AUSTIN, Texas, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- This summer, the State of Texas (http://www.TravelTex.com) will be featured at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival (http://www.folklife.si.edu), set for June 25-29 and July 2-6 in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall. "Texas: A Celebration of Music, Food and Wine" will showcase more than 100 Texans who represent the rich cultural heritage of the Lone Star State. The Texas program on the National Mall will celebrate the culture of Texas and give visitors a sense of what the state has to offer as an exciting vacation destination. "Texas is honored to be a featured destination during this summer's Smithsonian Folklife Festival," said Julie Chase, Chief Marketing Officer, Texas Tourism. "We are proud of all the Lone Star State has to offer, and we're delighted to be sharing it with the more than one million visitors that attend this festival from all over the world." "Texas has a diverse geography, culture and ethnic heritage, resulting in equally diverse traditions of music, food and winemaking," said Chase. "These are among the many attractions that draw visitors to our great state. We invite everyone to enjoy the Texas exhibits on the Mall during the festival -- and, better yet, to visit us in Texas for all the wonderful experiences to be found throughout our state." Tourism is one of the largest industries in Texas. From its thriving cosmopolitan cities to its scenic rural landscapes, the state has long been known for its heritage of music and food, and, more recently, its vineyards. The Texas program at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will feature some of the best of Texas, with musical performances, culinary presentations and winemaking demonstrations. Music is one of the main attractions for visitors to Texas. Throughout the two weeks of the Folklife Festival, the program will feature musicians performing Texas blues, swing, conjunto, country and western, gospel, zydeco and tejano, with performances by many of the state's most noted musicians. Culinary presentations on the Mall will be as diverse as the state is wide -- from African-American southern home cooking to cowboy/chuck wagon cooking, from Polish sausage to Texas Czech, from Tex-Mex to Vietnamese. Texas chefs and cooks will give visitors a taste of what culinary delights await them when they visit the Lone Star State. Food is definitely a key ingredient in the Texas vacation experience. Winemaking demonstrations and discussions will come from winemakers of the various grape growing regions across the state. With a state as big as Texas, each region has its own soil and climate, which allows Texas to produce a remarkably diverse assortment of wine. Today, Texas is the fifth largest wine producer in the United States, with more than 155 licensed wineries in operation and more than 220 family-owned vineyards covering 3,700 acres of land. Visitors from around the country and around the world are discovering Texas' vineyards and participating in wine tastings as part of their trips to the Lone Star State. About the Smithsonian Folklife Festival: The Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, honors people from across the United States and around the world. With approximately one million visitors each year, the Festival unites presenters and performers in the nation's capital to celebrate the diversity of cultural traditions. It is produced by the Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The Festival's Web site is http://www.folklife.si.edu. In addition to Texas, this year's Folklife Festival will showcase the nation of Bhutan and NASA, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. About Tourism in Texas: Tourism is one of the largest industries in Texas, employing 521,000 Texans. In 2006, travelers spent almost $54 billion in Texas. Travel expenditures generated $2.7 billion in state taxes and $930 million in local taxes. For more information on Texas travel events and vacation destinations, visit http://www.TravelTex.com or for a free Texas State Travel Guide call 1-800-8888-TEX.
TEXAS PROGRAM - SMITHSONIAN FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, CULINARY & WINEMAKING PRESENTATIONS June 25-29 and July 2-6 o MUSICAL PERFORMANCES -- Asleep at the Wheel (Austin, TX) -- Marcia Ball (Austin, TX) -- CJ Chenier (Houston, TX) -- Guy Clark (Nashville, TN -- originally from Texas) -- Conjunto Los Angeles del Sur (La Feria, TX) -- Joe Ely (Austin, TX) & Joel Guzman (Kyle, TX) -- Fiddlin' Frenchie Burke (Lytle, TX) -- The Gillette Brothers (Crockett, TX) -- Mark Halata and Texavia (Houston, TX) -- James Hand (Tokio, TX) -- Terri Hendrix (San Marcos, TX) & Lloyd Maines (Austin, TX) -- The Jones Family Singers (Markham, TX) -- Tutu Jones and Soul Crew (Dallas, TX) -- Les Amis Creole (Beaumont, TX) -- Little Joe y la Familia (Temple, TX) -- Los Texmaniacs (San Antonio, TX) -- Mariachi Los Arrieros (El Paso, TX) -- Augie Meyers (San Antonio, TX) -- Jody Nix & The Texas Cowboys (Big Spring, TX) -- The Original Soul Invaders (Industry, TX) -- The Quebe Sisters Band (Burleson, TX) -- Texas Johnny Brown (Houston, TX) -- Charles Thibodeaux & the Austin Cajun Aces (Austin, TX) o CULINARY PRESENTATIONS -- African-American Southern Home Cooking (Hoover Alexander, Hoover's, Austin, TX) -- Cowboy/Chuck Wagon Cooking/Steaks (Tom Perini, Perini Ranch Steakhouse, Buffalo Gap, TX) -- Cowboy/Chuck Wagon Cooking/Chili (Tom Nall, Burnet, TX) -- Barbeque (Louis McMillan, McMillan's Bar-B-Q, Fannin, TX) -- Polish Sausage & Mexican Chorizo (Wendy Power, Kiolbassa Provision Co., San Antonio, TX) -- Texas Czech (Gene Marie Bohuslav & Rene Matula, Komensky, TX) -- Tex-Mex (Bill Avila, El Paso, TX) -- Tex-Mex (Diana Sanchez Trevino, El Mirador, San Antonio, TX) -- Vietnamese (Lyly Nguyen, Corpus Christi, TX) -- Home canning, pickling and preserving (Betty and Steve Orsak, Katy, TX) -- Cajun Specialties (Marcia Ball, Austin, TX) o WINEMAKING DEMONSTRATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS -- Ed & Susan Auler, Fall Creek Vineyards (Tow, TX) -- Jason Englert, Grape Creek Vineyards (Fredericksburg, TX) -- Gary & Kathy Gilstrap, Texas Hills Vineyards (Johnson City, TX) -- Raymond & Gladys Haak, Haak Winery and Vineyards (Santa Fe, TX) -- Jim & Karen Johnson (Alamosa Wine Cellars, Bend, TX) -- Kim McPherson, McPherson Cellars (Lubbock, TX) -- Guy Stout, Master Sommelier, Stout Vineyards (Blanco, TX) & Glazer's Distributors (Houston, TX) -- Caris Turpin, LightCatcher Winery (Fort Worth, TX) -- Justin Wiggins, Kiepersol Estates (Tyler, TX) NOTE: This information is current as of June 12, 2008. List of participants is subject to change.
SOURCE Texas Tourism