A hobo walking the rails, much like Teddy Roosevelt’s fringed cowboy costume, serves as a prominent turn-of-the-century image in the minds of many Americans. Examine iconic imagery with today’s Groupon: for $4, you get two tickets to the Hobo Festival at Railway Museum of San Angelo (up to an $8 value) running from 10 a.m.¬–5 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Children ages 5–11 receive admission for $2 and children younger than 5 get in free.
The Hobo Festival celebrates American hobo culture and its interwoven relationship with the history of the railroad. Throughout the all-day event, festivalgoers will enjoy live music and a barrage of children’s activities. A hobo stew vendor offers up savory sustenance by the ladle and a costume contest crowns the most accurately dressed participant.
Train enthusiasts can also peruse the museum’s numerous exhibits, which enlighten minds via collected artifacts, a model train set, and more than 70,000 photographs, negatives, and slides. And outside of the museum sits historical rolling-stock locomotives and cars donated by friends of the museum and retired villains with long and spidery handlebar moustaches.
The Railway Museum of San Angelo transports visitors back in time to 1888 with its a wealth of exhibits on the area's rich train history. Guests wander through exhibits filling the historic Orient-Santa Fe Depot, which was built in 1909 and bid adieu to its last passenger train in 1965. Inside the depot, guests can pore over artifacts such as switch machines, dinnerware used in the luxury streamliners, and railroad equipment. They can also gaze at old photos in the history gallery and model railroad layouts with miniature train tracks and buildings the same size they were in the 1800s.