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

April 30th, 2010
The Weekend: Nuthin' weak about this one

042810menudoThe 36th annual State Menudo Cook-off  will take place at Viva Cinco de Mayo at the Hays County Civic Center this weekend.

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

Menudo, as y’all probably know, is a Mexican dish known far and wide for its healing and hangover curing properties. You’re going to need a big bowl of it to make it through this weekend. Here are just some of the fun events.

Friday, April 30

Mr. Fest, sponsored in part by KTSW-FM, starts out the weekend beginning around 4 p.m. with bands (Bastard Boys, A Giant Dog, Mira Loma & the Bad Vibes, Zlam Dunk)  at Tantra Coffeehouse (217 West Hopkins Street). The mood will be festive and the vibes will be jammin’ as the little music-festival-that-could initiates with a few well-placed gigs.

At Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary Street), the inimitable Texas sound of R.C. Banks begins the evening at 6 p.m. His music is a blend of Country, Western and Rock, and he’s been blending it for a good, long while, so the cocktail is delightfully smooth.

At 6:30 p.m., the Texas State baseball team takes on Texas-San Antonio in the first of a three game series. The first two games will be played in San Marcos at Bobcat Field. The third game, on Sunday, takes place at Roadrunner Field in San Antonio. The Bobcats have been doing pretty darn well, so the game should be a good one. General admission tickets are only $6.

A game very similar to bingo is played in Mexico, and you have probably played it or seen it. The game involves pictures of a variety of things — the moon, the hand, a bird, etc., instead of numbers — and the players shout out “Loteria!” instead of “Bingo!” when they win. The Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park  on Jacobs Well Road) Friday night bingo game is the traditional variety, but it’s still lots of fun. The fine women of the Ladies Auxiliary sell snacks to help keep hunger at bay while you play and to aid their many veterans programs. The basket starts turning at 7 p.m.

As you are reading this, there are some folks right now cutting up beef tripe, arranging their spices and making sure the frozen calves foot is thawing properly, all in preparation for the state menudo cook-off. Yep, its the start of the 35th annual Viva Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Menudo Cook-Off taking place at the Hays County Civic Center (300 South Clovis Barker Drive) at 7 p.m. Tomorrow starts the cook-off, but booths will be open with food and crafts galore tonight. Live music will be provided by the awesome Grupo Fantasma. Seriously, the band is so good, we wouldn’t be surprised if the calves feet get up and start dancing.

If you love the brassy, bright, melancholy cheer and verve of Mariachi music, wander over to Strahan Coliseum at 7 p.m. to watch the Feria Del Mariachi competition. Various bands will compete tonight for the awards that will be given out tomorrow. The event is free but your heart will be sold by the great musicianship.

Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein will give a reading at the Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle (508 West Center Street). He’ll read from his book Nothing Happened and Then it Did: A Chronicle of Fact and Fiction.  The book is a roller-coaster ride through the West, some fact, some fiction. The disappearance of Ambrose Bierce, a dangerous Mexican car race, Jean Lafitte’s treasure and a poetry contest all combine to make the book amusing and thought provoking. The event starts at 7:30 p.m.

The Wimberley Players present Eric Coble’s play, “Virtual Devotion,” at 8 p.m. at the Wimberley Playhouse (450 Old Kyle Road). The satirical comedy will make you laugh and give you a lot to think about on the way home. Tickets are $18. It’s a pleasure to have theater this good in our own back yard, so to speak.

At George’s (first floor, LBJ Student Center at Texas State) at 8 p.m., it’s Salsa Night featuring Texas State’s award winning Salsa del Rio and Orchestra del Rio. It all fits beautifully into the events of Feria del Mariachi and Viva Cinco de Mayo. The music will put a little Tabasco in your step.

Bar One41 (141 East Hopkins Street) has a lineup tonight for Mr. Fest starting at 8 p.m. featuring They Mean Us, The Bright Light Social Hour and the Black & White Years. All the bands are good, but the standout gig of the evening may be the Black and White Years, who sound like a meeting between Spoon, the Woodentops, David Bowie and LCD Sound System. They wowed the crowd at SxSW this year, and they’ll wow you, too.

