Day Trips & Beyond: May Events Roundup
A monthly planner of fun and delicious excursions
By Gerald E. McLeod,
9:30AM, Wed. May 4, 2016
The Texas weather is surprisingly pleasant (for now, anyway), making May a wonderful time to get out and enjoy these events.
Good Eating: New Orleans Wine & Food ExperienceNew Orleans really knows how to throw a party, and the annual food and wine festival is no exception. There are seminars, special dinners, street fairs, and special events spread out over nine days. If you can make only one of the events, don’t miss the Grand Tasting on Sat., May 28 at the New Orleans Convention Center. More than 75 of the area’s finest restaurants and food purveyors hand out samples of their best creations. This is a dinner like no other.
May 26-29, New Orleans, La., www.nowfe.com
Rockets Over the Hill Country: SystemsGo Aeroscience Program
Silver rockets streak across the blue sky when students from 40 high schools launch 80 rockets as part of a statewide engineering education program. The student teams build 8-foot rockets that launch at intervals during the four-day event. Beginning students send a one-pound payload more than a mile high, while second-year students attempt to break the speed of sound. The event takes place at Stewart’s Hillview Ranch, north of Fredericksburg off the scenic Willow City Loop. Food concessions and restrooms will be available. Admission is free, but spectators must register in advance or at the gate. The rocket program began at Fredericksburg High School. More than 40 Texas schools now participate in the program that is endorsed by NASA and the Space Foundation.
May 12-15, Hillview Ranch, Fredericksburg, www.systemsgo.org
Jacob’s Well ReservationsThe Hays County Park outside of Wimberley has always been in danger of being loved too much, and now the county is putting the brakes on overcrowding. Beginning on Memorial Day and running until Labor Day, swimming will be allowed at the popular park by reservations only. For the first time, swimmers will be required to select a time on the website before arriving at the artesian spring. Only credit or debit cards will be accepted, no cash. The cost is $9 for adults and $5 for Hays County residents, children, seniors, and military personnel. There is no fee to visit Jacob’s Well Natural Area. The park still conducts tours on Saturday mornings.
May 27-Sept. 5, Wimberley, 512/214-4593, www.co.hays.tx.us/jwna.aspx
Other May Events:
Red Cat Jazz Fest
May 5-8, Moody Gardens, Galveston, www.redcatjazzfest.com
Dennis Hopper Days
May 14-18, Taos, New Mexico, www.dennishopperday.com
World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
May 12-14, Memphis, Tennessee, www.memphisinmay.com
Fort Lancaster Western Frontier Days
May 20-21, Ozona, www.visitfortlancaster.com
West Texas Jazz Party
May 20-22, MCM Elegante Hotel, Odessa, www.wtjs.org/jazz-party
Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival
May 20-22, Richardson, www.wildflowerfestival.com
Houston BBQ Festival
May 22, NRG Park, Houston, www.houbbq.com
Kerrville Folk Festival
May 26-June 12, Kerrville, www.kerrville-music.com
National Polka Festival
May 27-29, Ennis, www.nationalpolkafestival.com
Neon Desert Music Festival
May 28-29, El Paso, www.neondesertmusicfestival.com
“The Art of George Rodrigue: A Retrospective”
Through June 25, Museum of Fine Art, Longview, www.lmfa.org
Gerald McLeod has been traveling around Texas and beyond for his "Day Trips" column for the past 24 years. Keep up to date with his journeys on his archive page. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.