Texas Travel

March Events: Animal Encounters

By Abi Grise 3.1.19

In Texas, friends come in all different shapes, sizes, and species. Get to know the spectacular creatures that inhabit the Lone Star State at these animal encounters, from puppies costumed as reality stars to a 4,000-plus-pound snake roundup in Sweetwater. Yes, you read that correctly.

Central Texas

Gonzales FFA/4-H Livestock Show, March 1–3, Gonzales
Trot on down to the J.B. Wells Park Show Barn for the Gonzales FFA/4-H Livestock Show, which supports local youths in their agricultural endeavors. Past livestock shows included rabbits, chickens, lambs, goats, and heifers. Herbivores can get their gluten at the silent auction of baked goods.

Rodeo Austin, March 16–30, Austin
Come discover “Where Weird Meets Western.” Rodeo Austin boasts all your favorite classic Texas competitions, including bareback horseback riding, steer wrestling, and mutton bustin’ — a competition where youngsters bust out of the chute on sheep. Check out the livestock shows while you’re at it, either in person or live-streamed on RA TV. Tickets are $8 for adults; $5 for seniors, military members, first responders, and children under 12; and free for children under 2. ProRodeo tickets sold separately.

North Texas

Krewe of Barkus, March 3, McKinney
You’ll howl with delight at the sight of costumed canines in the 17th annual Krewe of Barkus parade. Join thousands of spectators to cheer on dogs creatively decorated for the theme, Canines Are Keeping It Real — A Barkus Salute to Reality TV. There will be plenty of fun for you and your pooch to sniff out among the vendor booths and interactive activities.

HERPS Exotic Reptile & Pet Expo, March 9–10, Wichita Falls
Just about every pet imaginable will be at Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall this March. Browse more than 100 tables holding thousands of reptiles, amphibians, insects, and small mammals from an array of vendors. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about snakes (maybe more) and get hands-on experience in the educational area. The live rattlesnake demos will be positively charming. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 5–12, and free for children 4 and under.

South Texas

Choke Canyon Bird Walk, March 2, Calliham
Get schooled on birdcalls at Choke Canyon State Park. Wander the lake’s edge with a park ranger guide and identify common and rare birds found at the park during migration periods. Wear your quietest shoes and remember, this event is BYOB —bring your own binoculars. Park entrance fee is $5 for adults and children 13 and up.

Paws in the Park, March 30, Pearland
It’s pawty time! Pearland Parks & Recreation’s 25th annual celebration of Paws in the Park kicks off with the H-E-B Pet & Owner Fun Run. If jogging sounds far-fetched, join the puparazzi and capture Instagrammable moments along the obstacle course or peruse specialty re-tail items from exhibitors instead. Looking for a fur-ever friend? Visit the pet adoptions area.

East Texas

Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo & Spring Fling, March 2, Conroe & The Woodlands
Nature experts are flocking to this event to answer your questions about the wildlife in your backyard. If you’ve ever wondered how to attract butterflies or birds to your garden or the right way to plant a tree, this is the place to ask. Adults will get hands-on demonstrations while children can explore the adventure area, where they can dig for worms, make a birdhouse, or go fish!

Walker County Fair & Rodeo, March 21–30, Huntsville
Meet East Texas’ finest farm animals at the Walker County Fair & Rodeo. Pet a miniature pig or bottle-fed calf at the petting zoo. Catch the splendor of an equine barrel race at the rodeo. Or size up the steers being shown and savor a taste of the barbecue and chili cook-offTickets are $6 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

West Texas

World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup, March 8–10, Sweetwater
Last year, you could find 4,867 pounds of snake at Nolan County Coliseum. Slither in this year to another full celebration of serpents, including the Rattlesnake Parade, Miss Snake Charmer Pageant, carnival rides, and dances at the Jaycee Barn. If the thought of a snake-eating contest puts a knot in your stomach, try attending the contest for longest snake instead.

Goin’ Batty, March 16, Quitaque
Bats have an unfair reputation as spooky creatures, but members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are hoping to change that notion about the world’s only flying mammal with kid-friendly gatherings at Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway. Do they want to suck your blood? Are they really blind? Get the answers and go a little batty with games and stories about these amazing creatures.

Find out more about our great outdoors with this field guide to Texas’ birds

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