Hot Nights, Cool Tunes 2022

 

 

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes is one of the highlights of the summer in Washington County! And lucky for us, it is not just a one-time event. Bring your lawn chair and your friends, and join us each Saturday evening in July for live music on our historic downtown square. Admission and parking are free. Food and drinks are available for purchase to support the community and help keep the concerts free. The west end of Alamo Street features a car show by Stray Katz Car Club, which is always a family favorite.

The music starts at 7:00 pm and ends around 9:00 pm. Come early for shopping, food and the car show!

July 9th – The Fab 5

The concert series kicks off with Austin Party Band and their sounds from Motown to modern.

Sponsored by: Brenham National Bank | Seidel Schroeder |Budweiser - Mike Hopkins Distributing | Dahmann & Associates

July 16th – Ashmore

100% genuine rock 'n roll band out of Dallas that is coming to rock Downtown Brenham!

Sponsored by: Tippit Dental Group | Briannas Fine Salad Dressings | Associated Credit Union of Texas | Upchurch & Yates LLP

July 23th – The Brown Sugar Band

They will have everyone up on their feet, movin' and shakin' as they play Old School Rock'n Roll, Motown, R&B, and Today's Hits.

Sponsored by: Woodson Lumber Company | Citizens State Bank | Legacy Concrete Works | Bluebonnet Electric

July 30th – The Spicolis

Houston's classic MTV tribute band playing your favorite songs from the '80's.... think Breakfast Club!

Sponsored by: Brannon Industrial Group | Strand Associates | Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union | Ant Street Inn

 

 

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes concert series is brought to you by

 The City of Brenham and KTEX 106.1

Make a weekend out of it, and stay in Brenham and Washington County! Click here for lodging.

Brenham BBQ Trail

In recent years, Brenham has become quite the destination for barbecue aficionados and Texas foodies. With TWO local smokehouses listed on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints, and several more with their own following, Brenham is a must-stop on the quest for the best Texas BBQ. To make it easier for your dining tour, we’ve mapped the Brenham Barbecue Trail.

May is National BBQ Month, so it’s the perfect time to make a long weekend of the Brenham BBQ Trail and enjoy all that Washington County has to offer!

A. LJ’s BBQ

Along with being a local favorite, LJ’s has received many accolades and recognition since opening in 2015. LJ’s was recently tapped again by Texas Monthly for its 2021 list of Top 50 BBQ Joints. Pitmasters Matt Lowery and Corey Cook were also featured in 2021 on the Today Show with Jenna Bush Hager & Hoda Kotb. Their perfectly smoked meats speak for themselves but don’t forget the sides! LJ’s famous Mac & Cheese, collard greens, German-style potato salad, and beans all deserve a place on the tray.

Local Tip: Top that famous mac & cheese with the brisket! And be sure to grab a complimentary beer from the cooler, featuring local brewer, Brazos Valley Brewing Co.

1407 W. Main St. Brenham, TX 77833 |  979-421-8292; Wed–Sat 11–3 or sell out

 

B. Truth BBQ

After opening his doors in 2015, Pitmaster Leonard Botello IV’s Truth BBQ has become a fixture on Best BBQ lists around the globe for good reason. Recently named again on Texas Monthly‘s list of Top 50 BBQ Joints, this time Truth rises to No. 3 in the ranks of Texas BBQ royalty. Every meat on the menu is a must-try. But don’t stop with the meat–if you can’t save room for dessert, then order the cake to-go, because you don’t want to miss it!

Local Tip: Call ahead to check for closures. Bring a hat or sunscreen and a friend to visit with while you wait in line.

2990 US – 290, Brenham, TX 77833  |  (979) 830-0392  |  *Call ahead to check for closures.  |  Open Sat & Sun 11 am to sellout

 

C. Pioneer Smokehouse

Pioneer Smokehouse is family-friendly and fun year-round in the heart of Downtown Brenham. In addition to delicious BBQ, they have a wide selection of beer, games on the patio, and seating inside & outside. A recent addition to Pioneer’s offerings includes a seven-seater party bike to rent and ride downtown!

Local Tip: The Hobo Nachos are a crowd-pleaser!

309 S. Park St., Brenham, TX 77833  |  (713) 876-8416  |  Open Thurs: 9am-2pm, 5-10pm;  Fri: 11am-2pm, 5-11pm;  Sat: 11am-11pm

D. Nathan’s BBQ

Long known for their ribs, Nathan’s BBQ has been serving up old-school Texas barbecue for decades. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Nathan’s has an extensive menu of meats, sides, and desserts.

Local Tip: Look for live music on Friday nights.

