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, www.txartsandcraftsfair.com

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, historicschools.org

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, aiahouston.org

World Championship Barbecue Goat Cook-off
Sept. 2-4, Brady, www.facebook.com/bradygoatcookoff

Lights Festival
Sept. 2-4, Marfa, www.marfachamberofcommerce.org

Western Heritage Music Festival
Sept. 2-4, Bandera, www.11thstreetcowboybar.com

Pie in the Sky
Sept. 3, Kyle, www.pieinthesky.com

Celebrate Bandera Roundup
Sept. 3-4, Bandera, www.banderacowboycapital.com

Stagecoache Market Days
Sept. 3-4, Brownwood, www.stagecoache.com

Saturday Night Rodeo
Sept. 3, 10, 17, 24, Bulverde, www.tejasrodeo.com

Shiner Catholic Church Fall Picnic
Sept. 4, Shiner, sscmshiner.org/fall-picnic

Buddy Holly’s Birthday Bash
Sept. 7, Lubbock, ci.lubbock.tx.us/departments/buddy-holly-center/events

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

Cowboy Gathering
Sept. 9-10, San Angelo, www.sanangelocowboygathering.com

Fall Planting Days
Sept. 9-11, Fredericksburg, www.wildseedfarms.com

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, austinghosttours.com/tours/haunted-bartlett-walking-tour

Kolache Festival
Sept. 10, Caldwell, www.burlesoncountytx.com/kolache-fest

Dallas Observer Brewfest
Sept. 10, Dallas, www.dobrewfest.com

Otsukimi Moon Viewing Festival
Sept. 10, Frisco, www.jasdfw.org

In a Pickle Festival
Sept. 10, Kingwood, www.facebook.com/getyourselfinapickle

LuckenRod Classic Car Show
Sept. 10, Luckenbach, www.luckenbachtexas.com

Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Sept. 10-11, Dallas, www.dallasarboretum.org

Washington County Fair
Sept. 10-17, Brenham, www.washingtoncofair.com

Come and Taste It
Sept. 15, Gruene, www.grapevineingruene.com

Grapefest
Sept. 15-18, Grapevine, www.grapevinetexasusa.com/grapefest

Texas State Forest Festival
Sept. 15-18, Lufkin, www.texasforestfestival.com

HummerBird Celebration
Sept. 15-18, Rockport, www.rockport-fulton.org/hb

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

Crossroads Sand Sculpting Competition
Sept. 16-18, Hearne, www.hearnechambertx.com

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Sept. 16, San Antonio, sariverfound.org/sarf-events/filmfest

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

Trade Days
Sept. 16-18, Fredericksburg, www.fbgtradedays.com

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

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

Market Day
Sept. 17, Blanco, www.historicblanco.org/market-day

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

Monument Hill Remembrance Day
Sept. 17, La Grange, www.thc.texas.gov/news-events/events/monument-hill-remembrance-day

Concho Valley Archeology Fair
Sept. 17, San Angelo, fortconcho.com/events/concho-valley-archeology-fair

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, wgw.com/pages/pumpkins

Pollinator Plant Sale
Sept. 17-18, Dallas, txdg.org/plant-sale

Old Gruene Market Days
Sept. 17-18, Gruene, www.gruenemarketdays.com

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

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

GrooveFest
Sept. 18, Tomball, nhvwclub.wordpress.com/groovfest/groovfest-22

Bastrop Music Festival
Sept. 22-25, Bastrop, bastropmusicfestival.com

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest
Sept. 22-26, Fort Meyers, Fla., www.island-hopperfest.visitfortmyers.com

Shrimp Festival
Sept. 23-24, Galveston, www.visitgalveston.com

Balloon Festival
Sept. 23-25, Plano, www.planoballoonfest.org

BierFest
Sept. 24, Boerne, www.theagricultural.org/boerne-bierfest

Canadian River Beach Club Calf Fry and Barbecue Cook-off
Sept. 24, Canadian, www.facebook.com/canadianriverbeachclub

Kolache Fest
Sept. 24, Hallettsville, www.hallettsville.com

Cajun Festival and Gumbo Cook-off
Sept. 24, Lakehills, www.cajunfestival-medinalake.com

Old Yeller Days
Sept. 24, Mason, mason.ploud.net/old-yeller-day

Mermaid Promenade and Downtown Street Faire
Sept. 24, San Marcos, splash.mermaidsocietysmtx.com/mermaid-aqua-faire

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

Fiddlers Fest
Sept. 24-25, Sinton, www.sintonchamber.org/events_calendar.htm

Dry Devils River Music Flood
Sept. 24-25, Sonora, sonoratexas.org/musicflood

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, drippingspringspumpkinfestival.com

A Celebration of Rolando Hinojosa
Sept. 25, San Marcos, www.thewittliffcollections.txst.edu

Farm Heritage Day
Sept. 25, Waxahachie, ruralheritagefarm.org/farm-heritage-day

Texas Wendish Festival
Sept. 25, Giddings, texaswendish.org/2022/03/11/wendishfest2022

Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love
Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Marfa, www.elcosmico.com/trans-pecos-festival

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

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

Oktoberfest
Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Fredericksburg, www.oktoberfestinfbg.com

GTX Film Festival
Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Georgetown, www.gtxfilm.org

State Fair of Texas
Sept. 30-Oct. 30, Dallas, www.bigtex.com


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.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips & Beyond: December Events Roundup
Day Trips & Beyond: December Events Roundup
Texas travel tips from Llano lights to Kerrville craftsmanship

Gerald E. McLeod, Nov. 30, 2022

Day Trips & Beyond: 10 Watering Holes From Dripping Springs to Wimberley
Day Trips & Beyond: 10 Watering Holes From Dripping Springs to Wimberley
Take a drive for outdoor patios and spectacular scenery

Gerald E. McLeod, Nov. 23, 2022

More by Gerald E. McLeod
Day Trips: Port Lavaca
Day Trips: Port Lavaca
A fisherman’s paradise worth exploring

Dec. 9, 2022

Day Trips: Holiday Gift Guide
Day Trips: Holiday Gift Guide
Cap’n Day Trips suggests four gifts for globetrotters

Dec. 2, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

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

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle