Every now and then, a weekend will come along when there are so many events and activities going on in the Houston area and the rest of Texas County that a person simply can’t take in all of them and making choices becomes necessary.
With that in mind, here’s a bit of a recap of some of the choices that existed last weekend.
On Friday evening, the annual kindergarten circus was staged under the big top at Houston High School (a.k.a. Hiett Gymnasium).
Since I was at another event, I didn’t see it, but I’m sure the elephants, monkeys and other animals and their trainers put on a fine show as always, and I’m equally sure a packed house enjoyed every moment. This is one of those events that could arguably go in the category of “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,” but that doesn’t mean it ever loses even the tiniest bit of its luster.
Heck, it has 5-year-olds dressed in animal costumes who deliver layer upon layer of adorable cuteness by singing and acting out rehearsed roles. It can’t be anything but 100-percent guaranteed fun.
While the lions, seals and the rest of the circus crew were busy wowing folks in Houston, my wife Wendy and I were sitting in on the first of a new series of horse auctions at the vintage sale facility in Summersville.
The event was hosted by a family that has put tons of blood, sweat and tears into refurbishing the old arena and barn that have for decades seen thousands of horses and hundreds of thousands of dollars change hands. It featured freshly updated and painted grandstands packed to the ceiling with “horse people” from all over, some of whom were there on a mission to bring home the right mare, saddle or hackamore, while others were more on a quest to observe and consume cheeseburgers, chips and sodas.
You never know what might motivate someone to make a purchase at one of these sales. At one point well into the tack sale portion, a man bought a thick saddle blanket. After his purchase made had been passed the four or five rows up to where he was sitting, he put it between the wooden grandstand bench and his rear end.
The crowd got in a good round of laughter after he yelled, “best five dollars I’ve ever spent!”
The historic, venerable venue will now host a similar sale on the first Friday of each month and a small animal and goat sale every third Friday. Wendy and I have long been fans of spectating at horse auctions, and in my estimation, this will be a welcome chance to chow down a burger and see how much geldings go for without having to drive outside county lines.
And I’ve never been to a professional “goat sale,” but I’ve seen the junior livestock sale that concludes each year’s Texas County Fair and I’m already looking forward to seeing a crowd in Summersville bid on bunnies, compete over calves and spar over sheep.
On Saturday, an outdoor event called the “Spring Fling” took place Saturday afternoon and evening in downtown Houston. It was the first of a series of similar events scheduled for the first Saturday of each month this year through September or October.
The weather was perfect for an early spring day, and the sights, sounds and tastes were plentiful as vintage cars lined the curbs of Grand Avenue and the Lone Star Plaza was abuzz with live music emanating from under the big metal canopy and vendors offered various products, contests and goodies at booths and tables in the surrounding area.
Wendy and I walked around the festival with Gertie (the Permapup) on the end of a leash, and she absolutely loved soaking up the attention she received from kids and adults alike who laid hands on her Corgi fur.
Plans for next month’s version of the event include having a carnival midway set up for three days on downtown Houston streets. That should be interesting – riding a ferris wheel in front of the old courthouse sounds pretty cool to me.
Meanwhile, Saturday also offered some good old traditional auctions going on here and there around the county, but I didn’t go to any because I didn’t have need of any dishware, socket sets, LPs, end tables or bed rails, and I didn’t feel led to catch up on how someone’s sister in Wisconsin is doing in dealing with her dog’s mange or how someone else’s brother is doing in his search for work in Spartanburg is going.
Even though there was more than one auction going on at the same time, I’m confident each and every one had a good crowd because the fact is, there’s never a shortage of auction-goers around here and there are plenty to go around when choices exist. Sometimes those choices might come down to a favorite auctioneer or simple proximity to home, but whatever the case, I think a particular phrase applies: “sell it and they will come.”
Undoubtedly, there were other happenings around Texas County last weekend where bunches of people enjoyed a good time.
You might at times hear someone say something like “there’s never anything to do around here.” I think it’s safe to say that’s not entirely true.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.