Texas Arts and Music Festival

The eighth annual Texas Arts & Music Festival in historic Downtown Brenham is just around the corner! Join us October 21-22, 2023, 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.

Texas Arts and Music Festival will feature live music throughout the day on Saturday, October 21 with Nite Moves Band opening the main stage at 4:30pm. Headlining Saturday night at 7pm will be Reverend Horton Heat, the undisputed heavyweight champion and godfather of Psychobilly music. This band has reinterpreted the country-blues-rock roots of America to produce a toe-tapping, mind-blowing, psychobilly sound that is unforgettable to any and every one that has been fortunate enough to hear it.  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.

For more information, visit the TAMF website.

Photography by Natalie Lacy Lange

10 Fall Happenings Around Brenham

The days are getting shorter and the promise of lower temperatures means that it’s time for fall! The Fall happenings in Brenham and around all of Washington County make it a favorite time of year to visit.

Mark your calendar and reserve your rooms for these TEN fabulous fall happenings around Brenham!

1 . Oktoberfest at Home Sweet Farm Biergarten

SEPT 29-30  It’s time for Oktoberfest at HSF Biergarten in Downtown Brenham, September 29-30.  The tap wall will be filled with several fine imported German beers. Come raise a glass, chug a boot, and enjoy some live music by Beau Hinze & The Back Porch Shufflers and Sparky Parker. Prost, Ya’ll!

2 . Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill

OCT 14-15  Visit one of the most charming communities in Texas for the Scarecrow Festival.  The festival boasts more than 250 exhibitors (home décor, gardening, artists, craftsmen, jewelry, clothing, etc.), delicious country-style food, live music, and tours of the National Register Chappell Hill community. A special Children’s Activity Corner provides pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, barrel train, and more.

3 . Hocus Pocus Party

OCT 19   Join a bewitching blend of nostalgia and fun hosted by Glamfetti at Westwood Cinema 6. Tickets include movie, popcorn, glass of bubbly (non-alcoholic is available), themed photo opps, and more!

4 . Antique Shows

OCT 14-28   Round Top is just down the road, and there are several fabulous fall antique shows and year-round venues in Washington County. The LaBahia Antique Show (Oct. 20-28) between Burton and Round Top is celebrating over 30 years of incredible treasures. Antiques at the Pavilions will offer a variety of dealers at the pavilions of the Texas Cotton Gin Museum, Oct. 19-25. Look for all the antique dealers in Burton, as well as the world renowned Leftovers Antiques, open year-round between Brenham and Burton on HWY 290 W.

5 . Wine & Wander in Burton

OCT 20   Head to Burton for “Wine & Wander” October 20, at the Texas Cotton Gin Museum. Enjoy shopping and heavy appetizers catered by Blue Willow Cafe. Sip local wines from Busted Oak Cellars and meads from Rohan Meadery, and listen to the soulful music of Samuel Paul Brown.

6 . Texas Arts & Music Festival

OCT 21-22    The Texas Arts & Music Festival is the source of Downtown Brenham’s beautiful murals! This free, family-friendly event takes place in Downtown Brenham October 21-22, and includes live music, live mural installation, an art village, pop-up galleries, and much more. Music headliner for Saturday night will be Reverend Horton Heat!

7 . Mask-erade on Main

OCT 28     Join us for a spooktacular free family-friendly event in Historic Downtown Brenham, Saturday, Oct. 28. Grab the kids and costumes and head downtown for Trick-or-Treating at your favorite Main Street Brenham businesses! There will be plenty of family fun to sink your fangs into!
There will be food trucks, face painting, and more!

8 . Christmas Magic at Hermann Furniture & The Giddings Stone Mansion

NOV 3-5   Hosted by Hermann Furniture, the oldest furniture store in Texas, this festive weekend is more than a shopping event. The store will be decked wall to wall with seasonal decor, and they will have design seminars, door prizes, pop-up shops, wine and hors d’oeuvres. The festivities include a luncheon at the Giddings Stone Mansion on Saturday, November 4. Luncheon tickets are $30 per person with reservations required. Entry to store and design seminars is free.

