Henderson Texas Syrup Festival – 2018

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By Ron Munden

The tradition of ribbon cane syrup making will be commemorated at the Annual Heritage Syrup Festival, always the second Saturday of November from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The highlight of the only folk life festival in East Texas is the syrup making demonstration on the Depot Museum grounds. Experienced syrup makers operate the museum’s antique mule powered equipment to produce old fashioned cane syrup.

While the syrup cooks, other folk artist demonstrate the techniques of lace making, rope making, basket making, blacksmithing, wood carving, quilting, and other old-time survival skills. Folk singers entertain, antique tractors whine, a petting zoo, and local civic organizations offer a varied selection of food and beverages.

From the museum, the festivities spread six blocks to Heritage Square, which is located in the Downtown National Register Historic District. Browse among the 150 handcrafted arts and crafts booths, sample East Texas cuisine and enjoy the musical entertainment on stage one. Enjoy Henderson’s Civic Theatre performance of a melodrama at the Opera House.

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Point Reyes National Seashore — 2018

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By Ron Munden

The Point Reyes peninsula is a well defined area, geologically separated from the rest of Marin County and almost all of the continental United States by a rift zone of the San Andreas Fault, about half of which is sunk below sea level and forms Tomales Bay. The fact that the peninsula is on a different tectonic plate than the east shore of Tomales Bay produces a difference in soils and therefore to some extent a noticeable difference in vegetation.

The small town of Point Reyes Station, although not actually located on the peninsula, nevertheless provides most services to it, though some services are also available at Inverness on the west shore of Tomales Bay. The even smaller town of Olema, about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center, located on Bear Valley Road.

The peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands, estuaries, and uplands. Although parts of the Seashore are commercially farmed, and parts are under the jurisdiction of other conservation authorities, the National Park Service provides signage and seeks to manage visitor impact on the entire peninsula and virtually all of Tomales Bay. The Seashore also administers the parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation area, such as the Olema Valley, that are adjacent to the Seashore.

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