23 – “Tacos, Tacos, Tacos – May 2016″

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Caution: the delicious contents of this podcast may make you hungry. Here at the Daytripper we love tacos! So we joined Texas Monthly Food Editor Pat Sharpe, writer of the “120 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die” to discuss tacos, tacos and more tacos. Tune in!

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This endeavor is generously supported by Mighty Fine Burgers.

New Episodes Are Here!

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Brace yourselves because here at The Daytripper Headquarters we’ve been traveling to awesome towns around Texas and you won’t believe what we found: Texas-sized dinosaurs, Indian tales, ravenous alligators, towering canyons and Elvis… Starting this week, we’re airing the last FIVE episodes of Season 7, so here’s the list of episodes that you won’t want to miss. Be sure to check your local PBS station for premiere times.

DALLAS

DTSite_dallas160122_019 In Dallas, we soar to new heights on the Reunion Tower, learn about the Alamosaurus (a Texas dinosaur) at the Perot Museum and get into all kinds of crazy adventures in the Bishop Arts District. We also explore the nature side of the Big D on the trails by the Trinity River and eat all the food we can fit into our stomachs at Pecan Lodge and Chicken Scratch.

NEW BRAUNFELS

DTSite_newBraun150924_010 Between holding deadly snakes, feeding gators and learning to water-ski, things get pretty slippery in New Braunfels. But don’t worry, we also take time to enjoy the relaxing float of the Comal River and of course, eat up the delicious German goodies and spicy history in this town.

RICHMOND

DTSite_richmond160321_003 In Richmond we trip across the past, present and future of Texas. We learn about the good ol’ days on the George R. Ranch in the 1930s, eat phenomenal ethnic foods and learn about the mixed cultures in the area, and then catch a glimpse of the galaxy at the George Observatory.

TURKEY

DTSite_turkey160211_002 If you think Texas is flat then check out the Turkey episode to see the beautiful rocky canyons we explore in this Panhandle town. We also learn about the Indians that once inhabited this area from a modern-day Indiana Jones and see tools from the barbershop days of Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing.

HILLSBORO

DTSite_Hillsboro160219_022Our day trip to Hillsboro is a blast to the past – we enjoy homemade ice cream in a 50′s diner and find all sort of classic knick-knacks at the Roadside America museum. We even come across an old jailhouse with cells that hold tales of Bonnie and Clyde, Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley.

Chestnut Square Historic Village

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The Chestnut Square Historic Village in McKinney will transport you back in time and give you a taste of life in the late 1800s. The historic village is made up of buildings from the 1800s and 1900s that were moved from their original locations around town to their current spots on the Square.

The Taylor Inn picture by Chestnut Square Historic Village

The Taylor Inn picture by Chestnut Square Historic Village

You can shop at the Dixie Store, a general store from 1819 that was relocated to Chestnut Square in 1994. The classic store has candy, drinks and handmade crafts and toys just like Texans use to buy back in the day. You can also see the historic Taylor Inn from 1863, where tourists could book a room for 25 cents a night.

Johnson House photo by Chestnut Square Historic Village.

Johnson House photo by Chestnut Square Historic Village.

Chestnut Square also has Victorian homes available to tour. The Johnson House, built in 1870, was home to a Confederate Captain and his 13 kids.  The Square offers a variety of public tours including a trolley tour, an afternoon tea tour and multiple ghost tours. Head on over to Chestnut Square for a tour of all nine buildings.

 

 

Can’t Miss Spring & Summer Festivals

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It’s festival season which means that in the next few months, cities all over Texas will be throwing awesome parties celebrating the best things about Texas. Now this list isn’t comprehensive, but there are enough cool festivals here to keep you and your family busy partyin’ almost every weekend this April through July.

