Six Must-Attend Events: April 19-28
Some of the state's top offerings, from getting retro at the Texas VW Classic in Fredericksburg to eating mudbugs at the Texas Crawfish & Music Festival in Old Town Spring.
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Unless perhaps you are political royalty, or are related to the Bushes, Cheneys, or Roves, chances are you did not receive an invitation to this Thursday’s Dedication Ceremony for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute. But the public is still in luck: the proceedings will be broadcast live at bushcenter.org. The president’s legacy as the leader of the free world during 9/11, one of our nation’s greatest tragedies, will be on full display at the 226,000-square-foot facility, for which $500 million has been raised, located on the Southern Methodist University campus. When it opens to the public on May 1, visitors will find more than 43,000 artifacts, including the bullhorn President Bush used at Ground Zero to say, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon;” the 9mm pistol on Saddam Hussein when he was captured; and 200 million emails from the president’s White House days. President Bush may have his detractors—though those recently published self-portraits are pretty endearing—but with four other presidents attending, including three from the other side of the aisle, it’s a rare chance at seeing bi-partisanship.
George W. Bush Presidential Center, April 25, 10 a.m., bushcenter.org
Hey, Good Lookin’
San Antonio makes old age look good. Its historic architecture is one of its most attractive assets: the Spanish missions, the Pearl Brewery, the Bexar County Courthouse, the downtown hotels and theaters, and, of course, the Alamo. But as any aging beauty would tell you, it takes time, effort and money to stay gorgeous. One of the ways the San Antonio Conservation Society raises money for the city’s historic buildings is through “A Night in Old San Antonio,” a one-night event founded in 1938 that has blossomed into a four-night event in the La Villita historic arts village. “It was patterned after the fiestas in San Antonio in the early days,” said Kathy DeWaal, this year’s event chair. “Its first year, it netted $336. Now we can bring in about $2 million.” Local vendors only will blanket seven acres of downtown lined with handmade paper flowers and divided into fifteen areas exploring the panoply of cultures making up the city, including Irish Flat, Sauerkraut Bend, and South of the Border. “People dress pertaining to what their area is,” DeWaal said. “We make it look as authentic as possible.”
La Villita, April 23-26, 5:30 p.m., niosa.org
OLD TOWN SPRING
Peel and Eat
Si Robertson, the wacky uncle on the reality TV show Duck Dynasty, has a curious culinary point of view. In one episode, he cooked up a pungent helping of “squirrel and spaghetti.” In another, he fired up a batch of beans that released pungent smells from the crew who ate it. Still, this probably won’t stop attendees of the Texas Crawfish & Music Festival from asking him about his tricks for preparing crawfish—a delicacy most commonly found in the Louisiana waterways he calls home. Robertson, who will be a guest of the fest, will answer questions submitted in advance at [email protected] The facilitator of the Q&A will be Cody Canada of the Red Dirt band Cody Canada and the Departed, who joins a stellar lineup of Texas acts including the country crooner Dale Watson, the funk brigade Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and the one-man band Shakey Graves.
Preservation Park, April 19-21 and 26-28, texascrawfishfestival.com
Many locals chose to avoid the mayhem of the inaugural Grand Prix race at the Circuit of the Americas track located thirty minutes south of Austin. Some cited political reasons; others were just plain ignorant about the sport. But in the five months since, curiosity about this sleek new facility has been piqued, making this weekend’s Moto GP, i.e., motorcycling racing, a can’t miss. Though not as popular as Grand Prix, Moto GP is not without thrills. Seeing the racers lean treacherously close to the track on tight turns should have you biting your nails.
Circuit of the Americas, April 19-21, circuitoftheamericas.com
Make the most of the abundance of offerings at the Menil Community Arts Festival—live music, film, readings, art—by participating in the intermittently scheduled yoga sessions at the Rothko Chapel, designed to refresh the mind and the body.
The Menil Collection, April 20, 11 a.m., menilcommunityartsfestival.org
On the Bus
Time travel is supposed to exist only in movies, but attendees of the Texas VW Classic might feel like they are back at Woodstock when surrounded by the abundance of vintage beetles and buses comprising the biggest Volkswagen show in Texas.
Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park, April 19-21, texasvwclassic.com