Entertainment

By Skyler Williams, special to The Examiner

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What originally began as a one-day affair in 1969 has grown into a seven-day celebration — the Texas Rice Festival. Now in its 45th year, the renowned Texas Rice Festival is an annual harvest celebration honoring rice farming, a major economic activity in the region, especially in Winnie.

The festival includes a carnival, livestock shows, barbeque cook-off, nightly street dances, parades, pageants, music, great food and, of course, rice balls.

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Jake Rowley

When Jake Rowley began showing up to Nederland High School his freshman year dressed in pink and black outfits and white buck shoes, he said he received a variety of reactions from his peers.

“I looked like somebody straight out of the ’50s, and that kind of intrigued them to either make fun of me or try to get to know me,” Rowley said.

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The Texas Renaissance Festival has always been an event to look forward to each year — a chance to travel back to a time of knights, lords and ladies, and escape the everyday bustle of modern life.

This year is extra special, however, as the Texas Renaissance Festival celebrates 40 years of food, fun and magical weekends from Oct. 11 through Nov. 30, as well as Thanksgiving Friday. Organizers promise an unforgettable season of eight themed weekends, filled with new surprises and the same medieval cheer, lively characters and turkey legs that have made the event famous.

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My photographer and I have covered at least 1,000 concerts (literally), if not more, since 1992. From multiple day festivals such as Rocklahoma to lounge shows where there were more people on stage than in the joint.

David (Block, the genius photog) and I have seen it all. From the early dance track bands in the early 90s; boy bands; you name it and we’ve probably been deep in the trenches.

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