OctoBEARfest, Magnolia, Texas

BearsEtc_(1)Bears Etc.’s second annual OctoBEARfest is ready to roar!

Join them on October 12 from 10am-4pm in Montgomery’s historic district located off of Texas 105 and Liberty Street to help raise funds for a bear sanctuary in Montgomery County. The children’s area, crafter’s market, and bake sale will be back again this year, along with several new attractions.

Last year’s inaugural event raised over $4,000. The goal is to raise $200,000 to support the vision for a new Bear and Exotic Animal Rescue Sanctuary  in Montgomery. Bears Etc. was founded as a nonprofit organization in 2017 to provide permanent, community-based, self-sustainable refuge as a home for displaced exotic and wild animals and to educate others about the natural world.

As with last year, there will be a BBQ cook-off. Buy your taster’s ticket early and enjoy some premier Texas BBQ – and get to vote on which is the best!


This year will also see a lawnmower race, and a wide assortment of information and crafts booths to browse and learn from. The cottage industry was well represented with tons of tasty items available for sampling and sale.


Last year’s information booths included Bear’s Etc., Safe Haven – a large animal rescue service, and a raptor rehabilitation team.


Hope to see you there!

— Ann Cathey

Texas Renaissance Festival – Part 1

The Texas Renaissance Festival is a major attraction for the Magnolia area, bringing over 30,000 visitors a weekend for eight weekends in October and November. There is so much to see and do there that it’s often difficult to see the amount of work that goes into the details and background elements. Just as with a movie, the settings are a powerful addition to the experience.

The Newmarket Village offers more than just busty chests and pirate flags to entertain you visually. Below are some examples of things to feast the eyes upon.

DSC_0696A stucco bell tower containing huge wind chimes that bell a deep and resounding set of tones.







DSC_0673A Gypsy caravan, the likes of which few Americans ever get to see without leaving the country. Gypsies are present, but this mode of travel, drawn by horses, apparently never became popular here as it did in Europe.

DSC_0674Ever wondered what a ball and chain really looks like? This one was found in a piratical shop.  It certainly looks as though it held a miserable prisoner on board a humid ship at least once.






DSC_0803This is the original TRF chapel. The framework is of heavy treated lumber, and the greenery is maintained year-round to offer a structure that is part of the land to those wishing to be married, or to those who wish to sit and enjoy a peaceful moment.





DSC_0837This mermaid statue is hidden on the garden paths running along the creek outside of Sherwood Forest. She originally served as a fountain in the water garden, and more recently as a statue in the green grottoes.



DSC_0711The Gryphon is an amazing bit of costume creation. The leather and feather portions of the outfit are cunningly wrought to give the impression of a beast that walks among the patrons of the Faire.





DSC_0787All’s well that ends well. This is an example of the fantastic patterns on the coat of a zeony. That’s a cross between a pony and zebra. This little dun beauty is part of a children’s pony ride at the Faire. He is amazing to behold. Truly a mount worthy of the children of royalty.





We hope you enjoy this little tour of visual treats that are often overlooked. When next you visit the Texas Renaissance Festival, be sure to look for the little details that surround you once you are inside the gate – you may find the background just as interesting as the main stage!

— Ann Cathey