Blanco, nestled deep in the heart of the Texas Hill Country is the perfect place to get away! The slower pace of a small town can be an excellent way to refresh yourself and get a little more time out of your weekend. Blanco is a small town, but there are big things happening.
February begins with the Blanco State Park welcoming the Buffalo Soldiers. This Heritage & Outreach program from Texas Parks & Wildlife is a lasting tribute to the Black soldiers who served in the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars campaign from 1866 to 1892. It was the Native Americans that coined the term “Buffalo Soldiers” due to their great respect for the fighting abilities of these soldiers, their strength and the courage they displayed in battle.
On February 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm., you will be able to visit frontier encampments and experience life as it was on the western frontier. Learn about the life of the Buffalo Soldier, including their rich history and culture. Participate in several outdoor activities such as backyard bass fishing with cane poles and Frontier baseball. A Seminole Scout Station will host Native American stories and games and Women of the Frontier history will include the learning about the life of Cathy Williams, the only document case of a lady Buffalo Soldier. Demonstrations of outdoor frontier cooking and animal tracking will make this event a true educational experience for the entire family.
Plan to stay in Blanco and come back to the park in the evening for the Stars in the Park program at 5:30 p.m. This program begins with an overview of space using Stellarium, a real-time computer generated view of the heavens. After a sneak peak of what will be shining, you can step outside to amateur astronomers, each with their telescopes trained to a different planet, star or galaxy. Regular park entrance fee of $4.00 for the day applies to both of these events, pay once for a full day of fun. Children under 12 are always free.
Blanco Performing Arts is proud to welcome back REVEL to the Uptown Blanco Ballroom, also on February 9 at 7:30 pm. REVEL’S trio of award-winning artists, violinist Cármelo de los Santos, cellist Joel Becktell and pianist Carla McElhaney, will take you on a journey that will change everything you think about classical music. From soulful masterworks to passionate tangos, from fresh, new innovations to classic rock, REVEL will alternately break your heart and have you dancing on the edge of your seat.
Through the ages, classical musicians have held back-room parties and jam sessions, where the real music-making happens. This is how REVEL—more “classical band” than chamber ensemble—has captured the hearts of music lovers around the world: by returning classical music to its radical roots, gathering in intimate settings to let their hair down and revel in great music. These intimate, live music events, or “revels,” are held in a variety of unique, sometimes unexpected, and utterly magical venues, including beautiful private homes, ballet studios, coffee houses, ballrooms, recording studios, and artists’ live/work lofts. Come as you are and enjoy breathtaking live music as it was meant to be experienced! Tickets are available at blancoperformingarts.com or by calling 830-833-4762. The performance will include music by Beethoven, Piazolla, contemporary American composer Kenji Bunch, Simon and Garfunkel, and Led Zepplein from their newest CD, “Magic Hour.”
If you are looking for a special place to take your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, look into the specials at Uptown Blanco Restaurant. There will be a special menu for dinner on Valentine’s Day, as well as Sweetheart Specials throughout the weekend. Visit the website for more detailed information on menu selections uptownblanco.com/restaurant.html.
Vaaler Creek Golf Course will be the hosts of the Women’s Collegiate Golf Tournament February 16 – February 18. Vaaler Creek Golf Course is located just south of Blanco in the Rockin’ J Ranch development. The course was designed by Michael Lowry and JR Newman and features well-placed bunkers and beautiful water features. Resident Golf Pro, Adam Grosch, PGA and visiting instructor Mark Henderson, PGA are available for private lessons and clinics. Vaaler Creek also offers Stay & Play Packages at the beautiful Tuscany Heights Condominiums and their new event center is a new and exciting wedding location. Please visit the Vaaler Creek Website for more information about the Texas Hill Country’s newest golf community. (vaalercreekgolfclub.com; 830-833-0706). February 16-18 Vaaler Creek will host the Women’s Collegiate Golf Tournament in conjunction with Texas State University. Gallery participants are more than welcome. Come out and see what these amazing athletes can do and while taking in the scenery at this thoughtfully designed course.
If you fall in love, and not just with the area, and a wedding is in your future, keep in mind that Blanco is quickly becoming a favorite location for destination weddings. With easy access from Austin, San Antonio and beyond, brides and grooms looking to have a unique wedding experience are turning to the wide range of facilities and vendors available in Blanco. The grand Old Blanco County Courthouse is appealing to many couples who are looking for a wedding experience with historic charm. Centered in the heart of town on the square, the Old Blanco County Courthouse is close to dining and lodging facilities for guests (historicblanco.org).
The Red Corral Ranch is another wedding and reception venue unique to the Blanco area. Red Corral Ranch is an enchanting, close to nature destination offering beautifully catered meals and B & B overnight accommodations for 33 guests. With 1,100 acres of Texas Hill Country at your disposal, choosing the perfect location for your ceremony and reception is exciting. Many brides have favored sites here at Red Corral Ranch. The options, however, are only limited by your imagination. Consideration and flexibility are paramount at the Red Corral Ranch to create your own individual ceremony- a reflection of your own unique style. (redcorralranch.com)
Uptown Blanco Ballroom & Courtyard are gorgeous, spacious and completely equipped with state of the art audio visual equipment. The Ballroom is flexible and can be set up to satisfy any medium function either in a buffet style or a formal sit down dinner. The Ballroom is adjoined by a large upstairs patio which is perfect for a cocktail reception. Uptown Blanco courtyard was developed within the interior of the city block. The courtyard has been transformed from an area once home to tin sheds and vacant lots into a beautiful park like setting complete with a Victorian gazebo and koi pond.
Carriage Hills Ranch has facilities for indoor/outdoor weddings and receptions. Outdoor facilities include a gazebo, large patio with fireplace, terraced dining areas and a rock bridge over a waterfall. The new 5400 square foot indoor reception hall adds to the many reasons why Carriage Hills Ranch could be the perfect place for your wedding celebration. (carriagehillsranch.com)
Once you have found the perfect venue and it is time for the little extras – K & D Carriages will ride the bride in style (KandDcarriages.com), Sullivan Street Caterers will serve your guests a sumptuous fare (sullivan-street.com) and local photographers can capture the entire event. Just Stand Still Photography (830-385-2519), Lindsey Clare Photography (210-831-3245) and Tasha Brieger Photography (512-644-3036) would welcome the opportunity to preserve the memories of your special day.