January is a great month to visit Texas for a variety of reasons. The year's first month is full of promise, as well as great events across the Lone Star State. And, although some areas of Texas do experience "true winter weather," for the most part the Texas winter is mild compared to the rest of the country, making it a great place to escape and warm up for a while. The mild winter weather also allows for several outdoor events and activities to take place during January. But, when the winter weather does intrude, there are plenty of indoor events on tap as well. In short, there is always something to do in Texas during January, as the events calendar is packed full of all sorts of events and activities.
Football, Football, Football
The beginning of a new year always signals the end of the college football season. In Texas, college football season always ends with a bang with the annual Cotton Bowl college football bowl game. Held in Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Cotton Bowl has been a college football tradition for more than 70 years. Currently, the Cotton Bowl features teams from the Big 12 and Southeastern conferences.
And, the Cotton Bowl isn't the only college football bowl game held in early January in Texas—or even in Cowboys Stadium. The weekend prior to the Cotton Bowl, the TicketCity Bowl is held in Cowboys Stadium, featuring teams from the Big 10, Conference USA, MAC, or Big 12 conferences (TicketCity Bowl picks the two teams it wants from those four conferences). So, although the college football season is near the end, football fans will still be able to get their fix in Texas during early January.
Football isn't the only athletic activity headlining the year's first month. A number of running events are staged across the Lone Star State during January. However, none is bigger than the annual Houston Marathon, which is the largest sporting event of the year in Texas' largest city. Other notable running events in Texas during January include Port Isabel's "World's Longest Causeway Run & Wellness Walk" and Austin's 3M Half Marathon & Relay.
In anticipation of some of the year's coldest weather, a few boat shows are held across Texas during January, offering boaters and fishermen an opportunity to enjoy their hobby even when the weather prevents them from being on the water. Among the boat shows held annually during January are the Houston International Boat & Travel Show, Austin Boat Show, and San Antonio Boat Show. A number of other fishing and boating shows are held throughout smaller Texas cities as well during the first month of the year.
Festivals, Celebrations, and Events
January also sees other festivals, celebrations, and events held across the Lone Star State. One of the most unique events held each January in Texas is Laredo's annual "Washington's Birthday Celebration." Held each and every year since 1898, Laredo's month-long celebration of the nation's first president now attracts nearly a half million visitors per year. Washington's Birthday Celebration generally kicks off in mid-January and runs through mid-February, with pageants, parades, events, concerts and activities filling the days in between.
Also in mid-January, San Antonio hosts a unique event —the San Antonio Riverwalk Mud Festival. Traditionally held following the annual draining and maintenance of the San Antonio River (although in recent years the river hasn't been drained each year), the Riverwalk Mud Festival includes such crowd favorites as the Mud Pie Ball, King and Queen Coronation, Mud Art Contest and more. Essentially, it's just one more reason to party on the Riverwalk, but it helps complete a very busy January events calendar across Texas.