As the new year gets underway, there are plenty of events, festivals and activities to keep visitors to Texas busy. Everything from marathons to boat shows to San Antonio's unique "Mud Festival" is on the January events calendar.
1. Cotton Bowl
The Houston International Boat, Sport and Travel Show kicks off the first weekend in January and lasts for 10 days. Held at Reliant Center, the Houston Boat Show draws over 150,000 visitors, each of whom are treated to an eyeful of the newest boats, travel trailers, rvs, watercraft, camping equipment, fishing tackle and more.
One of the most unique running events in Texas, the World's Longest Causeway Run and Wellness Walk takes runners and walkers from Port Isabel to South Padre Island across the Queen Isabella Causeway. As participants top the causeway, they are treated to a breathtaking view of South Padre Island and the blue Gulf waters that lie on the other side.
The San Antonio River, home to the famous Riverwalk, is drained each January. But, even without water in the river, San Antonio still manages to find a way to throw a party. The annual Riverwalk Mud Festival celebrates the draining of the river and includes such crowd favorites as the Mud Pie Ball, King and Queen Coronation, Mud Art Contest and more.
Held at Austin Convention Center, the Austin Boat Show begins just four days after the Houston Boat Show ends, giving visitors to the Lone Star State an opportunity to take in two of the largest boat shows in the nation.
Houston's largest single sporting event, the Chevron Houston Marathon has been run annually for over three decades.
The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's Winter Games are held each January. Competition in cheerleading, volleyball, wrestling, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, ice hockey, flag football, figure skating, and basketball will take place during the weekend.
This year's version of the San Antonio Boat Show runs at the end of January at the Alamodome. During the four-day show, San Antonio area residents and visitors are treated to a wide-array of boats and watercraft, as well as fishing tackle and boating accessories.
The 3M Half Marathon and Relay is one of Austin's largest road racing events. This 13.1 mile course follows a mostly downhill route through Austin and includes a two-leg relay and 50-yard non-competitive Kids Fun Run for children ages 10 and under.
Laredo's annual Washington's Birthday Celebration celebrates the birthday of the nation's first president, George Washington, and is the largest event of its kind in the United States. This year's celebration, which takes place from mid-January through mid-February, features too many activities to list, but some of the highlights include parades, pageants, fun run, concerts, a carnival, children's fun festival, fireworks and more.