Day Trips & Beyond: September Events Roundup

Find fall foliage and festivities all over Texas

The monthly forecast calls for harvest festival fun statewide.

The high-end Camp Verde General Store and Restaurant is about the only physical reminder of the outpost where camels were once stationed in an experiment to use the dromedaries to cross the Texas desert. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Walk like a camel. After Texas became a state in 1845, the federal government struggled with finding a way to get the mail across the barren landscape between San Antonio and El Paso. In 1854, Jefferson Davis, U.S. Secretary of War and later president of the Confederacy, proposed experimenting with camels. The first humpback beasts of burden were stationed at Camp Verde in 1856, a remote military station 62 miles northwest of San Antonio and 12 miles south of Kerrville. The dromedaries went on to prove they could outperform horses and mules across the hot, dry land.

The host at the restaurant at Camp Verde General Store said he has been to the site of where the old fort actually stood and there are only a few stones of buildings left. The present two-story limestone store on TX-173 was built around 1900 to replace an earlier one that served local ranchers as a supply depot and post office. The store still sells a variety of things ranging from Texas wine to kitchen utensils and books. Next door is a wonderful restaurant open from 8am to 4pm with large windows looking out over the scenic Verde Creek. The general store and restaurant are a wonderful stop while exploring the scenic byways around Kerrville.
Sept. 24-25, Texas Arts & Crafts Fair, Kerrville, 830/367-5121,

Surrounded by wineries and peach orchards on U.S. 290 W., Lower South Grape Creek School was the cultural and educational center of the agricultural community between Johnson City and Fredericksburg from 1901 to 1960. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Grape sensation. As the population around Luckenbach steadily grew in the late 19th century, the community of mostly German farmers decided they needed their own school. The first schoolhouse was a one-room log structure built in 1889. In 1901 it was replaced by the current stucco-covered limestone block building with an enclosed bell tower. After the 1960 school year the classes were consolidated with the Fredericksburg school district. Now the little white building is nearly obscured by the wineries along what was known as the Austin Highway and now as the “Texas Wine Road 290.”

Once a year, former students open the schoolhouse to visitors. Docents give tours of the rooms they once took lessons in, and there will be an old-fashioned chicken dinner and barbecue plates for sale. It’s a fun look at education of the past.
Sept. 18, 10am-3:30pm, Lower South Grape Creek School Open House, 10273 U.S. 290 E., Fredericksburg,

Travel Notes:

Looking for fall color? Check out one of these state parks. At Garner the cypress trees on the Frio River turn from orange to gold to rust colored. The trees in Lost Maples put on quite a show with the foliage report beginning in October. The foliage reflecting off the lake at Daingerfield can be gorgeous, especially in the mist on a chilly day. McKinney Falls outside of Austin has a forest of bald cypress and red oak trees, but don’t miss Old Baldy, the 500-year-old bald cypress tree. Tyler in northeast Texas is a hidden jewel of colors.

Big Tex welcomes guests to the State Fair of Texas. (Photo by Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas)

Big Tex in Big D. The last day of September sees the opening of the State Fair of Texas in Dallas that runs through October 30. It’s hard to know if you should go for all the rides, exhibits, and demonstrations or for the fried foods. Corn dogs are not enough anymore. This year’s winner of “Best Taste-Savory” is a fried charcuterie board, a combination of cheese, salami, and green apples fried in a wonton wrapper. Chosen as “Best Taste-Sweet” was Peanut Butter Paradise, a fried honey bun covered in peanut butter and caramel. Determined by the judges to be “Most Creative” was a milkshake-like concoction called “Cha Cha Chata” made with milk, ice cream, and whipping cream dusted with deep-fried arroz con leche bites. Bon appétit.

RSVP now. You won’t want to miss being at the Wittliff Collections on Oct. 30 for a conversation with artist and singer-songwriter Terry Allen as he tells about the backstory of the bronze crow he created to contain the ashes of the late, great Guy Clark. Moderated by author and filmmaker Tamara Saviano, the event happens at Alkek Library on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos. Space is limited and it’s sure to meet capacity.

