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Independence Day Events 2014

It’s time to strike up the band, dress in your finest red, white, and blue, and raise your flags high for some Texas-sized fun. July 4th marks the 238th anniversary of America’s independence, and the Lone Star State is ready to commemorate the occasion in style.


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Canadian's Fourth of July Rodeo

Canadian’s Fourth of July Rodeo

This isn’t Canadian’s first rodeo. In fact, this summer will be the 126th edition of Canadian’s Fourth of July Rodeo, making it one of the state’s oldest.

The rodeo runs July 3-5, with a post-rodeo dance on the second two nights. Independence Day also features a parade, an arts-and-crafts fair on the courthouse lawn, turtle races, the Old Timers’ BBQ, and a free watermelon feast. The finale is a fireworks show at dusk. Some 5,000 people attend the event, more than doubling the town’s population. Call 806/323-6234.

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Countryside Culture

Countryside Culture

Creativity will crescendo this summer in the cultural enclave of Round Top, where the Round Top Festival Institute’s Summer Festival hosts 92 classical musicians for six weeks of concentrated training. The group will showcase its progress in concerts on Saturdays from June 7–July 12, with a June 29 patriotic concert.

Nearby, the University of Texas’ Shakespeare at Winedale program will host renditions of the Bard’s repertoire on Thursdays through Sundays, July 17-Aug. 10, in the Winedale Theater Barn.

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The World at War, 1914 to 1918

The World at War, 1914-1918

Marking 100 years since the start of World War I, the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin revisits “the war to end all wars” with an exhibition designed to illuminate the realities of the conflict for those who lived through it.

The World at War, 1914-1918 draws on letters, diaries, literature, photos, artwork, and propaganda posters to provide insight into the conflict from the front lines, the home front, and foreign countries. At 7 p.m. July 24, the co-curators will lead a free tour of the exhibit. Open through Aug. 3.

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Texas International Fishing Tournament

Texas International Fishing Tournament

We’re betting the fish will be biting as the Texas Gulf Coast plays host to a number of sportfishing tournaments in July.

The biggest of the contests is the Texas International Fishing Tournament, held July 30-Aug. 3 in Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Organizers expect about 1,500 anglers and 500 boats for the 75th annual event. Fishermen will compete in bay, tarpon, and offshore divisions for a wide range of trophies, from marlin to speckled trout. There’s also a “Playday” for the kids on Thursday.

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Center's What-A-Melon Festival

July 10–July 12, Center's historic downtown square hosts the annual What-A-Melon Festival featuring a pet show, Miss What-A-Melon pageant, seed spittin’, largest watermelon contest, carnival rides, arts & crafts, a 5K run, and more.


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Cowboy Fast Draw Southern Territorial Championship

Odessa hosts the Cowboy Fast Draw Association's Southern Territorial Championship July 25–July 27 at the Ector County Coliseum.


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Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak’s “If We Had Known”

The Beeville Art Museum is exhibiting approximately 30 mixed media pieces from Houston-based artist Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak—many of which have never been exhibited before—inspired by a poem written by Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko. The exhibition runs July 1–July 17.

Photos (from top): Laurie Ezzell Brown/Courtesy Canadian Record; Stan A. Williams; Eric Gill, Westward Ho!/Courtesy Harry Ransom Center; Will van Overbeek


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

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