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

May 15th, 2008
Hap Mansfield’s Blog: Think globally, swing locally

Attending Natural Fest/Western Swing Hall of Fame in San Marcos this May 17, is a really hip way to have fun while caring for the planet. How? Natural Fest is a great way to find and buy Texas products, listen to Texas music and celebrate the rich heritage of the Lone Star State.

Originally started by the Texas Department of Agriculture 16 years ago to recognize the natural beauty, history and agriculture of San Marcos, Natural Fest is a testament to Texas produce, woods, fabrics and, of course, music. Music has always been one of the great natural resources of Texas.

The Texas Natural Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Courthouse Square in San Marcos with live music, food, a heritage area, washer pitching, Texas crafters, a children’s art booth, a farmers’ market and more. This all promises to be lots of fun for the whole family. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your kids won’t enjoy the music. If they watch Spongebob Squarepants, they’ve heard a lot of Western Swing and steel guitar already.

Live music will be performed during the day by Still Swinging, the Brazos Valley Boys, Texas Playboys Reunion #1, Texas Playboys Reunion #2, Tribute to the Fiddle, and Al Dressen’s Super Swing Revue, with special guest Dixie Reel. This should keep your toes tappin’ while you’re pitchin’ washers or while you’re watching washers get pitched (just try to say that fast ten times).

Free parking and a free shuttle are available from the Strahan Coliseum parking lot at Aquarena Springs Drive and Charles Austin Drive to the all event sites.

The Western Swing Hall of Fame 20th Anniversary show begins at 7:30 p.m. on the river, featuring Johnny Gimble and the Playboys II, with Herb Remington, Leon Rausch, Bob Boatright, Tommy Howser, Dick Gimble, Walter Lyons and Curly Hollingsworth. Elana James will join Johnny Gimble for a fiddle set.

The 2008 Texas Hall of Fame inductees will include Jim Gough, vocals and bass; Tommy Howser, drums; Maurice Anderson, steel guitar; Mancel Tierney, piano; Louis Tierney, fiddle/ sax; Billy Bowman, steel guitar; Buddy Ferguson, guitar; and Ora Oubre, bass and steel guitar.

The Hall of Fame Band will include Dayna Wills, Janet Lynn, Mary Ann Price, Bob Boatright, Danny Levin, Elana James, Neal Clausnitzer, Brent Wilson, Floyd Domino, Maurice Anderson, Paul Glasse, Leon Chambers, Rick McRae, Louise Rowe with special guests Johnny Cuviello, Casey Dickens and Skeeter Elkin.

For the concert on the San Marcos River in the park on Saturday evening, the public may attend free by bringing lawn chairs or pay $20 per person for limited reserved table seating. Advance purchase of $12 catfish dinner tickets is required for an all-you-can-eat catfish dinner served from 7 to 9 p.m. at San Marcos Plaza (with the catfish dinner plus the concert, tickets are $26 each). Reserved tables for 8 are available for $120, or with catfish dinner for $168.

The rain site for the concert will be the San Marcos Activity Center , 501 East Hopkins , in San Marcos because rain can also be a Texas “natural.”

Tickets are available from the Main Street Office at 202 E. Hopkins, Frost Bank at 221 Wonder World Drive , or the Chamber of Commerce at 202 North C.M. Allen Parkway. For information and reservations, call 393-8430.

The Texas Natural trail ride, sponsored by the GRA Trailriders of San Antonio, begins Friday evening at the Freeman Ranch, ending with a Sunday morning ride. For information on the trail ride, go to

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