Day Trips & Beyond: February Events Roundup

Laissez les bons temps rouler

Strap on your dancing shoes for the holiday season of Lunar New Year and Mardi Gras.

In the days leading up to Mardi Gras on Feb. 25, Lafayette, La., hosts a dozen parades while surrounding communities host their own. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Mardi Gras in southern Louisiana is one huge community party that stretches over two weekends and spills into every corner of life. Everybody’s welcome and the beads and doubloons are always free. Contrary to the carnival atmosphere in New Orleans, the Mardi Gras parades in Lafayette and surrounding parishes tend to be more family-friendly, but just as much fun. The parades of marching bands and colorful floats wind through downtown Lafayette like giant snakes shedding its sparkly skin as it goes. The excited crowd pushes against the police barricades lining the parade route yelling: “Throw me something, mister.” Young and old alike snag colorful necklaces in bunches that rise from their shoulders to nearly their ears. The Carnival season begins 46 days before Easter and runs to Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. This is a great time to sample the food, dance to the music, and grab souvenir throws in Cajun country.
Feb. 14-25, Cajun Mardi Gras, Lafayette, La., 800/346-1958, www.lafayettetravel.com

Texas Tulips has two pick-your-own flower farms – one outside of Dallas and a new one near San Antonio. (Courtesy Texas Tulips)

Tiptoe through the tulips at Texas Tulips in North Texas and now a second location east of San Antonio near La Vernia. The Koeman family began their vegetable and flower farm in The Netherlands, but moved to Pilot Point north of Dallas in the early 2010s. This year the company expanded their pick-your-own tulip farm to a location 30 miles outside of San Antonio. Both farms have about 100 varieties of tulips in a rainbow of colors. It costs $5 to enter the fields and $2.50 per stem for each flower you pick. The San Antonio season opened on Jan. 23 and will run through late-February. The Dallas field will open in mid-February and last until late March depending on Mother Nature. Both fields are open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm.
January-March, Pick-your-own tulips, Texas Tulips, Pilot Point/La Vernia, 940/440-0232, www.texas-tulips.com

Travel Notes:

Selena fans will want to see the new exhibit of photographs at the McNay Museum in San Antonio of the Corpus Christi songbird by award-winning photographer John Dyer. Taken in 1992 and 1994, just months before her murder at age 23, "Selena Forever/Siempre Selena" shows the Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez at two distinct periods of her career. The exhibit runs through July 5.

The Color Factory in Houston has released a batch of tickets good through April. The interactive fun house that opened in October 2019 originally pledged to stay open for a month. With demand remaining high for an opportunity to play in the 14 romper rooms, the artist collective that originated in San Francisco has extended their stay in Texas.

It must be more than a coincidence that Mardi Gras and the opening of crawfish season generally fall in February. One of the best places this side of the Sabine River to get spicy boiled crawfish is the Crawfish Shack in Crosby. Just off Highway 90 northeast of Houston, the seasonal Cajun food kitchen announced that the dining room will open Feb. 5. The drive-through window has been open for most of January. They’re closed Monday and Tuesday and open at 5pm most other days.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines for the 33rd Houston Art Car Parade on April 16-19. Applications for parade entries of the mobile masterpieces is due by Feb. 15 along with your $40 application fee.

The Battle of the Alamo comes alive in a new musical Remember: A Musical Honoring Those Who Gave Their Lives for Texas at the Tobin Center in San Antonio. Tickets are on sale ($63-103) for the two performances one day only on Feb. 29. The operatic concert features a 60-piece symphony, 11 actors, and a 100-voice chorus.

Congratulations to Vista Brewing of Driftwood for being a 2020 Good Food Awards winner. The national award recognizes producers not just for good tasting food and drink, but for their sustainability and social responsibility. The craft brewer in the country south of Austin was honored for their Stonewall Belgian Lambic-Style Ale with Texas Peaches. Dallas-based Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters was the only other Texas company honored out of the 1,835 entries from 38 states.

Other February Events:

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
Jan. 17-Feb. 8, Fort Worth, www.fwssr.com

SPI Kite Fest
Jan. 30-Feb. 1, South Padre Island, www.spikitefest.com

Chinese New Year Festival
Feb. 1, Dallas, www.northparkcenter.com/events/northpark-lunar-new-year-festival-2020

Asian Festival
Feb. 1, San Antonio, www.texancultures.com

Asia Society Lunar New Year at the Galleria
Feb. 1-2, Houston, www.asiasociety.org/texas/events/asia-society-lunar-new-year-galleria-1

The Day the Music Died
Feb. 3, Lubbock, www.ci.lubbock.tx.us/departments/buddy-holly-center/events

Planetarium Show
Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25, 28, Clute, www.brazosportcenter.com

Laredo Birding Festival
Feb. 5-8, Laredo, www.laredobirdingfestival.org

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 6-23, San Antonio, www.sarodeo.com

