"CULLEN BAKER COUNTRY" FAIR
First Saturday in November
Atlanta Area Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 29 Atlanta, 75551
903.796.3296 Admission: Free
Cullen Baker deserted the Confederate Army during the Civil War and roamed the northern part of wooded Cass County committing all kinds of c rimes. It has been explained the festival doesn’t really honor the outlaw, but that the surrounding country is often called "Cullen Baker Country,: because of the man’s notoriety. The country fair features a parade, crafts display, barbecue, country store, games for children, fiddling contest and gospel music. It all takes place on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Bloomburg.
San Saba is the Pecan Capital of the World as well as excellent deer hunting country. This combination festival makes for nice autumn outing and some good eating. Most of the pecan related events take place during the week, including judging of locally grown pecans and the Miss Pecan and Little Mr. and Miss Pecan pageants. There’s also a pecan baked goods contest sponsored by the Agriculture Extension Agency. The chili cook-off, in appreciation of deer hunters who help out the local economy with their visits, takes place in the city park Saturday. One of the organizer explained that chili is made using the hunters’ deer meat. There’s also a parade, rodeo, pecan pie eating contest for kids, an arts and crafts fair, dance, and live entertainment in the park all day.
A FAIRE ON THE SQUARE
Waxahacie Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 187 Waxahachie, 75165
Admission: Free - small fee for homes tour
This Victorian Christmas Celebration features five historic homes decorated for Christmas, a children’s bike parade, a window display contest, arts and crafts exhibits, live entertainment, and food booths representing the Victorian era.
BRUSH COUNTRY DAYS
First or second weekend in November
Dimmit County Chamber of Commerce
107 West Nopal Carrizo Springs, 78834
Admission: $1.00 per adult; kids under 12 free
People from all over Dimmit County come to this festival, which features a parade, a dance, an arts and crafts fair, and 5K and 10K runs. You can also see a ranch rodeo, mock gunfighters and dance groups. Local bands play in the pavilion throughout the afternoon.
GEORGE WEST STORYFEST
First Saturday in November
George West Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 359 George West 78022
512.449.2915 Admission : Free
This festival features two stages where amateur and professional storytellers spin their yarns. Live music, primarily Texas folk music, entertains visitors throughout the day. In 1989 the featured musician was Robert Earl Keen Jr. There is an arts and crafts fair, food booths and a street dance. It is believed a celebration such as Storyfest would help preserve the art of storytelling. Rocky Reagan, was a renowned story teller in town. Even J. Frank Dobie, the great Texas storyteller, used to come to Reagan for stories.
BRIDGE CITY DAYS
First weekend in November
Bridge City Chamber of Commerce
150 West Roundbrunch Bridge City 77611
409.735.5671 Admission: Free
Bridge City Days, celebrated since 1969, includes a parade, bike race,
live music, tiny tot pageant, contests, arts and crafts, country music
talent show and food booths. Most events are held outdoors at the bridge
City Community Center
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CHILI COOK-OFF
Fist Saturday n November
Sam Lewis 420 North Van Buren
San Angelo 79601 915.
Admission: $10 for two days
This world famous event helped establish chili as an important dish n American cuisine. Begun in 1967, this is the original cook-off, after which all others are modeled. It started as a competition between Wick Fouler, that renowned Texas chili cook, and a restaurant owner in California to see if Texas or California chili was best. Now the event attracts about 10,000 spectators each year. Visitors enjoy the antics of the chili cooks, many of whom enter the showmanship competition as well as cooking. Cooks must compete in other cook-offs all over Texas and the U.S. for enough points before they may enter the contest at Terlingua. Folk musician Gary P. Nunn plays Friday and Saturday night each year. You’ll find plenty of beer, various games and thousands of chili loving party goers just hanging around waiting for a taste. Terlingua has no motels, but Study Butte, just a few miles down the road, has three. Lajitas on the Rio Grande, a resort, is about 24 miles away. You need to call months ahead if you want to stay at one of these places. But Sam Lewis, who helped found the cook-off and who still maintains the festival site, said the best thing to do is to bring your own tent, camper or R.V. and camp on the grounds. The atmosphere is friendly and there’s plenty of room.
WONDERLAND OF LIGHTS
Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s Day
Marshall Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 520 Marshall 75671 903.935.7868
Marshall brightens up for the Christmas season with more than 2.5 million Christmas lights on buildings, trees, and decorations all over town. In all, the strings of light measure more than 230 miles. t Spectacular decorated scenes abound during this world famous event, including 25 light art panels, designed and constructed by volunteers. Neighborhoods decorate with lights around a central theme. More than 260,00 lights decorate the uptown square, covering lampposts and the courthouse museum. More than 9,000 lights bedeck a giant Christmas tree on the square. The town square is the site of various activities, including the March of the Lighted Carolers, in which 2,000 singers carry candles as they march around he square. Each Tuesday and Thursday night, choirs, dressed in decorative robes, perform on the square. Other activities include a parade and the Jingle Bell Run. You can get driving or walking tour maps from the Wonderland Information Center on the square, open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night.
Winnsboro Chamber of Commerce
201 West Broadway
This is much like Winnsboro’s famous Autumn Trails festival, but the focus is Christmas tree farms instead of fall foliage. There’s something happening each weekend, including crowning of the Christmas Queen and princesses, a Christmas parade, a style show, and a tour of homes. You can get maps in town that show the way to Christmas tree farms in the Winnsboro area.
First weekend in December
Raymondville Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 746 Raymondville 78580
In South Texas, the weather's still balmy in December, so the folks in Raymondville welcome the season with a parade, bean cook-off, fajita cook-off, arts and crafts, food booths and a 5K run. For music, they usually round up a mariachi band and some old time fiddlers.
Second weekend in December
Mission Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 421
Designed especially for Winter Texans, those folks who spend the winter months in South Texas instead of in the chilly north, this festival presents a panorama of South Texas culture with music, dancing, food, and an arts and crafts fair. The three-day event takes place downtown in Lomita Plaza. You’ll see square and round dance exhibitions, clogging, ballet folklorico and mariachi bands. Music includes bluegrass, country and western, jazz and choral. Other events include a 5K walk, a health fair, and poinsettia show.
LAKE AMISTAD FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS PARADE
Second Saturday in December
Del Rio Chamber of Commerce 1915 Avenue F
Del Rio 78840
A nighttime lighted parade of boats decorated in the spirit of Christmas floats by several vantage points for visitors to Lake Amistad. The parade passes westerly along the south shore of the San Pedro Campground and Black Brush Point park sites, then along the cliffs of Diablo East Park to Governor's Landing at the Herb C. Petgry Bridge. From there, the boats return to Diablo East Marina, where they are judged.