San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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July 3rd, 2009
The Weekend: Celebrating America's birthday

Fourth of July fireworks are scheduled in Buda, Kyle, and, of course, at SummerFest in San Marcos.

Scene Editor

It’s America’s birthday this weekend, and don’t worry if you didn’t get her a present. You can still give America the gift of your time and efforts. It really is the thought that counts. Just remember that our founding fathers started our country based on their thoughts about freedom, justice and decency.

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance has several projects this summer, marking trails and the like and America loves it when you take care of our beautiful land.

Another nice gift, if you are a business owner on the square, might be buying a flag for $30 from the San Marcos Kiwanis Club. They will place a flag in front of businesses that request them for the July 4th holiday. The proceeds from the flags go to the Summer Reading Program at the San Marcos Public Library, so you’ll contribute towards literacy while displaying our country’s flag. For more information, or to request a flag, contact Randy or Pam Cook at (512) 353-3383.

A literate America is a smart and strong America, and you could donate books to the Literacy Month book drive. The drive is seeking books in both English and Spanish for children under the age of six. You’ll find book drops at the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce office, The San Marcos school district office, the first floor of Texas State’s J. C. Kellam building and other local churches and businesses. The books will then be distributed to Head Start and other early childhood education programs

America wants her citizens to be hard working, literate and sheltered. Habitat for Humanity is looking for volunteers to help them complete a house at 204 Mill Street. Volunteers are usually there on Saturdays, if you’d like to stop by to sign up, or you can check their website at This house will feature environmentally friendly materials and techniques, so you’ll learn applicable skills to use at your own home.

Another thing you can do is take care of yourself. America needs healthy, happy people with songs in their hearts and long, productive lives. It’s going to be hot out this weekend, so don’t forget to have access to fresh, cold drinking water and shade in which to rest. Wear your sunscreen or a hat. And use caution when lighting those sparklers.

Remember, too, that hot as it is here, it was 145.9 degrees in Baghdad this week. Hold a good thought for our servicemen as you celebrate the Fourth.

Oh, a cake couldn’t hurt either. Bake a cake for America’s birthday. Your country can always use a good piece of cake. You might have to make the ultimate sacrifice and eat the cake yourself. We’re sure you are up to the task.

There are so many things to do this weekend, you’ll need that cake for fuel and energy for so many fun events. Here are a few suggestions on where to spend your holiday.

Friday, July 3

Independence Day starts a day early in Wimberley at the third annual Jubilee, which started at 10 a.m. with an old fashioned parade. The festivities continue at the famous Blue Hole (333 Blue Hole Lane) stretching into the afternoon with food, fun and music. After the parade the Wimberley Community Chorus will be giving a patriotic concert at the Blue Hole. Wrapping up the festivities is a free firework display after dark near the South River Business Park (12000 block of RR 12).  Should be an awesome day, and how fun to celebrate Independence Day in Wimberley today and do it again tomorrow in San Marcos, Buda or Kyle!

This is day two of the 64th annual VFW Rodeo and PBR Bull Riding event (Veterans Park, Jacobs Well Road CR 182). This three-day event is sanctioned by the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association and it is an eyeful of bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and both men’s and women’s barrel racing. This year Hall of Fame rodeo clown/bull fighter Leon Coffee of Blanco will be featured. The excitement starts at 6 p.m. and the tickets are $15. Tonight’s events feature bareback bronc riding and each evening of the four-day event is closed out with spectacular fireworks. Yee-Haw!!!

If you prefer your Friday entertainment to be a tad more cerebral, Wake the Dead Coffee House (1432 RR) is hosting an art show at 8 p.m. with music supplied by the popular Teddy and Marge.

There is always music in the air in San Marcos, and tonight is no exception. The early gig at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) is the rockin’ Johnny Vibrato followed later in the evening by Focus Group, Falcon Buddies and Education. The Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) presents the original cow-punk of the Joey Green band. The great Joel Hoffman Band is on their home turf at Riley’s (8894 FM 1102) tonight, and they are well worth the trip out to Texas’ first tavern after prohibition.

Saturday, July 4

It’s the first Saturday of the month on this Independence Day, and that means Wimberley Market Day (Lion’s Field, 601 RR 2325), the Lion’s sponsored event filled with antiques, crafts, food, music and fun from 7 a.m-4 p.m. Get there early and you can enjoy the market before the heat gets too intense.

