Texas heats up with these sizzling January festivals


Fun and festivities are still going strong in the Lone Star State after the holidays.

The holidays may be over, but the fun and festivities are still going strong in the Lone Star State. From chili and citrus festivals to rodeos and runs, here are a dozen not-to-miss events that will keep Texas sizzling through January.


Jan. 1: The best medicine for a wild New Year’s Eve? Free Americana music and cold beer, both of which you can find at Hair of the Dog Day at Gruene Hall. The free show will include back-to-back performances by Guy Forsyth band from 12 to 4 p.m., Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros from 4 to 8 p.m. and Zack Walther Band from 8 to 11:30 p.m. More at gruenehall.com.


Jan 1: Folks in West Texas know where to ring in the New Year — at the annual Black-Eyed Pea Off in Terlingua. A tradition since 1990, this New Year’s Day party takes place at the Terlingua Ghost Town Porch. Cooks turn in their peas for judging at 2 p.m., and good food, live music, a cake walk and a hot date raffle follow. A $5 donation gets you a bowl, spoon and cornbread. Keep the party going afterward with a songwriters salute at the Starlight Theatre at 5 p.m. Find out more at facebook.com/TerlinguaTradingCompany.

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Jan. 5-14: The 63rd Annual Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show is a tradition that allows families to spend a day together exploring outdoor activities while scoring great deals on vessels and gear. The show takes place at the NRG Center, featuring more than 1,000 powerboats, luxury cruisers, fishing boats and personal watercraft. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12 and free for 5 and younger. For show hours and more information, visit houstonboatshows.com.

Jan. 14: Run off the Christmas cookies and eggnog at the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon. Established in 1972, the Chevron Houston Marathon now draws over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators for its winter marathon, half-marathon and 5K, making it the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Runners will be sweating it out for a good cause, too. Since the inception of its Run for a Reason Charity Program in 1995, more than $26 million has been raised. More at chevronhoustonmarathon.com.

San Antonio

Jan. 10-14: Head to San Antonio, which celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2018, for the seventh San Antonio Cocktail Conference, where top bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts convene for educational seminars, guided tastings and cocktail parties. The conference donates 100 percent of its profits to benefit children, and past beneficiaries include Children’s Shelter, ChildSafe and Transplants for Children. More at sanantoniococktailconference.com.

Jan. 15: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. March, which starts at 10 a.m. at the MLK Academy located at 3501 MLK Drive and ends at Pittman-Sullivan Park at 1101 Iowa St. The free community event honors and pays tribute to one of the nation’s most revered civil rights leaders, drawing approximately 300,000 participants. More at sanantonio.gov/MLK.

Fort Worth

Jan. 12-Feb. 3: The legendary Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, going strong since 1896, now brings nearly a million people to the Will Rogers Memorial Center for a livestock show and daily performances of the world’s original indoor rodeo. Don’t miss the Fort Worth Stock Show’s All Western Parade Jan. 13 at 11 a.m. in downtown Fort Worth. Daily general admission tickets come with access to all livestock events, educational programs, commercial exhibits and the carnival/midway ($10 adults, $5 children 6-16, free for 5 and under). More at fwssr.com.

Port Isabel

Jan. 13: Get a healthy start to the new year at the 34th annual Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk. Participants can choose between the 5K fitness walk or the 10K run as they cross the historic Queen Isabella Causeway over the beautiful Laguna Madre. Registration fees range from $15 to $30, and awards ceremonies and lunch will follow the race at Louie’s Backyard on South Padre Island. More at portisabelchamber.com.


Jan. 19-20: Calling all chili and beer fans — Yaga’s 9th Annual Chili Quest and Beer Fest is a merging of more than 100 craft and import beers, lots of chili and loads of fun in the form of live music, a 5K run/walk, a washer pitching tournament, a jackpot margarita contest, vendors and a historical strand merchant walk-about. A chili tasting ticket is $10, a beer tasting ticket is $30 and a combo ticket is $37. More at yagaschiliquest.com.

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South Padre Island

Jan. 23-27: Bird-watchers and families will flock to the South Padre Island World Birding & Nature Center for the 23rd Winter Outdoor Wildlife Expo. Daily special events and programs range from Birds of the RGV to Jonathan Wood’s Raptor Project. More at spibirding.com.

Round Top

Jan. 26-27: Pick out quality antiques and vintage finds at Round Top’s annual Winter Antique Show. The 90-population town puts on a big show at the Big Red Barn Event Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Admission is $7 for a daily ticket or $12 for two-day admission, and children 12 and under and parking are free. More at roundtoptexasantiques.com.


Jan. 27: The 81st Texas Citrus Festival, themed Hawaiian Pirate Adventures, is Mission’s zestiest annual event. The free all-day fun fair runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a highlight being the intricate citrus-themed costumes that have been featured in magazines including National Geographic and Southern Living. But fun also comes in the form of the festive Parade of Oranges (3 p.m.), family-friendly entertainment, arts and crafts, food, a fun fair and a vaquero cookoff. More at texascitrusfiesta.org.

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