9 . Fall Festival of Roses at Antique Rose Emporium

NOV 3-5   The experts at Antique Rose Emporium host the Fall Festival of Roses during the first weekend of November. Explore the inspiring display gardens and attend seminars to grow your gardening knowledge. In addition to the seminars and endless fall garden inspiration, enjoy food trucks and shopping in the heart of Independence, Texas.

10 . Weekly Fall Happenings

child riding antique carousel ride with other children riding it in the background. Adults standing in back.

WEEKLY EVENTS    Some of our favorite fall happenings are so good, we have to share them every week! Antique carousel rides ($1 each), free entry to the Brenham Fire Museum (Saturdays in October & November), and the live demonstrations every weekend at Barrington Plantation, which is located within Washington-on-the-Brazos historical site are a few.

 

In addition to these fall happenings around Brenham, we have many daily events that include live music, theatre, and retail specials. See our full calendar of events here. Fall is prime time to visit the area, so make reservations with your favorite lodging partner soon!

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 16, with a trail ride followed by a parade in Downtown Brenham.

Tuesday, September 19, 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 .

Saturday, September 16th at 8 PM – Risky Liver Band 

Wednesday, September 20th at 8 PM – Los Igualados with Los Cazadores Del Cerro 

Thursday, September 21st at 9 PM – Trae Pierce & the T-Stones 

Friday, September 22nd at 11 PM –  Shane Smith & the Saints with 9PM  Charlie Robinson 

Saturday, September 23rd at 11 PM – Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts with 9PM William Beckmann 

Advanced season passes will be available for purchase from a Fair Queen Candidate or online at https://www.washingtoncofair.com/p/tickets-deals

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 about tickets, schedule and more go to WCF.

Hot Nights, Cool Tunes

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 8th – Ashmore

The Dallas-based classic rock ‘n roll band, Ashmore, will rock downtown Brenham with guitar solos and 100% rock ‘n roll.

Sponsored by Citizens State BankBluebonnet Electric CooperativeWoodson Lumber, and Budweiser – Mike Hopkins Distributing.

July 15th – Skyrocket

Skyrocket band members

Skyrocket has one of the largest repertoires of any cover band around, playing songs from the 70s and 80s along with more recent hits.

Sponsored by Brenham National BankSeidel SchroederDahmann and Associates, and Must Be Heaven.

July 22th – Shekere

Shekere band members

The Latin beat of Shekere (shay-keer-ae), a talented seven-piece band of musicians and singers from Houston, will have the crowd dancing the salsa. Shekere is bringing their horn section to really liven up their mix of English and Latin pop hits.

Sponsored by Briannas Fine Salad DressingsLas Americas Latin CuisineDeep in the Heart Farms, and RCR Rail.

July 29th – The Spicolis

The classic MTV tribute band out of Houston, The Spicolis who feature hits from the 80s. This is the third year the Spicoli’s have performed in Brenham.

Sponsored by Brazos Valley Schools Credit UnionBrannon Industrial GroupStrand Associates, and Upchurch Yates Law Firm.

 

 

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 Maifest: The Oldest Festival in Texas

A very colorful scene unfolds the first weekend in May with Maifest, a celebration highlighting Brenham’s German heritage. Brenham Maifest includes a parade and Junior & Senior Coronations and features authentic German food, music and drink, and carnival rides at historic Fireman’s Park.

 

Maifest is the oldest festival in Texas. Except for several years during World Wars I and II, this event has been held annually since 1881.

Check below for the full schedule of events, including the parade in Downtown Brenham and all of the festivities at Fireman's Park.

Look for displays of coronation attire at Downtown Brenham businesses in the weeks leading up to Maifest. The Brenham Heritage Museum also features a "Celebrate 133 Years of Maifest" exhibit with more details about this colorful event.

To purchase coronation tickets in advance go to Maifest's site.

