Monday, March 10, 2014

Cowboy Mardi Gras, Part 2

The parade started at noon.  Margaret brought her pickup in around 8am so we would have front row seats.

The entire main street through town was packed.

It was only fitting that the Cowboy Capital of the World would start the parade (even a Mardi Gras parade) with horses.

They were coming fast enough, I couldn't get shots except from this weird angle.

About 1/3 of the way through the parade, my camera batteries died.  The parade lasted about an hour (and main street is only 4 blocks long).  There were floats for all the local bars, several of the ranchs and many other local businesses and community organizations.

These guys just wished they from from CNN.

There was even a wedding.  Held in front of the 11th Street Cowboy Bar and on horseback.  

All decorated and ready to party.

The dancing started early.

The first band of the day was Rusty Metoyer and the Zydeco Crush.

New costumes emerged.

The King and Queen of Cowboy Mardi gras, owners of the 11th Street Cowboy Bar and major sponser of this event.

Just a few of the costume contest contestants.

This group of ladies from the Ft. Worth area were in the top 3 winners.

The earlier bands were cajun/zydeco, but the Saturday evening band was Five Card Draw.  Really good and a great way to end a wonderful Cowboy Mardi Gras.  I hope this isn't the last one I attend.

Cowboy Mardi Gras-Bandera, TX

I wasn't able to be at Mardi Gras for Fat Tuesday, but I got to be at the next best thing, Cowboy Mardi Gras, Bandera Style.
I missed the Thursday celebrations, but made to the Friday afternoon party at 11th Street Cowboy Bar.  The Toman Brothers were playing, with a few real cajun's helping out with the spoons and the washboard.

Enough said.

Everyone and everything celebrates around here.

We are ready to party, Mardi Gras style.

Hey, here's another washboard player.

Reuben and the Revolutions, from the Houston area, played Friday night.

Saturday morning was the Gumbo cookoff.  Over a dozen gumbo chefs made their best creations.  I bought six tickets, but only tried five.  (I went back for seconds at one booth)

The decorations were festive.

But best of all was the costumes.

Before the parade, the revelers are getting ready.  On Friday afternoon, I helped decorate this float for the Cowboy Bar.  What a great bunch of people in this town!

I loved Kathy's boots.  She did it herself.

As I said, the costumes were great.

Chuck Levert was all ready in his costume.

This is part 1.  The rest of the party will be in the next blog.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fredericksburg and Big Game Farms

One day, Margaret and I headed towards one of the best little German towns in Texas, Fredericksburg.  In addition to good German food, there is the Nimitz Museum, named after one of the town's own.
St. Mary's Catholic Church.  This building was finished in 1906.

Not as ornate as some churches I have been in, it was very beautiful.

The large pipe organ is located in the choir loft above the entrance.

The old St. Mary's Church was built in 1863, replacing the log cabin built when the parish was started with some of the first German immigrants in 1846.

The inside of the old church is much plainer than the newer church, but is still used as a chapel.

Although this building was completed in 1893, the congregation of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Lutheran Church trace their origins to the first protestant services held in 1846 by German immigrants.

Admiral Chester Nimitz was born and raised in Fredericksburg.  I have been to the museum several times before, but I always see something new each time.  It is the best WWII museum I have been to.

This large, life size bronze statue of Admiral Nimitz was placed in the plaze in front of the museum last year.

I knew there were large game farms located between Fredericksburg and Bandera, but I never expected to see this sight alongside the highway on my way between the two towns.

San Antonio Rodeo

The San Antonio Rodeo is one of the largest single events held in San Antonio, with over 1 1/2 million attendees.  The stock show and rodeo last for almost 3 weeks, with nightly rodeo performances and matinees on the weekends.  Following every rodeo is a concert with some of the biggest country western names in the music business.  In addition to the the rodeo is the livestock shows and auctions, the carnival rides, the childrens activities and the food vendors.
Margaret and I went to the Sunday matinee.

The lower seating is at a premium. If you want out of the nose bleed section, be ready to shell out between $45-$65.  I'm cheap.  I opted for the $12 seats.  Luckily, the matinee wasn't crowded, so we sat down in the $40 seats, but as you can see, we were still pretty high up.

The parade of flags was spectacular.  One of the best I've seen.

Getting ready for the bareback riding competition.  Once they were let loose, they were moving far too fast for me to get a picture.

The next competition was the steer wrestling.

These guys could take down a steer in under 10 seconds.

And of course there is always the rodeo clown.

One of my favorite things is the mutton busting.

Kids between the ages of 4-9 tried their luck on riding the sheep.  It's amazing how well some of these kids could hang on.

Saddle Bronc Riding

Calf Roping

Bull Riding

We had to wait about 45 minutes before they got the stage set up and the concert could begin.

Randy House was the musician and he was good.  But it was very, very loud and the acoustics was terrible.  After several songs we left.  All you could really hear was a bunch of loud noise and screaming.  It was hard to even distinguish which song he was singing.  Too bad, because I really like his music.
But in all, it was a great rodeo.  I didn't get pictures of the team roping or the barrel racing.  We wandered around the grounds, stopping in at the livestock show and watched some of the horse exhibits.  Had some great fair/rodeo food before the rodeo itself.  All in all, a great day!