TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

Stuff To Do in Small Towns

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
Some of us are already planning summer vacations to exotic, foreign places, but the smart money will go with small towns in the U.S. They not only afford more fun, but help our economy. Always eager to be of service to my country, I offer the following generous selection of stuff to do in American small towns.


The folks of Victor, Colorado, which calls itself "One of those places that time likes to forget," have an annual pothole update and all are invited to join in the count. Tourists are welcome.

Pioche, Nevada, snorts at claims by both Tombstone, Arizona, and Dodge City, Kansas that they were the baddest of the wild west mining camps. Mind you, Pioche was "so tough we imported 20 hired killers each day" and "75 men were killed in gun fights and already buried in the cemetery long before anyone died of natural causes." The town was said to be peaceful only "if you stayed out of the way of the bullets."

Glen Rose, Texas, proudly referred to as the Whiskey Woods Capital of Texas, is the only American town where you can get a Dinosaur Hunting License.

Erick, Oklahoma, is raising money for a Roger Miller Museum. It's not up and running yet, but you can visit Glenda in the bank and talk about it, or visit one of the ladies sewing his likeness into the first-prize quilt to be raffled off this summer.

Earlville, Illinois, claims to be the source of "The World's Best Dirt," though it's most eagerly anticipated event is the annual Find-A-Pig Contest held at The Crazy Horse Saloon.

Morehead City, North Carolina, hosts a Bald Men's Convention each September, which generously offers self-help sessions for the wives. The convention's motto is: "If you haven't got it, flaunt it."

Booger Hollow, Arkansas, Population 7 ("countin' one coon dog"), boasts the only two-story outhouse in the land. You can get a Boogerburger at the Trading Post.

Livingston, Montana, has a Duck Derby, where rubber ducks are released into the water for a two-furlong (1/4 mile) race, with a grudge match to be held in the event of a tie. Face off will take place at the pond.

Montpelier, Vermont, holds an annual Rotten Sneaker Contest, spotlighting "stinky feet." A search for the "best of the worst" in rotten sneakers, this Odor-Eaters-sponsored contest was created over two decades ago, and has become a traditional Rite of Spring in Montpelier.

The teeming metropolis of Park Falls, Wisconsin, is more than just the Ruffed Grouse Capital of the World. Residents are mighty proud of the fact that Park Falls is the only town in all of Price County with two traffic lights.

Jefferson, Texas, each year hosts a reenactment of the "Trial of the Century," based on an 1870's local murder trial. "Diamond Bessie" Moore, rumored to have once been a high-priced "soiled dove" out of Arkansas, was traveling with one Mr. A. Rothschild. Suspicians of foul play were aroused when Mr. Rothschild, who had left on a picnic with Bessie, returned alone that evening, sporting Bessie's diamond rings on his fingers. Two weeks later, Bessie's body was discovered and, it was graciously noted by the ladies of Jefferson, "She was very well dressed, considering the hole in her forehead." After fleeing to Cincinnati, Mr. Rothschild was subsequently returned by Ohio authorities to Jefferson where he unsuccessfully attempted suicide with the same BB gun he had used on poor dead Bessie.

In Loda Cemetery Prairie in Iroquois County, Illinois, a visitor might partake of The Hairy-Jointed Meadow Parsnip.

Mike "Chainsaw" Elmer fondly remembers his youth in Sunnymeade, California, where the local children found a unique way to fight boredom. They lifted up the eyelids of the bull sleeping in grandpa's pasture, then ran like hell. Can't really beat that for down home entertainment.

I haven't even told you about the bareback ostrich races, pumpkin-flinging contests, tombstone tilting races, bayonet-polishing competitions, and the Byron, Illinois, Annual Turkey Testicle Festival. (All true, my friends.)

Perhaps you already live in a small town that's not famous for anything, and you want to attract tourists. You could have a television-watching contest, or a drywall buckling night, or build a triple-decker outhouse, thereby outdoing Booger Hollow, AR.

The possibilities are endless.


Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus"
May 5, 2004 Column
 
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South |
West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII |
History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books | MEXICO
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters |
Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators |
Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: May 8, 2007