 

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.

Toast the New Year with Downtown Brenham’s Uptown Wine Swirl

Leave 2021 Behind … Welcome 2022!


Purchase at participating Downtown merchants:
$35 before 12/31 or $40 after 12/31

Purchase online:
$40 before 12/31 or $45 after 12/31

BUY NOW!

Bring your ticket purchased at a participating Downtown merchant, or your receipt if purchased online, to the Courthouse Gazebo the day of the Swirl. Turn it in and show ID to receive your wristband, keepsake tasting glass, and shopping bag. Enjoy!

Swirl participants on sidewalk

Don’t delay--quantities are limited!

Swirl participants in Alamo Alley

Spend time with family and friends relaxing and tasting wine from all over the world. Swirl leisurely through quaint establishments nestled in Brenham’s beautiful downtown National Register District.

Swirl Participants in store

Fresh air, plenty of shopping, and wine at every stop!

Swirl participants taking selfie

Finding Holiday Magic in Brenham & Washington County

This is my favorite time of year … waiting and anticipating the first cold snap of the season … when the air turns crisp, leaves begin to float gracefully to the ground, coffee tastes better and animals and children alike seem to get a boost of extra playfulness. It’s magical.

Sounds a bit like the opening of a Hallmark movie, but … it is real. Brenham and Washington County can’t be replicated. This is true Texas. Unapologetically Americana. Authentic.

Fall wouldn’t be complete in Brenham without candy-littered streets from the annual homecoming parade, including of course, homecoming queen hopefuls waving from convertibles. It doesn’t get much more Americana than this, right?

October boasts creatively dressed scarecrows posed in front of Downtown Brenham shops. Each one lovingly put together by dozens of schoolchildren and individuals alike, who have put their hearts into these straw creations, in hopes of winning one of the many prizes. Local spirit and pride are reflected in each entry.

Our community of Chappell Hill, located just 15 minutes east of Brenham, throws its annual Scarecrow Festival. This popular event draws huge crowds to its tiny town to shop, eat and welcome the season with a smile. Tent-lined streets are full of holiday shoppers, happy to escape big city mass merchandise to enjoy unique street vendors and small-town life.

November continues the holiday spirit with Christmas at the Mansion, a home tour and Christmas fair held at Brenham’s beautiful Giddings Stone Mansion. The mansion’s exterior and eight rooms will feature different holiday themes, designed and decorated by Jennifer Hermann of Hermann Furniture.  There is inspiration at every turn.  Self-guided tours are available all weekend and even two separate seatings for a special lunch on Saturday (reservations required).

Antique Rose Emporium’s 32nd Annual Fall Festival of Roses is a favorite outdoor experience in November. Breathing in the cool rose scented air while taking in spectacular blooms and learning how to care for them is a unique seasonal event not to be missed.

And, what we’ve all been looking forward to all year long … the Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade in Downtown Brenham … an event that will melt the heart of even the worst Scrooge. Downtown Brenham comes to life with residents and visitors mingling on the streets and throughout the shops. No crowded malls here, just a hometown atmosphere of genuine Christmas spirit. Brenham’s Downtown shopkeepers dazzle and surprise unsuspecting visitors with unique finds. Inside some of the antique architecture, new hip ventures are alive and well and waiting to be discovered.

The Stroll is kicked off with the tree lighting ceremony where onlookers are serenaded by a Girl Scout choir singing carols. As night continues to fall, the parade begins. Beautifully decorated and fully lit floats, marching bands, horses and dancers parade through Downtown, all to the delight of friends, family and visitors. And of course, the man of the hour SANTA makes his grand entrance to the squeals of excited children lining the streets, frantically waving to him as he passes by, perched atop a Fire Truck.

People passing, children laughing, meeting smile after smile … doesn’t just happen in a song or a Hallmark movie. It’s in Brenham, Texas and Washington County … where It’s a Wonderful Life!

Sorry, couldn’t help myself!

Photos by: Natalie Lange