San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 23rd, 2009
Weekend: Great music, great pumpkins and Farmer Fred

Jeremy Steding plays true blue country at Riley’s on Saturday.

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

Candy corn has been around for a hundred years or so and, while it is available year-round, it is particularly prevalent at Halloween and harvest time.

The really good candy corn is made with honey. Odds are, you either love it or despise the stuff. Over the years, candy corn manufacturers have expanded the candy corn market to include reindeer corn (with red, white and green colors) and bunny corn (pastel colors).

According to the National Confectioners Association, if you expressed the amount of candy corn produced in the United States in ears, it would count as 2,250,000. It weighs in at 35 million pounds. That’s 4.3 billion pieces. It’s a candy corny world.

There are now caramel flavored candy corn varieties, as well as a candy apple variety. There was some talk of chocolate-covered candy corn some years ago, but that idea ended up on the shelf (or off the shelf, if you will). Jones Soda actually made a fizzy, candy-corn flavored soda. Understandably, nobody much cared for it. There are some things that do not improve with effervescence. We speak, also, of the turkey and gravy soda Jones made a couple years ago. Yuk.

First of all, it must be said that we love candy corn. It is particularly good sprinkled liberally into your popcorn at the movies. We lament, however, the loss of vegetable shaped candies. There once was a candy, available at any bulk candy counter at the five and dime, called peas and carrots. It was little, round green candies mixed with little, square orange candies looking very much the way the frozen corn and peas mixture used to look. It was very good and now, long lost, gone the way of the Seven-up bar.

Perhaps manufacturers or kids or parents don’t like the idea of candy-shaped like vegetables. It seems as though broccoli-shaped chocolates or hard candies shaped like beets, ideas we’ve long cherished, will never see the light of day.

We content ourselves with the Idaho Spud bar, which looks a bit like a halved potato, and the ubiquitous candy corn. We hold out hope for the broccoli-shaped chocolates. But not much.

You don’t need to hope for fun things to do this weekend, as the county is loaded with them. Here are a few suggestions.

Friday, October 23

If you want to start your weekend out with some really good music, catch Ramsay Midwood at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) at 6 p.m. Midwood never rushes a song, but lets it bloom through his naturally bluesy rhythms. His unpretentiousness speaks to his comfort with the genre.

The Luxe 2009 Fashion Benefit, sponsored by Brilliant and San Antonio Magazine, will be at Prime Outlet Mall at 6:30 p.m. The runway show features celebrity stylist Mark-Alan Harmon as host. There will be a silent auctions, one-night-only discounts, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets for $10 can be purchased at the door, near Neiman Marcus at the mall. The proceeds will go to charitable organizations including Central Texas Medical Center’s (CTMC) Women’s Center.

If winning prizes and shouting “Bingo!” is more your style, you’re in luck. The Wimberley VFW Post (Veteran’s Park on Jacobs Well Road) has its Friday night bingo game going strong at 7 p.m. The concessions are served by the gentle and lovely hands of the Ladies Auxiliary. All proceeds go towards the post’s many veterans programs.

The Texas State women’s soccer team leads the Southland Conference standings right now and tonight is the first of two games this weekend to challenge that lead. The Bobcats will face Stephen F. Austin at Bobcat Soccer Complex tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are a mere $5 to see the action.

In high school football, the Hays Rebels are playing Manor at Bob Shelton Stadium (4800 Jack C. Hays Trail) tonight at 7:30 p.m. The Lehman Lobos will be at Del Valle and Wimberley will be at Liberty Hill. It’s homecoming for the San Marcos Rattlers as they (hopefully) tuck in Schertz Clemens for their homecoming game at 7:30 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium. The weather is just right for Frito pie and football, and it’s always good to catch a little homecoming spirit, whatever your age may be.

Talented singer-songwriter Mark Allan Atwood sort of came to country music through the side door. He started out his musical career in metal bands, opening for the likes of groups like Dokken, Slaughter, Tesla, and Great White. He’s a Texan, though, and you can’t take the Kris Kristofferson out of a guy anymore than you can take the Texas out of Kristofferson. All those years in front of cheering crowds means Atwood is comfortable at the mic and his voice still has a slight trace of metal in it. You can hear his country anthems tonight at Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) at 8 p.m.

