While walking up and down the Seawall I found a small memorial to the Texas Navy. Coming from a military family I always make sure to stop and ponder the men who gave their lives and careers for our freedom. Again, this is a small plaque across the street from the seawall but I think it tells alot about the culture of Galveston.
Galveston is very proud of who they are. They are an important area for Texas and the troops have spent much time here protecting this land and it's an important area for victories.
Thank you to those who may be reading this who have helped protect this beautiful state and our wonderful USA!!
Many exquisitely attired ladies paraded on the Strand with beautiful poufy, feathered hats. They were works of art! I became curious about the history of hats--this is what I discovered.
'Millinery has existed in Britain since 1700. In English courts the term milliner was used and this was derived from the term for travelling haberdashers from Milan in Italy'.
'Running parallel to the hat making arts were feather workshops or more correctly workshops called plumassiers where feathers were dyed and made into arrangements. Plumes have always been a status symbol and sign of economic stability'.
'Fortunes were paid by rich individuals for exotic feathered hats. Edwardians were masters in the art of excess and the flamboyant hats of the era are a clear example of this. At one point, whole stuffed birds were used to decorate hats...'
from The Wearing of Hats--www.fashion-era.com
During DICKENS ON THE STRAND we saw many fine ladies dressed to the nines in extravangant clothing, beneath which they wore a hoop.
In the 1850's and later, ladies wore a contrivance known as the 'hoop skirt'. It was a 'women's undergarment worn in various periods to hold the skirt extended into a fashionable shape'
'Hoop skirts typically consisted of a fabric petticoat with casings to hold a stiffening material, variously rope, osiers, whalebone, steel or nylon.'*
Graham's Magazine in November 1856 wrote: The plainest ladies, with but slight pretension to fashion, have given up their prejudices against hoops and adopted them. Thus hoops have obtained a complete triumph, not withstanding the fair wearers occupy two, or even three times as much space as they did formerly. That only increases their importance in the world."**
**Patterns of History: www.wisconsinhistory.org/patterns/1857/promenadeinfo.html
Occasionally we found steps such as these on our exploration of Galveston's side streets. They were to assist people in climbing into their carriages. Nice solution to a common problem!
We also noticed a two step model as we wandered the streets. I thought it was nice that these remnants from the early days of transportation still existed.
The Texas Crab Festival, which is actually held in Crystal Beach on the Bolivar peninsula, is an annual event held on Mother's Day weekend in the spring. It is a great small town carnival-like celebration, and it seems that the whole local community is in attendance all 3 days! You find endless amounts of food such as boiled crawfish, fried gator, corn dogs, and of course, crab meat prepared in numerous different fashions! There are small carnival rides and events for the kids, and throughout the day and evening there are live bands playing, generally of the country or classic rock variety. Admission is only $5 for adults, and free for kids under 12. And all of the refreshments and rides are very cheap. If you enjoy small town and local festivals, this one is not to miss! Crystal Beach is just a boat ride away from Galveston, with the Bolivar Ferry providing access from the island to the Bolivar peninsula. The festival grounds are located just off of Hwy. 87 at Gregory Park in Crystal Beach, and here are the directions on how to get there from Galveston and the ferry.
Many cities in the U.S., as well as the world, have Carnaval celebrations in mid-February to early March leading up to the Catholic observance of Lent. Galveston's version may not have the long tradition that other cities such as New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro have, but year-by-year I must say it has been getting much bigger & better, with more attention being paid to it and more participants. The festivities go on for 2 consecutive weekends before Ash Wednesday in and around the Strand district, with lots of entertainment available. Several parades are put on each day, complete with an endless supply of beads being thrown at festivalgoers. There are many street vendors selling beer, food & souvenirs, and many live concerts and shows are put on. Generally during the first weekend of the Mardi Gras celebration, there is no charge for entering. But in recent years there has been a charge for admittance on the second weekend, and it can be up to $20. In the past Mardi Gras Galveston was basically a festival for Galvestonians & Houstonians, but it has began to draw people from many other parts of the country, and the world for that matter! Beer, beads, and plenty of entertainment! What a great excuse to have a party!!! :)
Taking place during the first weekend in December on the Strand, the downtown district of Galveston, Dickens on the Strand is a festival that celebrates the holiday season in the spirit of Charles Dickens and the Victorian age. People are dressed in traditional clothing of that time, both participants, and spectators, and there are many interesting sights and sounds that take you back into one of Dickens' classic novels. Vendors line the streets selling anything from little trinkets and handmade crafts, to cooked turkey legs, wassel, and of course, beer! There are carolers on corners singing various yuletide hymns, and Bobbies patrolling the streets, maintaining order. Several parades also take place during the festival, complete with the Queen of England (not the real one, at least I don’t think so!), bagpipe bands, and beggars asking for spare change. Charles Dickens' great great grandson is also a regular attendee of the event! It's a great time to be had, and the bone-chilling Decembers of Texas make it all the more authentic feeling! (I smell sarcasm!) If you are in the area the first weekend in December, check it out!
February is Mardi Gras time. The celebration takes place on The Strand in the historic district with elaborate parades, masked balls, festive music and other special events. Party goers attend from all over the world.
Generally Galveston enjoys a semi-tropical; averaging 57F in the winter months and 81F in the summer months.