Posts Tagged ‘Los Texas Wranglers’

Chuy’s parade: because kids need toys

Those who missed Chuy’s parade on Saturday deprived themselves of the sights and sounds of a happy occasion, complete with temperate weather, giant balloons, live music, good cheer, dancing and prancing, and the opportunity to donate toys to Blue Santa.

Among the delights were two pipe and drum groups, the Hill Country Plungettes, children on unicycles, the Austin Girls’ Choir, the airport float (a personalized plane with a face) decked out with wreaths and a Santa Claus hat, the Travis High School band and Rebelettes, the Veritas Academy drumline, Los Texas Wranglers, Miranda Gil, the Biscuit Brothers, Ruby Jane, the Hill Country Plungettes, the Summitt Lion & Dragon dance team, a contingent from the wonderful 36th Infantry Division marching band from Camp Mabry, and much, much more.

It’s not too late to donate toys or offer other assistance to Blue Santa; there are drop-off locations all over town.

See some videos and still images from the parade, and remind yourself not to miss that lovely informal fresh-air event next year.

Chuy’s parade 2012: for a good cause

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children parade is one of the best shows in town every year, and the price of admission is low: a toy or other contribution to Blue Santa.

If you missed the parade, you missed large balloons, costumed greyhounds, jugglers, unicyclists, Star Wars characters, Police Chief Acevedo, Fred Cantu, the Travis High School rebel band, the 36th Infantry Division band from Camp Mabry, Los Texas Wranglers, the Summitt Lion and Dragon dance team, the Biscuit Brothers, and many, many more dancing, marching, playing, and singing groups. Watch for toy-camera images from the parade.

It’s not too late to give to Blue Santa and brighten the holiday season.

Cinco de mayo conjunto fest

Fiestas Patrias for el cinco de mayo this year was two days; we had to choose one and were glad that the Sunday weather and the Sunday conjunto music made us and everyone happy, happy, happy! This is an annual event for all ages, and all ages were out on the dance floor.

The talented UT conjunto led off the program, followed by Los Pinkys, Los Texas Wranglers, Henry Zimmerle, Santiago Jimenez, Jr., and many, many more.

See toy-camera images and unedited videos, and make a place on your calendar for this event in 2013. You’ll be so glad you did!

Chuy’s parade on the Avenue

elephant aloft

elephant aloft

Spirits were bright and the music was lively. The turnout was large, and dignitaries in the parade included our fire chief and our police chief.

Los Texas Wranglers were playing one of my favorite songs. I love it that the children’s gymnastics and dance groups mounted human pyramids and did handsprings all along the route.

I’m sorry that I didn’t get a good picture of the Travis High School band, always on hand for this event. There are more pix on line, as well as some videos. It did appear that, although Chuy’s parade itself seemed to be a bit less lavish than it has been in some years, the generosity displayed in the form of toy donations appeared to be greater than ever.

Overlap! but we all love our stax o’ wax

This is another of those years when South by Southwest (March 13-22) and whatever the rodeo’s calling itself this year (Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo, March 13-28) coincide in whole or in part.

When the rodeo used to be at the Coliseum and along the banks of the river, I used to see more of it than the cowboy breakfast and sometimes a parade. I still go out to enjoy the carnival rides and hear some music, but it’s just not so convenient at the new location. On Saturday, March 21, among those taking the outdoor stage will be Los Texmaniacs, who are up here nearly every week from San Antonio, and Los Texas Wranglers, hometown favorites.

It’s easy to tell that Austin attracts those who arrive early for these events and others. They’re already populating South Congress and downtown hotspots and there’s already guidance to our attractions available.

This past Sunday’s NYT travel section focused on places selling turntable fodder (“In Austin, Vinyl Is Still Vital,” byline Joel T. Weickgenant; additional NYT Austin links). I can think of at least three establishments omitted from the annotated list, but the included are Waterloo, End of an Ear, Sound On Sound, Antone’s, and Cheapo. I don’t care how much anybody offers: I’ll never part with my original Blue Horizon albums or my complete Charlie Parker Savoy sessions.

It didn’t rain on the parade

But it came close. This is one of the two balloons we saw at Chuy’s parade; Hello Kitty led off the parade and this was the other. Music was light this year. Los Texas Wranglers played nonstop. The Anderson High band was in full winter uniform. The Kyle Sisters and the Biscuit Brothers sang. And there was a karaoke contingent from GSD&M.

Crowd favorites were the little chihuahua in red holiday garb who kept jumping out of his tiny wicker sleigh. Other favorites were the Hawaiian dancers, the child gymnasts, and the gift-gatherers from Whole Foods masquerading as fruits and vegetables.

Maybe it was the sight of them that made us hungry, or maybe it was just the good fresh air. It was on to Matt’s, which was busy, busy, busy (and where the food was tasty, as always), followed by a stop at Rudolph’s tree lot on South Lamar next to the Walgreen’s – Maria’s Taco Xpress complex. I can’t think what else there could be that could possibly make this holiday weekend a happier one. And there’s still one day left!

Tejano fest fabulous

don’t mess with Tejano musicThe dance floor was full and the faces were joyful at yesterday’s Primetime Tejano Music Fest. Today’s local paper reports that temperatures reached 101 and 102 in the shade at around 4 pm yesterday, but whatever heat there was came from the stage and otherwise nobody seemed to feel it. That’s what wonderful music does for the body and the spirit.

We arrived shortly after Los Gallos took the stage and left a little before the headline act, Ruben Ramos and the Texas Revolution, left it. Councilmember Mike Martinez was very much in evidence, along with Chris “Tejano Man” Tristan, Marcelo Tafoya (Tejano radio pioneer, community activist, iTejano radio, Texas Artist Music Museum, and much, much more), and the Austin Tejano Music Coalition. All the musical acts remained after their sets to hear everyone else: Los Gallos, Los Texas Wranglers (with special guest Augustin Ramirez), Gary Hobbs, Los Texmaniacs (with eternal crowd favorite David Farias singing and playing the acordeon as only he can), and Ruben Ramos and his group.

Among the presences were LULAC, voter registration, Fiestas Patrias, Recuerdos 107.7-FM (home of Sunday Tejano music from 6 to 10 pm), the IRS (now seeking to employ people who can proficiently speak, read, and write Spanish), and more.

A large crew from the Cotton Gin in Maxwell, Texas, was there operating one of the more elaborate outdoor cooking, grilling, and smoking outfits in existence. A couple of the guys noted our interest and offered fine free samples of chili and cornbread. The Cotton Gin will conduct a fajita-cooking contest on Labor Day weekend. We were mightily impressed by the aguas frescas from Fonda del Sol on Seventh Street. We didn’t try the coconut, watermelon, or cantaloupe versions, but the lime was intense with citrus and the pineapple was the very essence of perfectly ripe fruit.

I thought it was good market research that people were asked at the gate (it was five dollars, children gratis) where they heard about the event. The answer was usually “radio” but of course, as the day progressed, people were hearing via cellphone from their friends already at Fiesta Gardens. This was billed as “the first annual” program. Many are those who wish for many more.

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