If you are already confused about what to do tonight, then don’t read the next few lines because there is an awful lot of good music going on tonight in San Marcos. At Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102), Flat Top Jones will make with the rollicking Western dance tunes. Matt Begley and Bitter Whiskey will play their signature hard-drivin’ country, joined by Rooster Suicide at Triple Crown.

But wait, there’s more. Jaime Cortinas and Emory Quinn will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street). This is a nice blend of rootsy Americana and country rock, if you’ve a mind for it tonight. The Skeletons will play their heart-stopping Rockabilly reverberations at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12). All these musicians will set your toes to tappin’, so just choose a venue and have fun.

Saturday, May 1

There should be some kind of a prize for a person who could hit everything there is to do today, tell you what. First off, it’s Wimberley Market Days (601 RR 2325), the oldest outdoor market  in the state and the second largest. If you can’t find what you’re lookin’ for there, you don’t need it. The action starts at 7 a.m. Food, music, fun — you know.

At 8 a.m., head on down to the Hopkins Street side of the courthouse square to watch the Viva Cinco de Mayo parade with floats, bands, the contestants for Little Miss Cinco de Mayo, local politicians in decorated cars, and more. Also, remember that Hopkins Street will be closed off from around the San Marcos Activity Center to Guadalupe Street for the hour. Rain or shine, the parade is a charming event.

Okay, you aren’t one of those music-loving festival-attending people. You like participating in sports. You want some exercise. How about flying disc golf? The Circle R Ranch in Wimberley (11801 FM 2325) will have the “world’s biggest disc golf weekend” starting up at 9 a.m. Registration is $20 for a disc, a T-shirt and green fees. There will be a $9 barbecue lunch, too. What is disc golf, you ask? You know, Frisbees. Sounds like a lot of fun for those who can pitch a disc. We would just end up slipping a disc, frankly.

It’s Kyle Market Days today in Kyle’s town square between Center Street, Main Street, Burleson Street and Miller Street. From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., you can gaze at and buy crafts or local produce, and take in some music. Today’s musical guests are Hosea Hargrove and the Roadrunners in the a.m. and Larry Lange and his Lonely Knights in the afternoon.

The Viva Cinco de Mayo celebration continues today at the Hays County Civic Center with the Menudo Cook-off, music and booths. The venue opens at 9 a.m., and the day includes the San Marcos CISD Folklorico Dancers, the music of Lupe Vasquez Ultimate Sound and the Little Miss Cinco de Mayo Pageant. The event carries on throughout the evening for as much fun as you can handle.

At 10 a.m., the Quarter Street Fair in Wimberley (14015 RR 12) will feature an outdoor market, live music all day and delicious food by Milagro’s Hill Country Tex Mex. Admission is free. The event goes until 7 p.m.

At noon, the downtown square in San Marcos will be filled with music and local arts and crafts as Mr. Fest gets underway. There will bands playing at a variety of venues including the Coffee Pot (129 East Hopkins Street), Valentino’s (110 North LBJ Drive), Texas Skateboards and Apparel (241 North LBJ Drive), and Tantra Coffeehouse. It’s a good day to sample the music of a good dozen bands today. A full listing of bands can be seen in the calendar listing here at San Marcos Local News.

The Alkek Library on the campus of Texas State will have panel discussions, music and food in celebration of the donation populist author and radio personality Jim Hightower’s archives to the Wittliff Collections. In fact, Hightower will be there to speak, eat a little organic produce and say “howdy.”

At 1 p.m., the San Marcos Tour of Homes starts. You can get tickets and a map of the lovely historic homes at the Charles S. Cock House (400 East Hopkins Street) for $17. This annual event is much-loved and promises to be delightful.

If you’re in the mood for a ball game, we’ve got you covered. The Texas State softball team will face Northwestern State in a double header today at Bobcat Field. The first game starts at  1 p.m. The second Texas State baseball game of the three game series versus UTSA starts at 2 p.m.