1307 Prairie Lea St., Brenham, TX 77833  | (979) 251-9900 |  Open M-F: 11am-8pm; Sat: 11am-9pm;  Sun: 11am-6pm

E. Cody’s Pit Stop BBQ

This local secret is bound to get out! Cody’s Pit Stop is a family affair–everything from the pit to the desserts to the Texas BBQ joint decor. You’ll love the food, and you’ll be treated like family.  Plan ahead, though, because Cody’s is only open one day a week (Saturday–or Sunday if it’s high school football season in Texas).

Local Tip: During bluebonnets season, the fields near Cody’s are a sea of blue.

2828 Industrial Blvd., Brenham, TX 77833  | (979) 421-0514 |  Open only on Saturdays* 11-3 or sell out   |  *Open only on Sundays during high school football season 

F. Chappell Hill Bakery · Deli · BBQ

Chappell Hill Bakery, Deli & BBQ is the perfect stop for a weary road tripper. The meats and meal plates are amazing, and the bakery will make your sweet tooth sing. They are famous for their kolaches, and their BBQ & pie have previously received an honorable mention in Texas Monthly’s coveted list. The dining room is big and can accommodate sizable groups.

Local Tip: Stock up at their market with meats and treats for the rest of your trip!

8900 Hwy 290 E, Chappell Hill, TX 77426  |  (979) 836-0910  |  Sun – Thurs: 6am-8pm; Fri – Sat: 6am-9pm

G. Chappell Hill Sausage

Chappell Hill Sausage is sold in grocery stores across the state, and they happen to be based right here in Washington County. The meat market also houses a shop and restaurant, featuring their renowned sausage, barbecue, bacon, and other meats. From a burger to the brisket to the fresh smoked bacon, you can’t go wrong at Chappell Hill Sausage.

Local Tip: Order one of their honey-glazed hams for the holidays!

4255 Sausage Ln., Chappell Hill, TX 77426  |  (979) 836-5830  |  M-F: 8am-5pm; Sat: 8am-3pm

 

Burton Cotton Gin Festival

Did you know that the oldest operating cotton gin in the United States is located in Burton, Texas?

Every year, this historical treasure is celebrated at the Burton Cotton Gin Festival. A day filled with FREE fun for the whole family kicks off with a parade followed by a classic car & tractor pulling contest, demonstrations, live music, shopping, family activities & contests, and all the food and refreshments you would expect from a small town of German heritage!

Experience the sights and sounds of the old cotton gin in action as festival goers witness the baling process. And don't miss out on a tour of the Texas Cotton Gin Museum, where you can learn about the foundation of the gin and the story of how it was saved from becoming the site of a convenience store.

 

Burton Cotton Gin Festival - Burton, Texas

April 23, 2022 |  10:00am - 6:00pm

Free Admission

10:00am - Parade

11:30am - Bubble Gum Blowing Contest

12:00pm - Tractor Pull Contest Begins

12:00-2:30pm - The Jodie Mikula Orchastra

12:30pm - Pie Eating Contest

1:30pm - Cotton Seed Pulling

2:30-4:00pm - Sean Orr & Texas Gold

3:00pm - Cotton Gin Produces a Bale

4:00-6:00pm - Black Cat Choir

 

Demonstrations throughout the day

Visit the Texas Cotton Gin Museum for more information.

Sunday Funday

Come spend your Sunday in Brenham and Washington County! Every Sunday, from March through May, we will be promoting all the shopping, dining, and attractions that are open throughout Brenham, Burton, Chappell Hill, Independence and Washington. With over 80 participating businesses, there are plenty of reasons to stay the entire weekend in Brenham/Washington County.

Brazos Valley Brewing Co.
Downtown Chappell Hill

 

Barrington Plantation, Washington
Blue Willow Cafe, Burton
Ninety-Six West, Downtown Brenham

 

Antique Rose Emporium, Independence

For a complete list of over 80 businesses that will be open on Sundays in Brenham and the surrounding communities, click here.

Wildflower Etiquette

Wildflower Etiquette

We really want to share the beauty of the wildflowers in Washington County, so here are some tips to keep visitors safe as well as minimize the impact of so many travelers on our colorful fields:

-Respect private property. There are plenty of public places to take pictures.
-Do not cross fences (see above). Take the photo from the road side of the fence.
-Follow the trail left by those before you.
-Sit among the flowers in the places that have already been used as a seat.
-Try to step between the bluebonnets if there is no trail.
-Don’t pick the bluebonnets. We need them to go to seed for future wildflower seasons!
-Be alert—fire ants, snakes, and poison ivy are all likely to thrive in the same places as the bluebonnets.
-Use caution on roadsides. If there is not an adequate shoulder, continue to a safe place.
-Please don’t leave trash behind; if you find any, pay it forward by taking it with you when you leave.

Common sense and common courtesy are key to an enjoyable wildflower season for all. Thank you for visiting Brenham/Washington County! We look forward to sharing our bluebonnets for many generations to come.

Holiday Happenings

The Holidays have arrived! This magical time of year is the perfect time to visit Washington County. Here are a few of the things to do throughout the holiday season in Brenham and Washington County.

The Downtown Brenham Christmas Stroll & Lighted Parade – Dec. 3-4


The Downtown Brenham Christmas Stroll kicks off the Christmas season with as much small-town Christmas magic as a holiday movie set! The lighted parade on Saturday, Dec. 4 is the highlight of the festivities, but the weekend also includes the First Friday Farmer & Artisan Market, Breakfast with Santa at Must Be Heaven, Jingle Bell Market at Ant Street Inn, rides on the 1950 Invader Firetruck following the parade, and more. For a complete schedule of the weekend festivities, click here.

A Taste of Christmas

Join the Downtown Brenham businesses on Saturday, December 11, for a tasty stroll! Shops will be open until 6:00 pm, offering drinks and treats to enjoy while you shop. Stay late for more Downtown fun during the Brenham Bounce Santa Crawl. Dress up in your favorite Christmas costume and visit your favorite Downtown venues for dining, drinking and live music.

 

Photos with Santa

Several retailers offer portrait sessions with Santa. Appointments with Brenham Portrait Gallery are offered on several days each week at Hermann Furniture throughout November and December. Other businesses including Puppy Dawgs and Cat Tails, Silverwings Ballroom, and South Texas Tack also offer Santa photo ops on select dates.

 

Christmas Concerts at The Barnhill Center

The spirit of Christmas is captured in music at the historic Simon Theatre at The Barnhill Center! Catch Gary Morris Christmas on Friday, December 3, and Celtic Angels Christmas on Saturday, December 18. Purchase tickets online.

Unity Theatre “A Tuna Christmas”

Unity Theatre presents a holiday visit to Tuna, Texas. Don’t miss Foster Davis and Kyle Sturdivant (directed by Julia Oppenheim) as they portray nearly two dozen characters, make split-second costume changes, and cope with comical seasonal calamities in the third-smallest town in Texas.

“A Tuna Christmas” by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, playing on the Main Stage Dec 2 – 19, 2021 (Dec 11th & 12th are mask required performances; all others are mask optional).
 Tickets available online or by phone, 979-830-8358.

Live Nativities

Celebrate the reason for the season with one of the area’s live nativities. The Greatest Gift Live Nativity by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is December 3-4, 6:00-9:00 pm, at 1400 Niebuhr Street, Brenham. The following weekend is Bethlehem in Independence, December 11-12, 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Independence School House, 9325 FM 390 E.

Christmas in Chappell Hill

Saturday, December 11, is the perfect day to visit Chappell Hill. Festivities begin with the Christmas Home Tour by the Bluebonnet Garden Club. That afternoon, 3:30-5:00 pm, the annual Teddy Bear Parade is a family favorite. Kids are invited to bring their favorite teddy bear and enjoy Christmas crafts, cookie decorating, and a cocoa bar. Santa will be there, and Christmas music will be part of the scene.
Enjoy shopping until 7:00 pm every Friday in Chappell Hill through December 17.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

Celebrate Texas history and Christmas at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site for a “Candlelit Christmas,” December 10-11, 4:30-8:00 pm. Walk the candlelit paths at Barrington Plantation and experience a Texas Christmas in the decade before the Civil War. Discover the origins of some of our favorite Holiday traditions as costumed interpreters bring to life the festivities of the season with musket-fire, music, dancing and more. Tour the historic home of the last President of the Republic, Dr. Anson Jones, as the family enjoys their Christmas gathering. Visit the plantation quarters to hear how those enslaved at Barrington celebrated the season. Sip a hot cup of cider, cozy up to the fire and begin your holiday season with Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site!
On December 18, return to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site for “Dickens-on-the-Brazos” Yuletide Celebrations in the Republic of Texas.

Christmas in Burton

Burton’s Christmas Market on Saturday, December 11, 12:00-400 pm, at The Burton Railroad Depot, has something for everyone in the family. Enjoy shopping, kids’ crafts, Photos with Santa, and Christmas caroling.
Be sure to check our event calendar for a complete list of everything happening in Washington County!

