Calvert, Texas (Third largest historic district on the National Registry in Texas) – Calvert 150 – A Texas Celebration fit for a Queen is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018.
Attracting tourists from all over Texas, festivities begin at 9am and conclude at 10pm, with numerous attractions and events planned all day. The festival streets and sidewalks span eight blocks on historic Main Street and spill over towards Railroad Street to host more than 20,000 visitors. Festival-goers decked in showy wide-brimmed hats and gentlemen top hats are expected to fill the streets at this free admission, family-friendly event.
Dating back a century and a half ago to the Victorian Era, the sesquicentennial celebration will celebrate the community’s heritage and cultural roots. Opening ceremonies will include a Founder’s Day parade and birthday cake honoring 100-year old residents. State and local dignitaries will be on stage to welcome festival-goers. Dedication of Calvert’s restored historic bell will take place on the main stage along with featured attractions that include a demonstration by the Victorian Fencing Society of Dallas showcasing the culture and fashion of the 19th century sport and a turn of the century printing press demoing the commemorative Calvert 150th anniversary logo.
“Our roots are embedded in Victorian culture,” said Brenda Van De Walle, Calvert Main
Street Preservation president and Calvert 150 organizer, “and these traditions are passed on to the next generation…we like to think of ourselves as a Texas Victorian treasure.”
To experience Victorian life first-hand, a tour through the National historic district of
places will include homes, businesses, churches and genealogy center. In the folds of restoration, experience construction in progress inside one of Calvert’s grand mansions in the 300 block of E. Texas, currently undergoing $1.5 million in historic renovations to return it to its glory days of prosperity and evening galas. The John Henry Gibson Family House (c. 1900) at 1105 China Street will be the setting for the 3-Course Victorian Tea with sittings at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. with tickets available in the formal dining room and women’s parlor. The historic 1869 Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, an ideal example of mid-19th century architecture, is a must see with its painted and stained glass windows that span more than a century with scheduled performances on the prized Hinners pipe organ installed in 1911. “Victorian remnants of the past – turrets, fish scale shingles and lighting rods to hats, teas and galas” Van De Walle says, “are still as prevalent today as a century ago.”
Featuring over 100 top artisans and food trucks, the reigning Texas Food Truck Champion, Nosh Box Eatery, will be among the food eateries featured near the Old English Biergarten along with Texas breweries and wineries. Artisan, Katrina Gorman of Katrina Gorman Designs was featured on HGTV’s “That’s Clever” and will be showing at the event. The event will be filled with artisans, juried arts & crafts and food vendors along with shopping and entertainment in Calvert’s historic business district. “From the very early stages of planning, attracting top artisans and food trucks has been a priority,” said Sarah Stem, Calvert Main Street Vice-President and 150 organizer,
“and landing the Texas Food Truck Champion set an early precedence to shape the quality of applications that followed.”
Nestled in the center of the festival area will be a crowd favorite, the Antique, Classic &
Hot Rod Car show. Car clubs and individuals from all over Texas will be attending this one-day event. Awards will be announced at 1:30 p.m. and a grand exit parade is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. for one last glance as these remarkable automobiles exit the show.
More Victorian hats can be spotted at the Victorian Hat 5K Fun Run/Walk that begins at
8:00 a.m. and a Victorian Hat Social Walk, to stroll and shop designated shops on Calvert’s Main Street at 10:00 a.m. Registration and check-in are required to collect your shopping bag and passport to shop. Featured stops on the social walk include several antique and collectable stores, a saloon, a coffee shop and the historic Eloia Theatre featuring classic films throughout the day.
Texas’ Biggest Birthday Bash will end with the Queen’s orders, Royal Velvetee, an Austin-
based variety dance band known for merging Vegas and Motown, to perform funk and Motown to soul and R&B at an outdoor concert, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the main stage. For the finale, the 150th birthday bash will conclude with a fireworks show immediately following the concert. Food and beverage trucks will be serving throughout the night. Bring your lawn chairs, no coolers or outside alcohol beverages allowed.