Commentary

Welcome to Tejas

Seventh annual event on track after ‘above and beyond’ effort

The big news about this weekend’s seventh annual Tejas Fest in Rockdale is that there is going to be one. Three months ago that’s not a statement that could have been made with any degree of certainty. The first six Tejas Fests were all held under the direction of the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce.

Last November the Chamber board decided it would no longer administer the city’s hotel-motel tax, which had provided much of the revenue for events like Tejas.

That situation is still working itself toward a resolution of some sort but with such a short time period—November to March—it quickly became obvious that if some plan of action wasn’t formed in a hurry the 2013 Tejas Fest was in jeopardy.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened.

Under the leadership of Dave Phillips, a committee of volunteers took it upon themselves to put this year’s Tejas Fest together, at very short notice and keep the annual book and art event going.

That involved, among other tasks, applying to the city council for funds to put on the event, lining up the authors and artists, coordinating schedules with the schools, deciding what events would be held and where and scores of other details and decisions.

Grants from the Tocker Foundation and Humanities Texas also contribute toward the Tejas Fest each year.

After a lot of work and a few setbacks—former Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson, who was to be a headliner had a schedule conflict and bowed out at the last minute—it all came together.

There will be activities downtown Saturday at the city library, Kay Theatre, Henry Garage, I&GN Train Depot, Wolf Park and an annual car-motorcycle show on North Ackerman. It’s all free.

Thanks for your effort, Tejas organizers, many of whom will be on hand Saturday to assist with the event. It’s been quite a ride this time around but you did it.—M.B.


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2013-02-28 digital edition



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