Day Trips & Beyond: March Events Roundup

Spring is full of festivals and flowers

March begins on Fat Tuesday and finishes in the heart of wildflower season.

Rock stacking takes creativity, patience, and an unlimited source of building materials. The Llano River hosts the annual Llano Earth Art Festival with an abundance of all three. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Rocking on the river. Before there were cave paintings there was rock stacking. OK, there is no proof our ancient forefathers stacked rocks for fun and pleasure, but making temporary artistic pilings of rocks must be as old as humans' desire for artistic expression. Once you see what the artists can do with a bunch of river rocks, you’ll be amazed and inspired. The amateur and professional rock stackers build towers of balanced rocks that defy gravity, arches that defy logic, and designs that please the eye.

The Llano Earth Art Festival held each year (unless there’s a raging pandemic) under the bridge over the Llano River in Llano is one of the most unique and fun art events of the year. There’s music under the trees, food trucks lining the street, and championship rock stacking in the riverbed with an endless supply of building materials and creativity.
March 11-13, Crenwelge Park, Llano, 325/247-5354,

M.C. Escher, Drawing Hands, January 1948, lithograph. Courtesy of Michael S. Sachs. All M.C. Escher works © The M.C. Escher Company, The Netherlands. All rights reserved. (Photo courtesy MFAH)

Extra Escher. During the 1960s M.C. Escher (1898-1972) was one of the artists that helped define a generation’s appreciation of art. His mathematically inspired drawings tease the eye with what seemed like an inside joke to which everyone was privy. The Dutch artist’s work spread around the world on calendars, T-shirts, coffee mugs, and neckties.

This March, “Virtual Realities: The Art of M.C. Escher from the Michael S. Sachs Collection,” an exhibit of more than 400 pieces of Escher’s prints, sketchbooks, and tools, begins a six-month engagement at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston. One of the largest and most comprehensive exhibitions of the artist’s work ever put together, the show draws from the private collection of Michael S. Sachs. The works gathered over 50 years include 90 percent of the Escher estate, and most of it has never been shown together before. Organized by MFAH, this is currently the only public showing planned for this unique collection.
March 13-Sept. 5, “Virtual Realities: The Art of M.C. Escher from the Michael S. Sachs Collection,” Museum of Fine Art, Houston, 713/639-7300,

Travel Notes:

Tiptoe through the tulips. The fields north of Denton are ablaze with color at Texas-Tulips. Started by a couple from the Netherlands, the farm has the earliest blooming tulips in the state. With nearly 100 varieties of the flowers, the U-pick farm is open daily through March. A little closer to Austin, Sweet Berry Farms outside of Burnet says their U-pick crop of tulips and strawberries should be ready soon.

Cherry blossom time. You don’t have to travel to Washington, D.C., to be wowed by a colorful display of cherry trees. The Dallas Arboretum has more than 100 cherry trees that turn a magnificent white or pink for about a week in mid-to-late March. Watch their social media pages for updates. It’s a spectacular show of color when mixed with the blooming tulips and other plants during Dallas Blooms Spring Festival now through April 10.

Mudbug season. Generally, crawfish season begins in late February and is at its peak in March, April, and May. The little town of Fannett, just off I-10 southwest of Beaumont, is the unofficial crawfish capital of Texas (Mauriceville is the official crawfish capital of Texas). When it comes to restaurants famous for fresh crawfish boils, Fannett has an embarrassment of riches with JuJu’s Cajun Crawfish Shak, Fannett Seafood, Red Tailz Crawfish, and Pine Tree Lodge. Pincher’s Boil’n Pot Restaurant in El Campo raises its own mudbugs, and the season for fresh crawfish runs from January to August.

Don’t bug me. If you suffer from entomophobia (the fear of insects), then the exhibit at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden, March 11-June 12, might disturb your sleep for several nights. David Rogers’ Big Bugs uses all-natural materials to create whimsical sculptures of buglike creatures. Maybe these larger-than-life insects will alleviate your fears of our beneficial neighbors. Or maybe just entertain you.

Kudos. At this year’s Texas Historical Commission annual conference, Texas Dance Hall Preservation was presented with the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation. Founded in 2007 by Texas music historian and entrepreneur Stephen Dean, historical preservation professional Steph McDougal, and structural engineer and preservationist Patrick Sparks, the nonprofit organization works to save and support old dance halls. So far the group has documented more than 60 historic structures where Texas music was born and nurtured.

