Mesquite, Texas, is a town bubbling with activity and excitement. There’s never a bad time to check out the “Rodeo Capital of Texas,” but here are six festivals and events particularly worth traveling for.
Summer in Mesquite doesn’t truly start until Paschall Park transforms into the fun-a-palooza that is Summer Sizzle. Parking and entry are both free (some activities, such as rides and food, require an additional fee), so you can bring the whole family to enjoy everything from a mud volleyball tournament to carnival rides. There are plenty of things for kids to do—life-sized Jenga and carnival rides, anyone?—and a lineup of food trucks to visit when your belly starts to rumble.
The Mesquite Championship Rodeo is in season every summer from early June through the end of August. The main events are split into two categories: the more widely known roughstock events, which include things like bull and saddle bronc riding judged on performance, and timed events, which are more about speed. Mesquite Arena ups the fun factor with special nights dedicated to themes (Dollar Dog Night, for instance) and certain members of the community (First Responders Night and Military Appreciation Night). Snag a ticket for a single day or check out group sales to get your entire family, office, or church group in on the action.
Cinco de Mayo
Hispanic culture is welcomed and celebrated in Mesquite, perhaps never more than during the Cinco de Mayo festivities that take place each year. Visitors can dig into a plate of authentic Mexican food while watching folklorico dancers and listening to live music. Try your hand at breaking open a few pinatas, test your mettle with a jalapeno-eating contest, take your kids to the bounce house, and bring home beautiful artisan goods from a diverse array of talented vendors.
Day of the Dead
Dia de Los Muertos, as it's known in the Latin culture, is often confused with Halloween, but as much as the Day of the Dead embraces costumes and makeup, it’s not about mystery or things that go bump in the night; rather, it's about showcasing love and respect for family members who have passed. The Mesquite Arts Center has been known to hold Day of the Dead festival centered on a community altar for participants to honor their ancestors. The free event also includes sugar skull decorating, face painting, live music, food such as “pan de muertos,” local vendors, and displays of MISD student artwork. Keep an eye out for updates to their calendar for more information.
To become a vendor, please contact the Mesquite Arts Center for more details.
Treasures Barn Sale
Historic Mesquite, Inc., is a local nonprofit dedicated to preserving local history and sharing that knowledge with the public. One of the ways the organization supports its mission is by fundraising through the Treasures Barn Sale, a three-day event with a preview sale, silent auction, and refreshments. The main event held at Opal Lawrence Historical Park takes place on Friday and Saturday, when homemade goodies ranging from jewelry to antiques are available for purchase. It’s a treasure hunter’s delight—hence the name—but it’s also a chance to support a worthy cause and mingle with some of the best storytellers and leading lights of Mesquite. Typically held in October, the sale is a great way to get a head start on holiday shopping, plus the Saturday movie night at the barn allows families to enjoy the last gasp of warm weather before winter hits.
Christmas at the Park
The holiday season in Mesquite may not usually look like a winter wonderland, but what the city lacks in snow it makes up for in merriment at the annual Christmas at the Park celebration. Participants get their holly jolly on with train rides courtesy of the Candy Land Express, plus there’s a festive parade featuring some of the season’s most beloved characters. Add to that plenty of games, crafts, cookies, and hot cocoa, plus storytime with Mrs. Claus and pictures with St. Nick himself. Best of all, admission is free (some activities, such as rides or food, require a fee).
Photo credit: Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau