Seventh Tejas Fest on tap Saturday

Literature to lugnuts, all events are free

Rockdale’s revamped Tejas Fest will unreel Saturday throughout the downtown area, featuring activities at six venues, highlighted by visits from authors and a car-motorcycle show.

It’s revamped in a couple of ways. Volunteers scrambled late last fall to put the annual event together after the Chamber of Commerce, which had organized the previous six festivals, decided to opt out of its main source of revenue, the city’s hotel-motel tax.

Then two weeks ago, too late for the change to be noted in most Tejas advertising and the special section included in this week’s Reporter, headliner Joaquin Jackson—a former Texas Ranger and favorite of Tejas crowds in 2008 and 2009—cancelled his appearance.

But organizers landed a repacement, Lake Travis photographer writer-researcher Charles Garrett, whose first book profiles petrified wood structures including two in Rockdale. (See story, photos, page 1B).

Garrett will speak at the I&GN Depot at 10:45 a.m. Also speaking at the historic depot-museum will be railroad photographer Dr. J. Parker Lamb, returning from last year.

GROUND ZERO—The Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library is “ground zero” for Tejas Fest.

Authors will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sell and autograph books and several of them will speak.

At 1 p.m. Rockdale author Dr. Lucile Estell and Milton Jordan will speak. Jordan and Dan Utley have authored “Just Between Us: Stories and Memories from the Texas Pines.”

Dr. Estell has a piece in that book containing her reminescences of a general store in Marshall.

Dr. Estell is also the author of “Images of America: Rockdale,” a photo history book which contains more than 200 images from the past.

Also speaking at the library will be children’s author Sherry Garland at 10 a.m. and teacher artist-writer Bernice Coleman at 11:30.

DISPLAYS—More than a dozen authors will be present through the day, including Rockdale’s Dr. Fanny Lovelady-Spain and Melody Dawson and former Milano resident Ann Hashem Kraft.

There is also a museum-style display at the library, “The Way Things Were: Rural Texans and Their Buildings 1860-1930.”

VROOM, VROOM—Saturday’s largest event will kick off at 8 a.m. with registration for the Rockdale Downtown Association’s annual auto-motorcycle show at the corner of Ackerman and Milam.

Last year’s show drew over 100 entries and huge crowds checking out the cars, truck and bikes.

The show itself will run from 10 a.m to 2:30 p.m. with awards to follow.

Competition will be in about two dozen categories.

The Texas Corvette Association Club of San Antonio is expected to participate.

KAY, DEPOT—Rockdale’s two recently restored “anchors” on both ends of Main Street will be busy on Saturday with plenty of activity at the Kay Theatre and the I&GN Depot-Museum.

At 1 p.m., Thorndale High School’s one-act play group will perform “After Midnight, Before Dawn.”

Other activities at the Kay include the Rising Star Baptist Church choir at 10:30 a.m. and the Communities in Concert Band at 2:30 p.m.

There will also be tours, face painting and children’s activities at the Kay.

In addition to the previously mentioned speakers, the I&GN Historical Depot will be open with restored railroad cars and its 19th century working blacksmith shop.

PLANTS, PARK—The Linwood Acres Garden Club will host its annual plant exchange and sale at the historic Henry Garage building next door to the Kay Theatre.

They will also offer information on local plantings and host a garden decor sale.

Children’s art will also be on display.

Musical entertainment will unreel all day at Wolf Park, opposite the depot.

Food and other vendors will set up along Main Street in front ot the park.

FRIDAY— Several of the authors will visit local schools Friday, thanks to a grant by the Tocker Foundation.

The authors and artists will gather for a Friday evening reception at Citizens National Bank.

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