Other March Events:

Mrs. Lee’s Estate Daffodil Garden
March 1-15, Gladewater,

“Aliento a Tequila”
March 1-16, Temple,

“Texas as Art”
March 1-April 2, Alpine,

Antique Carousel Rides
March 1-Oct. 31, Brenham,

Historic Gruene’s Texas Independence Day Celebration
March 2, Gruene,

Sam Houston’s Birthday and Texas Independence Day Celebration
March 2, Huntsville,

Dinosaur World Live
March 3, Cedar Park,

Matagorda County Fair and Livestock Show
March 3-5, Bay City,

March 3-5, Bee Cave,

March 3-6, Fulton,

Friday Afternoon Club at Gruene Hall
March 4, Gruene,

Mountainfilm on Tour
March 4, San Antonio,

North Texas Irish Festival
March 4-5, Dallas,

Texas Birthday Bash
March 4-5, Navasota,

“Music IS the Scene: Jazz Fest’s First Decade, 1970-1979”
March 4-May 27, New Orleans, LA,

Fresh Farmers and Artisan Market
March 5, Bellville,

Fort Clark Day
March 5, Brackettville,

Texas History Celebration
March 5, Brazoria,

Spring Bison Field Harvest
March 5, Fredericksburg,

Georgetown Swirl
March 5, Georgetown,

Dallas Blues Festival
March 5, Grand Prairie,

Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta
March 5, Houston,

Kerr County Market Days and Hill Country Swap Meet
March 5, Kerrville,

Abner Jackson Plantation Site Tour
March 5, Lake Jackson,

Texas Independence Day Celebration
March 5, Luckenbach,

County Courthouse Tours
March 5, Wharton,

Guided Morning Tours
March 5, 12, 19, 26, Wimberley,

Audubon Raptor and Education Center Tours
March 5, 26, Houston,

Sherwood Forest Faire
March 5-April 24, McDade,

Best Little Cowboy Gathering
March 10-12, La Grange,

Texas Storytelling Festival
March 10-13, Denton,

Texas Steel Guitar Association Jamboree
March 10-13, Irving,

Tyler County Dogwood Festival
March 10-April 2, Woodville,

Concerts by the River
March 11, Kerrville,

Llano Earth Art Fest
March 11-13, Llano,

Margarita Madness
March 11-April 5, Port Aransas,

Texas Ranger Day
March 12, Burton,

Pride of the Pacific Living History Reenactment
March 12, Fredericksburg,

History Boat Tour
March 12, Houston,

Rajun’ Cajun Throwdown
March 12, Luling,

Living History Event
March 12, New Braunfels,

Black History River Cruise
March 12, San Antonio,

Museum Market
March 12, San Antonio,

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 12, Surfside Beach,

Dallas Literary Festival
March 12-22, Dallas,

“Virtual Realities: The Art of M.C. Escher”
March 13-Sept. 5, Houston,

White Oak School Spring Break Week
March 14-19, Fredericksburg,

Azalea Season in Texas’ Largest Azalea Garden
March 15-April 15, Nacogdoches,

Free Third Thursdays
March 17, Corpus Christi,

Come and Taste It
March 17, Gruene,

Antiques Show
March 17-April 3, Round Top,

Herb Society of America: Pioneer Unit Plant and Gift Sale
March 18-19, Round Top,

Ceramic Expo and Handcrafted Items
March 18-19, Tolar,

Trade Days
March 18-20, Fredericksburg,

March 18-27, Waxahachie,

Dogwood Celebration
March 18-April 3, Palestine,

Bluebonnet Airshow
March 19, Burnet,

Mud Dauber Festival and Chili Cook-off
March 19, Luckenbach,

Fredericksburg Cheese and Wine Festival
March 19, Fredericksburg,

Dogwood Trails Festival
March 19, Palestine,

Texas Food Truck Showdown
March 19, Waco,

Market Day at Varner-Hogg Plantation
March 19, West Columbia,

Old Gruene Market Days
March 19-20, Gruene,

Celtic Festival and Highland Games
March 19-20, Sherman,

Lone Star Brass in Concert
March 20, Fredericksburg,

Eastside Market
March 20, Waco,

Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival
March 24-26, Palestine,

Outlaws and Legends Music Fest
March 25-26, Abilene,

Texas Pinball Festival
March 25-27, Frisco,

La Bahia Antique Show
March 25-April 2, Burton,

Hill Country Indian Artifact Show
March 26, Fredericksburg,

Herb Festival at the Wynne Home
March 26, Huntsville,

Texas Onion Fest
March 26, Weslaco,

Red River Wine & Beer Festival
March 26, Wichita Falls,

Living History Weekend
March 26-27, College Station,

Goliad Massacre and Living History Program
March 26-27, Goliad,

Wildflower Arts and Crafts Festival
March 26-27, Salado,

“Lonesome Dove”
March 26-June 25, Temple,

Night of the Artist Show and Sale
March 27-May 8, San Antonio,

Texas Hill Country Wineries’ Wine and Wildflower Journey
March 28-April 22, Fredericksburg,

Fiesta San Antonio
March 31-April 10, San Antonio,

In search of more travel ideas and info? 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.

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, Llano, rock stacking, Llano Earth Art Festival, M.C. Escher, Houston, Texas Tulips, Sweet Berry Farms, Denton, Burnet, Dallas Arboretum, crawfish, Fort Worth Botanical Garden, Texas Historical Commission, Texas Dance Hall Preservation

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