APRIL

RED POPPY FEST – Georgetown, TX

Picture by Live and Play in Georgetown, Texas Facebook

Picture by Live and Play in Georgetown, Texas Facebook

When: April 22-24

Admission: FREE

Each year Georgetown, TX throws a huge weekend-long celebration in April when the red poppies bloom to celebrate their title as “The Red Poppy Capital of Texas.” The 17th Annual Red Poppy Fest includes all kinds of fun events and activities from a classic car show to a self-guided red poppy tour through town. There will be food vendors, live entertainment and a craft fair. All guests are invited to wear red and attend the “Paint the Town Red” parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday – which is actually being hosted by Mr. Chet Garner, himself! And to add to the weekend’s celebration, there will be a performance by country superstar Tracy Lawrence on Saturday night. Find more information here.

 

MAY

 TEXAS SANDFEST – Port Aransas, TX

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When: April 29 – May 1

Admission: $5

This beach festival is all about sand, fun and a little competition. Texas Sandfest is a three-day competition where you can watch as pro sand sculptors create mind-blowing castles and sculptures out of the sand on the Port Aransas beach. Not a pro? That’s alright – they also have competitions on Saturday for amateurs, kids and teens. The festival includes craft and jewelry vendors, live music, a Beer and Wine Garden, and more! Purchase tickets here.

TEXAS CRAB FESTIVAL – Crystal Beach, TX 

Picture by Texas Crab Festival Facebook.

Picture by Texas Crab Festival Facebook.

When: May 6-8 

Admission: Fri. or Sat. entry is $11.54, Sun. is free

Join the city of Crystal Beach for a three-day festival of family fun and lots of seafood at The 31st Annual Texas Crab Festival . The festival features all kinds of activities from a Texas 2-Step Dance Contest to a Crab Gumbo Cook-off. And the Wiener-Dog Race is a can’t miss event! There will also be a 5K Run, a 1K Walk (for those too full of crab to be athletic) and live music. Find more information here.

TACOFEST – Fort Worth, TX

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Picture by Fort Worth Weekly.

When: May 7

Admission: $10 – $50, price depends on pass purchased

If you aren’t getting enough tacos in your diet, then head to the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth for a taco fiesta! This celebration of Cinco De Mayo hosted by Fort Worth Weekly lasts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features live music, mariachi bands, vendors and of course lots and lots of tacos from area restaurants and food trucks. At TacoFest, there will also be a celebrity judged taco competition, and from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. is unlimited taco sampling. “Taco” ’bout a good time…(sorry, couldn’t help myself!) Click here to purchase tickets.

HOUSTON CRAWFISH, CRAB & GRILL FESTIVAL – Houston, TX

Picture by Houston Crawfish, Crab & Grill Festival.

Picture by Houston Crawfish, Crab & Grill Festival.

When: May 14

Admission: $20 before event, $25 at the gate

Calling all foodies: This is a party dedicated to Houston’s finest Cajun and New Orleans-inspired eats. HCCGF is a weekend designed for the purpose of stuffing your face with all the scrumptious crawfish specialties, mouth-watering crab dishes and fantastic grilled foods you want from area restaurants and caterers while honoring the culture that created these amazing meals. And what pairs perfectly with delicious Cajun food? Why, live performances from R&B, Reggae and Soul musicians all weekend. Just be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting covered with butter from your crawfish boil. Click here to purchase tickets.

GENERAL SAM HOUSTON FOLK FESTIVAL - Huntsville, TX

Picture by General Sam Houston Folk Festival Facebook.

Picture by General Sam Houston Folk Festival Facebook.

When: May 13-15

Admission: $3 – $5, price depends on age

The town of Huntsville, TX is hosting the 17th Annual General Sam Houston Folk Festival to celebrate one of their most historic citizens. This year’s festival features historical reenactments, craft vendors, live entertainment and more on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. There will also be opportunities to learn more about Sam Houston and Texas history from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sons of the Republic. Click here for more information.

MAIN STREET FEST – Grapevine, TX

Picture by Grapevine Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Picture by Grapevine Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

When: May 20-21

Admission: $5 – $15, price varies depending on time

The 32nd Annual Main Street Festival promises to be a blast for kids and adults. Mom and Dad can enjoy a selection of over 80 craft brew beers or a glass of wine from the Grapevine wineries while kids check out the KidZone, museum exhibits and kids shows. There will also be a Carnival and Midway with rides and games for families to enjoy, lots of shopping and live entertainment. You can find more information here.

STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL - Pasadena, TX

Strawberry festival

Picture by Pasadena Strawberry Festival.

When: May 20-22

Admission: $5 – $30, price varies depending on price and day

This is one sweet celebration! The Strawberry Festival has been going since 1974 and is one of the biggest traditions in Pasadena which is deemed the “The Strawberry Capital of the South.” The three-day festival starts with an Opening Strawberry Festival Parade and the unveiling of the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake, which is a 2073 sq. ft. cake that is made each year and served throughout the festival. The festival also features a mud volleyball tournament in a 3-foot mud pit, a carnival, performances by Aaron Watson and Eric Paslay, and much more. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for area colleges. Learn more here.

THE NATIONAL POLKA FESTIVAL – Ennis, TX

Picture by The National Polka Festival Facebook.

Picture by The National Polka Festival Facebook.

When: May 27-29

Admission: $8 – $25, price varies depending on day

Get your polka on and join the people of Ennis as they celebrate Czech heritage at the 50th Annual National Polka Festival. The three-day festival kicks off with a Polka dance competition, then on Saturday morning guests are invited to watch the free parade through downtown. The festival also features a Kolache-eating contest, a 5K and a weekend full of live music from polka bands including Grammy Award-winning Brave Combo.

 

JUNE

TASTE OF DALLAS – Dallas, TX

Picture by Taste of Dallas Facebook.

Picture by Taste of Dallas Facebook.

When: June 3-5

Admission: $14 – $50, price varies depending on pass purchased 

The residents of Dallas come together every year in Fair Park to experience the best music, food and arts the city has to offer. At this year’s 30th Taste of Dallas festival there is something for everyone like a Kids Zone with a petting zoo and inflatable slides, the Foodie Experience complete with free samples of the area’s best foods, wines and beers, and the Main Stage where a free music festival will be hosted all weekend. In celebration of Taste of Dallas‘s 30th birthday, a cake has been created by “The Cake Boss’s” Carlos Bake Shop and will be passed out at the festival. You can purchase tickets here.

TOMATO FEST - Jacksonville, TX

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When: June 11

Admission: FREE

Come join the “Tomato Capital of the World” for a day of music, fun and – of course – LOTS of tomatoes at The 32nd Annual Tomato Fest! Events include a Tomato Peeling Contest, in which contestants peel tomatoes with their teeth; a Tomato Shoot, where kids use BB-Guns to shoot tomatoes and a Salsa Contest. There will be a Farmer’s Market where you can buy some of those famous Jacksonville tomatoes, and you can also eat your weight in fried green tomatoes. Learn more about the event here.

TEXAS FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL – San Antonio, TX

Picture by Texas Folklife Festival Facebook.

Picture by Texas Folklife Festival Facebook.

When: June 10-12

Admission: $5 – $12, price varies depending on age and day

The Texas Folklife Festival was modeled after a celebration of cultures at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Throughout the weekend, the festival celebrates the differences of over 40 different ethnic groups. The Folklife Festival showcases ethnic heritages through foods, crafts, entertainment and more on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures. Tickets can be purchased at the gates on the day of the event or here.

2ND ANNUAL ROUTE 66 FESTIVAL – Amarillo, TX

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When: June 18

Admission: FREE

The 2nd Annual Route 66 Festival will really help you “get your kicks!” This free festival features all the things you need to celebrate Historic Route 66 from Antiques to Classic Cars. There will also be a Swap Meet, food, live music, shopping and more! So grab your family and plan a road trip to this iconic highway. Check this site to find out more information.

WATERMELON THUMP – Luling, TX 

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When: June 23-26

Admission: $5 – $15, prices varies depending on day

The Watermelon Thump has been a beloved tradition in Luling since 1954. Start practicing your seed-spittin’ skills in preparation for the World Championship Seed Spitting Contest, and practice polishing off melons promptly because the Watermelon Eating Contest is judged on speed not quantity. The festival also features a mechanical bull, carnival rides, craft fair, live music and more! Learn more here.

JULY

GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE – Longview, TX

Picture by Great Texas Balloon Race Facebook.

