Wurstfest: Sausages, Beer and Texas-German Fun


The first ten days of November, New Braunfels will host the city’s largest and most popular event – Wurstfest: an annual celebration of the German heritage and culture that remains in the city from the influx of German immigrants to Central Texas in the 1850s. The ten-day celebration is rich in Alpine and Bavarian culture, with great food, German, Texan and domestic beer, live music, dancing, carnival rides, games and more.

Plum Creek Kyle TX

Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post

The event runs daily from November 1st to November 10th. On weekdays, Wurstfest opens at 5 p.m., and 11 a.m. on the weekends. Tickets to the event are $8 before Halloween, and $10 after.  In addition to the Wurstfest event itself, there are a number of other local events happening in New Braunfels and beyond, including “Frankenwurst,” at the Circle Arts Theater, the ARToberfest art show at the New Braunfels Art League, and the 45th annual Wurstfest Regatta in Canyon Lake.

Plum Creek Kyle TX

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Wurstfest has been a staple in New Braunfels since 1961 when the event began as a promotional event for the city’s sausage-making industry. Since then, Wurstfest has exploded into one of the largest cultural events in the state. Recently it was rated the #3 event in the state of Texas, behind San Antonio’s annual Fiesta celebration and the Texas State Fair.

For more information about Wurstfest and to purchase tickets, visit www.wurstfest.com

Advertisements

Labor Day Festivals and Events in Central Texas


Monday is Labor Day – meaning the end of the summer, the beginning of fall, and a three day weekend to help ease you into the season. For Central Texans, Labor Day is usually still a scorcher, but there are many things you can do to celebrate in Central Texas, either for the day or for the weekend.

About an hour and a half west of Kyle, the Kerrville Fall Music Fundraiser celebrates the spirit of songwriting and drink-making at the Quiet Valley Ranch, Friday August 30th, to Sunday September 1st. The three-day event features tastings and seminars from some of Central Texas’ premiere wineries and breweries, along with performances from a number of local and regional songwriters. Performances will take place during the days and at night; but the wine and beer booths will only be set up during the night performances, from wineries and breweries hailing from all over the state – including Fredericksburg’s Pedernales Brewing Company, Austin‘s Independence Brewing Company, Messina Hof Winery, and Becker Vineyards, among others.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Photo by Susan Roads, courtesy of KerrvilleMusic.com

East of Kyle, the Fayette County Fair takes place in La Grange Thursday through Sunday on the Fayette County Fairgrounds. In its 86th year, the annual festival is an iconic Central Texas event, featuring agriculture and livestock shows, live music, a beauty pageant, a BBQ cook off, carnival rides and more. Tickets to the fair are $15 and include access to everything but the carnival rides. The carnival is open every evening from 6:00 to close, and all-you-can-ride wristbands are $35. On Sunday, bring 4 canned goods for the AMEN food pantry and get $5 off the carnival wristband, too. The perfect family-friendly Labor Day activity, just a little over an hour away from Kyle.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Photo courtesy of The Katy News

For those who wish to stay in town this Labor Day, there are countless ways to celebrate at home, with the family and the neighbors. The Kyle Pool is open from 11-5 until Labor Day, after which it closes for the season, and, for Plum Creek residents, there is always Fergus and McNaughton Pools. Or you can have one final summer grill out with the neighbors.

 

 

Celebrate the Fourth of July, Central Texas Style


July 4th is around the corner. And various cities around Central Texas have some wonderfully patriotic events planned for the big day and the weekend afterward so you and yours can celebrate our country’s independence Central Texas style – with pet parades, rodeos, art exhibits, WWII reenactments, horse racing and more.

Plum Creek and the City of Kyle have some great activities planned for 4th of July itself including a firework display at the Plum Creek Golf Course. Before the official city activities begin, though, the Golf Course is hosting a 4-person scramble Fourth of July Tournament that will start at 3 p.m. Its $38 per person to play, but this includes the green fee, cart fee, prizes, celebratory finger food and an up-close-and-personal perspective of the fireworks. Teams can register by calling the Plum Creek Pro Shop at (512) 262-5555.