You can also have food, fun and music at the Kyle Market Day, located on Front Street between City Hall and the Train Depot. Fresh produce, organic plants and homemade items are just a few of the delights that await you there from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

If you dig good music, you’ll want to drop in to the Spur of the Moment Festival at the Burro (105 Henderson) in Wimberley. The all-day music line-up features the talents of Molly Hayes, Earl Brown, Grant Ewing and the amazing Fish Fry Bingo, just to name a few. Also, from 7-9 p.m, there’s a unicycle football game scheduled. Best of all, admission for all this good stuff is free!

The last day of the 64th Annual VFW Rodeo starts up at 6 p.m. Tonight’s action includes more rodeo thrills and spills than you can shake a stick at, with Muttin’ Bustin’, steer wrestling and good old cowboy fun (which looks an awful lot like hard, dangerous work). If you opt for the rodeo tonight, you’ll still see fireworks as they close the show with them each night.

At 5 p.m., SummerFest starts in San Marcos at San Marcos Plaza Park (401 East Hopkins Street) with the children’s parade, costume contest and a patriotic program. Live music will begin at 6:15 p.m., with Zydeco Blanco. Later on, the music will be provided by David Ybarra and the LA Blues Band and Trio Faze. There will be food and fun galore so wear your red, white and blue-iest outfit and prepare to say howdy to special guest, Uncle Sam.

At 9:30 p.m., the choreographed fireworks exhibition is going to be bigger and better than ever! The city is even providing a special activity area to keep the children entertained until the colorful explosions start.

The Red, White and Buda July 4th Celebration takes place at City Park (121 North Main Street) in Buda, starting at 6:30 p.m. with a children’s parade by the Pavilion. If you get hungry, classic American fare can be had as the Chamber of Commerce will be selling hot dogs and chips, and the Hays High School band boosters will sell fried chicken. The fireworks display starts after dark, accompanied by recorded patriotic music.

If Kyle is where you want to be on the Fourth, the Kyle Parks Department has planned a full 20 minutes of fireworks at Gregg-Clarke Park (1300 West Center Street). The Kyle Pool will be open until 7 p.m., so you could get in a refreshing swim, bring a picnic and be all set to watch the fireworks after the sun sets.

If you want to see more music today, San Marcos is chock-full of it with the Cheatham Street putting on its July 4th Freedom Celebration with 11 hours of great Texas music from 3 p.m.-2 a.m.  At Riley’s, “Mr. Honky Tonk Piano,” Earl Poole Ball and the Cosmic Americans will celebrate our nation’s birthday juke-joint style. The Triple Crown features The Organics, Flatcar Rattlers and the extraordinary bluegrassy tones of the Crystal Creek Boys.

If you just can’t stand the heat, you can get out of the kitchen, sit down in your air-conditioned living room and watch the fireworks on TV. KLRU-TV will show the fireworks and celebration at our nation’s capitol at 7 p.m. and will reprise it at 9:30 pm.

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC at 8 p.m. features guest Kenny Chesney and massive fireworks over the Big Apple.

Neil Diamond will perform on the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on CBS at 8 p.m. The fireworks will explode over the Charles River as Keith Lockhart conducts the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.

Sunday, July 5

Today might be a great day to take a walk by the river and relax. It couldn’t hurt to do a little riverbank clean up while you’re there, since the aftermath of the Fourth often includes a bit of litter. A clean river is a happy river, you know.

Relax at Wake the Dead Coffee House with a chair massage from Bob Steine. He’ll release your aching shoulder tensions from 4-8 p.m.

The mics are open at Riley’s and the Triple Crown, if you feel like honing your act before getting an agent.

If you are planning on seeing the popular animated “Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” at the movie theater soon, it couldn’t hurt to refresh your memory on the first two movies in the franchise, “Ice Age” and “Ice Age: The Meltdown.” Both of them will be on FX tonight starting at 6 p.m.

If you missed all the fireworks on the Fourth, you can still see some in the Alfred Hitchcock classic “To Catch a Thief” on TCM. The chemistry between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly is almost palpable, and you’ll see both figurative and literal fireworks in the flick.

Oh, and you could finish off that cake with a big glass of milk. That’s the American way.

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