Monday, October 10, 2011

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

As Texas on Tour ascends from the 40th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, it’s safe to say it was a hit! Hundreds of balloons took flight over our Lone Star road show, providing a backdrop of radiant colors and shapes that could be seen from miles away. Spectators from all over the world started filing in at 5 a.m. to witness the largest international balloon event in the U.S.

International and domestic visitors alike were attracted to not only the balloons in the air, but also the balloon-like Discover Texas Dome on the ground. The Dome stood tall, leading spectators from the launch field straight to Texas. Once inside, consumers had a chance to check out a short film showcasing just a few of the cool vacations to be had in the Lone Star State. After that, the fun really began with a few rounds of Texas trivia and then the best part: the PRIZES!!

My friends, it’s time to lower the curtain on another stellar year on the road with Texas on Tour. From Atlanta to Seattle, a special thanks to all of the people and cities that showed Texas such great hospitality by allowing us – if only for a moment – to call your town home. Now it’s time for us to repay the favor, so make sure to plan your next vacation in Texas and come enjoy the Lone Star State the way
it was meant to be – with family and friends. Until we meet again; see you in Texas!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Once again, “The Greatest Show Off Earth” welcomes our Lone Star road show to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’m sad to say this is our last stop of the 2011 tour, but happy to admit, one of my favorites! Being our most consistently attended event, this year marks the fourth year Texas on Tour has brought great vacationing opportunities to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It is a perfect event to showcase Texas vacations and allow people from all over the world to experience the countless fun adventures to be had in Texas.

Some familiar and plenty of new faces, with their coffee in hand, lined up early before the morning balloon launch to enjoy their free virtual trip to Texas. Only at the International Balloon Fiesta can you fly over all of Texas in a hot air balloon!

One thing Texas on Tour brings to every stop along with the fun adventures is entertainment, and we most certainly saved the best for last. MilkDrive, an alternative-folk-progressive acoustic string band, has been attracting as much attention as the special-shaped balloons. They’ll be on our main stage until Sunday, so make sure you come and rock out to a real Austin, Texas, jam band!

Well, we’ve lifted off and the first weekend is a wrap. If you haven’t come to see us yet, there’s still time to enjoy a Texas vacation in New Mexico. We’re also getting close to awarding the free trip to Texas, so if you haven’t entered yet, there’s time left. Just come out and visit us at the International Balloon Fiesta or go to and click the star on the home page. Hope to see you out here!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kansas State Fair

It was our final state fair tour stop of the year, and it was one of the best. The people of Kansas really know how to have some Texas-style fun. It didn’t take fairgoers long to learn there’s no place like Texas.

Kansans got a chance to test their Texas IQ at our Texas or Not kiosk, and I have to admit, I was a little shocked so many had such high Texas IQs. Fairgoers were shown a series of 10 pictures on touch- screen monitors and had to determine whether that picture was in Texas or not. What was even more shocking – the question missed the most was the picture of Dodge City, Kansas!

People were pleased to learn about the array of vacationing opportunities in Texas, but vacation options weren’t the only thing we brought from Texas. The Marshall Ford Swing Band joined our road show for two weeks of western swing music. Normally a quartet, this time the dynamic duo, Greg and Kris, brought an element of good ol’ Texas tunes to the Kansas State Fair. My feet are still worn out from all of the dancing!

Well, folks, with 10 cities down and only one more to go, in what city will our Lone Star Tour end its six- month road trip? Go to and check out our schedule for the answer. Hopefully, we’ll see you on the 1st of October. Until we meet again, happy trails, my friends!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kansas State Fair

With not even a week to spare, our Texas road show headed south down I-35 and right on over to Route 50 to settle in for a wild ride at the Kansas State Fair. Loaded with “sheep thrills,” this fair is proving itself to be a perfect fit for Texas on Tour!

Positioned at that end of the midway in the shadow of the Ferris wheel, our virtual trip to the Lone Star State can easily be seen by all. But more important, it’s seeing the virtual Texas vacations that can be enjoyed right here at the fair. No strangers to a Texas adventure, Kansans were excited to have us back in their state, and if you don’t believe me, ask Karen Shelton from Wichita, who said, “My boss came here last year when y’all were at RiverFest and this was all she talked about!”

Come out and create your own unforgettable moments in the Texas Gulf Coast. You can let the kids run around on the beach without leaving the fair. You could even take a family picture with a Texas sand castle. The memories don’t stop there because you’ll still have time to watch the millions of bats that fly out from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin every night.

