Annual Half Moon Holidays celebrates local, national history

Sonny Long

June 29, 2010 at 1:29 a.m.

SHINER - The 31st annual Half Moon Holidays is one of the Crossroads' largest Independence Day celebrations.

The event, in addition to observing the country's birthday is also a salute to Shiner's history.

Shiner began as a railroad stop built in 1887 through land donated by Henry B. Shiner. A post office called "Half Moon," after an Indian camp site, was moved to the present site. On March 1, 1888, the official name of Shiner was given to the establishment.

"Half Moon Holidays grew out of a tradition established many years ago by a downtown Fourth of July parade," said Marilyn Parker, president of the Shiner Chamber of Commerce. "In the '70s, the event evolved as a fundraiser for the hospital and it was named Half Moon Holidays."

Parker said Half Moon Holidays continues to be a successful regional event because of community involvement.

"We not only have local individuals, businesses and civic groups involved, but sponsors and volunteers also come from the surrounding communities."

Parker also said the event's family atmosphere is key.

"It's family oriented," she said. "The contests all have divisions for children and youth."

The event also continues to grow.

"For the first time this year, we have a tent with a bandstand and dance floor, and there will be music after fireworks. Traditionally, the fireworks has been the finale."

The 2010 Half Moon Holidays festival begins Friday at Green Dickson Park, on Avenue B one mile north of downtown Shiner.

Friday's events include a chili cook-off at 2 p.m. and a pie contest starting at 3 p.m. The pies will be auctioned beginning at 7 p.m.

The day includes youth fishing, food and craft booths, a biergarten and a softball tournament.

Polka in the Park will be from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. with the Red Ravens performing.

Saturday starts with a fun run at 7:30 a.m. A parade will make its way through downtown beginning at 10:30 a.m.

In the park, International Barbecue Cookers Association-sanctioned cook-offs start at 10:30 a.m. with beans. Other cook-offs include chicken, 11:30, giblet rice, 1 p.m. and youth chili, 2 p.m.

The day is filled with other activities including a washer tournament, water slide and car show, in addition to the food and crafts booths and biergarten.

Live music begins at 1 p.m. with John Anders followed by Southern Rose from 5 to 9 p.m. and Los Kolaches from 10 p.m. to midnight.

A fireworks display, sponsored by Spoetzl Brewery, will be at 9:15 p.m.

Other celebrations are planned in the area.

Victoria County

Victoria - O'Connor Magnet School Indoor Parade, 3402 Bobolink Drive, Parade schedule: 8:30-9:30 a.m. fifth grade; 9:45-10:30 a.m. kindergarten; 10:45-11:15 a.m. first grade; 11:15-11:45 a.m. pre-kindergarten; 12:30-1 p.m. second grade; 1:15-1:45 p.m. fourth grade; 2-2:30 p.m. third grade. For more information contact principal Jill Lau at 361-788-9572.

Victoria - 2010 Miller Lite Blast Off

6 p.m. Sunday at the Victoria Mall. Cost is free.

Austin band Honeybrowne will begin playing at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks start at dark.

Victoria - 2nd annual Fourth of July H-E-B Plus Parade, 9 a.m. Saturday on the parking lot of H-E-B Plus in Victoria.

Victoria - Family Fun, Food and Fireworks on the Fourth, 7-10 p.m. Sunday at Northcrest Pool in Victoria. $3 for non-members. Proceeds benefit Victoria West Cheerleaders.

Victoria - Saxet Lakes Fourth of July, open until 11 p.m. Sunday. Community members will be allowed to shoot off their own fireworks. Volunteer firefighters will be on hand. Free.

Calhoun County

Port Lavaca - Larry Joe Taylor; "Doing It on the Deck;" Friday, gates open at 6 p.m., band starts at 8 p.m.; Bayfront Peninsula

Port O'Connor - Fireworks; Saturday, nightfall, King Fisher Front Beach Park

Magnolia Beach - Live music at Magnolia Beach clubs; Saturday, nightfall.

DeWitt County

Cuero - 10th annual Grace Episcopal Church 4th of July Family Fun Carnival, Saturday, 9:30 a,m. Young Patriots Parade, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., carnival, Cuero Municipal Park, U.S. Highway 87, face painting, merry-go-round, train rides, dunking booth, concessions, cake/toy walk, bucket auction, plant sale, hula hoop contest, watermelon seed spitting contest, egg toss, raffle, admission and contests free, booth tickets 50 cents each, for more information call 361-275-3423 or 361-265-3643.

City of Cuero fireworks show, 9 p.m. Sunday, Cuero Municipal Park, live music on knoll before fireworks.

Yorktown - Hermann Sons Lodge, 225 N. Eckhardt St., Sunday, live music with Guadalupe Surfers, 7 p.m.

Yorktown - City Park, Sunday, Lions Club fireworks display, Chamber of Commerce sponsored children's games begin at 6 p.m., fireworks at dark.

Goliad County

Goliad - Courthouse lawn, 11: 30 a.m. Sunday, patriotic and Gospel music sing-along; 12:30, p.m. blessing of meal; 2:35 p.m., more music; free, bring own lunch, refreshments; Contact Goliad Chamber of Commerce, 361- 645-3563.

Fannin - Coleto Creek Park, Sunday, fireworks start at dark; Free after 7 p.m. for Goliad residents with proof of residency; $8 per vehicle, up to four people; $2 for additional people over 12 years old; contact Coleto Creek park, 361-575-6366.

Jackson County

Edna - Fireworks display over Lake Texana, Saturday, Brackenridge Recreation Complex, 284 Brackenridge Parkway, Edna. The fireworks display will start just after dark with parking available at the Main Event Center and the field across from the Hafernick Center. The event is presented by the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority. Texana Community Band will be set-up at the Hafernick Center flag pole playing patriotic music from 7 p.m. Bring your own lawn chairs. For reservations and more information about this event, call 361-782-5456.

Karnes County

Runge - 10 a.m. Saturday, parade, barbecue lunch, auction, talent show, arts and crafts booths, fireworks at dusk, Runge VFW hall.

Lavaca County

Shiner- Crossroads Drive-In, 58 Farm-to-Market Road 531, Saturday, 11:30 p.m, fireworks.

Refugio County

Refugio - Fairgrounds, Sunday beginning at 10:30 a.m.; fireworks at 9:15 p.m.; Free, will have vendors, games, jalapeno and pickle eating contests, art exhibits; Contact city hall, 361-526-5361.



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