From rodeos to revelry, here are a dozen Texas festivals worth traveling for in February.
Now-Feb. 8: The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has been going strong since 1896, bringing 23 days of authentic western experiences in the form of rodeo performances, livestock and horse shows, kid-friendly activities and exhibits, live music, a carnival midway and more. General admission, which provides access to the FWSSR grounds but does not include rodeo admission, is $12 for adults, $5 for children 6-16 and free for children 5 and under. Tickets for the rodeo performances, taking place in the new Dickies Arena, are $30. More at fwssr.com.
Jan. 30-Feb. 16: Saddle up for the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, a multi-day event dedicated to preserving the western way of life and promoting agricultural education to youth through PRCA Rodeo performances, cattle shows, cookoffs, a carnival, calf scrambles, a petting zoo and more. Daily gate admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children 11 and under, and free for 2 and under. Rodeo tickets vary by performance, ranging between $10-$30. More at sanangelorodeo.com.
Feb. 5-8: Birders should flock to the eighth annual Laredo Birding Festival, Bird the Border! The Rio Grande stretch between Laredo and Brownsville is called the “birdiest” corridor in North America and serves as home to hundreds of species of local and migratory birds. Each day, birders can select from a variety of full-day scenic trips escorted by professional field guides to deepen their birding knowledge by exploring riverfronts, creek systems, nature trails and private ranchland. More at laredobirdingfestival.org.
Feb. 6-23: The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, also known as San Antonio Livestock Exposition, Inc. (S.A.L.E), has become one of the largest, most prestigious single events in the city with approximately 1.9 million annual visitors. Expect everything from animals and agriculture to family entertainment including a carnival, petting zoo and pony rides in addition to 18 days of rodeo and exciting entertainers including Keith Urban, ZZ Top, Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley taking the stage each night at the AT&T Center/Freeman Coliseum. More at sarodeo.com.
Feb. 12-15: Cowboy boots pair well with colorful beads at the 15th annual 11th Street Cowboy Mardi Gras, where revelers celebrate Cajun traditions in the Cowboy Capital of the World. The celebration brims with Cajun and country music, a gumbo cookoff, costume and canine costume contests and more. Make your way to Main Street on Saturday at noon for the Cowboy Mardi Gras Parade featuring floats, horses, cowboys, feathers, masks and plenty of beads. More at banderacowboycapital.com.
Feb. 14-Feb. 25: Bead there for the largest Mardi Gras celebration in Texas: the 109th celebration of Mardi Gras! Galveston. Get your fill of 23 elaborate parades, more than 25 concerts including performances by headliners Blue October and Bowling for Soup, family festivities, 20 balcony parties, several elegant balls and more than 3 million beads at this year’s Mardi Gras! Galveston. General admission is $23 at the gate, which includes concert admissions. More at mardigrasgalveston.com.
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Feb. 14-15: “Get Back to the Basics of Love” at Luckenbach’s 45th annual Hug-In and Valentine Ball. Dale Watson joins the fun on Friday night with the “Give Me More Kisses” dance and Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis hold court on Saturday night for the Valentine’s Ball. Tickets are available for the entire event, which includes a camping pass and tickets to both shows ($45), or purchase a ticket for each night ($20). Kids 12 and under are free. More at luckenbachtexas.com.
Feb. 20-23: Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas unfolds in downtown Beaumont with family-friendly festivities including concerts, carnival rides, parades, balloon rides, the Budweiser Clydesdales, food, fun and more. Single-day admission tickets range from $10-$15 and a four-day pass is $40. More at h.
Feb. 20-23: The 52nd annual Fiesta Edinburg, celebrating more than half a century of family fun, unfolds in Edinburg Municipal Park with major attractions including the Heart of America Carnival, regional food, arts and crafts and top-notch entertainers. More at edinburg.com.
Feb. 20-23: The 24th annual Whooping Crane Festival is a one-of-a-kind event focused on the whooping crane, one of the most endangered birds in the world. The Texas Coastal Bend is the only place where you can see the world’s last naturally occurring population of whooping cranes during their annual return to their wintering habitat at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. More at whoopingcranefestival.org.
Feb. 22-March 8: The 83rd Annual Charro Days Fiesta has celebrated the unity of bi-national cultures and traditions since 1938. Expect a festive mix of parades, live music, fiesta dances, a thrilling Charros Days carnival, a costume ball, food and fun to celebrate the spirit of two cultures between the border towns of Brownsville and Matamoros. More at charrodaysfiesta.com.
Feb. 29: The Hops for Houses Craft Beer Festival is a 21-and-up event supporting the House That Beer Built, a collaboration between Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County Texas and the craft brewing community to build a home for a local family. Taking place at the Williamson County Expo Center from noon to 7 p.m., expect beers from more than 25 craft brewers from Central and North Texas, a silent auction, live music and more. General admission tickets are $30 online and $35 at the door. More at williamsonhabitat.org.