, 28-30—ALBANY: Fort Griffin Fandangle With singing, dancing, colorful costumes and stage sets, this outdoor musical re-creates the history of West Texas. Enjoy barbecue on the courthouse lawn at 5 p.m. and a calliope concert each evening before the show. Begins at 8:30 p.m. or dusk. Prairie Theater. 325/762-3838 28-JULY 1—LULING: Watermelon Thump Includes a parade, continuous live entertainment, world championship seed-spitting contest, carnival and arts and crafts. Downtown Luling. 830/875-3214 ext. 2E-mail: YOAKUM: Tom Tom Festival Honors Yoakum’s tomato industry, which was predominant in the area in the late ‘20s -early ‘30s. Includes live music, carnival, parade, rodeo, cook-offs, games, pageants, dachshund races and more. (Dates for 2011 were June 3-4.) 361/293-2309 E-mail: LOCKHART: Chisholm Trail Roundup Enjoy the golf tournament, parade, carnival, music, and barbecue and chili cook-off. (Date for 2011 were June 8-11.) or 512/398-2818 CROCKETT: World Champion Fiddlers Festival Join some of the best fiddlers anywhere as they compete for the World Championship title. (Date in 2011 was June 11.) 936/544-2359 EAST BERNARD: Kolache-Klobase Festival Features Czech music, food, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and of course, plenty of kolaches. Riverside Hall. (Date in 2011 was June 11.) 979/335-7907 JACKSONVILLE: Tomato Fest This event includes a tomato eating contest, salsa contest, live entertainment, auction, arts and crafts, food, sports events, antique car show and more. Downtown Jacksonville. (Date in 2011 was June 11.) 903/586-2217 or 800-376-2217 JULY 14—WEATHERFORD: Parker County Peach Festival Features live entertainment, vendors with handmade arts and crafts and food, bike ride, peach cobbler and other peachy treats, children’s activities and more. Historic Downtown. or 888/594-3801 24-29—LONGVIEW: Great Texas Balloon Race Features the U.S. Nationals and BTBR Festival and Competition in the “Balloon Capital of Texas.” Spectators can enjoy balloon glows and lights, live concerts, a children’s area and vendors. 903/753-3281 26-28—CLUTE: Great Texas Mosquito Festival Features live concerts, a barbecue and fajita cook-off, horseshoe pitching tournament, washer pitching contest, mosquito-calling contest, Mosquito Chase 5K Run, arts and crafts and more. Clute Municipal Park. 800/371-2971 or 979/265-8392 LAMPASAS: Spring Ho Festival Celebrates the heritage of the community with an old-fashioned family festival that includes a parade, pageant, talent contest, fishing derby, carnival, arts and crafts, barbecue cook-off, dancing, 10K and 1-mile runs, pet parade and more. Downtown. (Dates for 2011 were July 4-10) 512/556-5301 PECOS: Night In Old Pecos and Cantaloupe Festival The streets are blocked off downtown with a variety of vendors, activities and live music. (Date in 2011 was July 23.) 432/445-2406 AUGUST 2-4—DALHART: XIT Rodeo and Reunion This event originally started as a gathering of cowboys and their families who lived and worked on what was once the largest fenced ranch in the world. Since 1937, it has been open to the public and became a local tradition featuring PRCA rodeo action, live music and dancing, a parade, contests, pageants, and free barbecue, pork chops and watermelon. Rita Blanca Coliseum and Festival Grounds. 806/244-5646 25—WICHITA FALLS: Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred Includes a consumer show, criterium races, cycling road races, endurance ride and Wee-Chi-Tah 10K and Half-Marathon Trail Runs. 940/322-3223 FREDERICKSBURG: Gillespie County Fair Generally includes live pari-mutuel horse racing, livestock exhibits, carnival and midway, agricultural and home skills exhibits, variety of vendors, arts and crafts, professional entertainment nightly and more. Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Drive. (Dates for 2011 were Aug. 25-28.) 830/997-2359 SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Texas International Fishing Tournament Held for more than 70 years, this event creates an atmosphere of friendly fishing competition and wholesome family fun. (Dates for 2011 were Aug. 3-7.) 956/943-8438 SEPTEMBER 1-2—BOYS RANCH: Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Rodeo In addition to highlighting the skills of the Cal Farley boys and girls ages 5 to 18, the rodeo serves as the annual homecoming for Cal Farley's alumni each Labor Day weekend. 806/372-2341 or 800/687-3722 1-2—WEST: Westfest This annual Czech polka festival is held each Labor Day weekend. Includes a parade, pageant, S unday polka Mass, cultural music and dance, Kolache Fun Run, taroky contest, horseshoes, tractor pull and more. West Fair Grounds. 