Fireworks are planned for San Marcos on July 4 at Summerfest.
By HAP MANSFIELD
An amazing thing happened at the birth of this nation. A thing that has rarely been duplicated in any other government in history. The people who founded this country made it possible for the greater good that helped the majority of the people to triumph.
Now, we’re not telling you that everything that happens in this country helps us personally. That isn’t the point. The government is supposed to work for the good of the majority of the folks in the land.
We may not have children, but we certainly understand and want the education of young people to be a priority. We may not have a car, but we don’t object to road taxes. If we don’t have a small business, we certainly want small businesses in our community to get a few breaks so that our community will thrive. Health care assistance may not help us much, but it may be helping our neighbors, our grandparents or our employees. The government may not always work for us personally. It strives to work for the greater good of the population.
So while the government may not always work for your benefit, it is working for some other citizen’s. It’s a miracle that a government like this even exists on paper.
What July 4 always means, to us anyway, is to remind us that we are all on the same team, pulling for the greater good of the citizenry. All of us together make up the engine of this government, no matter what others may say. The people, who do the working and living and buying and voting, run the ship. If we forget that, there’s always some greedy corporation or sub-group ready to take the helm. To take it back, all we have to do is vote, with our hearts and our pocketbooks and our ballot box.
We also love the barbecue, the cake (you are making a birthday cake for America, yes?), the fireworks, the picnics and the music. Here are just a few of the ways to be a part of your fellow citizenry and make with the merriment.
Friday, July 2
James Pardo is the lead singer for the Texas Destroyers, but he also plays a mighty fine solo acoustic set. He’ll be at Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Road in New Braunfels) this afternoon from noon until 4 p.m.
Each week, we try to say something a little different about bingo, seeing as how the Wimberley VFW (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road) has a solid, constantly running bingo game, except for this one weekend. It’s the annual Professional Bull Riders (PBR) sanctioned rodeo and bull riding weekend. The gates open tonight in Veterans Park at 6 p.m. There will be mutton bustin’, calf ropin’, bronc ridin’ and barrel racin’ fun. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children. There will be food, fun and fireworks each night of the weekend. The proceeds go to benefit the community, veterans programs and active duty servicemen and women. To get there, just follow the large “Rodeo/Veterans Park” sign at the Jacobs Well Road intersection at RR 12. Prepare to see some real cowboys. Yee Haw!!
Pepper’s Blues starts out the weekend’s music at the Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary) with a blend of rock and blues at 6 p.m. Then, around about 9 p.m. the 13-piece Latin orchestra, Orquestra Ritmo takes the stage. Their blend of salsa which includes cumbia, merengue, mambo and more is combustible cocktail of musical history. You won’t notice the history lesson until you get home and think about it, though, because your body will be too busy moving to the music.
Gruene Hall features Radney Foster and the Confessions tonight. Most country music fans do not have to be introduced to Foster and his more than one dozen hits that have charted on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, not to mention songs he’s written for Keith Urban, Gary Allan and others. Opening for Foster is his protege band, Rosehill, whose “White Lines and Stars” is charting nicely. Tickets are $20 and it’ll probably be standing-room-only.
Buda’s Tune and Toons presents the animated film “Fly Me to the Moon” at 9 p.m. tonight in City Park on Main Street downtown. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and some snacks. Concessions will be available there, as well. Admission is free.
The Corral Theatre (Flyte Acres Road in Wimberley) will reprise Toy Story 3 tonight and Saturday night starting at 8:30 p.m. It’s a walk-in outdoor theater so bring blanket, a lawn chair and maybe, an umbrella.
Foscoe Jones will be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street) at 9 p.m. His conversational singing style is disarmingly charming. He’s what Bob Dylan would have been like if he’d lived around here for a while instead of Hibbing, MN.
Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102) has Jennie and the Corn Ponies taking the stage tonight at 9 p.m. Jenn Miori has a clear, classic country voice, and the Corn Ponies play a fine rocking country set. Your feet will start to tappin’ whether you want them to or not.
One of our favorite local bands, Chasca, will be at the Gray Horse Saloon (1904 RR 12) tonight at 10 p.m. Fans of the movie “Velvet Goldmine” will “get” their music and their style, others will, at least, have an experience that may delight or mystify or both. Eyeliner will be worn, glitter may appear and don’t be fooled by the glam. This kind of music takes real chutzpah in Texas.
Saturday, July 3
If you want to go to a market today, bring your umbrella just to be safe. There are a variety of them from which to choose. Market on the Square in downtown San Marcos on the courthouse square is always a lot of fun. It goes from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Music, food, fun and fresh produce. What’s not to like?
It’s also Wimberley Market Days in Lions Park from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lots of food, more than 475 booths full of everything you’ve ever wanted, music and more. Parking is $3 and, even if it’s overcast, don’t forget the sunscreen.
Kyle Market Days features the music of Hollie Holloway in the morning and Bobby Fuentes and Los Flames at noon, in addition to booths full of crafts and fresh produce. It all takes place in City Square Park between Center Street, Main Street, Burleson Street and Miller Street.
Clay McClinton will be at Gruene Hall this afternoon from 1-5 p.m. He justifies his lineage (he’s Delbert McClinton’s son) with his own signature brand of bluesy country-americana. He’s got a compelling voice and writes a colorful lyric.There’s no cover for this show, either.
