Day Trips & Beyond: July Events Roundup

Balmorhea is back, baby!

Summer’s heating up with lots of festivals, music, and a horse race or two.

More than 15 million gallons of water flow through Balmorhea State Park’s swimming pool each day fed by San Solomon Springs. The swim area is up to 25 feet deep, covers 1.3 acres, and holds 3.5 million gallons of water at 72 to 76 degrees year-round. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Balmorhea Swimming Pool is again squelching the West Texas desert heat. As most of the world knows, the state park was closed in May 2018 after erosion to the pool wall was discovered near the high diving board. The pool reopened on March 1 after more than 575 donations raised the $2 million needed to make the repairs. A few weeks later a drainage gate got stuck open and the pool built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps was closed again until early June. Because of the high volume of visitors to the world’s largest spring-fed natural swimming area, the park is limiting the number of swimmers to 900 per day. If you plan on experiencing the cool waters it is advisable to get there early or purchase a “Save the Date” pass before arriving. The campground and San Solomon Courts are still closed for repairs.
Open daily 8am-7:30pm, Toyahvale, 432/375-2370,

We Are the Asteroid III. (Photo courtesy Buffalo Bayou Partnership)

Driving around Houston is always a thrill, to say the least. You never know what you might see around the next corner as you navigate the streets and byways. Now there is something to look for as you head down Allen Parkway between Waugh Drive and Montrose Boulevard. There is a new sign on one of the more scenic roadways in Space City. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership has placed a solar-powered LED message board by Brooklyn artist and environment activist Justin Brice Guariglia that draws attention to global warming through poetry, metaphor, and humor. Watch for its nine thought-provoking messages.
Through Aug. 31, We Are the Asteroid III, Allen Parkway, Houston,

Travel Notes:

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents “Shooting the Moon: Photographs from the Museum’s Collection of 50 Years after Apollo 11,” July 20-Sept. 2. The installation features 40 photographs ranging from documentary images of NASA’s mission to the moon to fanciful pictures including a 19th-century portrait of a man in a solar themed costume.

Kirchman Gallery in Johnson City closed at the end of June. The gallery which sponsored the monthly art walk will reopen sometime this fall. The space on the courthouse square will become Susan Kirchman’s studio and gallery with guest artists appearing monthly.

Other July Events:

Hatchling Releases of Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles
July 1-Aug. 31, Corpus Christi, 361-949-7163,

July 2, 16, 30, Boerne,

Swing Dance Lessons
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Gruene,

Wayback Wednesdays
July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Goliad,

Robert Earl Keen’s Fourth on the River
July 4, Kerrville,

Fourth of July Fireworks
July 4, Rockport-Fulton,

Independence Day in Round Top
July 4, Round Top,

July 4, San Marcos,

Coolest Fourth of July
July 4-6, Fort Davis,

East Texas Country Music Festival
July 4-6, Grapeland,

July 4-6, Wimberley,

Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake Air Show and Warbird Expo
July 4-7, Cedar Creek Lake,

Thoroughbred Racing
July 4-21, Grand Prairie,

Texas Shakespeare Festival
July 4-28, Kilgore,

“Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”
July 5-21, Wimberley,

Gary P. Nunn’s Retirement Tour
July 6, Blanco,

Terri Hendrix with Lloyd Maines Concert in the Cave
July 6, Boerne,

Fischer & Weiser’s 50th Anniversary Celebration
July 6, Fredericksburg,

Barrel Room Tour
July 6, Houston,

Open Car and Motorcycle Show
July 6, Kerrville,

Rock’n Riverfest
July 6, Llano,

Market Days
July 6, Wimberley,

Art Festival
July 6-7, Rockport,

Pari-Mutuel Horse Racing
July 6-7, 20-21, Fredericksburg,

Saturday Night Rodeo
July 6, 13, 20, 27, Bulverde,

Free Sandcastle Building Lessons at Stewart Beach
July 6, 13, 20, 27, Galveston,

Harvest Grape Stomp
July 6-Sept. 1, Brenham,

Frida Fanatics Festival
July 7, Corpus Christi,

Cactus Pear Music Festival
July 10-21, San Antonio, Boerne, New Braunfels, Wimberley,

July 12-13, Edinburg,

July 12-13, Sealy,

Red River Balloon Rally
July 12-13, Shreveport, La.,

Windy City Smokeout
July 12-14, Chicago, Ill.,

International Sister Cities Festival
July 12-14, Laredo,

International Folk Art Market
July 12-14, Santa Fe, N.M.,

Balcones Heights Jazz Festival
July 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2, San Antonio,

Davis Mountains Preserve Open Weekend
July 12-14, Fort Davis,

Incredible Insects
July 13, Johnson City,

Morning Grape Harvest & Stomp
July 13, Santa Fe, Texas,

Parker County Peach Festival
July 13, Weatherford,

Marine Biology Tours
July 13, 27, Galveston,

Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist
July 14, Gruene,

Tex-Mex Barbecue Block Party at Saint Arnold’s
July 14, Houston,

Saddle Up Sunday
July 14, San Antonio,

Come and Taste It – Meet Texas’ Best Winemakers
July 18, Gruene,

Shakespeare at Winedale
July 18-Aug. 11, Round Top,

Independence Creek Preserve Open Weekend
July 19-21, Sheffield,

Route 66 Summerfest
July 20, Albuquerque, N.M.,

Blues and Butterflies Music Festival
July 20, Boerne,

Plumeria Society Annual Sale
July 20, Corpus Christi,

July 20, Corpus Christi,

Night in Old Fredericksburg
July 20, Fredericksburg,

Apollo 11 Anniversary Celebration
July 20, Houston,

Bird Banding
July 20, Lake Jackson,

Crush for Fun
July 20-21, 27-28, Aug. 10-11, Brenham,

“Salado Legends”
July 20, 27, Aug. 3, Salado,

Cheeseburger Festival
July 21, Friona,

Great Texas Mosquito Festival
July 25-27, Clute,

Watermelon Festival
July 25-27, Naples,

Viva Big Bend Music Festival
July 25-28, Alpine-Ft. Davis-Marfa-Marathon,

National Day of the American Cowboy
July 26-27, Bandera,

Great Texas Balloon Race
July 26-28, Longview,

Moonlit Harvest
July 26, Aug. 10, Bryan,

National Day of the American Cowboy
July 27, Amarillo,

All the Books Author Event
July 27, Houston,

Butterfield Festival
July 27, Monahans,

Watermelon Fest
July 27, Wichita Falls,

Grape Stomp
July 27, Seguin,

Daytime Harvest Festival
July 27, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 31, Bryan,

Traditional Spanish Market
July 27-28, Santa Fe, NM,

Food Truck Festival
July 29, Luckenbach,

Shark Week
July 31-Aug. 4, Johnson City,

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.

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Day Trips, Balmorhea Swimming Pool, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Justin Brice Guariglia, We Are the Asteroid III, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Apollo 11, Kirchman Gallery, Susan Kirchman

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