Being the last full month of winter and all, February may seem like a dreary old time to some. In Texas, though, there are rodeos, Mardi Gras celebrations, running events, and a slew of other fun festivals and attractions that are pretty much guaranteed to cure the winter blues. When the rest of the country is battling their final blizzard of the season, Texans will be outside soaking up the sunshine and planning their summers at the annual Dallas Boat Expo.
Founded in 1950, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is one of the largest events of its kind in the United States. A huge stock show, live professional rodeo, and nationally-known entertainment combine to make this two-week extravaganza one of February's biggest events. This year's dates are February 6 to 23, 2020.
Galveston's Mardi Gras is a 12-day party held prior to Lent. It certainly isn't as famous as the celebrations in New Orleans or Mobile, but this Texas version is nonetheless packed with tradition and fun. Every year, there are more than 20 parades, 30-plus concerts, masked balls, and balcony parties abound. There's an annual fun run and dance parties and Mardi Gras royalty. More than 300,000 people turn up for the event. This year's celebrations will be held between February 14 and 25, 2020.
Staged each February since 1938, Brownsville's Charro Days is a week-long, bi-national Mexican pachanga complete with parades, boat races, fireworks, street dancing, and a variety of other fun events for the entire family. Charro Days is one of the largest cultural heritage celebrations in Texas and is attended by thousands of locals as well as visitors from across the country. Come for the jalapeno eating contest or the charro bean cookoff, all taking place between February 27 and March 8, 2020.
Held in Texas' capital city, the Austin Marathon is one of the most scenic races in the state, with nearly half the course being run along Town Lake and the Colorado River. The rolling hills of Austin also make this one of the more challenging races offered in the Lone Star State. The 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K will fill Austin’s streets with more than 20,000 runners on Sunday, February 16.
Speaking of marathons: Fort Worth's annual Cowtown Marathon is more than just a marathon. It's also a 10K, a 5K, a kid's 5K, a relay race, and an ultramarathon all wrapped into one. If you're a runner (or even if you're not), you might be interested in taking the Cowtown Challenge, which is to run two races within two consecutive days. Those who complete the challenge are rewarded with three medals and a special finisher's gift. This year's events take place on February 28 and March 1, 2020.
The annual Dallas Boat Show features an impressive display of boats, boat accessories, personal watercraft, and fishing tackle, as well as a slew of informative seminars (so at least you can feel like you're on the water even though it's still a tad too chilly outside). It typically kicks off during the first weekend of February. In 2020, it's scheduled for January 31 to February 9.
Visitors from across the country travel to Port Aransas each February to take part in the annual Whooping Crane Festival, which showcases the annual return of the cranes to their wintering habitat at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This area is the only place where you can see the world’s last naturally-occurring population of the cranes. There will be guest speakers and a nature-related trade show. This year's festival takes place from February 20 to 23, 2020.
There are more than just cranes to see in the Lone Star State in February. This southern region becomes a nesting and feeding ground for bald eagles, too. You can spot these majestic birds in Emory, Texas, during the Rains County Eagle Fest on January 18, 2020. Eagle spotting tours on Lake Fork and Lake Tawakoni will be on offer.