by Hollis Mills @sillohsllim
Photo by Madeline Ramos
The second annual Spirit of Texas Festival was celebrated this weekend with live entertainment, Texas tastes and a world record setting achievement at Wolf Pen Creek.
The Spirit of Texas Festival opened just one year ago and came back again to celebrate food, culture and family in the Lone Star State. From March 23-25, the festival offered guests a variety of musical performances and family activities, of which all proceeds go to local non-profit organizations.
Cynthia Coronna, executive director of the Spirit of Texas Festival, said an event of this caliber is exactly what the Bryan-College Station area is missing.
“What we want to build here is a destination event,” Coronna said. “Houston has the rodeo, Dallas has the state fair, Austin has South by Southwest and we don’t have that big destination festival. I believe that this area is ready for that destination event.”
The Spirit of Texas Festival is only two years in, but according to Coronna, the event will always be in service of the Aggie community.
“This only works in the long haul if it helps the community,” Coronna said. “[The festival] may take a different form in years to come, but that’s okay, because what we’re doing is starting something I hope the community will grab hold to and morphs to become what is most beneficial.”
Once all was complete behind the scenes, the Spirit of Texas Festival kicked off its merriment with a familiar face.
Following her performance at the Deep in the Heart of Texas concert last October, country star Stephanie Quayle returned to Aggieland to headline the Spirit of Texas Festival on Friday night.
“I feel like an honorary Aggie,” Quayle said. “It’s just great to be able to come back and continue to share the music, see fans and make new fans, and keep on keeping on.”
Quayle said performing in College Station continues to feel so hospitable simply because of the people.
“I have the best job in America,” said Quayle. “I’m an entertainer, and I get to spend time hopefully making people feel like they can escape in the music. That’s my favorite thing.”
Following Quayle’s opening night performance, day two of the Spirit of Texas Festival was headlined by a record attempt.
On March 24, festival goers were invited to bear witness as the Spirit of Texas Festival teamed with H-E-B’s Creamy Creations to break the Guinness World Record for the longest ice cream sundae ever prepared.
Registered participants raced to plop down 500 gallons of ice cream, 2,000 cans of whipped cream and 20,000 cherries around the entire perimeter of the park. Following immediate verification by the on-scene Guinness adjudicator, it was determined that the Spirit of Texas now holds the Guinness World Record for the longest ice cream sundae in history, at 4,549 feet and 3.36 inches.
Garrett Flores, a registered participant, covered in chocolate syrup said he hopes there are more events like it in the city’s future.
“I think this is a good opportunity for College Station to grow as a city,” Flores said. “More stuff like this is awesome for the area, just getting to grow and get closer to Austin and Houston. I think those kinds of experiences in this small area is cool.”
March 25 marked the final day of the festival and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Spirit of Texas hosted the $10,000 Curbside Smackdown competition, in which 50 food trucks served awarding winning offerings. All previous activities, from pony hop rodeo to the various trading markets, took place until 8 p.m.