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Lone Star Gourd Festival Returns

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The wildly popular 2016 Lone Star Gourd Festival returns to New Braunfels Convention Center, 375 Castell Ave., Aug. 19 – 21.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children and teens under 17. The fee is good for the entire festival. Parking is free.

Hundreds of pieces of gourd art – created by some of the state’s finest artist – will be on display as well as for sale.

The event is open to the public and includes a “Make-and-Take” kids’ corner where children can create their own gourd art using free supplies. The booth is sponsored by Discovery World Learning Center.

Gourd art demonstrations for all ages also are scheduled and will run daily during the festival.

This Wonderful Gift

“Our society is based on sharing the many ways to use this wonderful gift, the gourd,” explains Shelia Guidry, President of the Texas Gourd Society.

“Many people have no idea that gourds, used by our ancestors as food and medicinal containers, can be skillfully rendered as works of art that sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars,” she says.

Artists use multiple techniques to create gourd art, which is carved, wood-burned, painted, dyed, inlaid, coiled, woven. Gourds are even built into sculptural pieces.

Competition Gourds

Competition gourds will be judged and ribbons placed by Aug. 19 when the show opens so the public can view dozens of award-winning gourds. Visitors can vote on their favorite piece, which will receive a People’s Choice Award at 5p.m. Aug. 20.

The competition is open to any artist. Membership in the Texas Gourd Society is not required. Gourd awards include “Best of Show,” “VIP Choice,” “People’s Choice,” “Best of Division,” and first- through third-place category awards.

Divisions judged are “Growers,” “Youth,” “Novice,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced,” and “Masters.” There are multiple categories within each division.

Best of Show

“In 2014, Mike Ford who won ‘Best of Show’ took up gourd art just three months before the show,” Shelia says. “His wife told him to get a hobby after he retired and he did. The result is the spectacular goldfish featured on this month’s edition of Canyon Lake Views. The San Antonio Express and New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung featured Mike Munter’s gourd that was the 2015 Best of Show.

Vendor booths will sell raw gourds, gourd art, and supplies and tools that can be used to create gourd art.

“One of our youngest members, a teenager, sold all of her ‘Minion’ gourds,” Shelia says. “We really do have something for all ages.”

Class schedules and membership forms for the Texas Gourd Society are available on TexasGourdSociety.org. Classes are for attendees of all skill levels. The group runs a vibrant Facebook page and also can be found on Pinterest.

Visitors also can learn more at the event’s membership booth. Members receive festival discounts, a quarterly e-newsletter, and access to the Texas Gourd Society local groups throughout the state.

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