Picture by Great Texas Balloon Race Facebook.

When: July 22-24

Admission: $12, $15 at gate

Take flight with the city of Longview at the Great Texas Balloon Race. During this three-day festival guests can get up close and personal with giant, colorful hot air balloons and watch as they soar over the festival grounds. A highlight of this festival is the Special Shapes Spectacular, an event when hot air balloons in fun shapes float above the grounds and the Balloon Glow when the hot air balloons are lit at night. There will also be live performances by Aaron Watson and Restless Hearts. Find more information here.

The Blessing of the Vines

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This past weekend, the Daytripper crew did a little wine-trippin’ in Grapevine at the Blessing of the Vines event. We had so much fun celebrating this year’s “awakening of the vines” with the fellow wine-loving Texans who gathered at the Delaney Vineyards on Saturday. The morning started off with a little meeting, greeting and eating. We loved meeting the awesome daytrippin’ fans that showed up to the event. We even drank a glass of wine with Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and his wife, Ariadne. They traveled all the way from Mt. Olympus to join the Grapevine festivities!

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As the crowds gathered, it was time for the procession of distinguished guests to walk through the still-budding vineyard. The parade of people was led by the 12-piece mariachi band. Following them was the American flag and members of the Grapevine Knights of Columbus.

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Knights of Colombus

This giant cluster of grapes followed after them in the procession to represent the bounty of the grapes we are asking for this season.

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Dignitaries carried flags (who better to carry the Texas flag than Chet?) and the rest of the guests were invited to join the procession as they made their way through the rows of the vineyard.Chet_Flag_Edit

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The crowd gathered in the middle of the vineyard and Father Ken Robinson of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Muenster began the blessing that dates back to Europe with the rise of Christianity. This blessing, which asks God’s grace on the vines and fruit of the vineyards, has remained the same for the past 400 years.  He also prayed for the health of the workers.

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He read from Genesis 1:29 and asked God to give an abundant harvest. He gave thanks for the bounty of the past, and asked God for it to continue this season. It was amazing to see this blessing knowing that for centuries people have gathered just like we did on Saturday to ask for God’s hand and blessing in the bounty of the harvest.

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After he blessed the budding vines, the procession continued to the other side of the vineyard for more music from the mariachi band, wine tastings and more celebration. And even Miss Grapevine, a truck with a tiara, made an appearance.

Miss Grapevine in all her glory.

Miss Grapevine in all her glory.

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Pictured here is the cross carried during the processional along with wines from the various vineyards in Grapevine.

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So cheers, Grapevine, to a wonderful day! It was an awesome experience getting to be involved in a centuries-old celebration.  And this is one tradition that truly does get better with age.

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Chet Garner

Chet loves Texas and loves Bar-B-Q, which means he considers his job to be the greatest job on earth. Chet is the creator, executive producer, writer, editor, and host of the five-time Emmy-award winning “The Daytripper.” Chet is also a proud husband, proud father of 4, eagle scout, monthly contributor to Texas Highways Magazine, and firm believer in John 10:10 – “I have come that you may have life, and live it to the fullest.”     TWITTER    INSTAGRAM

Richie Lozano

Richie is a Producer and Editor of The Daytripper, as well as the magic man behind the camera. Oh yeah, he’s also a two-time Emmy-award winning producer.

Todd White

http://www.toddwhite.org

Todd is a Producer, Photographer and Videographer with the Daytripper. When he is not on the road with the crew, Todd spends his time working on fashion and commercial photography/videography projects with publication credits in Vogue and People.

Daniel Mecey

Daniel

A Texan native and Christ follower, Daniel is an editor on The Daytripper, proud husband and father of two. To his friends and family he may be called Daniel, but on the road the crew knows him as “Pantsless Dan.” Don’t ask…  INSTAGRAM

Linsey Thut

Linsey started out as an intern and Daytripper fan-girl, and has worked her way up to Writer and Web/Social Media Editor. A sixth generation Texan, she feels so blessed to get paid to write about Texas while hanging out with the crew of her favorite TV show! INSTAGRAM

Questions about the blog? Email Linsey at linsey@hogaboomroad.com.