Spectators flock to BR Lightning Ranch’s rodeo competitions for a series of summery showdowns between macho men and brawny beasts. After the books close at 7:45 p.m., crowds settle into open seating areas, jostling for superior vantage points within the dust-flecked arena. At 8 p.m., brave riders clamber atop bulls and steers, attempting to hang on with one hand for eight seconds while writing haikus about Wyatt Earp with the other. Horseback riders trace cloverleaves in the dirt during barrel racing heats, while muscle-bound cowboys wrestle, or "dog," steers to the ground using only their strength during chute-dogging tussles. Kids join the action with calf scrambles and mutton busting, which mimics bull riding by substituting sheep and pint-sized cowboys. Aqua mules make a splash amid the dust-kicking festivities, clambering up to a high-dive platform before leaping into the watery embrace of the large pool below.
The Cibolo Nature Center lends a lush, earthy venue for singers and storytellers to ply their pied trade in the annual all-ages Songs and Stories concert series. Families arriving before sunset can enjoy meandering boardwalks and peregrinating pathways through the Center's vibrant habitats. Later, musicians bend strings and crush chords on the outdoor stage while attendees feed each other grapes atop regal folding chairs and giggling courtesans lounge on picnic blankets. This year's lineup proffers a plentitude of musical modes, including performances by rock, gospel, country, and Texas swing artists. When toe-tapping spreads throughout the limbs, make haste for the venue's movement-friendly dance floor.