Around the State

October—People, Places, Events, Attractions


In mid-April the world waited patiently for white smoke to billow over Vatican City’s Saint Peter’s Square, the signal that the closely guarded keys to the Catholic Church had come into new hands. Now San Antonio unlocks the two thousand years of history from Saint Peter to Pope Benedict XVI when it hosts “ Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes,” one of the largest exhibits of Vatican art, documents, and historical objects ever to tour the country (above, a fifteenth-century portrait of Pope Sixtus IV). From a reproduction of Saint Peter’s tomb to a full-room re-creation of the Sistine Chapel, the show’s twelve galleries trace the evolution of the papacy, with artifacts to stun historians, art lovers, and believers alike: Witness Pope Pius VII’s papal tiara, sporting one of the world’s biggest emeralds; the Mandylion of Edessa, the earliest known image of Jesus; and the very smoke cartridge responsible for the white plumes that heralded Pope John Paul II’s successor. Katharyn Rodemann

(For directions and more information, see San Antonio, Museums/Galleries).

On The Road

Oh, the places you should go.

Fair Game | Pick a festival, any festival. Every one’s a winner.

Oktoberfest 9.30–10.2
Oompah. It’s not just a music genre, it’s a lifestyle. Join Fredericksburgers at this twenty-fifth celebration of all things Teutonic and take on a blitzkrieg of more than twenty bands in proper style: with a bratwurst in one hand and a healthy stein of lager in the other. ( Details and Directions)

State Fair Of Texas 9.30–10.23
Make good on the “Let yourself go!” edict of the state’s biggest party: Chew with your mouth open at the corny dog–eating championship, let out a snort at the pig races, sing too loud at the concerts, and scream atop the 212-foot Texas Star Ferris wheel. Don’t worry. Big Tex won’t tell. ( Details and Directions)

Turkeyfest 10.7–10.9
Turkey for me. Turkey for you. Turkey in a big brown running shoe. Adam Sandler himself would get teary-eyed at this festival’s main event: the Great Gobbler Gallop, a race between poultry from neighboring towns. May the best fowl win the Traveling Turkey Trophy of Tumultuous Triumph. ( Details and Directions)

Texas Rose Festival 10.13–10.16
Stop and do some proverbial sniffing in the nation’s rose capital, where this year’s tribute to the popular garden flower revolves around the theme “the Greatness of Britain.” All may hail the Rose Queen and her court at the Queen’s Tea, with free refreshments for every liege attendee. ( Details and Directions)

Texas Jazz Festival 10.21–10.23
All ears will be on the future at the world’s longest-running free jazz fest: Twenty-three musicians, ages six to thirteen, will show off their chops in Sonny LaRosa’s America’s Youngest Jazz Band. Other (adult) acts include Tom Braxton, Adeline Cuesta, and local groups Latin Talk and Ritmo Caribe. ( Details and Directions)

Texas Rasquache Art Festival 10.29
Defiance in the face of adversity, creativity in the midst of hardship: El Paso celebrates the essence of rasquache, a term for the artistic expression of society’s underdogs, with film screenings, a parade of mojigangas (giant dancing puppets), and Día de los Muertos altar displays. ( Details and Directions)

Coming Attractions

The month in letters.

The Books Stop Here

If your book club feels more like happy hour these days, corral your fellow gossipers and renew your literary vows at the TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL. The October 28–30 bash turns ten this year and will have a decidedly political slant, with former president Bill Clinton present (he’ll surely mention his autobiography, My Life) and the authors of several substantial historical tomes—David McCullough ( 1776), Doris Kearns Goodwin ( Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln), H. W. Brands ( Andrew Jackson: A Life and Times), Garry Wills ( Henry Adams and the Making of America)—on hand for readings and panel discussions. Of course, with more than 150 acclaimed wordsmiths around, from Salman Rushdie to Lemony Snicket, the weekend’s conversations should be satisfyingly diverse. ( Details and Directions)Jordan Breal

Follow The Script: Other Writing Celebrations To Visit


Ana Castillo, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and Deborah Santana (Carlos’s better half) are a few of the fifty authors presenting their work at this expo of all things literary. October 1 and 2. ( Details and Directions)


Experience the thrill of the hunt in Fort Worth as you peruse this assemblage of first editions, rare books, vintage postcards, and old Civil War papers. October 15 and 16. ( Details and Directions)


The industry’s top talents and devoted hopefuls turn out for this screenwriting-minded

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