Day Trips & Beyond: November Events Roundup

Highland Games, Wurstfest, and more

Fall and spring are the reasons we live in Texas, so get out there and live while the weather’s beautiful. Find a chili cook-off, film festival, or musical show that meets your tastes this November.

Cowboy boots and Scottish kilts are fashionable family attire when the Texas Scottish clans come together for a weekend of music, food, and fun in Salado. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

In the 1830s, Sterling C. Robertson persuaded more than 600 families to come to colonize a swath of Texas running 100 miles wide and stretching 200 miles northeast up the Brazos River covering what would become 30 present-day counties. In the midst of this sea of grassland was a colony of Scottish families around what became the settlement of Salado. Since 1960, the descendants of these early pioneers have called Scottish Texans to their village to celebrate the annual Scottish Gathering and Highland Games. The largest gathering of the clans in Texas honors the traditions and history of Scotland over three days with bagpipe and drum bands, sporting events, dancing, music, and food.
Nov. 10-12, Scottish Gathering & Highland Games, Salado, 254/947-5232, www.saladoscottishfestival.com.

Houston-raised Sam Wainwright Douglas’ latest film, Through the Repellent Fence, follows the art collective group Postcommodity as they construct a two-mile-long outdoor artwork that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border and is one of the films showing at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival. (Photo courtesy Houston Cinema Arts Festival)

No singular film festival brings more of Houston’s creative talent together than the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival. From hip-hop to Singin’ in the Rain, comedies to documentaries, the festival captures the indomitable artistic energy of the Bayou City. This is a regional film festival with truly a local focus and an international sensibility.
Nov. 9-13, Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Houston, 713/429-0420, www.houstoncinemaartsfestival.org.

Travel Notes:

Next year Wimberley’s Blue Hole Regional Park, one of the best swimming holes in Texas, will go to an online reservation service. The scenic, tree-lined recreation area is in danger of being loved too much. According to The Wimberley View, usage of the park increased 20% last year over the previous year. When the 126-acre park along Cypress Creek reaches its capacity of 250 swimmers, the gates are closed until someone leaves. “The overcrowded park we are having right now is leading to staff being treated very unfairly,” Becca Manning, Wimberley parks director, told the local newspaper. “We hire a lot of 16- and 17-year-old kids …. They get cussed at, bribed and yelled at. We’ve had staff in tears at the office because they are emotionally drained ….” Bribed? The new online reservation system begins March 1, 2018. Visitors can choose between 9am to 1pm or 2pm to 6pm time slots. Along with the reservation system, swimmers will see an increase in the admission fee. www.cityofwimberley.com.

November is the time to get ready for next spring’s wildflower season. Whether you’re seeding your yard or a favorite scenic location in the country, the best time to sow wildflower seeds is between Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, with best results if they are planted no later than mid-November. www.wildseedfarms.com.

Who doesn’t love a good festival wrapped around sausage and beer? Wurstfest, Nov. 3-12 in New Braunfels, is one of the best. Don’t let the fun of polkas and beer steins get the best of you – get a ride to and from the party. Twisted Texas Tours is offering bus transportation and admission to the festival for $49 per person. Much cheaper and a lot more fun than a visit to the justice of the peace. www.twistedtexastour.com.

To see San Antonio in an entirely different light, head down to the after-dark arts festival at Hemisfair Park. Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival, Nov. 10-11, fills the indoor and outdoor spaces with innovative and inspiring work by an international roster of artists. The edgy art show is free on Friday night from 7pm to midnight, with ticketed events on Saturday. There is also a Southtown Arts Festival on Saturday afternoon featuring some of the artists in Luminaria. www.luminariasa.org.

