Day Trips & Beyond: June Events Roundup
Pho on the coast, statuesque women in Dallas; June is time to hit the road
By Gerald E. McLeod,
2:00PM, Thu. Jun. 3, 2021
As things are opening up there are more festivals, events, and happenings around the state. Maintain a social distance out there and still have a good time as we get back to a new normal.
Palacios pho palace. As you enter the small coastal fishing village of Palacios from the north one of the first things that greets you is The Point, a small convenience store with a big reputation. On the walls are photos of fishermen and their prized catches, the shelves are stocked with fishing supplies and food staples, and along one wall is a food counter that is out of the ordinary.
In a segment of Parts Unknown aired in October 2016, Anthony Bourdain raved about the food as he devoured bowls of Vietnamese pho and plates of Mexican migas with the owners.
The husband and wife team of Yen Tran and Bryan Thuc Tran had reopened the convenience store and eatery less than a year before Bourdain’s visit. The couple had escaped Vietnam as children with their families soon after the fall of Saigon in 1975. They were married right after high school in Palacios. When they purchased the store that once was owned by Bryan’s brother, Yen had retired as a junior high math teacher and Bryan had retired from a nearby industrial plant.
The menu is a mix of cultures much like the community. In the first part of the day, from 5am to 2pm, Mexican food is served. Beginning at 10am until 8pm the kitchen brings out the Vietnamese delicacies. Both cuisines are equally tasty, and use locally sourced shrimp and beef.
Enjoy your meal at one of the tables built by local junior high students or take it to the park across the street overlooking the bay.
The Point: Beer-Ice-Bait-Tackle-Grocery-Lottery (& Good Food), 608 First St., Palacios, 361/972-2106, Mon.-Sat. 5am-10pm, closed Sun. pointatpalacios.com
Women of the world. In March 2020, for the International Women’s Day, I lamented in a Day Trips column about the lack of monuments in Texas to women. In one fell swoop, “#IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit” has more than tripled the number of statues honoring women in Texas.
The first-of-its-kind, life-sized statue exhibit features 121 women from 40 states who have made a difference in their chosen professions. The subjects of the statues are intended to inspire young girls (and boys) as role models in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Careers represented range from CEO of a gaming company to fashion designer, wildlife conservation, space, entertainment, aviation, health sciences, teachers, and more.
Each of the women in the exhibit participated in full-body scan often wearing their work uniforms. The statues were then 3-D printed in an orange composite material.
The exhibit is on display free of charge at NorthPark Center (which is owned by Nancy A. Nasher) in Dallas through October.
Through October 2021, #IfThenSheCan – The Exhibit, Dallas, ifthenexhibit.org
Frida’s garden. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo had a deep connection to the natural world that inspired much of work. The San Antonio Botanical Garden has brought a rendition of the artist’s home, Casa Azul, to Texas. The debut exhibition, "Frida Kahlo Oasis," mixes some of Frida’s favorite plants with objects from her home and garden in Mexico City which is now the Museo Frida Kahlo. The exhibition on view through Nov. 2 is included with admission. While at the Garden, be sure to check out the new restaurant Jardin. The restaurant’s patio is the perfect place for lunch, dinner, or snacks.
Marfa highlights. The Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love is back in Marfa on Sept. 22-26. After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the annual festival of music, workshops, and just general fun under the West Texas sky returns with reduced capacity and an extra day. Tickets have gone on sale so don’t procrastinate. The lineup will be released this summer, but it’s sure to be a good one.
San Antonio to Greenville, S.C. There will be some cherry rides sharing the roads headed north from San Antonio June 19-20 as the Great Race makes its way to the East Coast. Made up of 130 classic cars manufactured in 1974 or earlier, the race begins in San Antonio’s Alamo Plaza with a lunch stop at the Courthouse Square in San Marcos, before arriving in Temple for the night. The second day takes the timed, controlled-speed, endurance rally to Granbury and then Nocona before crossing the Red River, and on to Sapulpa, Oklahoma, on the third day. The cars and drivers surviving the drive will hit South Carolina for the finish on June 27. While the bulk of the cars in the rally were manufactured in the 1960s, the oldest contestant is a 1916 Hudson Hill Climber.
Know your beach flags. Galveston has one of the longest stretches of Texas beaches patrolled by lifeguards. The yellow lifeguard stands and red trucks of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol are a common sight along the Galveston seawall and beachfront parks. Fluttering in the breeze off the lifeguard stations are the colored flags that are international signals of water conditions.
• Green means calm conditions.
• Yellow indicates caution. It is used in normal conditions when swimmers should stay alert for changing conditions.
• Red is when conditions are out of the ordinary such as strong winds, strong currents, or large surf. Adults should go no further than waist deep and children should stay out of the surf.
• Purple warns of marine pests such as jellyfish or stingrays could be present.
Battle of the Alamo continues. Plans are moving ahead, at least for now, to turn the Woolworth and Crockett buildings in San Antonio into a new museum and visitor center for the Alamo, the San Antonio Report reported on May 18. The two buildings sit across the street from the Alamo and are owned by the Texas General Land Office (GLO). In probability one of the buildings will house the Phil Collins collection of Alamo artifacts as well as a theater, restaurants, and a civil rights museum. There was some concern for the future of the Alamo Plaza Plan after several private donors pulled out of the project when the Texas Historical Commission denied requests to move the 1930s Cenotaph. According to reporter Jackie Wang, Bexar County has committed $25 million to the $250 million project that the GLO has already invested $130 million in the project and has committed another $50 million. The city will chip in $38 million in infrastructure and landscaping upgrades.
