Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It is Rodeos & Wagon Trains Season in Texas!

The legendary Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is going on as I write, 15 January through 6 February. Two other great rodeos are the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo (February 11-28) and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (March 1-20). Both the San Antonio and Houston Rodeos have their associated trail rides with wagon trains – a great photo op not to be missed!

The 2016 South Texas Trail Riders Trail Ride & Wagon Train rides from South Texas to the San Antonio Rodeo. They leave from the Edcot Gin (FM 631) in Edroy, Texas, San Patricio County, at 8am on Friday, 5 February. They lunch at Hartzendorf Gin on FM 796, and spend the night at the Tynan recreation center in Tynan, Texas. On Saturday, February 6, they leave at 8am. Lunch is at the Skidmore, Texas Fire Department at the corner of 4th and East Refugio Street. They spend the night at the Beeville Expo Center at 214 South FM 351, Beeville, Texas. They leave Beeville on Sunday, 7 February at 8am and head to their overnight site in Pettus, Texas. On Monday, February 8, they ride to the Karnes County Show Barn located on U.S. 181 between Kenedy and Karnes City, Texas, and adjacent to the Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital. On Tuesday, February 9, they are off again at 8am, and ride to Falls City to spend the night. On Wednesday, February 10, they leave at 8am for the Wilson County Show Barn at 435 SH 97 East in Floresville, Texas. They are off again at 8am on Thursday, February 11th, for their ride to the Bexar county Sheriff’s Posse Arena at 11755 South Foster Road, San Antonio, 78223.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo have 13 affiliated Trail Rides and Wagon Trains which provide many photo opportunities. The longest of these rides is the 386 mile long Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Ride from Hidalgo, Texas to Houston. Last year, the Northeastern Trail Ride from Cheeks, Texas to Houston included 300 riders and 14 wagons. The Salt Grass Trail Ride from Cat Spring, Texas to Houston featured 1,400 riders and 25 wagons. If you missed the South Texas Trail Ride to the San Antonio Rodeo, you can catch the Mission Trail Ride from San Antonio to Houston. For more information about the 2015 wagon train schedules, check out Houston Entertainment, Food and Events, Houston Rodeo Trail Rides. The schedules will be similar this year, with the main difference being the date and day of the week.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ready For A Break After The Holidays? Maybe Some Casino Fun?!

Casinos are illegal in Texas. In 2002, the State of Texas shut down two Indian Tribe casinos, the Alabama-Coushatta Casino and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Indian Tribe Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso, Texas. The state was able to close these casinos because the two tribes are administered by the Texas Indian Commission. The Kickapoo Indian Reservation in Eagle Pass operates the Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel. This is permitted because the U.S. government is the trustee of the Kickapoos, and the Kickapoos receive no money from the State of Texas. The Lucky Eagle offers bingo, slot machines, and poker. According to the Star-Telegram, in 2016 the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe of Texas plans to open a casino in East Texas, 17 miles east of Livingston. It is not known if the tribe's plan will be legally challenged by the State of Texas.

Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino, Eagle Pass  J.R. Ramos CC BY-SA

Other than the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino, Texan’s closest casino options are located across the Texas border in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico. The Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma is located 22.5 miles northeast of Denison, 33 miles northeast of Sherman, and 39.6 miles northwest of Bonham and Bonham State Park. The Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino is located in Sunland Park, New Mexico, 9.8 miles northwest of El Paso and Franklin Mountains State Park. The WinStar World Casino is located in Thackerville, Oklahoma, across the border (12.6 miles) from Gainesville, Texas. Two Oklahoma casinos, the Comanche Red River Casino, and the Kiowa Red River Casino, are located in Devol, Oklahoma, 12.3 miles north of Burkburnett, Texas. There are several casinos in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana. These Louisiana cities are located 37 miles southeast of Uncertain, Karnack and Caddo Lake State Park, 42 miles east of Marshall, Texas, and 22 miles slightly northeast of Waskom, Texas.

Choctaw Casino    brad_holt CC BY