Today@Sam Article

Top Ten Ways To Enjoy The Folk Festival

May 16, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

The sound of cannon booms and the smell of kettle corn await attendees of the 32nd Annual General Sam Houston Folk Festival May 17-19. 

Here are the top 10 ways to enjoy the festival.  

A full schedule of events is also available online.


1. Get Your Photo with Sam 

The General Sam Houston Folk Festival wouldn’t be complete without the man himself and of course, Sam will be there to greet visitors and take photos. Actor Scott Griffin from Katy, TX has been playing the role of Sam Houston for many years and festival guests often comment that the resemblance is remarkable. In fact, in 2010 a filmmaker attending the festival found him to be the perfect match to play the Sam role in a documentary called “Sam Houston: American Statesman, Soldier and Pioneer.”


2. Watch the Knife Throwing Show

The Texas State Knife & Tomahawk Championship will be staged on the grounds during the festival. The event, which is being hosted by defending Knife Throwers Hall of Fame world champion Chris Miller and his wife Sarah, will include some of the top throwers in the world. Proceeds from the competition will benefit local law enforcement. In addition to the championship, ongoing knife throwing shows will take place on the Main Stage at various times.


3. Enjoy the Music

The Celtaire String Band hails from Hockley & Shiner, TX. The group will perform under the shade of the Main Stage at various times throughout the festival.


4. Watch the Sahawe Indian Dancers

One of the most colorful parts of the folk festival are the brilliant costumes of the Sahawe Indian Dancers, donning traditional Native American clothing consisting of feather headdresses, tassled belts, beaded necklaces, suede moccasins, and fur. The performances, in the form of traditional Indian ceremonial dance, takes place at various times throughout the festival. 


5. Stroll through the Museum

The perfect place to cool off and reenergize during the festival is inside the museum where you will discover a wide variety of unique Texas history relics. Inside the rotunda section of the museum is a collection of artifacts and manuscripts belonging to Sam Houston, and a few of his personal items including a green velvet hat that he bought in the 1830s and his famous jaguar vest that Sam called his ‘leopard vest,’ because a leopard never changes its spots.


6. Learn Children’s Games of the Past

Children, gather round and let me tell you about a time when kids actually found ways to entertain themselves without electronics – imagine that! From hoop & stick, horseshoes, Jacob’s ladder, pick up sticks, to cornhusk hoops and balances stones; you can discover the simplicity of everyday objects to create fun games.


7. Discover Folklorico Dance

The LULAC Mexican culture tent provides ongoing dance performance throughout the day. Folklorico “folkloric dance” in Spanish, describes the traditional Mexican dances that emphasize local folk culture with ballet characteristics – pointed toes, exaggerated movements, highly choreographed.


8.  Pan for Gold

The prospectors gold mining camp takes you back to the age of “striking it rich” in the gold rush. For a few dollars, you can buy a bag to fill with your special finds of gold iron pyrite, amethyst, citrine and jasper.


9. Meet the Fur Trappers

Back in 1822, young men entered the treacherous Rocky Mountains and became legends of the West when they responded to a call for adventurers to go into the beaver trade. You can return to the early days of fur trapping and meet trappers who share their goods along with hair-raising tales of battles and bear encounters. You can also learn how to start a fire with a bow or flint.


10. Enjoy the Delicious Food

If it’s not the warm smell of kettle corn that draws you in, it will likely be the irresistible pupusas! Created centuries ago, pupusas are delightful, cheese-filled masa cakes (also often stuffed with meat and/or beans) and grilled to perfection.

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