I could go on for days talking about all of the great vacation opportunities in Texas and the virtual adventures that can be had at the Kansas State Fair, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. We’ll be in town for another week, so there’s still time to enjoy a piece of Texas. Can’t wait to see you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Minnesota State Fair

The fireworks that lit up the sky to end an exciting two weeks said it best: the Minnesota State Fair was a blast! Minnesotans from all over the state came out for the second week of their annual “Get-Together” and another dose of Texas on Tour.

Fairgoers used their All-Access passes to return again and again, making sure to take advantage of every virtual vacation and adventure we had to offer. Some of the most popular adventures this week were the great vacations showcased in our Discover Texas Dome Theater. Cities like San Antonio gained even more fans once they learned about the Steel Eel roller coaster at SeaWorld and the great family fun to be had at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, which is a drive-through safari. South Padre Island offered fairgoers a different idea of what winter could be like with its beautiful beaches that can be enjoyed year-round.

People at the fair were drawn to our Lone Star stage as it rocked out to Texas tunes all week. BettySoo and Ryan Harkrider represented the “Live Music Capital of the World®,” Austin, Texas, and kept everyone’s toes tapping.

With only two more stops to go, time is running out for you to take advantage of a free mini-vacation with Texas on Tour. Meet us at our next stop to sign up for your chance to win a Texas vacation – we’d love to have you in Texas! For more details and information on planning your next Lone Star State vacation, visit See you at our next stop!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Minnesota State Fair

As Texas on Tour keeps rolling along, we find ourselves parked in the Land of 10,000 Lakes at “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the U.S., so we came prepared with tons of fun activities and virtual adventures for visitors to enjoy.

Kevin Fitzpatrick of Bandera, TX, was one of the special treats we brought to the fair this year. With his true Texas cowboy style and fancy trick roping, he made an exciting addition for the crowds to enjoy! He lassoed fairgoers and cowboy hopscotched the way a real cowboy should. People lined up all day long to experience being roped by a real cowboy!

Little surprise, our Ride the Texas Waterways virtual kayaking adventure was also very popular with fairgoers. Several said they had never experienced anything like it. You can look up, down, left, right, and even behind you, and still take in the Texas scenery like you were actually kayaking the waters of Texas. Minnesotans have an appreciation for places like Texas, where fun on the water is year-round.

With one week behind us, the fun continues on through Labor Day on September 5, so come on out and join us! For those who are already planning a Lone Star getaway, check out the Trip Planner tool at You can find activities, places and events for your trip to Texas. Hope to see you in Texas soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Iowa State Fair

Our expectations were high as this was one of America’s top 10 state fairs, and Iowa did not disappoint us. With an average of more than 100,000 people a day at the fair, the fun never stopped at Texas on Tour. Fairgoers lined up from sunup to sundown, curious to see what kind of vacation opportunities Texas has to offer.

Our Gulf Coast beaches were extremely popular with the people of Iowa. With more than 90% of Iowa land devoted to agriculture, there isn’t much room for a beach; as a result, many Iowans chose our Texas beaches as their preferred vacation destination. Once they saw that we brought the beach to them, they were all in! Visitors were able to walk on the beach without even taking off their shoes.

After the fun in the sun, visitors to our green-screen room could choose from seven different great places in Texas to be instantly transported. From there, they could take a picture to capture the special moment.

Eight stops just aren’t enough for Texas on Tour, so we’re on to our next location. Will it be a festival in your area, or maybe your state fair? Stay tuned to to find out. If it’s not your town, don’t worry – we just added two more stops to our Lone Star State road trip. Check back with us later to find out where!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Iowa State Fair

Four days down and the fun at the Iowa State Fair is just beginning! A lot of familiar faces came out this past week, excited to see Texas on Tour back in town since Texas’ stop in Iowa last year. They all were pleasantly surprised to find out there was so much more about Texas they hadn’t discovered yet.

In our Discover Texas Dome show, fairgoers learned about just a few of the vacation activities the Lone Star State has to offer – like surfing, zip-lining, driving through wild-animal parks and even kayaking through exciting rapids! With a state like Texas, there’s always something new to learn and do.

One thing I discovered about Iowans is that they love Texas almost as much as a native Texan like me. I saw so many people wearing Texas-related gear that I had to remind myself which state fair we were attending. Bill and Eleanor, both two huge University of Texas fans, walked into Texas on Tour full of pride, draped in Texas gear from head to toe.

Well, everyone, the fun doesn’t end this week in Iowa, so if you didn’t get a chance to visit our road show last week, you have until this Sunday to learn something new about Texas and create memorable moments at the fair. Who knows, you may even make a new friend or two. After all, the Texas state motto is “Friendship”! See you at the fair!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ohio State Fair

They say that everything is bigger in Texas, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the state of Ohio knows big too. From attractions like the famous butter cow to the mere size of the fairgrounds, you know the Ohio State Fair is no stranger to big, and if you’ve been following the Lone Star State road show, you know Texas on Tour brought some Texas-sized good times to this event.

