You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Lonesome Dove Fest offers fun for all ages in Karnes City
Last Chance Forever Bird of Prey Conservancy will be at the fest.
KARNES CITY -- The Karnes City Rotary Club’s Lonesome Dove Fest will celebrate 20 years of family fun and philanthropic success this Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 20-22, by providing something for everyone during the annual event at the Karnes County Youth Show Barn grounds on U.S. 181 between Karnes City and Kenedy.
The Lonesome Dove Fest has grown from a gathering of dove hunters in a Coy City hay patch to an event recently described as the “South Texas Expo” by former Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Education Coordinator Steve Hall. As many as 8,000 hunters and their families attend the festival each year to enjoy activities that cater to all wildlife enthusiasts in South Texas.
“The showing of support for this event is to benefit the youth in our area and continues to grow each year,” said Charlie Thompson, chairman of the festival. “Not only are people coming to have a good time, but an increasing number of them are asking to donate, sponsor an event, or just be part of this effort. Having a family-oriented event with a lot of people working together is what the Lonesome Dove Fest is all about.”
The annual festival that combines education, outdoors activities, and entertainment will also feature a sanctioned barbecue cook-off on Saturday, as teams prepare brisket, beans, chicken, and ribs on some of the most elaborate outdoor grills and cookers in the state. This will be the second year of this sanctioned event.
Also in its second year will be the Black Gold Shootout scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. The shootout will consist of a five-member, five-stand clay target competition between representatives of companies related to the oil and gas operations that have moved into the area. The winning team will earn bragging rights as the “Top Guns” of the county and a traveling trophy. The head-to-head matchups will also help raise a big chunk of cash for the Karnes County Rotary Club charity fund. Some of the uses of these funds have included helping to purchase Jaws of Life equipment for emergency medical services crews; construction of Little League fields; and Christmas gifts to needy children.
The fun continues Friday with a youth day that offers educational mini-seminars on a variety of different topics to more than 300 high school youngsters from area schools. Outdoor skills; game laws and wildlife identification; hunters’ education; and shooting safety instruction are just a few of the learning opportunities presented to the students. Returning again this year will be John Karger of the Last Chance Forever Bird of Prey Conservancy in San Antonio. Karger and his crew conduct hundreds of educational programs each year about the graceful and efficient aerial predators.
Funds from the main events of the Lonesome Dove Fest have allowed the Rotary to award 12 scholarships to seniors from each of Karnes County’s four high schools, including two scholarships specifically dedicated to vocational students.
The public events at the youth day will start at 5 p.m. on Friday. Food and merchandise vendors will operate booths and there will be bounce castles and other kids’ events. For the adults, beer and other beverages will be sold under a 14,400-square-foot air-conditioned tent as a DJ and local bands provide musical entertainment. On Saturday, events start with a parade at 10 a.m. in downtown Karnes City.
One of the main attractions at the festival, a team sporting clays competition, will be held Friday from 5 p.m. until sundown, and again on Saturday from noon until sundown. The team shoot provides an opportunity for participants to compete for prizes and bragging rights and, for those interested in hunting, includes a dove hunt with area landowners. A celebrity challenge five-stand clay target event pitting the shooting skills of media members against local and state officials will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Exhibits will also be on display to entertain the kids on Saturday. In addition to the Birds of Prey exhibit, this year will feature the “Aussie Kingdom,” which includes birds, lizards, wallaroos, and wallabies, among other native Australian wildlife. A&J Snake Handlers will perform shows featuring rattlesnake showdowns. The annual Stickhorse Rodeo and Kids Camo Contest will be conducted shortly after noon on the main day of the festival. A live auction featuring a variety of sporting goods and other items will be held under the tent at 8 p.m.
Musical entertainment is always a big part of Lonesome Dove Fest. Karnes City’s very own Mark Odom and American Idol contestant John Wayne Schulz will provide live musical performances during the festival.
“This is not just for hunters,” Rotarian Randy Witte emphasized, “but for families -- for everybody!”
