Day Trips & Beyond: September Events Roundup

Fall into fun!

September means it’s time for Buddy Holly’s birthday, the State Fair of Texas, and a host of activities in between.

The Hill Top Café serves great food and music 10 miles north of Fredericksburg on US87 near Cherry Spring. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Any time, a trip to the Hill Top Café near Cherry Spring, between Fredericksburg and Mason, is a pleasant drive with a great meal waiting at your destination. Sundays are just a little bit better with the Gospel Brunch starring café owner Johnny Nicholas, along with Kelley Mickwee and Bill Small. The food service begins at 11am and the music goes from noon to 2pm. “Guitar Johnny” Nicholas has been a journeyman blues musician since the 1970s with a stint with Asleep at the Wheel beginning in 1978. He and his wife Brenda (she passed away in 2016) opened the café in 1981 in an old gas station serving a blend of Cajun and Texas favorites. The café is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm, until 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are encouraged.
Sundays 11am to 2pm, Gospel Brunch with Johnny Nicholas, Hill Top Café, Cherry Spring, 830/997-8922,

Tsuruya Kōkei (Japan, b. 1946), Matsumoto Kōshirō IX as Kamakura Gongorō, in “Shibaraku,”July 1991, ink and color on Ganpi Tori no Kopaper, USCPacific Asia Museum Collection, Gift of Drs. Aziz and Deanna Khan, 1998.66.2. (Photo courtesy Asia Society Texas Center)

Kabuki, a Japanese theatrical art form pioneered in the 1600s with all-female troupes performing multiple gender roles, spawned the art of kabuki actor portraits. From 1978 to 2000, Tsuruya Kōkei worked as resident artist at the Kabuki-za Theater painting portraits of the actors (males have taken over the traditional roles) and making a limited number of woodblock prints. In the exhibit, "Tsuruya Kōkei: Modern Kabuki Prints Revised and Revisited," the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston presents 77 of Kōkei’s prints plus a collection of self-portraits. This is the exhibition’s final American viewing.
Sept. 14-Jan. 19, Tsuruya Kōkei: Modern Kabuki Prints Revised and Revisited, Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, 713/496-9901,

Southwestern artist Amado Peña will be a featured artist at the Texas Arts & Crafts Fair in Ingram, Sept. 28-29. (Photo courtesy Hill Country Arts Foundation)

The artwork of Amado Peña is instantly recognizable to many. His bold colors and depictions of strong Native American figures set the standard for Southwestern art in the 1970s and 80s. While he was an art instructor at Austin’s L.C. Anderson High School and Austin Community College, Peña showed his work to rave reviews at art festivals around the area. In the last couple of decades he has made his home and gallery in Santa Fe, N.M. After nearly 50 years since his first shows, he returns to the Texas Arts & Crafts Fair in Ingram, as the featured “Heritage Artist.” Other headliners at the art festival are artist Edith Maskey of Comfort and goldsmith Fred Stockbauer of Wimberley, both of whom exhibited at the first fair held in 1972 in Kerrville. There will be scores of artists at the annual fair, as well as craft demonstrations, food trucks, and music.
Sept. 28-29, Texas Arts & Crafts Fair, Ingram, 830/367-5121,

Travel Notes:

This year Buddy Holly would have turned 82 years old if he hadn’t died in a plane crash in 1959. The crooner from Lubbock is still remembered fondly for his short musical career that influenced a generation of artists that followed. On Friday, Sept. 7, the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock throws a party with free admission to the museum, tours, movie screenings, and birthday cake.

As of Sept. 1, six historic sites will move from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department management to the auspices of the Texas Historic Commission. Sites transferring include the San Jacinto Battleground Monument, Washington-on-the-Brazos, Fanthrop Inn, Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery, Lipantitlan, and Port Isabel Lighthouse state historic sites. The change will increase the THC managed sites to 28 and decrease the TPWD parks to 84.