Other November Events:

International Chili Championships
Nov. 1-4, Terlingua, www.abowlofred.com or www.casichili.net

Open House at La Presidio La Bahia
Nov. 2, Goliad, www.presidiolabahia.org

Rockport Film Festival
Nov. 2-4, Rockport, www.rockportfilmfestival.com

Lone Star Motorcycle Rally
Nov. 2-5, Galveston, www.lonestarrally.com

Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards
Nov. 2-5, Jefferson, www.texassounds.org

Wurstfest
Nov. 3-12, New Braunfels, www.wurstfest.com

Public Observatory Viewing
Nov. 4, Georgetown, www.southwestern.edu/offices/observatory

National Bison Day
Nov. 4, Lubbock, www.visitlubbock.org

Storyfest
Nov. 4-5, George West, www.georgeweststoryfest.org

Hidden Dallas Tour
Nov. 4, 12, 18, Dallas, www.dallasbychocolate.com

East Texas Pipe Organ Festival
Nov. 6, Kilgore, www.easttexaspipeorganfestival.com

Planetarium Show
Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28, Clute, www.bcfas.org

Lone Star Film Festival
Nov. 8-12, Fort Worth, www.lonestarfilmfestival.com

Texana Chili Spill
Nov. 9-11, Edna, www.texanachilispill.com

Texas All Star Big Band Bash
Nov. 9-11, Fredericksburg, www.hilltopcafe.com

Luminaria Arts Festival
Nov. 10-11, San Antonio, www.luminariasa.org

Spinach Festival
Nov. 10-12, Crystal City, www.spinachfestival.org

Scottish Gathering and Highland Games
Nov. 10-12, Salado, www.saladoscottishfestival.com

Lumberjack Harley Fall Wine, Whiskey and Brew Tour
Nov. 11, Nacogdoches, www.visitnacogdoches.org/wwb

An Evening With Sophia Loren
Nov. 12, Galveston, www.thegrand.com

Reel East Texas Film Festival
Nov. 16-18, Kilgore, www.reeleasttexas.com

“The Wall That Heals”
Nov. 16-19, San Angelo, www.thewallsanangelo.com

Winter Wonderland
Nov. 17-18, Wimberley, www.wimberley.org

Weihnadhtsmarkt
Nov. 17-19, New Braunfels, www.sophienburg.com

Holiday Lighted Parade and Courthouse Lighting Ceremony
Nov. 18, Kerrville, www.kerrvilletx.gov

Night in Old Pearl City
Nov. 18, Pearl City/Yoakum, www.pearlcitydanceclub.com

Via Colori Street Painting Festival
Nov. 18-19, Houston, www.houstonviacolori.com

Parade of Lights
Nov. 19, Fort Worth, www.fortworthparadeoflights.org

Whistle-Stop Christmas
Nov. 20-Dec. 31, Cleburne, www.whistlestopchristmas.org

Thanksgiving Day Parade
Nov. 23, Houston, www.houstontx.gov/thanksgivingparade

Christmas Extravaganza
Nov. 23-Jan. 4, San Saba, www.visitsansabatexas.com

Lighting of the Community Christmas Tree and German Pyramid
Nov. 24, Fredericksburg, www.visitfredericksburgtx.com

Dickens on Main
Nov. 24-25, Boerne, www.visitboerne.org

Chicken Farm Art Center Open House
Nov. 24-26, San Angelo, www.chickenfarmartcenter.com

A Wonderland Christmas
Nov. 24-Dec. 23, San Antonio, www.morganswonderland.com

River of Lights
Nov. 24-Dec. 31, Bastrop, www.lostpineschristmas.com

Holiday Lights at Loy Lake
Nov. 24-Dec. 31, Denison, www.denisontexas.us

Eisbahn Outdoor Ice Skating
Nov. 24-Jan.2, Fredericksburg, www.skateinfred.com

Christmas on the Square
Nov. 25, Leakey, www.friocanyonchamber.com

Holiday Cookie Decorating and German Traditions
Nov. 25, Stonewall, www.tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lyndon-b-johnson

Trail of Lights
Nov. 25-Dec. 28, Wimberley, www.emilyann.org

Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza
Nov. 26-Dec. 1, San Antonio, www.mariachimusic.com


Gerald McLeod has been traveling around Texas and beyond for his "Day Trips" column for more than 25 years. Keep up to date with his journeys on his archive page.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Day Trips, Highland Games, Houston Cinema Arts Festival

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