Riders on the storm. One witness to the F5 tornado that roared through downtown Lubbock on May 11, 1970, recalled it as making “a sound you never forget, but can never describe.” Fifty-one years later city dedicated the Lubbock Tornado Memorial in a greenspace on Avenue Q in front of the Lubbock Civic Center. On the evening in 1970 the second of two tornadoes hit the Panhandle city. This one cut a 1.5-mile-wide swath through downtown killing 26 and twisting the 271-foot-tall Great Plains Life Building 12 inches. The memorial features the names of the victims on two 22-foot-high polished black granite walls that trace the tornado’s path across a grid map of Lubbock. The dedication on May 11 was delayed a year because of the pandemic and then a year later had to be moved indoors because of inclement weather.
Other June Events:
“Lonesome Dove: Photos by Bill Wittliff”
June 1-July 10, Irving, www.irvingartscenter.com
Live Thoroughbred Racing
June 1-July 11, Grand Prairie, www.lonestarpark.com
Sea Turtle Hatchling Releases
June-August, Corpus Christi, www.nps.gov/pais/index.htm
Texas Outdoor Musical
June 1-Aug. 14, Canyon, www.texas-show.com
Still in the Saddle: A New History of the Hollywood Western
June 1-Sept. 6, San Antonio, www.briscoemuseum.org
John Wayne: An American Experience
June 1-Dec. 31, Fort Worth, www.johnwayne.com/experience
June 3-5, Yoakum, www.yoakumareachamber.com
Two Gentlemen of Verona
June 4-5. Kerrville, www.caillouxperformingarts.com
Open Pro Rodeo
June 4-5, Llano, www.llanochamber.org
Texas Music Revolution
June 4-5, McKinney, www.prekindle.com/event/43411-tmr-25th-anniversary-mckinney
Summer in the City
June 5, Bastrop, www.visitbastrop.com
Blueberry Picking Season Begins
June 5, Conroe, www.facebook.com/MoorheadsBlueberryFarm
Blueberry Picking Season Begins
June 5, Edom, www.blueberryhillfarms.com
Old Jail Tours
June 5, Fredericksburg, www.pioneermuseum.net/old-jail.html
Food Truck Championship of Texas
June 5, Graham, www.foodtruckchampionshipoftexas.com
Birdwatching at the Battleground
June 5, La Porte, www.thc.texas.gov/news-events/events/bird-watching-battleground
Old Town Street Festival
June 5, Leander, www.oldtownstreetfestival.com
Cajun Heritage Festival
June 5, Port Arthur, www.cajunheritagefest.com
Walk a Mile in Our Bee Boots Tours
June 5, Rogers, www.walkerhoneyfarm.com/tours
Snake Days (Virtual)
June 5, Sanderson, www.snakedays.com
Free Fishing Day (no license required)
June 5, Statewide, tpwd.texas.gov
Fishing Day at LBJ State Park
June 5, Stonewall, tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lyndon-b-johnson
Billy the Kid Festival
June 5-6, San Elizario, www.billythekidfestival.com
Crider’s Rodeo and Dance
June 5, 12, 19, 26, Hunt, www.cridersrandd.com
Round Top Music Festival
June 6-18, Round Top, www.festivalhill.org
June 8-12, Victoria, www.victoriabachfestival.org
Children’s Art and Literacy Festival
June 10-12, Abilene, www.abilenecalf.com
Celebrity Fan Fest
June 10-13, San Antonio, www.pmxevents.com
Tyler Film Festival
June 10-13, Tyler, www.tylerfilmfest.com
Thomas Michael Riley Music Festival
June 11-12, Fredericksburg, www.luckenbachtexas.com
June 11-13, Blanco, www.blancolavenderfest.com
Texas Blueberry Festival
June 11-13, Nacogdoches, tbf.nacogdoches.org
A Day in the Park
June 12, Llano, www.llanochamber.org
Texas Water Safari
June 12, San Marcos, www.texaswatersafari.org
Food and Wine Festival: A Gatsby Garden Soirée
June 12-13, Dallas, www.dallasarboretum.org/events-activities/food-and-wine-festival
June 12-13, Stephenville, www.visitstephenville.com
Aransas County Sesquicentennial
June 12-20, Rockport, www.aransascounty150.org
Black History River Cruise
June 13, 26, San Antonio, www.saaacam.org
Come and Taste It
June 17, Gruene, www.grapevineingruene.com
June 17-19, Stonewall, www.stonewalltexas.com
Fiesta San Antonio
June 17-29, San Antonio, www.fiestasanantonio.org
Quanah Parker Medicine Mounds Gathering
June 17-20, Quanah, www.quanahparker.org
World Giraffe Day Festival
June 19, Abilene, www.abilenezoo.org
June 19, Palestine, www.dogwoodjamboree.com
Texas Freedom Festival
June 19, San Antonio, www.juneteenthsanantonio.com
The Great Race
June 19, San Marcos, www.greatrace.com/route
Honky Tonk Chili Challenge
June 19, Tomball, www.tomballtx.gov/calendar.aspx?EID=2504
The Great Race Weekend
June 19-20, Nocona, www.nocona.org/events
Frank Schlather Day
June 23, Gruene, www.gruenetexas.com/frankday.php
June 24-27, Luling, newsite.watermelonthump.com
June 26, Bandera, www.banderariverfest.com
Luckenbach Food Truck Festival
June 26, Luckenbach, www.luckenbachtexas.com
In search of more virtual or IRL travel ideas? Visit our Out of Town listings.
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 and follow him on Facebook.