FIESTAS AND FESTIVALS

FOR

FEBRUARY

Lovelady

Lovefest

Second Saturday in February

Houston County Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 307

Crockett, Tx 75835

409.544.2359

Admission: Free

Lovelady celebrates Valentine's Day with this festival, which features a parade, an arts and crafts fair, live local bands all day, and chili and barbecue cook-offs. the celebration also includes a 42 domino tournament. About 4,000 people attend this festival.


BROWNVILLE

Charro Days Fiesta

Last Thursday in February through Sunday

Brownsville, 78520

512.542.4245

Admission: Free to most events, but some balls cost $20 per couple

Charro Days Fiesta hearkens back to the old cowboy days of Mexico. The charro was the original cowboy, forerunner of the Western American ranch hand we know so well. Sombreros, chaps, spurs and lariats all originated on the Mexican cattle ranch

Festivities begin officially with a grito, or yell, thursday afternoon downtown. costumes play a major role in Charro Days, and you'll see people in Mexican attire from various regions and time periods. You can enjoy plenty of dances and dance performances, especially various Mexican styles.

Main attractions include the Grand International Parade, the Fiesta de los Ninos, which means children's festival, and the youth parade.

There's plenty of free street entertainment, including a dance. Other attractions include food booths, arts and crafts, and games.


YOAKUM

Land of Leather Days

Last Weekend in February

Yoakum Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 591

Yokum, Tx 77995

512.293.2309

Admission: Free

The folks in the Leather Capital of the Southwest brave the unpredictable weather of February to celebrate their main industry with a chili cook-off in the charming streets of downtown Yoakum. It's just as likely to be warm and sunny as it is cold and rainy.

Fourteen companies in Yoakum make leather products, and the festival usually includes tours of one of the plants. you can shop in stores that sell leather products made in Yoakum.

The festival features the Grungiest Boot and Hat Contest, a cow chip toss, a beer can stack and a chili eating contest. There is also live music in the afternoon, a dance, a rodeo, covered wagon rides and the Rawhide Golf Tournament. You can usually watch a saddle making demonstration, and visit the town's historical museum, which features exhibits on the leather industry.



LAREDO

Washington's Birthday Celebration

10 days late in February

Washington's Birthday Celebration Association, P.O. Box 816, Laredo, Tx.

512.722.0589

Admission: fees to some events

Yes, the folks in Laredo really celebrate George Washington's Birthday, and have done so since 1898. This is the nation's largest celebration in honor of our first president.

The festival features 23 events, some serious, like the black tie Colonial Ball, and some humorous and fun, like the Jalapeno Festival.

Two parades entertain visitors. The Grand national Parade consists of entries from Mexico, the United States and Texas, and lasts up to four hours. The youth Illuminated Parade features 10,000 students from area schools whose lighted creations make a beautiful presentation.

a Taste of Los Dos Laredo's gives everyone a chance to sample some good food. Other activities include a sock hop, a debutante presentation and the Princess Pocahontas Western Gala. Held right after the Princess Pocahontas Debutante Presentation, the gala features debutantes wearing their native American costumes.

There is also a 5K run, a carnival, fireworks, and charro competition. The Charreada, or Mexican style rodeo, consists of teams performing various feats of horsemanship in a colorful presentation. The charros earn points for their skills in roping, riding, steer felling and other events with emphasis on style rather than speed.

The Jalapeno Festival features the famous waiter's race, wherein waiters from both Texas and Mexico see who can reach the finish line first carrying a tray with a glass of champagne and an open bottle. There's also a jalapeno eating contest.