Things to Do

Shine Your Boots for the Texas Dance Hall Tour

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At one point in Texas history, over 1,000 dance halls dotted our landscape but now fewer than 400 remain. Despite this, Texas is still home to more historic dance halls than anywhere in the country. The Texas Dance Hall Preservation group, along with musicians Ray Benson and Dale Watson, are committed to saving historic Texas dance halls and their authentic music and culture. The Fall 2017 Texas Dance Hall Tour is a four-day weekend event on October 26-29th, 2017, and was created to provide exposure and support to the existing halls. Additionally, all proceeds go to Texas Dance Hall Preservation.

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Photo: Facebook/Texas Dance Hall Tour

Being a part of this includes touring the dance halls to learn about the history, dance hall concerts featuring Western Swing, Ameripolitan and Americana artists, accommodations provided with a stress-free booking experience, shuttles provided to and from each evening dance hall concert, and optional various daytime activities. This is a great way to experience a quintessential aspect of our heritage and peek into the past, where these structures were the center of community life. Musical artists for the October dates include Asleep at the Wheel, Dale Watson, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, and The Derailers. There are six different types of packages, including everything from hotel accommodations and tour poster with drink tickets to general admission to all four concerts.

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Photo: Facebook/Texas Dance Hall Tour

Sites to be visited are Garten Verein in Galveston, which opened in 1880 and is a tiered octagonal dancing pavilion, then Peters-Hacienda in Sealy, which was originally built for shooting competitions, then Cat Spring Agricultural Society Hall in Cat Spring (about an hour west of Houston) which was constructed in 1902 and is a twelve-sided hall with a large support pole in the center, and finally Bellville Turn Verein in Bellville, about 60 miles from Houston, which boasts 12 sides built in 1897.