Radney Foster in Concert
Feb. 7-8, La Grange, www.thebugleboy.org

Second Saturday Bluegrass Jam
Feb. 8, Boerne, www.theagricultural.org/bluegrass-jams

Armadillo Races
Feb. 8, New Braunfels, www.krausescafe.com

Family Day Lunar New Year
Feb. 8, San Angelo, www.samfa.org

Market Days
Feb. 8-9, Boerne, www.boernemarketdays.com

Clay Expo
Feb. 8-9, Rockport, www.rockportartcenter.com

Lamardi Gras
Feb. 8-9, Rockport, www.lamarvfd.com

Sweetheart Safari Dinner and Tour
Feb. 8, 15, Glen Rose, www.fossilrim.org

Guided Tours of Jacob’s Well Natural Area
Feb. 8, 22, Wimberley, www.hayscountytx.com/departments/hays-county-parks-recreation/jacobs-well-natural-area

Rotary Taste of Gumbo
Feb. 9, Port Arthur, www.visitportarthurtx.com/event/rotary-taste-of-gumbo-etc

Rockport-Fulton Market Days
Feb. 9-11, Rockport, www.fultonmarketdays.com

Hug-in and Valentine Ball
Feb. 14-15, Luckenbach, www.luckenbachtexas.com

Cult Classic Convention
Feb. 14-16, Bastrop, www.cultclassicconvention.com

Mardi Gras! Galveston
Feb. 14-16, 21-23, 25, Galveston, www.mardigrasgalveston.com

Radical: Italian Design
Feb. 14-April 26, Houston, www.mfah.com

Cupid in the Cave
Feb. 15, Boerne, www.cavewithoutaname.com

Cave Creek School Open House
Feb. 15, Fredericksburg, www.historicschools.org

Greater Houston Train Show
Feb. 15, Houston, www.sanjacmodeltrains.org

Bird Banding
Feb. 15, Lake Jackson, www.gcbo.org

Mardi Gras on Main Street
Feb. 15, Palestine, www.visitpalestine.com/events/2019/mardi-gras-on-main-street

Old Gruene Market Days
Feb. 15-16, Gruene, www.gruenemarketdays.com

Anne-Marie Houy Shaver in Concert
Feb. 16, Fredericksburg, www.fredericksburgmusicclub.com

Come and Taste It
Feb. 20, Gruene, www.grapevineingruene.com/cometaste.html

Fiesta Edinburg
Feb. 20-23, Edinburg, www.edinburg.com

Whooping Crane Festival
Feb. 20-23, Port Aransas, www.whoopingcranefestival.org

Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Feb. 21-22, Alpine, www.lonestarcowboypoetry.com

Mardi Gras Southeast Texas
Feb. 21-23, Beaumont, www.mardigrastx.com

Mardi Gras Upriver Celebration
Feb. 21-23, Jefferson, www.mardigrasupriver.com

Troutfest
Feb. 21-23, New Braunfels, www.grtu.org

Mardi Gras Celebration
Feb. 21-25, Eunice, La., www.cajuntravel.com/events/eunice-mardi-gras-celebration

Austin Town
Feb. 22, Angleton, www.bchm.org

Mardi Gras Gumbo Cook-off
Feb. 22, Henderson, www.visithendersontx.com/events/mardi-gras-gumbo-cook-off

World’s Largest Pancake Festival
Feb. 22, Lubbock, www.lubbocklions.org/pancake-festival

An Evening with Heroes
Feb. 22, San Antonio, www.thealamo.org

Storytelling Fest
Feb. 22, Wimberley, www.wimberleyarts.org

Boerne Spring Antiques Show
Feb. 22-23, Boerne, www.texasantiqueshows.com/boerne-antique-shows-all.htm

Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras Dog Parade
Feb. 23, McKinney, www.mckinneytexas.org/674/Krewe-of-Barkus

Buffalo Soldier Heritage Day
Feb. 23, San Angelo, www.fortconcho.com

Commemoration of the Battle of the Alamo
Feb. 23-March 6, San Antonio, www.thealamo.org

The Immortal Words of William Barret Travis
Feb. 24, San Antonio, www.thealamo.org

Sombrero Festival
Feb. 27-29, Brownsville, www.sombrerofestival.com

Lake Travis Film Festival
Feb. 27-March 1, Lakeway, www.laketravisfilmfestival.com

Johnny Bush’s Birthday Celebration
Feb. 29, Blanco, www.twinsistersdancehall.com

Eternal Offerings: Chinese Ritual Bronzes
Feb. 29, Houston, www.asiasociety.org/texas

Remember: A Musical Honoring Those Who Gave Their Lives for Texas
Feb. 29, San Antonio, www.tobincenter.org/box-office/2020-02/remember


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, Texas Tulips, Mardi Gras, Selena, Color Factory, crawfish season, Houston Art Car Parade, Vista Brewing

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