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

COVER: Festival-goers enjoy the Swing on the Square Festival last year on the Old Hays County Courthouse lawn. In its 23rd year, The two-day event was been rechristened from the Texas Natural and Western Swing Festival, a 23-year tradition in downtown San Marcos. SAN MARCOS MERCURY FILE PHOTO


Formerly the Texas Natural and Western Swing Festival, the Swing on the Square Festival on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 will feature western swing acts on the Old Hays County Courthouse lawn as well as at various downtown San Marcos venues.

The event will kick off with Cowboy Coffee Talk, an interview with pioneers of western swing, from 9:30 -10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Old Hays County Courthouse, 111 E. San Antonio St. Guests are invited to hear Western Swing legends such as Al Dressen, Louise Rowe, Casey Dickens and others.

The main event will be from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and is free to the public. More than 15 bands and acts will play on the courthouse square and inside downtown venues, including Sean Patrick’s, Taxi’s Piano Bar and The Marc.

Activities throughout the day will include arts and crafts, kids’ activities and crafts, and much more. Food and art vendors will also be set up on the courthouse lawn. The Hall of Fame Show will be held from 6:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on the Square, and will include a street dance competition featuring the Jason Roberts Band. Bring your lawn chair for free admission to the show. Limited reserved seats and tables available for $20 per person. 

An addition to the festival this year is a Cowboy Gospel Brunch on Sunday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Kent Black’s BBQ, featuring old time gospel music by some of the greatest voices in western swing. Brunch will feature biscuits and gravy with coffee for $5.

The Gathering will be held on Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. also at Kent Black’s BBQ featuring live music by western swing acts. Tickets are $40 per couple and include barbecue dinner, dessert, drinks and live music.

For more information about the event, including the full line-up of bands, or to purchase tickets to the Gathering, Hall of Fame Show or Gospel Brunch, contact Al Dressen at 512-745-0659 or by email here.

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One thought on “Festival to bring sounds of western swing to downtown San Marcos

  1. It sure would be nice if CARTS ran on the weekends. We miss so many events downtown because there is no public transportation after 6pm and none on Saturday & Sunday.

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