Every time we begin a new year, we seem to have a fresh perspective and are full of optimism. In somewhat of that 'new year' vain, the year's first month is packed with a wide array of events in Texas. Some of these events seem to play right into the 'resolution' theme of New Year's - notably the various running events being staged across the state. Others, like boat shows, take advantage of their target audience's 'off-season' to showcase new products.
In between, there are plenty of events that are just plain fun, exciting and interesting, making a visit to Texas in January a great way to kick off the new year.
Running events are among the primary type of events and activities held across Texas as the new year gets underway. However, these running events various greatly in size and scope. But, regardless of distance, purpose or location, each is unique in its own way. In fact, one of Texas' most unique running events take place each January. The World's Longest Causeway Run and Wellness Walk takes place on the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge, which spans the Lower Laguna Madre Bay between Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Due to its extreme southern location, the World's Longest Causeway Run and Wellness Walk usually offers participants a respite from winter weather as well as an opportunity to cross Texas' best known bridge by foot.
Two of Texas' largest running events also take place in January. The state's largest city is also home to its largest marathon - the Chevron Houston Marathon. In addition to its namesake distance event, the Houston Marathon also offers a 5K and half-marathon course for runners not quite ready to take on a full marathon.
In Austin, the 3M Half-Marathon & Relay is one of the state's largest road racing events.
Running isn't the only sport taking center stage in Texas during January. In fact, the new year usually begins with the college football season coming to an end. One of the final college football games of the season is the storied Cotton Bowl game held each year in January.
Although Texas is a southern state, Old Man Winter does usually pay a visit to much of the Lone Star State during January and February. With this in mind, many outdoor enthusiasts seek indoor activities during periods of inclement weather. With this in mind, event organizers across the state stage fishing and boating shows during the middle of winter. Some of the state's biggest annual boat and fishing shows, including those in Austin, Houston and San Antonio, will take place this month.
Even without running, football or fishing, there are many unique events across Texas in January. In fact, the fairs, festivals, activities and events slated for January throughout the Lone Star State are far too numerous to mention them all. But, there are a couple that definitely stand out.
San Antonio is always a great destination for Texas tourists and January is no different.
In fact, one of San Antonio's must popular and unusual events takes place this month - the San Antonio Riverwalk Mud Festival. Every year, the world famous Riverwalk stretch of the San Antonio River is drained for maintenance. To celebrate what would otherwise be an annual cleaning, San Antonio created the Mud Festival. Today, over 15,000 people attend and take part in lots of 'muddy' events such as the Mud Pie Ball, Mud King and Queen contest, and more.
In Laredo, an event that seems somewhat peculiar at first glance takes place every January as well. For more than 100 years, Laredo has held the largest George Washington Birthday Celebration in the nation. Originally held in 1898 as a way to show allegiance to the United States, this celebration has grown to attract nearly half a million visitors annually to this border town.
Laredo's George Washington Birthday Celebration lasts a full month - from mid-January through mid-February - and is certainly something every Texas visitor should attend at least once.