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Access to Houston Art Car Parade

Art Car Parade

April 6–9, 2017

Three decades ago, this wacky and wonderful parade first hit Houston’s streets with 40 artfully decorated cars—drawing a crowd of around 2,000. But on April 6–9, this once-niche event now expects to meet with a crowd of around 250,000 attendees, with about 250 art cars driving in from across the country. The celebration this year begins on Thursday with the public unveiling of the 2016 Reagan High School Art Car “Bohemian Rhapsody”—a tribute to the band Queen. On Friday, revelers change into their craziest costumes for the Art Car Ball. The parade itself rolls on Saturday at 2 p.m., and the event wraps up Sunday with an awards ceremony, where a panel of judges will grant more than $20,000 in cash prizes.

Photo: Will van Overbeek


San Antonio
April 20–30, 2017

It’s like Mardi Gras if you substitute the beads and king cake with baile folklórico and mariachi music. What started in 1891 as a one-parade event to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto has evolved into the city’s premier event, Fiesta San Antonio (April 20–30). A spectacular firework show during the official opening ceremonies kicks off more than 100 events across 11 days, including the Wildflower Ride, which attracts some 1,800 cyclists; Cornyation, an adults-only theatrical performance that dates back to 1951; masquerade parties; and a glittering carnival. First-timers can find the breadth of offerings overwhelming, so look for a volunteer for guidance—some 75,000 people donate their time.

Photo: Cyndi Griesser

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Access to 1836 Chuckwagon Races

1836 Chuckwagon Races

April 21–23, 2017

Born out of a desire to keep Texas history and traditions alive, the 1836 Chuckwagon Races draws a crowd of more than 5,000—plus 2,000 horses and mules—each year to Diamond B Ranch in Neches, just outside of Palestine. The race, which will take place April 21–23 this year, draws competitors from across the country, and the ranch encourages everyone to come early—the site is open for camping a week prior. This is no ordinary camping experience, however; the week offers various frontier-style activities, and motor vehicles are strictly prohibited—traveling around the campsite is limited to horses and wagons. Activities include trail rides, Dutch oven cooking classes, cowboy poetry, barn dances, live music, and cowboy church.

Photo: Kevin Stillman

Wiener Dog Races

April 29–30, 2017

Some will tell you the Kentucky Derby is the season’s most important sporting event in the South. They are wrong. For the past two decades, the tiny Austin suburb of Buda has held a must-see display of physicality that draws athletes and fans from across the country. If you’ve never heard of it, it probably flew under your radar—perhaps because the sporting event’s athletes are so short. On April 29–30, the town will host the Buda Wiener Dog Races for the 20th year, an annual running of the dachshunds that brings joy to all who witness it and put Buda on the map after Texas lawmakers voted to name it the Wiener Dog Capital of Texas. The brilliant, somewhat slow-paced event occurs at a makeshift racetrack in Buda City Park, and also offers a best-dressed dog contest, a bake-off, barbecue and chili cook-offs, and live music and entertainment. And while the weekend of races culminates in a trophy presentation, every wiener’s a winner—or they are in our book, at least.

Photo: Kevin Stillman

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Also this month:

All of these events and more can be found at the online Texas Highways Events Calendar page 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Carol Dawson and Roger Allen Polson present almost 100 years of history and never-before-seen photographs that track the development of the Texas Highway Department (now called the Texas Department of Transportation). Today, after 100 years of the Texas Highway Department, the state boasts over 80,000 miles of paved, state-maintained roads that accommodate more than 25 million vehicles. Sure to interest history enthusiasts and casual readers alike, decades of progress and turmoil, development and disaster, and politics and corruption come together once more in these pages, which tell the remarkable story of an infrastructure 100 years in the making.

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Published monthly by the Texas Department of Transportation’s Travel Information Division, Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, encourages travel to and within the Lone Star State and tells the Texas story to readers around the world.


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