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Iconic Texas Events

Texans love to celebrate their state, which is why it’s no surprise that you can find a festival big or small honoring Texas heritage, food, music, history, folklore and culture. Here is our bucket list of the Lone Star State’s most “Texas” events for 2018.

Fiesta San Antonio 
Fiesta San Antonio is one of the Lone Star State’s largest festivals, with about 3.5 million visitors who join in for 11
days of parades, live music, cultural events, food tastings and battle reenactments. The festival will feature flower-covered floats, giant helium balloons, beautifully-decorated
horse-drawn carriages, antique cars and a variety of
street food from local vendors. This year, San Antonio is also celebrating its tricentennial, or 300th anniversary, so Fiesta
will be more festive than ever!

Fiesta De La Flor
 Each spring, Corpus Christ hosts the annual Fiesta De La Flor to celebrate the life and legacy of Selena Quintanilla, known to many as the “Queen of Tejano.” The two-day festival serves as a tribute to Selena, as well as the cultural contributions of Tejano music worldwide. Headliners this year include The Mavericks, Los Palominos, Becky G and Elida Reyna. Fans come from all over the world to enjoy the festivities. Selena’s legacy continues to thrive in Corpus Christi with various attractions and photo opportunities throughout the star’s hometown.

Texas Musical 
Is there a better setting to watch the official play
of Texas than in the state’s most majestic park? Every summer since 1966, theater lovers have watched the outdoor musical 
“Texas” against the backdrop of Palo Duro Canyon. Just 45 minutes south of Amarillo, The Pioneer Amphitheater is nestled in the nation's second largest canyon. The stories, struggles
and triumphs of life for the Panhandle’s early settlers, cowboys and Native Americans come to life in this play written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green.

Viva! El Paso  
Viva! El Paso is an annual musical celebrating El Paso's cultural history through dance, drama, narration and songs. Part outdoor musical, part historical drama, part pageant, this colorful performance tells the 400-year story of the El Paso region, celebrating the four major cultures of the City of the Sun’s development. More than 50 performers bring to life the histories of the Native American, Spanish Conquistador, Mexican and Western American cultures during this spectacular performance in the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater.

West of the Pecos Rodeo 
Rodeos are a longstanding Texas tradition that give cowboys a chance to show off their skills at riding broncos, roping calves and wrestling steers. One of the best place to experience a true Texas rodeo is three hours east of El Paso in Pecos, the birthplace of the rodeo. Legend has it that two cowboys each bragging about their roping abilities scheduled a contest on July 4, 1883 to put an end to the debate about who was better. When word spread about the competition, area cowboys showed up wanting to prove their ability. Spectators for miles around with nothing better to do on a holiday afternoon showed up to see once and for all who was the best cowhand in the area. Today the West of the Pecos Rodeo still has a roping contest and it still draws visitors from all over the region to for a little wild west fun. In addition to bull riding, side saddle riding and roping contests, visitors can watch the Wild Milk Competition, which entails a pair of cowboys try to quickly milk a wild cow.

Texas Sandfest 
An annual highlight along the Texas Gulf Coast’s hundreds of miles of shoreline, Texas Sandfest is the largest Native-Sand Sand Sculpture Competition in the USA. The three-day family event attracts professional sculptors and tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world featuring extravagantly detailed sand sculptures, food, live music, kids’ activities and more than 50 vendors. Wander through masterful creations and vote your favorite for the People’s Choice award.

The State Fair of Texas 
Each fall millions of visitors pass through the gates of Fair Park in downtown Dallas to celebrate all things Texas. Families gravitate to the midway with 70 carnival rides and more than enough carnival games to keep them throwing baseball, tossing rings and whacking moles for hours. The fair’s most popular ride is the iconic Texas Star Ferris Wheel soaring 212 feet in the air. While the Texas Star Ferris Wheel is literally the largest attraction, it is the outlandish food concoctions that delight visitors and shine on Instagram feeds year after year.

Austin City Limits (ACL) 
ACL is a two weekend, six-day festival celebrating live music in a big way. As one of the country’s largest music festivals, it is held in Austin’s famous Zilker Park with more than 150 musical acts on more than either stages, beer and wine gardens, local food vendors and a mini-fest for kids. The great thing about ACL, is you come to see your favorite band and leave with ten more.

Thanks to all the German families who immigrated to Texas in the nineteenth century, the Texas Hill Country is dotted with small towns full of great beer, rich German heritage, various types of bratwurst and lederhosen-saturated Oktoberfests. New Braunfels, one of the earliest German settlements, has the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in Texas. Wurstfest, or a “10-Day Salute to Sausage”, draws more than 100,000 Bavarian suspender-wearing party goers each year to listen to live polka music, watch waltz competitions and participate in Masskrugstemmen - a competition in which competitors hold out a stein full of beer to see who can last the longest.

Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff
Each November thousands pack their pickup trucks, campers and RVs and head to the edge of west Texas for a four-day festival of live music, margarita-making, barbeque and the world’s best chili contest. The Terlingua International Chili Championship, hosted by the Chili Appreciation Society, judge contestants by taste, smell, color and texture, the only rules are no beans and the meat must be beef chili grind.