Plum Creek, TX

The official City of Kyle Fourth of July celebration takes place at the golf course as well, with live music from the April Hall Band as well as food and drinks from 6-9 p.m. The event itself is free and open to the public, but all proceeds from parking ($5) and the available food stuffs will benefit the Kyle Masonic Lodge. When it gets dark enough, around 9:30 p.m., the real show begins, with fireworks launching from the PCGC driving range.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, a variety of events are taking place throughout the Hill Country, including Wimberley’s annual VFW Pro Open Rodeo, which has occurred every Fourth of July weekend for the past 68 years, and was once the largest outdoor rodeo in the world! This year’s festivities fall on Thursday July 4th through Saturday July 6th with gates opening at 5:30, the first Mutton Bustin’ at 7:00 p.m. and the rodeo taking place at 8 p.m. Rodeo events include bull riding, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, women’s barrel racing and more. Food and vendors are available on the grounds, and there is a dance after Friday night’s show.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of the Hill Country Current

On Saturday, Bastrop has a number of family-friendly activities including their 8th annual Pet & Pal Parade and the Bastrop Patriotic Festival. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. and takes off from the Bastrop County Courthouse. Pets of all shapes and sizes can strut their stuff, everything from goats on leashes to bearded dragons. Judging occurs in seven categories including: the most patriotic pet, most creative pet costume, most unusual pet, best trick, best decorated pet vehicle, best pet / owner look-alike, and the best overall pet. Proceeds benefit the Bastrop County Animal Shelter. Later in the day, the Patriotic Festival occurs in Fisherman’s Park, with music by the Bastrop Community Chorus and Band beginning at 6 p.m. followed by music from the Austin Symphonic Band. People can picnic and relax in the park during the festivities, and fireworks will begin at dusk. For more information about the Bastrop Independence Day festivities, click here.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of The Gloss

Fredericksburg, – a little further away from Kyle to the west – has a number of Fourth of July festivities occurring throughout the weekend as well. On Friday night nearly a dozen art galleries in the city will stay open until 8 p.m. for the city’s First Friday Art Walk, which will feature show opening receptions, artist demonstrations, meet and greets and more. Other events throughout the weekend include concerts by Roger Creager Friday night and Saturday, multiple performances of the Fredericksburg Theater Company’s rendition to “Oklahoma” and a USO style Hangar Dance that is 1940s themed and will feature big band music from Bill Smallwood and Lone Star Swing. Even more, they’ll have WWII reenactments and two days of live pari-mutuel quarter horse and thoroughbred horse racing. More information is available at the Visit Fredericksburg website.

With all this available, in town, and to the west and the east, there are endless opportunities for authentic Central Texas fun next week and weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Barbecuing in Central Texas


You may or may not have heard, but May is National Barbecue Month; and rightly so, as May is one of the best months of the year for enjoying the great outdoors and cooking outside. AAAAND we live in one of the best places for enjoying the food genre. In fact, Texas Monthly recently released their list of the Top 50 BBQ restaurants in Texas, and guess what? Nine on the list are located around Kyle – in Austin, San Marcos, Lockhart and Luling. So, whether you want to cook it yourself, or if you prefer a professional to do it, there’s lots of BBQing to go around in Central Texas.

Plum Creek, TX

Photo courtesy of Youth Leader Stash

The all-time favorite Texas BBQ place on Texas Monthly’s list was Franklin Barbecue in Austin. The famous restaurant is notorious for its long waits and for selling out of food every day at noon, but it is one of the most highly-regarded barbecue spots in the country. Other Texas Monthly favorites include four others in Austin, Black’s Barbecue and Kruez Market in Lockhart, City Market in Luling and Hays Co. Bar-B-Que and Catering in San Marcos. But that’s just the official list – there are many more to be enjoyed. And Texas Monthly doesn’t know everything!

