Culture of Texas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts


The "Lone Star" Belle
The "Lone Star" Belle, postcard, around 1908.

The culture of Texas can at face value be described as a melting pot of "Southern" and "Southwestern" features, with pockets of ethnic group town and settlements in many locations. The large geographic nature of Texas has also played a role in its culture. An in depth analysis of Texas reveals it is a border region. It is a border between the Atlantic world and the United States. It is a border between the western prairies and the Deep South. It is a border between Mexico, influenced by Hispanic and Anglo traditions. It is a place of island communities from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Mexico, Africa, southern Anglo populations, and historic tribes of Native Americans. Its culture is a complex blending and separation of the cultures different people originally brought with them to Texas. Its African American community contributed to the blues through various artists, and it is the only place in world where its past musicians such as Adolph Hofner sang Western Swing Style music in Czech and German. All of East Texas and the Gulf Coastal Plains regions near the Louisiana border have a Cajun/Creole influence. Southwestern Louisiana Creole language is mostly spoken in Southeastern Texas (Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange). Some parts of Texas are windy and dusty, others are still and humid. Some parts are prairies, others are forests of cedar, pine, or crooked live oak. Some parts are on the warm coast, others on the tops of cold mountains or hot brushy hills. Some parts are a desert, others receive more rain than Oregon. It is larger in size than most European nations. It isn't the western prairies, the Deep South, Northern Mexico, or the Mid-West. Its geography, climate, people, neighboring regions, and size make it far too diverse to be classified in any other way than one truly of its own -- a complex culture called "Texas".

Agriculture

Ranching and cowboy culture

See also: Cowboy#Texas_tradition, Texas Cowboy Reunion, and American Cowboy Culture Association

Texas has a strong ranching tradition which has had significant influence on American cowboy culture, particularly in rodeo.

Rodeo

Rodeo is the official sport of Texas. The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world's largest known rodeo. It is held over 20 days from late February through early March. The event begins with trail rides that originate from several points throughout the state, all of which convene at Reliant Park for a barbecue cook-off. The rodeo includes typical rodeo events, as well as concert performances from major artists and carnival rides. The Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo lasts three weeks in late January and early February. It has many traditional rodeos, but also a cowboy rodeo, and a Mexican rodeo in recent years that both have large fan bases.

State Fair

BigTex-457
Big Tex, mascot of the State Fair of Texas since 1952

The big State Fair of Texas, one of the largest state fairs in the United States by attendance, is held in Dallas each year between late September through mid- to late October at Fair Park. Two noteworthy college football games, the Red River Rivalry between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the University of Texas Longhorns, and the State Fair Classic between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Prairie View A&M University Panthers are played at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park during the State Fair. The State Fair is known for its fried food, particularly the corn dogs. The State Fair is also home to the Texas Star, the tallest Ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere, and Big Tex, a 55-foot-tall (17 m) cowboy statue.

Other state fairs held in Texas include the North Texas State Fair in Denton, the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, and the East Texas State Fair in Tyler.

History

The history of Texas, particularly of the old independent Republic of Texas, is intimately bound up with its present culture. Frontier Texas! is a museum of the American Old West in Abilene. The Texas Historical Commission is an agency dedicated to historic preservation within the state of Texas. The Texas State Historical Association publishes an encyclopedia on Texas history, geography, and culture called the Handbook of Texas.

Folklore of Texas

See also: Folklore of the United States and Tall tales

Texas has a considerable independent body of folklore, primarily in connection with its historical ranching and cowboy cultures, the American Old West, and the Texas War of Independence. The Texas Folklore Society is the second-oldest folklore organization continually functioning in the United States. Many well-known figures and stories in American folklore are associated with Texas:

State holidays

Texas has several recognized state holidays, including:

  • Juneteenth
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Day
  • San Jacinto Day
  • Texas Independence Day
  • Confederate Heroes Day (partial staffing day)

Fine arts

Architecture

Music

The Lone Star State helped popularize this musical style throughout the world and made the Texas cowboy an international icon that would forever be identified with country music. Although many people may think of country music when they think of the Lone Star State, Texas actually encompasses a wide variety of ethnic musical genres and regional styles.

Texas has a vibrant live music scene in Austin boasting more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city, befitting the city's official slogan as The Live Music Capital of the World. Austin's music revolves around the many nightclubs on 6th Street and an annual film, music, and multimedia festival known as South by Southwest. The longest-running concert music program on American television, Austin City Limits, was videotaped at the University of Texas at Austin campus. Austin City Limits and Waterloo Records run the Austin City Limits Music Festival, an annual music and art festival held at Zilker Park in Austin.

In Houston, the annual Free Press Summer Fest is a major draw as well as the entertainment lineups at the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Notable music venues for Houston are Fitzgerald's, Warehouse Live, and Walter's among others. Many renowned musicians' origins are in Houston including Lyle Lovett, Beyoncé, Clint Black, The Crusaders, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Kenny Rogers as well as groups including D.R.I., Helstar, La Mafia, the Geto Boys, and ZZ Top. The Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera are both attractions of the Houston Theater District.

Literature

Cuisine

See also: Tex-Mex cuisine

Important aspects of Texas cuisine include Texas barbecue and the local fusion of Mexican, American, and Southwestern cuisines called Tex-Mex cuisine.

Other

The Texas Folklife Festival is an annual event sponsored by the University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute of Texan Cultures celebrating the many ethnicities represented in the population of the state of Texas. Thousands attend the three-day event each year, which features food, crafts, music and dances from ethnic groups that immigrated to Texas.

A 2015 report by non-profit organization Mission: Readiness found that 73% of military-aged youth in Texas were physically ineligible for military service due to issues with obesity and ill-health, a rate much higher than the national average.


Culture of Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.