254/826-5058 E-mail: 1-3—ALPINE: Big Bend Balloon Bash Be a part of the viewing crowd or lend a hand to help balloon crews as colorful balloons soar early each morning above Alpine and dance across the Davis Mountains. On S unday evening is the Fire Glow and Concert at Alpine's Buck Stadium, featuring the balloon pilots as they "play" their burners in a fun and memorable outdoor concert. 432/837-7486 3—WACO: Labor Day Open House at Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village (Formerly known as the Sorghum Festival) S ee craftspeople demonstrate traditional crafts such as making pottery and baskets, blacksmithing, spinning, weaving, quilting and more. Also includes make-and-take craft projects, sustainability seminars, music, hayrides and homemade food. Homestead Heritage at Brazos de Dios, 608 Dry Creek Road. 254/754-9600 E-mail: 5-7—FREDERICKSBURG: Oktoberfest Celebrate the state’s German heritage with entertainment, German food and music, arts and crafts, children’s area and more. Downtown at the Marktplatz. 830/997-4810E-mail: 7-9—GRAND PRAIRIE: National Championship Powwow This event, marking its 50th anniversary in 2012, features colorful tribal dance contests, arts and crafts, cultural heritage demonstrations, teepees and food. Traders Village, 2602 Mayfield Road. 972/647-2331 13-16—ROCKPORT/FULTON: HummerBird Celebration Celebrate the spectacular fall migration of the Ruby-throated hummingbird through the area and enjoy informative and educational programs on these birds and others. Includes vendors and more. 361/729-6445 14-22—AMARILLO: Tri-State Fair This 89th-annual event includes a top-notch regional fair and PRCA rodeo. Amarillo Tri-State Exposition Grounds. 806/376-7767 18-22—ABILENE: West Texas Book and Music Festival A week of workshops, demonstrations and activities includes author presentations, a cookbook gala, music in the park, a gospel concert and hymnfest, the Boots and Books luncheon and the Hall of Texas Authors. 325/676-6328 21-29—LUBBOCK: Panhandle South Plains Fair Filled with entertainment, a carnival and children’s activities, petting zoo, livestock and agricultural contests, exhibits and vendors. 806/763-2833E-mail: 21-30—TYLER: East Texas State Fair Includes entertainment, special attractions, contests, livestock show and music. East Texas State Fairgrounds. 903/597-2501 23—SERBIN: Wendish Fest Celebrate and experience some of the unique heritage passed down from Wendish settlers. Includes exhibitions, demonstrations, children's activities, dance performances, music and contests. Grounds of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society Museum and St. Paul Lutheran Church picnic grounds. Held every fourth Sunday in S eptember. 979/366-2441 28-OCT. 21—DALLAS: State Fair of Texas This 24-day annual event entices and excites the senses with a menu of world-class entertainment, thrill rides, football matchups, and mouth-watering edibles. Fair Park. 214/565-9931E-mail: MARFA: 25th Annual Marfa Lights Festival Celebrates the mysterious Marfa lights with a parade, food and craft vendors, live music and street dances. (Dates in 2011 were Sept. 3-4.) 432/729-4942 WINNIE: Texas Rice Festival Annual harvest celebration honors rice farming, which is a major economic activity in this region of Southeast Texas. Includes live music, barbecue cook-off, parades, livestock show, rice cooking contest, Cajun flavors and more. Winnie-Stowell Park. Usually held during the first weekend in October. 409/296-4404 BRADY: World Championship Barbecue Goat Cook-Off Entering its 39th year, this is the longest-running goat cook-off in Texas. Also includes an arts-and-crafts fair, washer pitching tournament, and Goat Gallop 5K Fun Run and Walk. Richards Park. (Dates for 2011 were S ept. 2-3.) 325/597-3491E-mail: GRAPEVINE: GrapeFest Sample award-winning Texas wines, take kids to the carnival midway, visit the culinary pavilion, join in the grape stomp and enjoy six stages of live entertainment. (Dates for 2011 event were Sept. 15-18.) 800/457-6338 OCTOBER 5-7—GONZALES: Come and Take It Festival Commemorates the anniversary of the firing of the first shot for Texas independence. A battle re-enactment is held each year at Gonzales Pioneer Village Living History Center. 888/672-1095 5-13—WACO: Heart o' Texas Fair and Rodeo Includes rodeo events, livestock show, carnival, parade, live music, Wiener Dog Nationals, children’s activities, talent competition and more. 254/776-1660E-mail: 6-NOV. 25—PLANTERSVILLE: Texas Renaissance Festival The sights, sounds, tastes and beauty of the 16th century come alive for eight spectacular weekends. The days are capped with the Royal Fireworks held at dusk above the festival’s lake. 800/458-3435E-mail: 12-14—AUSTIN: Austin City Limits Music Festival More than 130 local and nationally known music acts perform on eight stages during this three-day music festival. 