The City of Lockhart – located less than 30 minutes away from Kyle – is the official Barbecue Capital of Texas, as pronounced by the Texas Legislature in both 1999 and 2003. (Now that’s official!) They have four BBQ restaurants in town, with an estimated 5,000 people visiting their restaurants each week.

Plum Creek TX

For those of you who prefer to do your own grilling, or have big plans for Memorial Day this weekend, Delish.com has great resources for your grilling experience, from safety tips and tricks, to main dish recipes and marinades, to expert grilling tips no one ever teaches you. Men’s Health has a BBQ Center as well, complete with an “8-week BBQ Master Class” that promises to make you “the best grill man on the block.”

Even though it’s the end of May and the official National BBQ Month is winding down, summer is on its heels, giving you plenty of time to stretch those grilling muscles.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of Backyard Simple

 

Plum Creek Introduces Local Public Art Initiative + Front Porch Days, May 4-5


Chicago had its cows. Austin had its guitars. And Kyle – we’re getting rocking chairs.

Plum Creek, TX

This summer, Plum Creek is launching a public art initiative similar to the Cow Parade of Chicago and Guitar Town up in Austin called “Rock the Porch” that will manifest in the creation of 15 artistic rocking chairs that will be placed in the public spaces of Plum Creek and within the greater Kyle community. We’re looking for people, groups, organizations and artists from around Plum Creek, Kyle and Hays County to participate in creating these innovative public art pieces to beautify and enhance the neighborhood and the greater Kyle community. They’ll be placed in high traffic areas in the neighborhood such as the Plum Creek dog park, the Community Center, the pools, and around the city of Kyle, like in front of the library, City Hall and Lake Kyle.

These won’t be ordinary rocking chairs, though. We want them to be creative, innovative and thought provoking. Something worth talking about. Think something like a fur-covered chair placed at the Plum Creek dog park, or one that looks more like a children’s playscape than an actual chair. Or one that is completely reassembled and upside down! Do you have some creative ideas for a unique, sculptural rocking chair? We’d love to see what you’ve got! We’re accepting applications from local individuals, artists, groups and organizations. Just fill out the below application, and email kelsey@lookthinkmake.com to submit, or if you have any questions or feedback.

Rock the Porch Artist Application – Applications are due by May 15th so there’s plenty of time to get involved!

Plum Creek, TX

The temporary public art exhibition is designed to provoke thoughts of what it means to be a neighbor, to be neighborly and to inspire conversation among people. We picked rocking chairs as the symbol because it encapsulates what Plum Creek is all about: a friendly place where you can sit outside on the front porch, watching the fun and activity of the neighborhood with a neighbor or a friend, rocking to the beat of the passing breeze and enjoying life. Plus, they’re practical – offering you a place to sit while you watch your dog in the dog park, or after you’ve picked up your favorite book from the Kyle library.

Plum Creek is launching “Rock the Porch” at our annual Front Porch Days next weekend May 4th and 5th. At Front Porch Days, we’ll have an rocking chair on display to inspire and get people excited about the initiative. It’ll be a weird example that embodies the kind of creativity and fun we’re expecting from the public art initiative. We’ll also have applications available at the booth, the opportunity for you to nominate your creative friends, and for you to submit ideas for chair locations in Plum Creek and Kyle.

We didn’t want to leave the kids of Plum Creek out of the rocking chair fun either. So, we’ll have a number of fun crafts at our Front Porch Days booth for the kiddos of Plum Creek and Kyle to enjoy. Kid-sized rocking chairs will be available for families to purchase and decorate with paint, glitter and more, as well as little clay pots and bird houses for decorating as well. We’re donating all the money we raise from these items to Kyle nonprofit Hope & Love 4 Kids.

Plum Creek, TX

Hope & Love is a local children’s nonprofit that serves kids in and around Hays County. Founded in 2006, they provide basic necessities to children in the community, and comfort and uplift them in their time of need through services and outreach. Their programs include school supply drives, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, the Angel Tree program during the holidays, the Hendricks Scholarship Foundation which awards three different types of scholarships to Hays County students, and more.

