Top 5 Nearby Fall Festivals & County Fairs
As the recent weather has proved, there's no better time to be outdoors in Texas than fall. In springtime, there's always that lingering knowledge that summer is right around the corner, so this time of year there's nothing else to look forward to but Santa Claus. It's also harvest time, and the thought of being able to feed your family for another year will always be a reason to celebrate.
Bring it on indeed.
And Houston may hold the world's biggest rodeo in March, but that hardly means that's the only rodeo around here. Just about every weekend between now and Dickens on the Strand is about to be full of calf scrambles, pig races, fine country music, and sometimes a little zydeco and blues between the alligator roundups. Ahhh... Texas.
Rocks Off studied the events on the handy Texas Fairs and Festivals Web site and drew out a radius of 100 miles, so nothing is more than an hour and a half away, and narrowed it down to five. Sorry Big Tex, there's absolutely no reason to drive all the way to the big State Fair in Dallas, because some of these are very close by indeed.
5. PASADENA LIVESTOCK SHOW & RODEO
Date: Sept. 14-22
Location/Distance From Downtown Houston: 7601 Red Bluff Rd, Pasadena, 15 miles (southeast)
Entertainment: Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow, Tracy Byrd, Chris Cagle, Mark Chesnutt
Other Stuff: Trail ride, parade, "little wrangler" rodeo
Why It's Awesome: It's close, and it's a rodeo. Kevin Fowler used to play in the great Texas hard-rock band Dangerous Toys, and now writes corn-fed country songs like "Beer, Bait and Ammo," "I Pulled a Hank Last Night" and "Don't Touch My Willie." Tracy Byrd, lest we forget, went "10 Rounds With Jose Cuervo." This is probably as close to Bud and Sissy's Urban Cowboy prison-rodeo honeymoon you can get this month.
4. BRAZORIA COUNTY FAIR
Location/Distance from Downtown Houston: Brazoria County Fair Association, 901 S. Downing Rd., Angleton, 50 miles (due south)
Date: October 12-13
Entertainment: Robert Earl Keen, Josh Abbott Band, Aaron Watson Band, John Conlee, separate Tejano concert with Eddie Gonzalez y Grupo Vida, David Olivarez and Ramiro "Ram" Herrera & the Outlaws
Other Stuff: Ag shows including cattle, poultry, sheep, goat and rabbits, plus agricultural and art auctions, calf scramble rice cookoff, bake show, scarecrow contest, tricycle races...
Why It's Awesome: The Brazoria County coastal prairie has a kind of bleak, unforgiving beauty that's always made it one of our favorite spots around the area. Robert Earl Keen is probably the wittiest Texas singer-songwriter of his generation, and the Josh Abbott Band is getting whiplash on its rise to the top of the Texas music scene. The Tejano show, tickets sold separately, is a good'un too.