Things to Do

Hill Country Happenings: August 21-27, 2016

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There are two absolutely must-go-to events in the Hill Country this week: The Gillespie County Fair and Swift Fest. Both events are opposite each other on the entertainment spectrum, but neither one will leave you wanting. Find a moment to pencil these events into your schedule!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

eventsPhoto: Facebook/Lone Star Gourd Festival by Texas Gourd Society

LBJ Birthday Celebration Head out to the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm to celebrate the life of our 36th president! Find out what life was like for Lyndon B. Johnson and about the things he held dear. Participate in old-time activities, pack a picnic, and enjoy the day! Free. August 11-27, 2016. Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm, 501 State Park Rd 52, Stonewall, Texas.

Lone Star Gourd Festival The Texas Gourd Society is hosting its annual Lone Star Gourd Festival. There will be gourd art demonstrations, a gourd art competition, a gourd fine art raffle, vendors, and gourd art classes.  Adults $5; children 17 and under are free. Free parking. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday. August 19-21, 2016. New Braunfels Civic Convention Center, New Braunfels, Texas. texasgourdsociety.org

New Cowboy Church Attend this Sunday morning worship service to celebrate God’s grace, love, and mercy. Service is held at the Fredericksburg Marktplatz, so be sure to bring a chair, some donuts, and a coffee. Enjoy a little down-to-earth fellowship with your community and receive a free copy of Dan Kelley’s book “God Wrote You a Love Letter.” Since the church is run by volunteers, no offering plate is passed, just post-its, which Kelly explains he will talk about in the service. Just come as you are! 10 a.m. Fredericksburg Marktplatz, Fredericksburg, Texas.

Pari-Mutuel Horse Races Haven’t been to a horse race in awhile? This summer, Gillespie County Fairgrounds is hosting horse racing the whole family can enjoy featuring a full slate of live quarter horse races, thoroughbred races, other special races, and trials. Race weekends include dancing, entertainment, a variety of food, and drinks. The Race Barn, a pari-mutuel simulcast building, will be open for greyhound, thoroughbred, and quarter horse races from all over the country. Adults $7; Children 6 – 12 $5; children under 6 are free. Gates open at 11 a.m. Races from 1 – 6 p.m. August 13-14, 2016. Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Dr off TX 16, 2 miles south of Fredericksburg, Texas. 830-997-2359. gillespiefair.com

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dripping Springs Farmer’s Market Head to the farmer’s market to shop for local, fresh food and help support your local farmers! 3 p.m. – dusk. Every Wednesday, year round. The Triangle, Hwy 290 & RR 12, Dripping Springs, Texas. cityofdrippingsprings.com

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Gillespie County Fair RidesPhoto: Facebook/Gillespie County Fair & Festivals, Inc.

Bandera Farmer’s Market Head to the farmer’s market to shop for local, fresh food and help support your local farmers! There will be farm fresh eggs, wholesome organic produce, rare Asian vegetables, fresh-baked goods, and tons more. 8 – 11 a.m. Sid’s Bar B Que, 702 Main Street, Bandera, Texas.

Gillespie County Fair Are you ready for the granddaddy of all county fairs? We sure are! The “oldest, continuously running county fair in Texas” brings you all you could ever hope for at a county fair and then some, and jams it into four exciting days and nights. Bring your comfy shoes and have a blast at the carnival, livestock and agricultural exhibits, arts and crafts exhibits, the horse races, and then do a little dancing to some of the best music the Texas Hill Country has to offer. August 25-28, 2016. Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Dr off TX 16, 2 mi S of town, Fredericksburg, Texas. gillespiefair.com

Heritage Antique Tractor & Engine Show Go back in time to the good ‘ol days and check out some antique tractors, a 1920s replica farm house, agricultural displays, and an antique tractor pull! The Heritage Antique Tractor & Engine Show will be held in conjunction with the Gillespie County Fair. August 25-28, 2016. Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Dr off TX 16, 2 mi S of town, Fredericksburg, Texas. rustyiron.org

Friday, August 26, 2016

Gillespie County Fair Parade Grab the kiddos and head out to the fairgrounds for one of the most amazing parades in Gillespie County. Free. Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Dr off TX 16, 2 mi S of town, Fredericksburg, Texas. gillespiefair.com

Saturday, August 27, 2016

eventsPhoto: Gil Eckrich via Facebook/Swift Fest in Jonestown

Pari-Mutuel Horse Races Haven’t been to a horse race in awhile? This summer, Gillespie County Fairgrounds is hosting horse racing the whole family can enjoy featuring a full slate of live quarter horse races, thoroughbred races, other special races, and trials. Race weekends include dancing, entertainment, a variety of food, and drinks. The Race Barn, a pari-mutuel simulcast building, will be open for greyhound, thoroughbred, and quarter horse races from all over the country. Adults $7; Children 6 – 12 $5; children under 6 are free. Gates open at 11 a.m. Races from 1 – 6 p.m. August 27-28, 2016. Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Dr off TX 16, 2 miles south of Fredericksburg, Texas. 830-997-2359. gillespiefair.com

The Farmer’s Market at Cibolo Shop fresh local produce, farm fresh eggs, breads, jams, jellies, local honey, and Texas Hill Country arts and crafts at the historic Herff Farm. Enjoy free live music, gardening classes, cooking demonstrations, and children’s craft activities! Free. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cibolo Nature Center, 140 City Park Rd, Boerne, Texas.

Swift Fest Sure, Austin has bats that put on an amazing display every night at dusk, but let’s not forget about Jonestown’s Chimney Swifts! Every night, these delightful little birds swirl and swoop down into their cistern home in a manner that closely resembles a small tornado. To celebrate their existence, Jonestown puts on an annual festival with live music, nature booths, food, fun, and plenty for the kiddos to do. Free. 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Fireman’s Park, 18649 FM 1431, Jonestown, Texas. swiftfest-jonestown.com