There will be no admission charge for the public events of the festival. For more information, visit www.lonesomedovefest.com or call Randy Witte at 830-780-3314, Benny Lyssy at 830-583-5775, or Charlie Thompson at 830-620-8815.
Thursday, Sept. 20
2-7:30 p.m. Black Gold Shootout
Friday, Sept. 21
8 a.m.-4 p.m. Youth Day
5 p.m.-midnight Fairgrounds open
5 p.m.-sundown Sporting Clays Team Shoot
8 p.m.-12 a.m. Mark Odom & Cactus Country
Saturday, Sept. 22
10 a.m. - Parade, downtown Karnes City
Noon-5 p.m. Aussie Kingdom and Snake handler events
Noon-sundown Sporting Clays Team Shoot
5-7 p.m. Emmerson Biggins
8-9 p.m. Live Auction
9 p.m.-midnight John Wayne Schulz
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 26, 2015)
Cody Johnson to rock Nixon Feather Fest (August 26, 2015)
Dance in Geronimo (August 26, 2015)
Enjoy Fall Feast in Garfield (August 26, 2015)
Franklin Mint (August 26, 2015)
Got prayer? ‘War Room’ does (August 26, 2015)
He’s lived a sweet, gentle life (August 26, 2015)
Kerrville Fall Music Fest Sept. 4-6 (August 26, 2015)
LV prepares for Hammerfest (August 26, 2015)
Memories soar during Honor Flight (August 26, 2015)
St. Hedwig Legion plans Warrior Cry fund-raiser (August 26, 2015)
Whit’s Initiative donates to children’s home (August 26, 2015)
A window to their world (August 19, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 19, 2015)
Gillespie County Fair, horse racing meet (August 19, 2015)
LBJ autograph (August 19, 2015)
Lutheran youth plan donation fund-raiser (August 19, 2015)
Purchase tickets for veteran fund-raiser (August 19, 2015)
Receive blessing, sundaes (August 19, 2015)
Remembering Coach Henry Tomerlin (August 19, 2015)
The importance of vaccinating your pets (August 19, 2015)
Tickets on sale for Wild Game Dinner (August 19, 2015)
AgapeFest is Aug. 22 (August 12, 2015)
Age Well, Live Well event (August 12, 2015)
Back-to-school carnival (August 12, 2015)
Barbecue benefit for Logan Saenz Aug. 16 (August 12, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 12, 2015)
Bible study in Verdi (August 12, 2015)
Falls City alumni celebrate Beaver Roundup (August 12, 2015)
Free family recycling event (August 12, 2015)
H-E-B invites Texans to shed pounds, gain dollars (August 12, 2015)
Hear country tunes in New Braunfels (August 12, 2015)
Labor Day campout (August 12, 2015)
Play bunco in La Vernia (August 12, 2015)
Prescription-free healing pleasures of summer (August 12, 2015)
Remembering the Farmer’s Daughter Dance Hall (August 12, 2015)
Sunday Country Dance set for Aug. 16 (August 12, 2015)
Tabletop radio (August 12, 2015)
Three Oaks Ice Cream Social (August 12, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (August 5, 2015)
Classic cookbook (August 5, 2015)
Farmers Market in Loire (August 5, 2015)
Floresville Leo Club Back to School event (August 5, 2015)
Get set to get wet at Splash-O-Lympics (August 5, 2015)
Hear Chris Rybak at Czech Gala (August 5, 2015)
Pilgrim Opry is Aug. 8 (August 5, 2015)
Prom date grows into enduring love — 15 years later (August 5, 2015)
Rey Feo group to award scholarships (August 5, 2015)
Savor: Lemon Pesto Mason Jar Pasta Salad (August 5, 2015)
St. Gerard Rummage Sale Aug. 8 (August 5, 2015)
Stockdale Leo Club fund-raisers (August 5, 2015)
The Floresville, Wilson County story from days gone by (August 5, 2015)
‘The’ rock wall: Searching for answers (August 5, 2015)