Friends, Texans, Countrymen! You’d do right to spend an autumn evening with the Bard at the EmilyAnn Theatre (1101 RR 2325) as the players walk the boards in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The actors are in their salad days (pun intended) in this play. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students. Wear a sweater and enjoy the great Texas weather, too. “Salad Days”, by the way, is a term that originated with Shakespeare. There’s not enough space in this column to list the examples of his influence on our every day speech.

San Marcos has a way of attracting the best, the brightest and the most unusual sing-songwriters in the area. One of the most unusual might be Tony Wilson, who was born in England, raised in Ireland, and has been a Texan since 1981. Listing some of his influences as Cliff Richard, New Orleans jazz, Merle Haggard and Benny Hill, you can see why his music is both charming and personal. Experience what Gracie Fields would have been like had she been born a man in Texas by seeing Wilson at Wake the Dead Coffee House (1432 RR 12) tonight at 8 p.m.

Electronic music is hardly the wave of the future since it has been around for a while. Nonetheless, it often got the fuzzy end of the lollipop from critics. See why this medium is now a respected musical genre tonight at the Music Recital Hall at Texas State, where Richard D. Hall give an electronic music recital at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 and worth every penny, and then some.

The extraordinary singer-songwriter, Paul Eason, will appear at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) tonight at 9:30 p.m. His song writing talents are equally matched with a voice sent from heaven. He’s a don’t-miss for the evening.

It’s corporal punishment weekend at Triple Crown, where Spank will play their jazzy psychedelic jams for two nights at 9:30 p.m. We don’t mean to imply it’s a whipping at the woodshed, but the gig will whip you into a state of happiness. Spank is joined by Plump, whose sold funky grooves will make you get up off of that thing and dance.

Steelbeam, appearing at The Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12) at 10 p.m., has a blend of working class blues and country rock that will put a tear in your beer and a scoot in your boot.

Saturday, October 24

Today is loaded with fun festivals and fall celebrations. One of the most engaging has got to be the Wild West Fest in Dripping Springs out at Harrison Ranch Park (RR 12) across from Dripping Springs Elementary School. The festivities start at 8 a.m. with competitions in egg and spoon races, water races and a trail/obstacle course. At 2 p.m., there will be genuine ranch rodeo stuff as cowboys compete in events with the skills needed for daily ranch work.

At 5 p.m., Imagine a Horse will present a circus style, three-horse liberty act. There will also be food, activities for the kids and music. Everyone is sure to lasso more than their share of fun and round up a good time.

If you have unwanted chemicals, paints, pesticides and cleaners in the garage or that backyard shed, it’s a good idea to dispose of them in an ecologically proper way. Nobody in San Marcos undervalues the importance of not contaminating the ground water with this stuff. The city’s drive through hazardous waste disposal takes place at the Traffic Yard at City Hall (630 East Hopkins Street) from 8 a.m.-noon.

While the city hazmat disposal won’t take tires, today the Hays County Precinct 4 Recycling Center (20290 FM 150) will take up to 10 unwanted tires from Hays County residents from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. This would be a great day to clean up the yard and house before the holidays hit.

The Wimberley Pumpkin Patch Fair (110 Old Kyle Road) this weekend features bluegrass music and a karaoke contest. There’s a petting zoo, a toy train rides and plenty of delicious fall foods for your enjoyment, as well, from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Oh, and pumpkins.

The San Marcos Public Library (625 East Hopkins Street) invites you and your children to have some reading fun for Halloween today from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. You can dress in costume, listen to stories from guest readers and enjoy face painting, refreshments, crafts and music. It won’t be wicked scary, but it will be wicked good, as they say on the east coast.

It’s the First Annual Greater Wimberley Mashed Potato Fall Cook-off today at Unity Church (455 White Wings Road) and the event promises to be fun one. There will be booths with locally grown produce, best mashed potato dish awards and a children’s mashed potato sculpting contest. Finally, a place where playing with your food is allowed! You’d be hard pressed to think of a more beloved dish than mashed up spuds, a comfort food of the first order. Sounds like a really tasty event.

The Wimberley Valley Art League has its juried exhibition up at the Wimberley Community Center and you can have a look-see from 1-5 p.m. The exhibit is staffed by league artists to guide or inform. Admission is free.

Strahan Coliseum hosts the Texas State women’s volleyball game today with the Bobcats squaring off against Southeastern Louisiana at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and the Bobcats could use your support.