12-14—CUERO: Turkeyfest This event highlights the town’s history as a major turkey production center with the Great Gobbler Gallop, a race between turkeys from Cuero and a town in Minnesota in which the winning turkey takes home the title of “Turkey Capital of the World” to its hometown for the year. The event also features a grand parade, carnival, family entertainment, live music, an IBCA barbecue cook-off, antique tractor pull, eating contests, arts and crafts, petting zoo and more. Held on the second weekend in October. Cuero City Park. 361/275-2112E-mail: 18-20—TYLER: Texas Rose Festival Offers enchanting ceremonial events — the queen coronation, rose show, queen’s tea and the rose parade — and thousands of roses in gardens and displayed in artful arrangements. Tyler Rose Garden Center and citywide. or 903/597-3130E-mail: 27-28—AUSTIN: Texas Book Festival Includes readings, panels, children’s area, book signings and exhibitors. Texas State Capitol and surrounding venues. 512/477-4055E-mail: ROCKPORT: Seafair S ea-themed festival features live entertainment, vendors, gumbo cook-off, seafood cooking classes and demonstrations, carnival, education about the coast, parade and more. (Dates for 2011 event were Oct. 7-9). 361/729-6445 COOPER: Delta County Chiggerfest This festival, which celebrates the end of chigger season in East Texas, includes a 5K run/walk, pancake breakfast, live entertainment, pageants, arts and crafts competition, a shoebox float contest, kids’ activities and more. (Date for 2011 event was Oct. 15.) 903/395-4314 GILMER: East Texas Yamboree This festival, an annual event since 1935, is named for the area’s history as a producer of yams. Events include a carnival, queen coronation pageant, livestock show and sale, barn dance, parades, exhibits and contests. (Dates for 2011 were Oct. 19-22.) 903/843-2413 FLATONIA: Czhilispiel Pronounced “chili spill,” this 40th annual event features exciting cook-off competitions for “czhili” and barbecue, arts and crafts, food vendors, live entertainment, pageant, a 5K run/walk, carnival, car show and more. 361/865-3920 SEGUIN: Pecan Fest Heritage Days Includes live entertainment, tours of the world’s largest nutcracker collection, pecan treats, a conjunto festival, arts and crafts, a golf tournament, bike ride, baking contest, pet parade, street dance and more. (Dates for 2011 event were Oct. 28-30.) or 800/580-7322 ELGIN: Hogeye Festival Ham it up at this family-friendly festival in the Sausage Capital of Texas, which features fun, food, and plenty of pig puns. Events include a barbecue pork cook-off, live music, the Road Hog Car Show, In a Pig’s Eye Dart Contest, the crowning of King Hog or Queen Sowpreme, a children’s costumed pet parade, the Hogalicious Dessert Contest and the Pearls Before Swine Art Show. (Date for 2011 event was Oct. 22.) or 512/281-5724 NOVEMBER 1-3—TERLINGUA: Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook-off/Terlingua International Chili Championship For more than 40 years, cooks and chili lovers from around the globe have made the pilgrimage to this West Texas town for these two events that offer the ultimate chili experience. Includes entertainment and dancing. Held annually on the first Saturday in November. and 888/227-4468 or 817/653-0988 2-11—NEW BRAUNFELS: Wurstfest Offers a unique celebration rich in German culture and full of Texas fun. Enjoy great music, special events and, of course, plenty of sausage and other food. Wurstfest Grounds. 800/221-4369 or 830/625-9167E-mail: 4—PORT ISABEL: World Championship Shrimp Cook-Off Dozens of contestants compete for the World Champion title. Includes kids’ activities, live music, vendors and more. Held the first S unday in November. 956/943-2262E-mail: 8-11—CRYSTAL CITY: Spinach Festival This South Texas city celebrates its history as the nation’s leading producer of spinach with live music, a parade, spinach cook-off, pageant, carnival, and more. Held on the second weekend in November. 