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

April 2nd, 2010
The Weekend: Bunnies and brisket, or is it ham?

041210reddRedd Volkaert will be at Kyle Market Days Saturday at noon. Probably without the cute dog.

By Hap Mansfield
Scene Editor

We were reading about the tons of Easter candy that is selling this year in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Rob Nelson, the president of Elmer Candy Company said something that struck us as interesting, “The Easter holiday is a longtime tradition, especially in the South.” Never thought about it before but it does seem that Easter has a special place here.

It might be because if you are living in, say, Duluth, Minnesota, it’s not quite spring yet. There are rarely leaves on the trees and with the basketball tournaments come a lot of snow. This is an unusually early Easter, but Duluth is experiencing the highest temps recorded in many a spring which means it’s in the 50s.

Spring in Texas, however, is possibly the best weather of the year, sunny and sweet. Temps in the 70s. Grass growing like crazy, leaves full out, flowers budding and blooming. It really does look like life anew.

Then there are the traditional foods of Easter which are most beautifully done in the South. Ham, or maybe brisket here in Texas, is not a casual tradition. It’s a necessity.

Some folks make butter lambs, have you heard of those? We believe it’s a polish tradition to make a lamb out of butter for the holiday.

We had never heard of cascarones, coming from the midwest as we do, until we experienced them here at Easter. Cascarones, egg shells filled with confetti for those of you new to them, can be used for other holidays but here, it’s traditional to use them at Easter. They should be broken over the head of your friends and loved ones for good luck. Well, it’s not good luck for whomever does the sweeping up after the festivities but it’s fun for the kids.

However you celebrate Easter, either with chocolate bunnies, butter lambs, brisket, ham, jellybeans, cascarones or all of the above, we wish you a happy day.

Music is particularly good this weekend and there are markets and theater as well. Here are few suggestions for your weekend merriment.

Music for this weekend starts out with San Marcos’ own Hell Camino at the early gig at the Triple Crown (206 NorthEdward Gary). At 6 p.m. they’ll usher the weekend in with their rollicking mix of Texmex and rock.

The Second Act Troupe will present their first of two nights of one act plays at the Price Seniors Center (222 West San Antonio) centering on the comedic foibles when one is “Dealing With Life.”  The play starts at 7:30 but tickets can be obtained to have dinner at the center first. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. If you have never seen the Second Act Troupe you are in for a delightful surprise. This well-seasoned  acting troupe is a joy to watch. The Price Seniors Center is a charming venue for them. All in all, it’s a wonderful evening’s entertainment. For reservations or more information call (512) 618-3355 at any time.

Bingo Gazingo was a remarkable self-promoting singer/songwriter who was just a little on the crazy side of excitement. But if you want something that is more on the saner and fun side of excitement you need look no further than the Friday night bingo game at the Wimberley VFW ( Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road). The cage gets rolling at  7 p.m. and the evening comes with concessions sold by the patient and dedicated women of the Ladies Auxiliary.

At Room 209 in the Theater Building at Texas State Random Theatre will be performing “Den of Thieves” a comedic one act with a lot of psychological and philosophical underpinnings. Directed by Charlie DiBlasi, this is outlaw theater at its best. The event is part of the Common Experience program at the university. Admission by donation.

The lovely and talented Andrea Marie and her equally talented Magnolia Band will be at Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) tonight. They play a classic country music with our favorite instrument of country swing choice, the pedal steel guitar. Hard to keep still with Price Porter on the pedal, John Fink on the mandolin and Aaron Michaels on the drums backing Andrea Marie’s stellar voice. The music starts up around 8:30 p.m.

The Triple Crown has a plethora of players tonight with Bat Castle, The Monk, Clyde & Clem’s Whiskey Business and the homegrown Texas tunes of the Crystal Creek Boys. With all that talent in the building, the joint will be jumpin’ tonight.

The Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) hosts the big country sound of Big John Mills. He’s a big deal, a big wheel and his sound always has a big feel. If you go to see him tonight your pleasure will be…uh…large.

The distinctive glam-rock of Chasca will grace the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12). Chasca is a refreshing change from the general Texas musical mix and what they owe to T. Rex is equalled by their original pastiche of tunes. They’re not like anybody else around here, they’re those 20th century boys.