Texas is home to one of the largest and most diverse collections of ancient rock art in the New World. The Lower Pecos Canyonlands region has hundreds of sites some dating back 10,000 years. While the meaning of the complex pictographs are not completely understood, some of the most interesting examples of the rock art are available to the public near Seminole Canyon State Park. The Witte Museum in San Antonio offers tours of its Rock Art Foundation White Shaman Preserve on Saturdays September through May. Tours are limited to 20 participants who must preregister for the tours.

During his 60-year career, Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was one the most influential Renaissance men of his generation. As a photographer, novelist, and filmmaker he paved new avenues of creativity. From Sept. 14 through Dec. 29 the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth will present Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Works 1940-1950. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the exhibition showcases Parks’ evolution from a self-taught photographer to an influential portrait photographer and photojournalist.

One of the most important jobs of any museum is to speak the truth – even hard truths. On Sept. 19, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum opens at 300 N. Houston St. in downtown Dallas. Originally occupying the basement of the Dallas Jewish Community Center, the new museum covers genocide, Civil Rights protests in Texas, slavery, LGBTQ rights, and more. Maybe not easy subjects, but the beginning of discussions that make us better neighbors.

Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas has reached a milestone. This summer, the largest and most comprehensive digital state encyclopedia in the country added its 27,000th entry. The entry is a biographic account of Eva Goldsmith, a garment worker, women’s rights and labor union activist, and suffragist from Grimes County. First published in 1952 as a two-volume set, the Handbook is an indispensable online guide to Texas history and all things Texan.

Other September Events:

Johnson County Adult Soapbox Derby
Sept. 1, Alvarado,

Bedford Blues and Barbecue Festival
Sept. 1, Bedford,

Kendall County Fair
Sept. 1, Boerne,

Harvest Grape Stomp
Sept. 1, Brenham,

Dino Fest
Sept. 1, Dallas,

Travis Tritt with Scooter Brown Band
Sept. 1, Fredericksburg,

Lighted Boat Parade
Sept. 1, Granbury,

Fayette County Fair
Sept. 1, LaGrange,

Texas International Pop Festival Turns 50
Sept. 1, Lewisville,

Sausage Festival
Sept. 1, New Berlin,

Shiner Catholic Church Fall Picnic
Sept. 1, Shiner,

Grape Stomp
Sept. 1, Stonewall,

Walburg Fest
Sept. 1, Walburg,

Pop-up on the Pier
Sept. 1-2, Galveston,

The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt
Sept. 1-2, Johnson City,

Keith Haring: Against All Odds
Sept. 1-15, Arlington,

Benini Art Exhibit
Sept. 1-Oct. 26, Kerrville,

West Texas Fair and Rodeo
Sept. 5-14, Abilene,

Dining Out with Jean Prescott
Sept. 7, Early,

Specialty Plant Sale
Sept. 7, Houston,

Buddy Holly’s Birthday Bash
Sept. 7, Lubbock,

Movies Under the Stars – “Apollo 11”
Sept. 7, Stonewall,

The Calm Before the Storm
Sept. 7-8, Goliad,

Four Italian Tenors
Sept. 8, Kerrville,

“Grand Canyon Photographs: Celebrating the Centennial”
Sept. 10-Jan. 11, Spring,

Good Times Celebration Barbecue Cook-off
Sept. 12, Amarillo,

Sept. 12-15, Grapevine,

Texas Word Wrangler Book Festival
Sept. 13-14, Giddings,

Sept. 13-14, Taos, N.M.,

Tri-State Fair and Rodeo
Sept. 13-21, Amarillo,

Sept. 13-Oct. 26, Port Aransas,

Spindletop Roller Derby
Sept. 14, Beaumont,

Kolache Festival
Sept. 14, Caldwell,

Castroville’s 175th Anniversary
Sept. 14, Castroville,

Gault Site Tour
Sept. 14, Florence,

Houston Jerk Festival
Sept. 14, Houston,

Sanger Sellabration
Sept. 14, Sanger,

Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Sept. 14, Shreveport, La.,

16 de Septiembre
Sept. 14-16, Del Rio,

Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza
Sept. 14, 21, Lake Jackson,

“Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Works”
Sept. 14-Dec. 29, Fort Worth,

Historic School Open House – Lower South Grape Creek
Sept. 15, Fredericksburg,

Kenny Broberg in Concert
Sept. 15, Fredericksburg,

Charreada del Dia Nacional del Charro
Sept. 15, San Antonio,

Super Chef Throwdown Series
Sept. 18-21, Port Aransas,

Come and Taste It
Sept. 19, Gruene,

Sept. 19-22, Addison,

HummerBird Celebration
Sept. 19-22, Rockport,

Feather Friday
Sept. 20, Bay City,

Plano Balloon Festival
Sept. 20-22, Plano,

Salado Culinary Festival
Sept. 20-22, Salado,

Taos Fall Arts Festival
Sept. 20-29, Taos, N.M.,

Live Quarter Horse Racing
Sept. 20-Nov. 9, Grand Prairie,

“Five Centuries of Mexican Maps”
Sept. 20-Dec. 15, Alpine,

“The Kinsey Collection of African American Art”
Sept. 20-March 1, Dallas,

Concert in the Cave: Rudi Harst and Rudiments
Sept. 21, Boerne,

Outside Austin City Limits Music Festival
Sept. 21, Driftwood,

Sept. 21, Lake Jackson,

South Texas Music Festival
Sept. 21, San Benito,

Mermaid Parade and Faire
Sept. 21, San Marcos,

Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup
Sept. 21, Texas Coast,

Heart of Texas Wine and Food Festival
Sept. 21, Waco,

Buffalo Stampede
Sept. 21-22, Buffalo,

Texas Hot Sauce Festival
Sept. 21-22, Houston,

Palacios Bay Fest and Cook-off
Sept. 21-22, Palacios,

Temple Model Train Show
Sept. 21-22, Temple,

Arboretum Fall Festival
Sept. 21-Oct. 21, Dallas,

Texas Wendish Festival
Sept. 22, Serbin,

Czech Heritage Festival
Sept. 22, Victoria,

Walburg Oktoberfest
Sept. 25-Nov. 7, Walburg,

Texas Heritage Days: Tribute to Jimmie Rodgers
Sept. 26-27, Kerrville,

Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love
Sept. 26-29, Marfa,

Wine + Food Festival
Sept. 26-29, San Antonio,

Galveston Island Shrimp Festival
Sept. 27-28, Galveston,

Hill Country Shootout Barbecue Cook-off
Sept. 27-28, Leander,

Wind Energy Capital of Texas Cook-off and Festival
Sept. 27-28, McCamey,

Big Country Balloon Festival
Sept. 27-29, Abilene,

Western Swing and Barbecue Festival
Sept. 27-29, Lockhart,

La Bahia Antiques Show
Sept. 27-Oct. 2, Burton,

State Fair of Texas
Sept. 27-Oct. 20, Dallas,

Octoberfest at the Historic Holland Hotel
Sept. 28, Alpine,

Davy Crockett Festival
Sept. 28, Honey Grove,

Lampasas County Wine Tour
Sept. 28, Lampasas,

National Public Lands Day
Sept. 28, National Parks,

Sept. 28, Quitaque,

Chautauqua Assembly
Sept. 28, Waxahachie,

Raise the Roof Cook-off & Festival
Sept. 28-29, Blanco,

Texas Arts and Crafts Fair
Sept. 28-29, Ingram,

Iron Horse Heritage Festival
Sept. 28-29, Mineola,

Houston BBQ Throwdown
Sept. 29, Houston,

Farm Heritage Day
Sept. 29, Waxahachie,

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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Day Trips, Texas travel, Buddy Holly Center, State Fair of Texas, Witte Museum, Hill Top Cafe, Amado Pena, Amon Carter Museum, Gordon Parks, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum

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