Ohioans came out in droves to see this year’s newest addition to the fair: Texas on Tour. With more than a thousand visitors a day, Texas easily became one of the “must see” attractions at this year’s fair. Our team stayed busy keeping the fun going all day, with fairgoers spreading the word all across the fairgrounds of the great time they had in our footprint. From trivia to live performances to a chance to win a trip to Texas, it was five days of pure excitement!

Although the pig and piglets made out of 500 pounds of chocolate were a sight to behold, the sights and sounds of Texas impressed quite a few people too. People were pleasantly surprised to learn about the more than 600 miles of coastline along the sun-kissed Gulf Coast. On the virtual kayak simulator, Ohio fairgoers traveled through the rapids of the Big Bend Country canyons to Austin’s Lady Bird Lake and continued the journey to the serene Caddo Lake. These are just some of the adventures in store for visitors to a one-of-a-kind destination.

With just a couple more stops to go, there’s still a chance for you to enjoy true Southern hospitality, so don’t forget to take a look at where we’re headed next. And when you’re ready to plan your trip to Texas, check out and use the Trip Planner tool to help you plan your Lone Star State vacation. Until we meet again, my friends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bite of Seattle

Towered over by one of our country’s most impressive landmarks, the Space Needle, Texas on Tour was in good company at its sixth stop for the “Bite of Seattle” event. This weekend, however, the Space Needle wasn’t the only thing attracting Seattleites to Center Square. This year, our state’s road show stopped by to give this three-day festival a taste of Texas, and you better believe people loved it!

Three days just isn’t long enough to take in all of the great fun and adventure you can have in Texas, so we packed all we could in our virtual trip through the Lone Star State. Those who didn’t get enough made sure they didn’t walk away without requesting a Texas Travel Guide. If you didn’t get one, don’t worry – you can just order yours at It’s packed with places to go and things to see in Texas, and, best of all, it’s free!

Being no stranger to adventure, Seattleites lined up for our virtual kayaks – a unique opportunity to Ride the Texas Waterways! They couldn’t believe Texas had so much to offer on the water, and the more time they spent riding, the more time they wanted to spend in Texas. From rocking out to some live music to sporting some new Texas swag, good times were had by all who stopped by to visit Texas in Seattle.

Well, thanks for the good times, Seattle! As we head out to our next stop and leave the Emerald City behind, where do you suppose our Lone Star State tour will end up next? All you have to do is check our calendar to find out. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. See you soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

San Diego County Fair

If you thought the first week of Texas on Tour at the San Diego County Fair was fun, last week couldn’t hold a candle to what was in store for week two.

Our Texas road show was filled with folks wanting to see Texas, and the Lone Star State did not disappoint whether people were riding the Texas waterways, discovering Texas in our dome theater or getting some sun on our Gulf Coast beaches. At every stop, people have been excited to learn about all there is to see and do in Texas.

With a week full of stars like The Beach Boys, Big Time Rush and REO Speedwagon, Texas had its own lone star shining bright on our main stage: Warren Hood from Austin, Texas, who brought the true meaning of fiddling to sunny San Diego! People surrounded our footprint just to listen to the sounds of Texas. With a sweet, southern, new-grass sound and a hint of the blues, San Diegans loved him and his music!

All that excitement led up to the grand finale on the Fourth of July, the day America declared its independence. Fireworks lit up the sky, and Texas on Tour at the San Diego County Fair ended with a bang!

Alright y’all, it’s time to head up the coast to our next stop. Let’s see who can make it there first! Check out to see where we’ll stop next. Can’t wait to see you there!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

San Diego County Fair

Can you smell the cotton candy or hear the screams of excitement coming from these g-force producing thrill rides? That’s right, folks, it’s that time of year again – the San Diego County Fair – and it was in full swing when Texas on Tour pulled into town to join the festivities.

This week we set up Texas on Tour on the same grounds that Seabiscuit won his famed race by a nose against Ligaroti back in 1938. A true sight to see, our 90’ by 60’ footprint stands out on the track like a thoroughbred stallion. And you better believe the fun hasn’t stopped since our arrival, with fairgoers, one after another, taking advantage of being able to kayak the waterways of Texas, see the Alamo and jam to live music straight from our state’s capital – all in one trip to Texas. Not to mention, it’s all at no charge. Just get your All Access Pass when you walk in and let the fun begin!

