KINGSVILLE, TX — Ranch Hand Weekend is happening Friday through Sunday in Kingsville and offers -- among many other activities -- a chance to go home with your very own turkey, just in time for Thanksgiving!
Friday night’s tree lighting that kicks off at 6 p.m. with KRIS 6 News Anchor Katia Uriarte and K-99’s Big Frank. Both will help light up the downtown Christmas tree, along with the beautiful buildings in the Mainstreet district. Enjoy hot cocoa, coffee and cookies while the Presbyterian Pan American School Choir fills the air with Christmas Carols. Shop owners on Main Street stay open late so visitors can pick up custom-made leather goods, hunting and fishing gear and one-of-a-kind clothing and jewelry. Street dancing begins at 8 p.m. with live music by Lauren Corzine.
Guests will also be able to speak the universal language of art at this year’s Texas A&M-Kingsville Senior Art Exhibit on display inside the Kleberg Bank lobby. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. Friday and includes refreshments and an opportunity to meet the artists. The award-winning Texas rum, Wild Horse Distillery, will also be available for tasting during the art exhibit events. This year, the city of Kingsville will also host an opening art reception at Kleberg Bank, unveiling the Sculpture on Main project; a series of seven sculptures that will remain on display around the Main Street corridor. Pick up your guide inside Kleberg Bank Friday night.
Saturday begins with the 29th annual Ranch Hand Breakfast at the King Ranch. It is the only opportunity of the year for guests to drive on the property and spend the morning on the legendary ranch while enjoying an authentic cowboy breakfast along with roping demonstrations, cowboy poetry and storytelling. Kineños, also known as the Kings Men, have been a key part of ranch operations since the very beginning. Some will be on hand to showcase their life on the ranch.
Breakfast is followed by the festival, a country music concert and a ranch rodeo. Among the events will be a turkey shoot. The Kingsville Parks and Recreation Dept. will give participants get three attempts to shoot a target with a bow and arrow. Those who hit the bullseye (or very very close to it), will get to take home a frozen turkey.
Those who have talent on the dance floor will not want to miss the line dance and two step contest, with some great prizes up for grabs. Ed Salazar with Shiny Shoes Dancing will help you brush up on your skills ahead of the 2 p.m. boot scootin’ showdown. He has lessons scheduled at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Winners will have a great spread of prizes to choose from, including a King Ranch belt buckle, some award-winning Wild Horse Distillery Rum, a leather tote from Two Dove Outdoors, great baskets from D’Vine Designs and Harrel’s Kingsville Pharmacy and gift cards from Ol’ Girls Kitchen and the Novel Blend. The Line Dance and Two Step contest is sponsored by Hi-Res Media Group and there is no entry fee. There will be live music both before and after the lessons and contest, so feel free to dance the day away ahead of Saturday night’s Mark Chesnutt Concert at the JK Northway Expo Center.
The festival will also feature inflatables for the kids, a chalk art contest and pony rides. Get your wish list in to the big man himself and take Photos with Santa at Kleberg Bank, who is a presenting sponsor for Ranch Hand Weekend along with Neessen Automotive.
If you have a car to showcase, be sure to enter it in the Ranch Hand Weekend Roundup Car Show. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, and winners will be announced at 3 p.m.
Although the festival wraps up at 4 p.m., the fun continues at the JK Northway Exposition Center with the Ranch Hand Weekend Country Concert featuring Mark Chesnutt. He will be performing along with Felix Truvere and Lauren Corzine. Concert tickets benefit KISD Education Foundation. The Ranch Hand Weekend Tree Lighting, Festival and Country Concert are presented by Neessen Automotive and Kleberg Bank with help from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and HEB Helping Here. Bray’s Smokehouse and NewWave Communications are also partners in the weekends events.
The Ranch Hand Weekend continues through Sunday with the Coastal Bend Cowboy Fellowship cowboy church service at the JK Northway Coliseum, followed by a family ranch rodeo. In addition to dummy roping for youth ages 6-15, there are five events, including: steer tying, calf branding, trailer loading, steer doctoring and a cowboy stampede. There will be an open calf scramble for the kids during intermission.
Ticketed events for the entire weekend add up to just $26 per person.
Get more information at www.RanchHandWeekend.com.