Hey, motorheads! Riley’s Tavern is featuring its Rods at Riley’s event today. There will be cars and stars at the bar with musical guests Jennie and the Corn Ponies in the afternoon and Li’l Bit & the Customatics at 9 p.m. Food will be served around 4 p.m. for $8 a plate, this is Texas, so we’re assuming it’s barbecue. The proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Triple Crown starts out with Mr. Fest bands Electric Courage Machine, The Boxing Lesson and Stegosaur at 6 p.m. The Boxing Lesson is trippy electronica. Stegosaur is a spicy gumbo of modern music. Later, the evening  features Famous with SOSA, Promise Psuedo, Rockbox, and Spyhop. We hope the band members’ parents don’t come or there will be no room left for you. No matter. You can hang outside and hear the bands. It’ll be worth it.

For a mere $10 ($5 for youth and students), you can hear the winners of the Feria del Mariachi competition at Strahan Coliseum on the campus of Texas State. The golden throated songbird Angeles Ochoa, the honoree of the “La Voz de Oro” award, will sing, as well. It’s a super-charged evening of entertainment that starts at 7 p.m.

At Bar One41 at 8 p.m., Mr. Fest continues with an outstanding line-up.  Prayer for Animals, the Soldier Thread and This Will Destroy You will all play. The gig leads up to the very popular This Will Destroy You, but don’t miss a note of Prayer For Animals, which will start the evening. They are our pick for the stand-out gig.

The Wimberley Players reprise their performance of the amusing Coble satire “Virtual Devotion” at 8 p.m. at the Wimberley Playhouse.

Do you march to the beat of a different drummer? In a complete about-face in musical temperament from the rest of the evening, the Sousa Spectacular will take place at Texas State’s Evans Auditorium at 8 p.m. The Wind Ensemble from Texas State, led by internationally known conductor Keith Brion, will ooze Sousa greatness. Hard to hate “Stars and Stripes Forever,” or “The Washington Post,” which are so ingrained in our consciousness that we forget there was a musician who composed them.  Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for students.

A truly don’t-miss event for lovers of the ballet would be the River City Ballet Company’s performance of Graduation Ball at the EmilyAnn Theatre and Gardens  (1101 FM 2325) tonight at 8 p.m. Many dancers from San Marcos CISD will be in the performance. A pre-performance art sale starts the evening. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for children. The ballet is a quaintly charming story that will beguile you.

Clayton Colvin’s soulful vocals will grab you and keep you glued to the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight when, Dertybird takes the stage tonight at 9 p.m. Their rhythms are bluesy and compelling. They, quite simply, rock. Another stand-out gig.

But wait, there’s still more with the extraordinarily talented Robbie and the Robots at the Gray Horse Saloon. Robbie never disappoints. Great choice with which to end your evening.

Sunday, May 2

It’s Front Porch Days in Kyle’s Plum Creek neighborhood. Everyone is invited to see the second annual Soapbox Derby for Diabetes starting out the day at 10 a.m. There’s also a pie baking contest and activities,  including face painting, inflatable games, Jigglebug Express, petting zoo, pony rides, skate exhibition, washer tournament, arts, crafts, local vendor booths and live music.

Live music at the event will feature Bruce Curtis Fallgren, the Biscuit Brothers, Rockaroni and Cheese and the Dead Phonetics on stage one at the Plum Creek Community Center. Stage two, on Fergus Park Soccer Fields, features the Kyle United Methodist Church Praise Band, Aimless Gun, Chelle Murray, Lucas Cook and Righteous Brisket.

The Texas State softball team faces Northwestern State at noon at Bobcat Field today. Should be a nice day for a ball game, and what’s more relaxing than a great ball game after a weekend of frenetic activity?

The Wimberley Players will present a matinee of “Virtual Devotion,” a satire that questions and pokes fun at contemporary life. The curtain rises at 2:30 p.m.

If you were too busy to take the San Marcos Tour of Homes, you can do it today between 1-5 p.m. The tickets and maps will be at the historic Charles S. Cock House.

Evans Auditorium on the campus of Texas State will be filled with the lilt of the Wind Ensemble concert. The ensemble is under the direction of Rod Schueller. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for students and senior citizens.

So you want to sing, do ya? Well, the mics are open at Riley’s Tavern and the Triple Crown, so sing away. Or, if you’d rather use a prompter, there’s always Island Karaoke at the Gray Horse Saloon.

If you attended five percent of what went on this weekend, though, we suggest a nap.

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