Tonight at the Wimberley VFW sponsored rodeo, it’s a Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) sanctioned event night. The gates open at 6 p.m. and there will be tie-down calf roping, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling and more. Hall of Fame rodeo/clown/ bull fighter Leon Coffee will be there. There will be fireworks, if the weather is fitting for them, and, of course, plenty of food and handsome cowboys.
Speaking of handsome cowboys, one of the heroes of Gail Gardner’s poem “The Sierry Petes (or Tying the Knots in the Devil’s Tail)” is a cowpoke named Buster Jigs. He’s the hero who roped the Devil and with “Sandy Bob” sawed off the devil’s horns, branded him and tied knots in his tail. They did all this, by the way, while they were three sheets to the wind, so to speak. It’s a spirited story and a fitting namesake for Austin’s Buster Jiggs, a band with more than its share of high spirit and verve. You can see the band tonight at the Cheatham Street Warehouse.
Gruene Hall features the talents of Gary P. Nunn who, in addition to having a pretty sterling career as a singer songwriter, wrote one of our favorite country songs, “London Homesick Blues.” Apparently, the folks at Austin City Limits feel the same way, as it’s been their theme song for many years. Nunn is joined by Warren Hood and the Goods. Tickets are $12.
Turbo 350 plays a rocket-fuel charged rockabilly that strikes the listener like white lighting. Your hair will be singed and smoking when you leave Riley’s Tavern tonight after seeing them. They put out enough electricity to halt the energy crisis. Prepare to be blown away.
Mash up Stereolab with Average White Band and Pat Methany Group and you kind of get the vibe behind Four Audio, the band playing tonight at the Gray Horse. The band’s strong point is turning on a dime from dreamy to driven. As usual, no cover at the Gray Horse.
A tsunami of words and beats will hit the Triple Crown tonight as the place fills up with the talents of Word Association, Lucky Luciano, Low G, Rockbox, Wiseguy and Chief. The torrent starts at 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 4
The Belleville Outfit is Gruene Hall’s charming present to those who’d like to spend the Fourth of July listening to some good music. Phoebe Hunt plays a lilting, witty violin and the band plays with solid skills. The Belleville Outfit is independent of all labels and genres and they play their own spirited brand of gypsy/country/americana/blue. Their independence is a fitting tribute to the day. No cover. So it’s the land of the free, too.
Zorn, TX, native Kyle Wayne Kutscher’s band plays what he calls “Black Dirt Music” which means, we think, authentic americana/country from good ol’ Texas. He’ll be at the Cheatham Street Warehouse today from 4-8 p.m. The band plays a perfect set for a holiday Sunday afternoon, both lively and soothing.
There are a variety of places to celebrate our nation’s birthday. San Marcos features the 30th Annual Summerfest celebration which will start, rain or shine, at 5 p.m. in Plaza Park (202 North C.M. Allen Parkway). Free parking is available at the San Marcos Activity Center (501 East Hopkins Street) and the San Marcos Public Library (625 East Hopkins Street).
Starting off the music will be the blues-funk trio of Adam Johnson and the Pay Me’s. The children’s parade and costume contest starts at 6:15 with the winners being announced at 7 p.m. From 5-8 p.m. a children’s area will have free arts and crafts and activities. All sorts of delicious things to eat and drink will be available, including funnel cakes, gorditas, freshly squeezed lemonade and turkey legs for the Henry VIII in everyone.
David Ybarra and the LA Blues Band, with their big band bluesy sound, will be familiar to those who attended Summerfest last year. They were also featured at a Kyle music festival in 2008. They will play until the fireworks start at around 9:15 p.m. After the fireworks, Devil’s Hollow takes the stage to play for you and the Texas night. Channeling Credence Clearwater Revival and the Allman Brothers is just one of their disarming abilities. Calling them Southern Rock diminishes their funky, bluesy qualities. You will dig them.
Kyle will have it’s Independence Day festivities at Gregg-Clarke Park (1300 West Center Street in Kyle). The Kyle Municipal Swimming Pool is open until 7 p.m. Parking is available on the grass field below the football field from the Center Street entrance. The fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m., provided the weather is dry enough. If it is not dry enough by 11 p.m., they will try it again on July 5, same locale.
Buda will hold its Red, White and Buda celebration downtown in City Park on Main Street. Concessions will be available. The park opens at 8:30 p.m. with the fireworks set to go at 9:30 p.m.
In New Braunfels, the celebration will be at Landa Park. Go early if you’d like to use the paddleboats or play some mini-golf. The amenities close at 7 p.m., then a free concert will precede the fireworks set to go at about 9 p.m.
Wimberley has its annual Community Fourth of July Jubilee at the Cypress Creek Church grounds (211 Stillwater). There will be food and entertainment starting at 6 p.m., with a fireworks finale at 9 p.m.
The hugely popular Brandon Rhyder is featured at Gruene Hall tonight. He’s joined by the Brison Bursey Band. Tickets are $15.
If you’d like to sing out your independence, the mics are open at Triple Crown and Riley’s Tavern. Or, you could get a little assistance with karaoke at the Gray Horse.
On NBC, for those who like their fireworks in the living room, is Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at 8 p.m. And, of course, the televised version of the Fourth at our nation’s capital is on KLRU-TV at both 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. All-American musicals are featured on TCM, with Bye Bye Birdie at 7 p.m. and Oklahoma! at 9 p.m.
There might be some cold barbecue in the fridge, too.