Festivals in Jacksonville


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Two-time Grammy Award–winner Rita Coolidge brandishes her dulcet tones and musical pedigree to celebrate the Wonderland of Lights Festival's 25th anniversary with a collaborative holiday-music performance. Under the direction of Stephen L. Hayes, Assistant Professor and Director of Music at Wiley College, the school's a cappella choir blends its melodious harmonies with Rita Coolidge's lead vocalizations as they collectively croon Christmas standards, holiday classics, and famous ballads penned by prodigious reindeer. Marshall Visual Art Center welcomes up to 350 concert-goers in the venue's large, open room with twinkle lights dotting the ceiling at night and unemployed flashlights during eclipses.
208 E Burleson St
Marshall,
TX
US
Kicking off the FunFest 25th Anniversary is the Jail Break 5K, a fun run raising money to help restore the historic Calaboose in downtown Royce City. After the dust of the race settles, participants will be able to see Old West gunfights, a Doggie Contest sponsored by Brushy Creek Retrievers, live music, pie-eating contests, a kids' zone with a zipline, and a Microfest brimming with craft beers.
216 N Arch St
Royse City,
TX
US
Diamond Bowl, a refreshing fusion of bowling alley and robust restaurant, serves as a hangout for pin-battering rollers hungry for lane-thundering action and thirsty for food. Games ($5) on Diamond’s eight lanes keep hook-happy fingers limber, and shoes ($3) safeguard feet from toe-stomping sore losers. Follow up your fourth turkey with tangible foodstuffs from Diamond's full menu, such as the blackened-salmon sandwich on a kaiser roll ($7.99), the well-rounded bowling burger ($7.49), or the crispy chicken-tender salad ($8.99). Serious contenders can take a break from finger calisthenics to enroll in one of Diamond Bowl's leagues, and casual players can pair their match play with drinks from Diamond’s fully stocked bar, or they can watch a less phalange-intensive sport on one of nine crystalline HD TVs. Hourly games are also available.
401 Market St
Shreveport,
LA
US
Since 1984, Shreveport has paid tribute to a cherished Louisiana tradition—the crawfish boil—with its annual Mudbug Madness Festival. As many as 56,000 people flock each day to what has blossomed into one of the state’s most popular Cajun festivals, where they nosh on succulent seafood and compete in crawfish-eating contests that encourage participants to test their stomach size and sabotage their opponents by sneaking lobsters into their bowls. “One year, we had a man eat 42 pounds of crawfish in 30 minutes,” marvels festival coordinator Melanie. “We’ve cut it down to 15 minutes since then.” In addition to eating crustaceans, attendees can also lure them across the stage during crawdad-calling contests. “It gets really lively,” Melanie says, describing how the sirens-in-training are allowed to do nearly anything they can think of to entice the crawfish into their reach. Cajun, zydeco, and jazz tunes waft through the air during the festivities, emanating from three stages helmed by headliners such as Wayne Toups, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr., Super Water Sympathy, and Windstorm. The rhythms reach the ears of shoppers browsing original artwork and handmade jewelry in the arts area, expanded after previous years' success. On Thursday, local athletes can work up an appetite in the 5K race. Children of all ages burn off energy in the kids' area, where they can somersault in the bounce house, tackle art projects, or plop down in front of a stage where magicians and storytellers keep their young minds off the uncertain fate of lollipop futures.
101 Crockett St, Festival Plaza
Shreveport,
LA
US
Now in its 31st year of facsimile fiefdom, the Scarborough Renaissance Festival transports fair-goers to 16th-century England with the reimagining of a 35-acre village jam-packed with spectacular performers, delicious eats, and old-fashioned shoppes. Merry men and maidens of all ages will carouse through an immersive schedule of more than 200 daily performances, highlighted by the Royal Falconer's presentation of his birds, three combat jousts daily, sword fights, jugglers, and knife-throwers taking aim at sass-mouthed jesters. Making the rounds among the crowds are 150 in-character volunteers dressed as resplendent royalty, ethereal faeries, and one fully conjoined Queen Anne Boleyn.
2511 Fm 66
Waxahachie,
TX
US
The Waxahachie Civic Center transforms into a yuletide village, sparing shoppers from Black Friday tussles and the hustle and bustle of malls at the Waxahachie Holiday Showcase. Those looking for stocking stuffers, or even stockings, can gander at the handiwork of more than 125 vendors whose original art, decorations, and crafts are certain to satisfy those who are hard to shop for. Eschewing the ho-ho-humdrum of mall Santas, the holiday showcase welcomes Cowboy Santa, who gladly poses for photos and shares ranching tips with folks on his "good" list. Attendees are welcome to bring their own cameras to capture each child or adult's two-minute session with Santa. The showcase also raises funds for non-profit organization, Greatest Generation Aircraft, who preserve the fleets that shaped our history.
2000 Civic Center Lane
Waxahachie,
TX
US
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