The very popular Farmer Fred’s Harvest Fall Carnival delights young and old tonight at San Marcos Plaza Park (205 CM Allen Parkway). The event features a costume contest for the kids, loads of carnival games, fun rides, prizes, candy, candy and more candy, as well as a free movie on the big screen. Admission is free, and a full 30 of the carnival games are free, as well. There will be concessions to buy. All in all, it’s a safe, fun and low-cost way to celebrate the season with your kids.

He gets warned and warned, and yet he goes to the senate, anyway. You just can’t scare a Roman General with dreams and augury. The EmilyAnn Theatre show Caesar that he shoulda listened to the old ball and chain when they present Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar tonight at 8 p.m.

Jeremy Steding has a deep, rich voice and plays a true country sound. You will not be disappointed in any music he sings or plays. You can see him tonight at Riley’s Tavern, and we suggest that you do. He’s the genuine stuff. The music starts at 8 p.m.

Jorge Rodriguez is a gifted singer and songwriter with a notable serious magic that pours out of his guitar. Some musicians have a touch with the instrument that gives them a certain style, but, in Rodriguez’ case, it’s as if the guitar just feels like singing when he plays it. His CD release party is at the Cheatham Street Warehouse starting at 9 p.m. Rodriguez promises he’ll play all the songs on the recently released “The Book; Tales of Hope, Love and Tragedy.” He is followed by singer/songwriter extraordinaire John Arthur Martinez, the poet of Tejas music. This will be a very special evening for lucky attendees. That old Cheatham Street enchantment is bound to be there.

At Wake the Dead, Gardenella will regale the chai latte crowd with Casio keyboard meanderings at 9 p.m. Should be an interesting gig.

Triple Crown again features the popular gang of Spank tonight. This time, Spank is joined by the funkadelic jammers Funkotron. The freaky-deaky action starts at 9:30 p.m.

The Gray Horse will host the rockin’ country sounds of Douglas Kent. His band is good, but the Bluegrass-tinged fiddler Shawn Dean is a standout. They start up at 10 p.m.

Sunday, October 25

Right after church, you could head over to the Wimberley Pumpkin Patch Fair, where you can get that pumpkin to carve for the front porch. While you’re there enjoy the fall foods, face painting and petting zoo. The fair is open from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Nice day for a drive and a little autumn fun.

While you enjoy the pumpkins, don’t forget to hit the Wimberley Community Center and check out the Wimberley Valley Art League’s juried exhibition. You can peruse the art from 1-5 p.m.

You could just mosey on over to Wake the Dead Coffee House and get yourself a cup of Joe and listen to Day Jazz, their musical Sunday tradition. From 4-7 p.m., Bob Steine makes with the chair massage and un-knots the kinks you worked up over the past week. Try not to get so many of those, this week, will ya?

Texas State’s women’s soccer team meets up with Sam Houston State today at Bobcat Soccer Complex at 1 p.m. The games are good as the Bobcats head for Southland Conference dominance. Tickets are $5.

The famed and popular Leroy Rybak Orchestra will be at the Geronimo VFW (6806 SH 123) in beautiful downtown Geronimo today from 3-6:30 p.m. Put on your dancing shoes and prepare for toe-tappin’ terpsichore. The doors and the kitchen open at 2 p.m. A $7 donation is requested at the door.

Clarinet means “little horn” in Italian, and the instrument has been a standard inclusion in orchestras since the 1800s. Whether your taste runs to Benny Goodman or Mozart, the clarinet has been key to their music. Reynaldo Benitez will give a clarinet recital today at 4 p.m. at Texas State’s Music Building Recital Hall. Admission is free.

If you are so happy at the turn of gorgeous weather that you just want to sing, the mics are open tonight at Riley’s and Triple Crown. There’s karaoke at the Gray Horse, if you need some accompaniment.

Of course, it’s football night on the telly with the Arizona Cardinals playing the New York Football Giants.

And, since it’s that time of year, Halloween-ish movies abound with Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice (ABC Family), The Blob and Die, Monster, Die! (TCM), The Shining (AMC), and Halloweentown (Disney). Stephen King’s aptly named “Desperation,”, on the SciFi network runs a whoppin’ time wasting 180 minutes. The horror, the horror!

And if you are popping some corn to watch the tube, don’t forget to try adding some candy corn to the warm, popped delicious kernels. It’s delicious.

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