So, bring some cash and those creative juices to Front Porch Days, and don’t forget to stop by our booth to learn more about “Rock the Porch.” We think this is a wonderful opportunity for Plum Creek to become even more involved in the greater Kyle community, and it’s the perfect way to showcase the creativity and talent of Kyle-area artists.

And if you have some ideas for a creative rocking chair, APPLY! We want as many different people and perspectives involved. So show us what you’ve got. Fill out the below application and email it to kelsey@lookthinkmake.com. Email if you have questions or would like more information as well.

Rock the Porch Artist Application

Earth Day in Central Texas


This year is Earth Day’s 43rd anniversary; and in that time, the eco-friendly observance has grown from a U.S.-only celebration (of only 20 million participants) to an international day of awareness, with an estimated 1 billion people from countries across the globe celebrating the day each year. This years’ Earth Day occurs next Monday, and, this weekend, there are a number of ways you and your family can celebrate nature and further benefit and support the environment in Central Texas.

Twenty minutes north of Kyle, up in Austin, the weekend is filled with earth-friendly events, including Austin Earth Day Saturday April 20th, and the East Austin Urban Farm Tour, Sunday April 21st. Both events take place in Austin’s east side, and serve to showcase some of the city’s most eco-friendly businesses, farms and restaurants, musicians and non-profit organizations. Austin Earth Day takes place on Saturday in the “Historic Browning Hangar” in Mueller (off of Airport Blvd) from 12 – 7 p.m. The event features live music, (including an interactive drum circle!) speakers and presentations on topics like “Austin’s Progress Toward Becoming a Sustainable City” and “A Crash Course on Composting” as well as exhibitions and booths from over 50 Central Texas-based organizations, businesses and nonprofits. Food and drink will be provided from a number of Austin-based establishments, and there will be a Kid’s Zone for the young ones, with face painting, a petting zoo, an interactive storytelling stage, and more. The event is free and open to the public, which makes it the perfect way to spend an eco-friendly Saturday with the fam.

Plum Creek, Texas

On Sunday, the East Austin Urban Farm Tour showcases four of Austin’s urban farms in the Govalle neighborhood off Airport Boulevard, near 183. The guided tour provides attendees with the opportunity to experience the farms and produce fields of Boggy Creek Farm, HausBar Farms, Rain Lily Farm and Springdale Farm while learning about each of the farms and the way in which they operate. Additionally, chefs from a number of local restaurants who source from these farms will provide a sampling of food items, with accompanying beverages as well. Tickets to the event are $45 and can be purchased in advance, here. The East Austin Urban Farm Tour has sold out the past two years, so buy yours now!

The following Saturday, April 27th, San Marcos hosts another Earth Day celebration at the San Marcos Springs. This event features live music performances from local bands “Green Mountain Grass,” “Albanie and her Fellas” and “Those Nights” as well as educational booths, green vendors and a kid-friendly talk from Doc Edwards from the Edwards Aquifer Authority and Karson, his Texas Blind Salamander puppet sidekick. The event benefits the Hays County Food Bank, and if you bring a non-perishable donation to the celebration, you can receive $2 off a glass bottom boat ride that day!  San Marcos also hosts a weekly farmers market every Saturday throughout the year where attendees can get local produce, sustainable products and other food items from a number of Central Texas-based farms and green organizations. For other Farmers Markets in the area, check out Edible Austin’s list of Central Texas farmers markets and resources.

Plum Creek, Texas

 

If you’d rather celebrate Earth Day on your own, there are many ways for you and yours to help and benefit the environment. Try to walk or ride your bike to school or work instead of getting in the gas guzzler, make a bird feeder from a milk carton or an empty liter soda bottle, plant a tree or flowers at home, or spend an afternoon outside walking around Lake Kyle or one of Plum Creek’s many parks. Or you can practice Earth Hour by turning off the lights, and the TV, and the computer, etc. in your home for one hour. Use the time to chat with the kids about sustainability, or do something fun by candlelight like reading a book.

In Plum Creek, the New Urbanist community located in Kyle, being green is easy, as the neighborhood privileges alternative modes of transportation, and there are countless ways to get out and enjoy the environment in the neighborhood! The streets are designed to slow traffic, and sidewalks offer residents the perfect space for taking a stroll and stretching those legs. Additionally, homes, amenities, schools and businesses are located within walking distance from each other, so you can virtually get anywhere in the neighborhood without the car. If that’s not green we don’t know what is!

Plum Creek, Texas

Zilker Botanical Garden’s Annual Zilker Garden Festival


The first Saturday and Sunday of April, April 6th and 7th, the Zilker Botanical Garden hosts its 56th annual Zilker Garden Festival, which offers Central Texas and Austin residents the perfect introduction to spring. The family-friendly event takes place amidst the beautiful 30-acre Zilker Botanical Garden grounds, which are located near Lady Bird Lake on a diverse topography that is well-suited for showcasing different the types of native, hybrid and exotic plants that thrive in the climate of Central Texas. Themed gardens – such as the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden – are sprinkled throughout the facility, and are interconnected with streams, waterfalls and Koi-filled ponds, which create a peaceful, serene environment for enjoying nature, wildlife and the great outdoors.

Plum Creek, TX

The Zilker Garden Festival is the Zilker Botanical Garden’s most high-profile and anticipated annual event, and all proceeds support the Zilker Botanical Garden. The event is co-sponsored by the Austin Area Garden Council and the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department.

Highlights from the Zilker Garden Festival include gardening talks and information sessions, shopping and food offerings, as well as an array of kid-friendly events and activities. Additionally, live music is available both days of the Garden Festival from local Central Texas artists from the likes of Harps of Many Colors, The Better Halves, and The Siekers, among others.

An array of garden talks and other information sessions from local flora and fauna experts are available at the Garden Festival as well. Topics range from “Care for Drought Stressed Trees” to “Rainwater Harvesting” to “Cacti & Succulents,” so festival-goers can receive a wide-range of area-specific information about Central Texas gardening from local, knowledgeable gardening experts.  These informational garden talks are included in the Festival as a part of the City of Austin’s Grow Green program – which promotes sustainable landscaping practices by addressing hot button topics such as water quality and conservation, recycling and sustainable pest control. Additionally, an array of vendors from across Central Texas will fill the Zilker Botanical Garden the two days of the Garden Festival to sell a variety of plants and garden-related items, including garden-themed arts and crafts, ceramic pottery, jewelry and herbal products, baskets, birdhouses and colorful garden benches, among others. These items, along with the informational gardening talks, create the perfect recipe for gardening success this spring!

Plum Creek, TX

Additionally, a Flower Show in the Zilker Botanical Garden Center with three special exhibits – featuring Bonsai, Cactus and Orchid plants – will showcase the best local horticulture in the area and will be judged by 6 accredited judges. This is the 55th annual Zilker Flower Show, hosted by the Violet Crown Garden Club and the Capital City Judges Council, which has been in existence since April 1958. Now, that’s a lot of flowers.

For the kiddos in your family, the Zilker Garden Festival features a number of kid-friendly events and activities in their Kid’s Corner as well. Here, the young ones can get their face painted, build their own birdhouses or bird feeders, make butterfly wings and masks, and will receive a free plant to take home and grow themselves. Additionally, the City of Austin will host an array of children’s activities in the Rose Garden, and near the “Faerie Homes” on the Escarpment Trail.  There will also be food products available at the Garden Festival, from the likes of Amy’s Ice Cream, Crepe Crazy, and Texas Tradition BBQ, among others, who will offer spring food items for your Garden Festival experience.

Plum Creek, TX

For more information about the Zilker Garden Festival, including location, activities and features, please visit the Zilker Botanical Garden website. And happy gardening!