830/374 3161 10—HENDERSON: Heritage Syrup Festival Commemorates the original fall festival of syrup making. On the Depot Museum grounds, ribbon-cane syrup is made using old-time equipment. Includes demonstrations, music and arts and crafts. Held the second S aturday in November. E-mail: 23—SAN ANTONIO: Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the switch is thrown and thousands of twinkling lights form a magical canopy over San Antonio’s River Walk. This kicks off the Paseo del Rio Holiday Festivities. The spectacular one-hour parade features illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly-costumed participants. Begins at 7 p.m. Along the River Walk. 210/227-4262 HARLINGEN: Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Join bird and nature lovers from around the world for field trips, seminars, keynote lectures, workshops and more. (Dates for 2011 event were Nov. 9-13.) 800/531-7346 AMARILLO: WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo Working ranch cowboys from across the United States and Canada. (Dates for 2011 event were Nov. 10-13.) 806/374-9722 E-mail: SALADO: Scottish Gathering of the Clans and Highland Games Features genealogy workshop, piping contest, drumming contest, highland dance contest, athletic games, clan tents, Scottish vendors, tug-o-war and more. Salado Civic Center Grounds. (Dates for 2011 event were Nov. 11-13.) 254/947-5232 E-mail: NACOGDOCHES: Nine Flags Festival The Oldest Town in Texas celebrates the holidays and pays homage to its rich history under six nations’ flags and three rebellion flags from attempts to create a Republic of Texas. Includes the Tour de Nac cycling event, Wassail Fest, Santa’s Depot, parades, live entertainment, holiday shopping, “An Old Fashioned Christmas” at Millard’s Crossing Historic Village, holiday light displays and more. (Dates for 2011 event were Nov. 17-Dec. 10.) 888/OLDEST-TOWN DECEMBER 1—DALLAS: Children’s Parade Join Santa in downtown Dallas every year on the first Saturday of December to share in the cherished holiday tradition. Downtown Dallas. or 7-9—SAN ANGELO: Christmas at Old Fort Concho Features three full days of Christmas cheer with living history, entertainment, shopping, arts and crafts and children’s events. Fort Concho National Historic Landmark. 325/481-2646 E-mail: GOLIAD: Christmas in Goliad This festive event begins with a lighted parade featuring a living nativity. The next day, enjoy arts and crafts vendors on the courthouse square, live performances, authors’ book-signings and cowboy poetry, museum tours, and Las Posadas at dusk at the Presidio La Bahia. (Dates for 2011 were Dec. 2-3.) 361/645-8767 GALVESTON: Dickens on the Strand Bobbies, Beefeaters and the Queen herself are on hand for this holiday festival that recreates the Victorian-era London of Charles Dickens. Includes Victorian bed races, costume contests, parades, children's events and live entertainment. (Dates for 2011 were Dec. 3-4.) 409/765-7834 SAN ANTONIO: Fiesta de las Luminarias Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk while strolling along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 luminarias. Warmly glowing candles in sand-filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the “lighting of the way” for the Holy Family. Begins at dusk Fridays through Sundays. (Dates for 2011 were Dec. 2-18.) 210/227-4262 LUBBOCK: Candlelight at the Ranch Experience pioneer yuletide celebrations as they took place on the open prairie more than 100 years ago with period-dressed volunteers re-enacting holiday preparations. National Ranching Heritage Center, 3121 Fourth St. (Dates for 2011 event were Dec. 9-10.) 806/742-0498 RICHMOND: Campfire Christmas Experience the beauty of the holiday season with guided tours of the 1830s Jones Stock Farm and 1890s Davis Mansion decorated in the spirit of the season. Wrap up the evening’s festivities with singing and storytelling around the campfire with George Ranch cowboys. Reservations are required. George Ranch Historical Park, 10215 F.M. 762. (Dates for 2011 event were Dec. 9-10, 16-17.) 281/343-0218 E-mail: JOHNSON CITY: A Timeless Christmas in Johnson City: Celebrate both a 1920s Christmas at President Johnson's Boyhood Home and an 1860s Christmas at the log cabin of the president's grandparents. The two sites are connected by a short, lighted trail. (Date for 2011 event was Dec. 10.) ANSON: Texas Cowboys’ Christmas Ball This event is a re-enactment of the original 1885 Ball that honored area cowboys, their ladies and families. Enjoy traditional western music, dancing, refreshments and a visit from Santa on Saturday. The rules of the original 1885 ball remain in effect: Ladies are required to wear dresses on the dance floor; Gentlemen are required to check in hats, guns and spurs; and no drinking, fighting, cussing or spitting is allowed. Historic Pioneer Hall. (Dates for 2011 event were Dec. 20-22.) 325-537-2589 or 325-823-2159

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