Our Green Screen room has been a popular stop for people visiting Texas at the fair. You can pick where you want to be while you’re there; maybe you want to be pictured outside of the Alamo, investigating a NASA space shuttle or even hiking in Palo Duro Canyon. Believe me, the fun never ends in that picture room. I bet you didn’t know Texas and San Diego had this in common too – stunning beaches! Just ask one of the many fairgoers like Janet from Le Mesa, who was surprised to see pictures of a beach so beautiful in Texas: “Oh my goodness, South Padre Island is beautiful!”

The surprises aren’t over yet, my southern California friends, because we’re still in town for another week. You have until the Fourth of July before we saddle up and move on to our next stop. Check out and see where we’ll be next. And don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at!

Time for me to buckle down and try this So-Cal treat, deep-fried Kool-Aid! See you at the fair!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Capitol Hill People’s Fair

Texas on Tour made its debut at the 40th Annual Capitol Hill People's Fair, an event that has raised more than $1 million for the greater Capitol Hill Community and nonprofit organizations. With a cause like this, TOT had to climb up to the Mile High City to add to the culturally rich festivities. It’s hard to believe that a little less than a year ago we were here for the Taste of Colorado!

Denver really proved itself to be a city with a lot of Texas ties. In talking with fairgoers, you would have thought every other person knew someone from Texas or had already been there. This made tons of people believe they knew a thing or two about the Lone Star State. Well, our Texas or Not kiosk had something to say about that! The kiosk shows visitors a series of 10 pictures and gives them the option to choose whether it’s “Texas or Not.” Only a select few people were able to bask in the ray of Texas glory and walk away with a prize by scoring a perfect 10 out of 10. One by one, the attendees of the People’s Fair learned through pictures that Texas has much more than you’d expect.

Ryan Harkrider rocked the main stage and brought the cool feel of Austin to a festival known for its diversity – just like our state’s capital. People were pleasantly surprised to learn that Austin and Denver had a whole lot more in common. The locals quickly realized that Austin, filled with art, culture and great entertainment, would be a cool, fun-filled spot to visit.

Until we meet again in the next city, partner. Will it be yours? Go to and find out! I’ll give you a hint … it’s home to a famous county fair in Southern California. Be sure to check back this month to see more of Texas on Tour’s good times on the road!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Speed Street


The green flag dropped and they were off … race fans of all ages flooded the streets of downtown Charlotte for the 2011 edition of the 600 Festival’s Food Lion Speed Street event. The Texas on Tour family felt right at home this past weekend, considering we have our own NASCAR track in Fort Worth, Texas – the Texas Motor Speedway.

This weekend’s winner at Texas on Tour was the Discover Texas Dome. We had visitors racing to raise their hands so they could answer trivia questions correctly and walk away with cool prizes! My favorite moment was when someone guessed the state capital was Houston! Even though the state capital is actually Austin, he still walked away with a fun prize – as did many of our other visitors!

It came as a surprise to a lot of people to also find out about some unexpected experiences in Texas. Not only are there great adventures to be had on the water, but also on land, in caves and even under water. For example, people were interested to learn the second largest canyon in the U.S., Palo Duro Canyon, can be found in Canyon, TX. Visitors were able to picture themselves at the Canyon and among other exciting places in the Lone Star State through the “Picture Yourself in Texas” green screen experience.

Well, it’s time to wave the checkered flag on another great event. We’re going to load up and burn out of here to our next stop! Will it be your city? All you have to do to find out is go to I’ll give you a hint … it’s another state’s capitol.
Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Joint Service Open House

Surrounded by some of the greatest war planes in our country’s history, Texas on Tour was rocking through its second stop and showed no signs of slowing down. With lines as long as jet streams, people from all over the region flocked to the 2011 Joint Service Open House in a salute to 100 years of naval aviation. Once every year in recognition of the US Military and supporting civilian personnel, Andrews Air Force Base opens its doors to the public and this year show goers received a nice surprise – A FREE TRIP TO TEXAS!

Over 200,000 people were shocked to see, hear, and even smell some of the great aspects of Texas right there on base. Ride the Texas Waterways was by far the most pleasant surprise of them all. As people’s faces lit up with every turn of the virtual reality kayaking adventure, the line grew more and more. Everyone had to see for themselves what was so exciting about this 360 degree trip down Texas’ waterways.

Texas on Tour’s live music stage also kept attendees entertained with Warren Hood. That guy can play the fiddle! At age 17 he won the Austin Youth Award and performed as a soloist with the Austin Symphony. If you missed him this time, you can still see him perform on our stage again at the San Diego County Fair.

Well Maryland, it's time for us to load up and head out, but for more information on exciting adventures in the Lone Star State, be sure to check out

It was a great weekend at the JSOH, but if you missed it don't worry. Our next stop is Speed Street in Charlotte, NC. From F-18’s and Thunderbirds to NASCAR show cars – see you there...Yeehaw!!!!!!

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