Texas Arts and Music Festival

The sixth annual Texas Arts & Music Festival in historic Downtown Brenham is just around the corner! Join us October 16-17, 2021, for a family-friendly weekend of art, music, street food, and activities in the streets of Downtown Brenham.

Each year, the Texas Arts & Music Festival brings live music and world-renowned mural artists for live art installations for the public to enjoy. This year’s featured artist is Levi Ponce. Ponce works with traditional and digital media to develop large-scale graphics and artwork for clients like Activision, AT&T, Sony, Toyota, 23 and Me, Dunkin’ Donuts, iHeartRadio, Modelo, Mun2, and many others.

This year the festival is once again teaming up with the City of Brenham’s popular concert series, Hot Nights, Cool Tunes. On Saturday, October 16, Jordan Matthew Young will take the stage at 7:00pm. Fans of The Voice will recognize Young from Blake’s team on season 20. The concert, along with the festival, are family-friendly and free to the public. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy live music and delicious food and refreshments from local restaurants and food trucks.

 

The Art Village will be open on Saturday, 10am-8pm and Sunday, 11am-2pm. Artists and Craftsmen from across Texas will be set up offering their unique handmade creations to the public.

Sam Houston Mural

The Texas Arts & Music Festival is the perfect weekend to enjoy all that historic Downtown Brenham has to offer! Check out our lodging partners, and plan your weekend now.

Photography by Natalie Lacy Lange

The Washington County Fair

Washington County is home to the oldest county fair in Texas!

The Washington County Fair offers an entire week of exciting events: a rodeo, carnival, live music & concerts, a variety of livestock shows, arts & crafts, special attractions, contests, commercial exhibits and more.

The festivities kick off on Saturday, September 11, with a trail ride followed by a parade in Downtown Brenham.

Tuesday, September 14, is the opening evening of the carnival. There are rides for toddlers up to the most adventurous riders.

Head to the rodeo arena for mutton bustin, wild steer saddling, bull riding, and other rodeo events throughout the week. The CPRA Rodeo begins at 7:30 pm, Thursday through Saturday. Click here for a complete list of rodeo events.

Browse the antique tractor exhibit, along with the youth livestock barns to complete the county fair experience! There are also arts & crafts exhibits, as well as a country store to purchase from your favorite exhibitors.

Live music is playing in the pavilion throughout the week. Entertainment this year includes Clay Walker, Rick Trevino, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Giovannie and the Hired Guns, Kody West, and many more. For the complete entertainment lineup and schedule, click here.

Advanced season passes will be available for purchase.

This family-friendly week of events truly offers something for everyone. Visit Brenham and hold on to your hats for the Washington County Fair!

For more information go to WCF.

5 Places in Brenham to Get a Scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream

 

 

Midsummer in Texas means one thing–it’s time for Blue Bell Ice Cream! And what better place to get a scoop of the best ice cream in the country than right in the hometown of the little creamery?

Here are FIVE places in Brenham/Washington County to get a scoop of refreshing Blue Bell Ice Cream!

1. Must Be Heaven

Located in the heart of Downtown Brenham, Must Be Heaven is home to an old-fashioned soda parlor. Get a scoop of your favorite Blue Bell flavor, or indulge in a sundae with a cherry on top! Must Be Heaven is also known as a favorite stop for sandwiches, quiche, and homemade pie. Dine inside or sit on the patio, and don’t forget to snap a picture in front of one of their murals before you leave!

2. SCOOPS

Scoops may look like a regular convenience store, but the locals know that this inconspicuous place is the home of the biggest selection of Blue Bell flavors in Brenham! With 32 flavors to choose from, go for a double or triple-scoop!

3. R Place

You won’t find as many flavor options at R Place in Washington, but you will find BBQ and loads of character to go with your scoop of Blue Bell! Located right next to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, this is a must-stop when you visit where Texas became Texas. R Place is only open on weekends, so make it part of your weekend getaway.

4. Yumm! Sweets & Eats

Another Downtown Brenham favorite, Yumm! Sweets & Eats offers Blue Bell along with a plethora of other sweets to fuel your Downtown stroll. Don’t miss their homemade pizzas on the restaurant side!

5. Blue Bell Ice Cream Parlor

Is it really a trip to Brenham if you don’t visit the creamery? A visit to the Blue Bell Ice Cream Parlor will take you back in time to your first scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream! Enjoy free samples, and scoops are only one dollar! The Blue Bell Country Store adjoins the Ice Cream Parlor, so you can shop for souvenirs while you’re there. Be sure to grab a free paper Blue Bell hat to complete the experience.