The ninth annual Wild Hog Explosion enthralls fair-goers of all ages with barbecue cook-offs, arts and crafts, and live music leading up to the main event: a rodeo-like competition in which teams of two race to catch a Texas wild hog and haul it across the finish line the fastest. Winners receive a commemorative belt buckle and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Attendants can cheer on junior pig-chasers as they pursue baby porkers, or patrol the food and activity booths before settling in for a mouthful of barbecue with a plate piled high with kielbasa sausage and wild hog.
Like the intrepid cowboys and pioneers it honors, the Frontier Times Museum boasts a backstory rife with tall tales and valiant triumphs. It all started in the late 1920, when writer and publisher J. Marvin Hunter began selling newspapers and magazines that recounted the sagas of the storied Old West. Readers enthralled by the sagas would send in relics to exemplify these stories, filling Hunter's small office to the brim. By 1933, his publications had brought in just enough funds to build the Frontier Times Museum, which has been properly flaunting the goldmine of baubles at the site ever since. The ensuing decades have yielded thousands of visitors and multiple expansions.
Today, the nonprofit museum pays homage to the fabled pioneer period right down to its very framework, with parts of the building constructed using stones from the surrounding pastures. Iconic histories are illustrated through roughly 40,000 artifacts, which populate a menagerie of display cases, shelves, and rocky walls. A wander through the labyrinth of exhibits reveals frontier-era vestiges such as fireplaces, paintings, phonographs, and fossils, with a smattering of trinkets from Europe, Asia, and South America punctuating the collection. Even J. Marvin Hunter's legacy lives on in an old-fashioned printing press.
Aboard his trusty, bright-red Pitts S-2B biplane, Jordan Schultz, the primary flight instructor at USA Aerobatics, blows loop-de-looping wind beneath the wings of aspiring pilots and whisks thrill seekers into the wide blue yonder for 30-minute heart-pounding rides. The center's menu of services also occupies sky-curious visitors with advanced aerobatics classes, safety training, diagnostics for old or new biplanes, and philosophical discussions on why clouds shape themselves like animals. Thanks to the consistently fine weather of the Texas Hill Country, Jordan and his sturdy craft can keep on flying pretty much all year round.
Cars, trucks, and even an abandoned helicopter line the mock streets of Predator Paintball's Urban Combat field. That's just one of six distinct fields that make up Predator's paintball empire. Acrylic ammo whizzes amid the trees and shrubs of Battle Creek, and a 15-foot bunker towers above the Hyperball field. Predator Paintball hosts public games, which means individuals and small groups can easily drop into the competition.
Founded by cellist Kenneth Freudigman and violist Emily Watkins Freudigman in 2004, Camerata San Antonio brings together a symphonic roster composed of several of the San Antonio Symphony's principal players and more than a few internationally recognized musicians. More than a dozen acclaimed artists might be on-call for a concert during any given season, and the entourage's diverse concert schedule consequently offers plenty of strikingly different small-ensemble performances.
The low-hanging branches of southern live oak trees stretch out over the house and pavilion areas at Don Strange Ranch, dappling parties, weddings, and corporate team gatherings with splashes of sunlight. Since 1952, the 125-acre longhorn ranch in the Texas Hill Country has hosted myriad events, including scenes from the PBS music documentary series Live from the Artists Den and the wedding of country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.
More than just a picturesque backdrop, the ranch?s rugged natural surroundings host outdoor activities such as ropes courses and kayak trips down the Guadalupe River. And the friendly staffers who man 350- to 400-foot ziplines work to ease guests out of their comfort zones, like a mother bird pushing her young out of the nest for their first extreme base-jumping lesson.