Day Trips & Beyond: February Events Roundup

February's full of fun

February begins with Lunar New Year celebrations and ends with the beginning of Mardi Gras season with lots of fun in between.

Broken Obelisk Elbows by Phillip Pyle II is one of 25 artworks coming to Houston as part of the “New Monuments for New Cities” public art exhibition. (Courtesy Buffalo Bayou Partnership)

The repurposing of an abandoned railroad viaduct through Lower Manhattan as a linear park is one of the most inspired urban projects of the young century. The High Line in New York City shows what can be accomplished with public spaces as our aging cities evolve. Texas has its own such projects. In the Houston, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership has turned the waterway through downtown into a greenbelt and a former underground reservoir into the Cistern art space. In Austin, the Waller Creek Project has reimagined a drainage ditch into a public park. These innovative projects, along with ones in Chicago and Toronto, have united to form the High Line Network Joint Art Initiative. Five artists from the five cities responded to the question “What should a contemporary monument look like?” The 25 artworks will travel to the five cities beginning with Houston and ending in New York City in September.
Feb.19-April 30, “New Monuments for New Cities,” Houston,

Get a different perspective of Houston on the boat tours down Buffalo Bayou. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Take a ride back in Houston history on the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s boat tours. The 1.5- to 2-hour history lessons offer a view of downtown not normally seen. Led by local historians, there is the Looking Back History Boat Tour on Feb. 16 at 10am for $40 and the Port to Port History Boat Tour on Feb. 23 at 10am that cruises from Allen’s Landing to the Port of Houston Turning Basin.
Feb. 16, 23, History Boat Tours, Houston, 713/752-0314,

Make a special Valentine gift at Salado Glassworks. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Blow your sweetheart’s mind on Valentine’s Day with a glass heart or heart-shaped bowl you created by you just for them at Salado Glassworks. Budding artists 12 years old and older can create a one-of-a-kind art project with the help of resident glassblowers. Online registration is available. There is a special session for children ages 3 and up on Feb. 1.
Feb. 1-2, 8-9, Blow Your Own Valentine, Salado Glassworks, Salado, 254/947-0339,

Travel Notes:

It’s not too early to start working on your entry into the 2019 Houston Art Car Parade to be held April 11-14. This is one of the largest free events in Texas’ largest city. Rolling artworks from around the country participate. Entries must be registered by Feb. 15 and should include photographs of the creation.

LEGO® bricks are not just for kids. In the exhibit “The Art of the Brick” at the Perot Museum in Dallas, artists use the familiar toy building blocks to re-create famous works of art. The national touring show of structural marvels fills the gallery from Feb. 23 to Aug. 18.

Closed in May 2018 due to structural concerns, the pool at Balmorhea State Park may reopen to swimmers later this year. In January, Apache Corporation, which has oil drilling operations in the area, delivered on a $1 million promise to help repair the popular swimming hole. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, the grant matched more than $1 million donated by more than 575 donors. Sixty percent of the donations were under $100. Apache also donated $1 million to establish an endowment to support the park in perpetuity.

The Gault Archaeological Site, outside of Florence in northern Williamson County, has been named one of the Top Ten Archaeological Discoveries in the World for 2018 by Archology Magazine. Evidence suggests that the large deposit of flint at the site attracted human toolmakers prior to when scientists had thought people had inhabited North America. Dr. Clark Wernecke, executive director of the Gault School, will present a new movie about the site at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Feb. 19. Tours of the dig site are available through the Williamson County Museum and the Bell County Museum.

On the weekend of Feb. 1-3, The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock commemorates the 60th anniversary of Holly’s death with The Day the Music Died. The three days of music, special exhibitions, and trolley tours includes tours of the J.I. Allison Home. Allison was the drummer in the Crickets and Holly’s songwriting partner. You can help support of the Holly Center by buying a personalized paving brick for $125 or $500. Or you can have your name inscribed on a permanent art exhibit at the Lubbock Entertainment/Performing Arts Center for $250 to $5,000.

In North Texas, February is when the tulips bloom. By the end of the month, the fields at Texas-Tulip outside of Pilot Point will be ablaze in color. Visitors are invited to tour the fields and pick the flowers (for a fee) seven days a week. The blooms only last until late March or early April.

