Cowboy up: The Lee County Sheriff’s Posse Arena in Giddings is the site for all things authentically rodeo including the town’s annual professional rodeo in May as well as other events ranging from bull riding to youth competitions.
Get sauced: Go to City Meat Market and eat Gerald Birkelbach’s brisket and pork ribs the way God intended—off butcher paper with a side of white bread. Sauce is optional. Napkins are necessary but also optional because you’ll want to lick your fingers.
Wend around to Serbin: In 1854, a congregation of 500-plus Wends immigrated on a chartered sailing ship, the Ben Nevis. This group founded a new homeland on 4,254 acres in present-day Lee County and named their new town Serbin. It is located southwest of Giddings. Today, the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum preserves the history of these people from Lusatia in eastern Germany. The museum is near one of the area’s famed painted churches, the St. Paul Lutheran Church built in 1871.
Giddy-up and go: Fireman’s Park in Giddings has a 1915 Parker model all-horse carousel that’s owned by the Giddings Fire Department. The carousel became a permanent fixture in Giddings around 1920 when a traveling carnival couldn’t pay its bills. As the story goes, carnival officials left the carousel as collateral—and never came back to get it. The carousel is open for riding only twice a year: the third weekend of May and July 4.
Almost everyone has a things to do list. While grocery shopping and picking up the laundry are undeniably necessary, they’re not nearly as fun as exploring the Roundtopolis. While the Round Top Antiques Shows are larger than life, they’re just the beginning of the discoveries waiting to be made in the region.
photos by Dixie Ray Hamilton