On the heels of the holidays, 2020 continues the fun with everything from rodeos to Renaissance festivals. Here are 10 Texas towns worth traveling to this January.
Jan. 1: Kick off 2020 at Gruene’s annual Hair of the Dog Day featuring free live music by Guy & Jeska Forsyth Band from noon to 4 p.m. and Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros 4-8 p.m. More at gruenehall.com.
Jan 1: The annual Black-Eyed Pea Off in Terlingua is where West Texas folks gather to ring in the New Year. For 30 years, this New Year’s Day tradition has unfolded on the Terlingua Ghost Town Porch. Make the long trek for good food, pea judging, live music, a cake walk and a hot date raffle show. A $5 donation buys you a bowl, spoon and cornbread. Stick around for a songwriters salute at the Starlight Theatre beginning at 5 p.m. More at visitbigbend.com/events/pea-off.
Jan. 11: Work off holiday dessert during the 36th annual Longest Causeway Run & Fitness Walk. Participants can choose between the 5K fitness walk or the 10K run as they cross the historical Queen Isabella Causeway over the beautiful Laguna Madre. Everyone who crosses the finish line receives a medal, and award medals are given to the top three racers in each group. Registration is $25 for student and military, $35 for the 5K walk and $40 for the 10K run. More at portisabelchamber.com.
Jan. 15-19: Shake things up at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference featuring five days of parties, seminars and tastings celebrating craft cocktails. Now in its ninth year, the San Antonio Cocktail Conference has been named “one of the best” by Fodor’s Travel. Presented by Houston Street Charities, the conference donates 100% of its profits to benefit children. More at sanantoniococktailconference.com.
Jan. 20: Join 300,000 others for the Martin Luther King, Jr. march in San Antonio. The march begins at 10 a.m. at the MLK Academy (3501 MLK Drive). The free community event has been going on since Jan. 19, 1987, and honors and pays tribute to one of the nation's most revered civil rights leaders, continuing King’s legacy of justice, peace and equality. More at sanantonio.gov/MLK.
Jan. 17-18: The 11th annual Chili Quest and Beer Fest brings together chili and beer lovers from all over the country to taste what Galveston has to offer while enjoying live music, a 5K fun run, a washer pitching tournament, a jackpot margarita contest, a historical Strand merchant walkabout, a craft beer festival and more. A chili tasting ticket is $12, a beer tasting ticket is $30, and a combo ticket is $39. More at yagaschiliquest.com.
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Jan. 25-26: Gain a glimpse into Galveston’s storied past during Galveston Museum Day, which brings together local museums for two days of free and discounted admission. During Museum Day, visitors can learn about Galveston’s place as one of the wealthiest cities in the United States during the late 1800s, the powerful families who helped build the city, Galveston’s significance to immigration in the region, and the importance of the industries that keep Galveston a thriving coastal city and tourism destination today. Find a list of participating museums at galvestonmuseumday.com.
Jan. 17-Feb. 8: Ride up to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, which was established in 1896 and unfolds in the Will Rogers Memorial Center featuring everything from horse and livestock shows to nightly concerts and rodeo competitions. General admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 16. More at fwssr.com.
Jan. 18: Head to Luckenbach for the 13th annual Blues Festival. This year’s music lineup includes Elijah Zane and the Peacemakers, Zach Day, Dylan Bishop, Eagle Eye Williamson, Ben Beckendorf Band, the Hot Attacks, Sue Foley and Joseph “Mojo” Morganfield. The event takes place from noon to 11:45 p.m., and tickets are $30 and free for kids 8 and under. More at luckenbachtexas.com.
Jan. 22-26: The Denton Black Film Festival is a five-day event that showcases some of the best in cinema, music, spoken word, comedy, art, food and fashion and more. Each festival, held annually in January, shares stories of the African American community — its traditions, ideas and experiences — in a multitude of ways. Proceeds from the annual festival fund scholarships for African American students in Denton. More at dentonbff.com.
Jan. 24-25: Shop for quality antiques and vintage finds at Round Top’s annual Winter Antique Show. The 90-population town puts on a big show at the Big Red Barn Event Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Winter tickets are $7 for a single day and $14 for a two-day pass. More at roundtoptexasantiques.com.
Jan. 24-26 & Feb. 1-2: Entertainment, food and fun unfold for two weekends at the Kerrville Renaissance Festival. Come out to experience birds of prey shows, live glass blowing demonstrations, archery, artists, costume contests, kids activities, craft booths, food, eight stages of continuous entertainment, Dublin harpers, the Vinland Texas Vikings, bagpipers and more. Tickets are $14.95 for adults, $9.95 for children 5-12 and free for children under 4. More at KerrvilleRenFest.com.