Other February Events:

Lunar New Year
Feb. 1-3, Grand Prairie,

Renaissance Festival
Feb. 1-3, Kerrville,

The Day the Music Died
Feb. 1-3, Lubbock,

SPI Kitefest
Feb. 1-3, South Padre Island,

Early Texas Ceramics and Furniture
Feb. 1-March 30, San Angelo,

Hidden Dallas Tour
Feb. 2, Dallas,

Texas Lunar New Year Celebration
Feb. 2, Houston,

Abner Jackson Plantation Site Tour
Feb. 2, Lake Jackson,

Trade Day
Feb. 2, Llano,

Civil War Reenactment
Feb. 2-3, Canton,

Wine & Chocolate Trail
Feb. 2-10, Brenham,

Super Beef Sunday
Feb. 3, Houston,

Planetarium Show
Feb. 5, 12, 19, 22, 26, Clute,

Winter Lecture Series
Feb. 6, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, Corpus Christi,

Laredo Birding Festival
Feb. 6-9, Laredo,

Eddie Durham Jazz Celebration & Hill Country Jazz Festival
Feb. 7-9, San Marcos,

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Feb. 7-24, San Antonio,

Chinese New Year Festival
Feb. 9, Dallas,

Czech Music Festival,
Feb. 9, Ennis,

Wine & Chocolate Fantasia
Feb. 9, Lubbock,

Confucius Wishing Lanterns
Feb. 9, San Antonio,

Asian Festival
Feb. 9, San Antonio,

Chocolate Fantasia
Feb. 9, Silver City, N.M.,

South Padre Island Chili Expo Chili Cook-off
Feb. 9, South Padre Island,

Gallery Trail
Feb. 9, Wimberley,

Market Days
Feb. 9-10, Boerne,

Lunar New Year Houston
Feb. 9-10, Houston,

Bloodless Bullfights
Feb. 9, 23, La Gloria,

ReelAbilities Film and Art Festival
Feb. 12-13, 17-21, Houston,

Inspire Film Festival
Feb. 14-18, The Woodlands,

Luckenbach Hug-In & Valentine Ball
Feb. 15-17, Luckenbach,

Matagorda Bay Birdfest
Feb. 15-17, Palacios,

Market Days
Feb. 15-17, Rockport-Fulton,

Houston Glass Show and Sale and the Best Little Antique Show in Texas
Feb. 15-17, Rosenberg,

From Broadway With Love
Feb. 16, Boerne,

Castell Chili Cook-off
Feb. 16, Castell,

Wolves Behind-the-Scenes Tour & Dinner
Feb. 16, Glen Rose,

Aquaponics Greenhouse Grand Opening
Feb. 16, Johnson City,

Bird Banding
Feb. 16, Lake Jackson,

African American Heritage Day
Feb. 16, Palacios,

Greater Houston Train Show
Feb. 16, Stafford,

Trade Days
Feb. 16-17, Fredericksburg,

Market Days
Feb. 16-17, Gruene,

Trinity Singers in Concert
Feb. 17, Fredericksburg,

Meet Texas’ Best Winemakers
Feb. 21, Gruene,

11th Street Cowboy Mardi Gras
Feb. 21-23, Bandera,

Mardi Gras, Nocona Style
Feb. 21-23, Nocona,

Fiesta Edinburg
Feb. 21-24, Edinburg,

Whooping Crane Festival
Feb. 21-24, Port Aransas,

Harlingen Art Night
Feb. 22, Harlingen,

Troutfest Texas
Feb. 22-23, New Braunfels,

Mardi Gras
Feb. 22-March 5, Galveston,

Cave Creek School Open House
Feb. 23, Fredericksburg,

Mardi Gras Parade
Feb. 23, Palestine,

Krewe of Centaur Parade
Feb. 23, Shreveport, La.,

Hill Country Antiques Show
Feb. 23-24, Boerne,

Under the Green Flag
Feb. 23-24, Goliad,

Art of the Brick
Feb. 23-Aug. 18, Dallas,

Mardi Gras Southeast Texas
Feb. 28-March 3, Port Arthur,

Gerald E. 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 over 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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