It’s said that you can’t get blood from a stone, but how about getting a horny toad out of one?
That’s what’s said to have happened in Eastland, Texas, when the old courthouse was being torn down in 1928. A time capsule in the courthouse’s cornerstone since 1897 was opened, and to the surprise of thousands of people gathered for the event, a horned lizard sealed up in the box 31 years ago was still alive. Named “Old Rip,” after Rip Van Winkle, the horny toad was taken on a national tour before dying less than a year later. (According to the story, that wasn’t the end of his adventures.)
Today, Old Rip lies in state in a casket at the Eastland County Courthouse, and the city celebrates this legendary lizard at RipFest each October. This year’s event on Saturday, Oct. 6, features a full day of activities, including a parade, car show, bull riding, live entertainment.
If you’d prefer to make some weekend plans that aren’t reptile-related, don’t fret — there are lots of options. It’s officially fall, which means Texas is buzzing with big events to choose from:
Gonzales: Come and Take It Festival, Oct. 5-7
Gruene: Music and Wine Festival, Oct. 4-7
Huntsville: Fair on the Square, Oct. 5-6
Rockport: Seafair, Oct. 5-7
Southlake: Southlake Oktoberfest, Oct. 4-6
Waco: Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo, Oct. 4-13
Victoria: Bootfest, Oct. 5-6