Today is forecasted to be the nicest weather of the weekend. It should be a really lovely (read: possibly hot and sunny) day for a trip to Wimberley Market Day (Lions Park in Wimberley) to find a gee-gaw or two and eat some barbecue. The market starts up at 7 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. Bring $3 for parking. It goes towards the charitable endeavors of the Lions Club and that always makes paying for parking a lot less painful.

You could just choose to stick a tad closer to home and hit the opening day of Kyle Market Days (Center Street in Kyle). In addition to the great food and arts and crafts and produce, today’s musical guests include Redd Volkaert at noon. Now we don’t want to sound too much like we are the cheering section for Hays County but one of the wonders of our area is seeing folks as remarkable as Volkaert for free at a lovely venue like the Kyle Market Day. He’s played guitar with almost everyone who matters in country music and Volkaert is one of our local treasures, tell you what. Also appearing earlier in the day is the Gulf Coast Playboys and Drum For Fun. The market goes from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. we guarantee you’ll be happy you saw Redd, the Telecaster Master.

Now, we know you may be thinking when you see that the Second Act Troupe is presenting three one-act plays at the Price Seniors Center tonight at 7:30 p.m. that this is one of those, dare we say, dorky things for older folks to do. You just keep on thinkin’ that. We don’t want the Price Senior Center over-run with people. There’s not enough room for you. You have to sit on a folding chair. Don’t go. Watch television or something.

Seriously, if you haven’t been to see the Second Act Troupe you are missing excellent local theater. The actors are pros and know what they’re doing. Heck, the lights when blink when the play is starting.  Just like the Met. You’ll meet swell, friendly folks and the extraordinary actors, too. It’s everything that local theater should be with none of the pompous nonsense. The venue is charming and it’s handicapped accessible. The coffee’s good, too.

If you feel like kickin’ up your heels like a lamb in the spring what with all the beautiful weather,  head over to Riley’s tonight for a turn around the floor accompanied by Jeff Hughes and Chapparal. They’ll keep your boots scootin’ and put a tear in your eye like the best Texas two-step bands can do.

Monte Montgomery is one of those guitarists on which magazines particular to the instrument will wax both poetic and technical. They’ll tell you about his techniques and his mastery of the strings. We’ll just narrow all this down to one thing. You won’t believe what this guy can do with a guitar. He’s more than amazing, he’s a force of nature. His guitar is both witty and moving as he plays quotes from a variety of rock and country sources, always making them his own. He’ll be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight and he’s a don’t miss.

Electric Mayhem was originally a feature of Lucy’s on the square and has recently changed venues to the Triple Crown every first Saturday and every Wednesday evening. The whimsical Muppet name is somewhat fitting in that Electric Mayhem is serious dance music and grooves that does not take itself so seriously that the listener can’t just flat out enjoy it. You can hear (and dance) for yourself tonight. Dr. Teeth would be proud.

Already tonight, you have your choice of Texas county two-step music, a guitar legend and electronically manipulated contemporary dance. What else could you want? Bluegrass. And the Gray Horse Saloon has it with Sasquatch Holler. You’ll be wantin’ a mason jar full of good old mountain dew as you listen to their modern take on the classic form.


It’s Easter Sunday which is a good day to stuff yourself with chocolate bunnies and hard boiled eggs while wearing your most uncomfortable Sunday-go-to-church finery.

When stores are closed on the holidays it’s always a good reminder of two things. First, everybody deserves a day off when it’s holiday time and this should make us grateful for police, firefighters, hospital personnel, convenience store workers etc. who make sure we are cared for while the rest of us celebrate.

Secondly, it’s a good time to remind the young’uns that it wasn’t all that long ago that 24 hour stores and getting what you want when you want it was not a part of everyday life. We all turned out fine without it. Just sayin’.

If you want to sing tonight, the Triple Crown still has their mics open and the Gray Horse has Island Time Karaoke which always sounds like fun.

Today from 3-5 p.m. KLRU is running “Las Misiones: The Missions of Texas,” followed by “The Painted Churches of Texas: Echoes of the Homeland.” It’s clash of the nannies with ABC Family showing a slew of family friendly nanny stories starting out with Nanny McPhee, then Mary Poppins and on to the grand-nanny of them all, “The Sound of Music.”

And you can always sneak a chocolate bunny as you are sweeping up the confetti from the cascarones.

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