Other September Events:

ArCH Film Festival: Revolutionary Architecture
Sept. 1-4, Houston,

World Championship Barbecue Goat Cook-off
Sept. 2-4, Brady,

Lights Festival
Sept. 2-4, Marfa,

Western Heritage Music Festival
Sept. 2-4, Bandera,

Pie in the Sky
Sept. 3, Kyle,

Celebrate Bandera Roundup
Sept. 3-4, Bandera,

Stagecoache Market Days
Sept. 3-4, Brownwood,

Saturday Night Rodeo
Sept. 3, 10, 17, 24, Bulverde,

Shiner Catholic Church Fall Picnic
Sept. 4, Shiner,

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

South Texas International Film Festival
Sept. 8-10, Edinburg,

Cowboy Gathering
Sept. 9-10, San Angelo,

Fall Planting Days
Sept. 9-11, Fredericksburg,

Explore downtown Bartlett, a short drive from Austin, at the Metaphysical Night Gallery & Paranormal Tour, Sept. 10.

Metaphysical Night Gallery and Paranormal Tour
Sept. 10, Bartlett,

Kolache Festival
Sept. 10, Caldwell,

Dallas Observer Brewfest
Sept. 10, Dallas,

Otsukimi Moon Viewing Festival
Sept. 10, Frisco,

In a Pickle Festival
Sept. 10, Kingwood,

LuckenRod Classic Car Show
Sept. 10, Luckenbach,

Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Sept. 10-11, Dallas,

Washington County Fair
Sept. 10-17, Brenham,

Come and Taste It
Sept. 15, Gruene,

Sept. 15-18, Grapevine,

Texas State Forest Festival
Sept. 15-18, Lufkin,

HummerBird Celebration
Sept. 15-18, Rockport,

See expertly made sand art at the Crossroads Sand Sculpting Competition, Sept. 16-18.

Crossroads Sand Sculpting Competition
Sept. 16-18, Hearne,

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Sept. 16, San Antonio,

Diez y Seis de Septiembre Celebration
Sept. 16-17, Del Rio,

Trade Days
Sept. 16-18, Fredericksburg,

Viva Texas Film Festival
Sept. 16-18, Victoria,

Quarter Horse Racing
Sept. 16-Dec. 17, Grand Prairie,

Market Day
Sept. 17, Blanco,

Music in the Cave: Fall Equinox
Sept. 17, Boerne,

Monument Hill Remembrance Day
Sept. 17, La Grange,

Concho Valley Archeology Fair
Sept. 17, San Angelo,

Check out live glassblowing demos and beautiful glass pumpkins at the Gourdgeous Glass Pumpkin Patch & Festival in Wimberley, Sept. 17.

Gourdgeous Glass Pumpkin Patch Festival
Sept. 17, Wimberley,

Pollinator Plant Sale
Sept. 17-18, Dallas,

Old Gruene Market Days
Sept. 17-18, Gruene,

Autumn at the Arboretum
Sept. 17-Oct. 31, Dallas,

Lower South Grape Creek Historic School Open House
Sept. 18, Fredericksburg,

Sept. 18, Tomball,

Bastrop Music Festival
Sept. 22-25, Bastrop,

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest
Sept. 22-26, Fort Meyers, Fla.,

Shrimp Festival
Sept. 23-24, Galveston,

Balloon Festival
Sept. 23-25, Plano,

Sept. 24, Boerne,

Canadian River Beach Club Calf Fry and Barbecue Cook-off
Sept. 24, Canadian,

Kolache Fest
Sept. 24, Hallettsville,

Cajun Festival and Gumbo Cook-off
Sept. 24, Lakehills,

Old Yeller Days
Sept. 24, Mason,

Mermaid Promenade and Downtown Street Faire
Sept. 24, San Marcos,

Texas Arts and Crafts Fair
Sept. 24-25, Kerrville,

Fiddlers Fest
Sept. 24-25, Sinton,

Dry Devils River Music Flood
Sept. 24-25, Sonora,

The Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival (Sept. 24-Oct. 31) offers more than gourds: petting zoos, pony rides, art activities, games, and lots more fun for the family.

Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival
Sept. 24-Oct. 31, Dripping Springs,

A Celebration of Rolando Hinojosa
Sept. 25, San Marcos,

Farm Heritage Day
Sept. 25, Waxahachie,

Texas Wendish Festival
Sept. 25, Giddings,

Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love
Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Marfa,

Lone Star Gourd Festival
Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Fredericksburg,

Possum Fest Barbecue and Chili Cookoff
Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Graford,

Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Fredericksburg,

GTX Film Festival
Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Georgetown,

State Fair of Texas
Sept. 30-Oct. 30, Dallas,

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, State Fair of Texas, Camp Verde, Lower South Grape Creek School, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Wittliff Collections, Terry Allen, Dallas

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