August 30, 2012

Brazos Valley Fair & Expo Begins Thursday

Enjoy the ferris wheel and other exciting attractions at the Brazos Valley Fair & Expo from September 6 through September 9.“Finally, it begins!” exclaims Jim Mazurkiewicz of the Brazos Valley Fair & Expo. Mazurkiewicz, a professor with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and director of the Leadership Program, has been a force behind the creation of major local agricultural event since the idea first took shape in 1986. “Before we could have the Fair, we had to have somewhere to have the fair,” explains Mazurkiewicz. When the Fair & Expo finally opens on September 6, it will be due to the hard work of many: the Commissioner’s Court; County Judges Al Jones, Randy Sims and Duane Peter; Jim McCord of United Way of the Brazos Valley; Hilton General Manager Barron Hobbs; and many others passionate about agriculture.
August 30, 2012

Kyle House Galleries Grand Opening Friday

The public is invited to the grand reopening of Kyle House Galleries Friday, September 7, 5pm-9pm, during First Friday.Kyle House New Fine Art Gallery & Event Space Open in Downtown Bryan

Every Aggie knows about Kyle Field, home to the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Football team. Every Aggie also needs to know about another historic site – Kyle House – that was the home of Dr. Edwin Kyle, namesake of Aggieland’s beloved Kyle Field football stadium. Kyle House has just reopened as Bryan’s only historic event facility and gallery.

If you have not recently visited the property, then plan to attend the Open House on Friday, September 7, beginning at 5pm. You’ll discover many enhancements.

August 22, 2012

Go Hog Wild at Hog Splash MUDD Volleyball Tournment

Enter or join a team for Hog Splash coming August 25 to Slovacek Sausage in Snook.August in Texas. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s almost unbearable. Here’s a unique way to cool off from the heat, drink beer, then work it off with some exercise while getting down and dirty for a good cause: Hospice Brazos Valley and Slovacek Sausages’s 2nd annual Hog Splash MUDD Volleyball Tournament.

Who could be more appropriate to co-sponsor a Hog Splash ~ MUDD Volleyball tournament than local purveyors of the popular pork product Slovacek Sausage? Before the heat of the day arrives, 28-plus teams will converge on a pasture behind Slovacek’s Snook location that’s been converted into six MUDD volleyball pits. Into them teams from around the Brazos Valley will roll amid squeals, splashes, sausage and beer … all for a good cause.

 “We had a really, really good time,” enthuses Dr. Scott Lingren, owner of Venus Pest Company, and a player in last year’s inaugural tournament. “The first thing you figure out is the MUDD is a pretty good equalizer. It keeps you from being mobile, so it’s all about strategy and where you put people. It was August so it was super hot, but having the pit of MUDD and water to play in made it bearable – it’s more muddy water. It was like a big outdoor party. It was fun!”

Interested in playing but don’t have enough people for an entire team of 10? No worries. This year, Hospice Brazos Valley will match single players with teams in need of extra mudders.

August 15, 2012

KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil a Great End-of-Summer Getaway

A limited number of 40 percent discount tickets for KOOZA are available for performances on August 28-30 and September 5-7.Three additional dates in September have been […]
August 14, 2012

‘Night Out in B/CS’ to benefit Bachmann & Northcliffe Family Funds

“A Night Out in B/CS” is being coordinated by local community members in conjunction with the men of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Texas A&M University. […]
August 13, 2012

Brand Leveraging: A Strategic Overview of the SEC Move

With Texas A&M University’s move to the SEC comes both challenges and opportunities. Jason D. Cook, vice president of marketing and communication at Texas A&M University, […]
August 7, 2012

Brazos County Sheriff’s Office Wants Women to Stay SHARP

Register now for a free Sexual Assault Prevention class provided by the Brazos County Sheriff’s office.August 15-16, the Brazos County Sherrif’s Office will present SHARP, a […]
August 6, 2012

America’s Favorite Launches 2nd Food Truck

Truck #2 will feature a lower price point on menu items with the same quality and service.

Today, Chef Tai Lee will officially launch his Gourmet Mobile Food Truck Number Two. The second truck will offer a menu at a lower price point and carry a more traditional menu than his Original Mobile Gourmet Food truck while still maintaining the quality and originality that earned the title of America's Favorite Food Truck. 

As he rolls out his new 2nd truck, Chef Tai will also roll out 8-10 specialty menu items on the Original Food Truck that will rotate as the featured menu of the week instead of the 12 static menu items and five special feature menus of the past year.

In reassuring his food fan base, Chef Tai explains that while people's favorite dishes may not always be featured on the Original Food Truck, fans will have the opportunity to try something new and keep their diet fresh. 

The new truck will feature 5-6 specialty menu items in rotation, and truck Number Two will also feature a different pricing point and menu packaging than the Original Food Truck. Chef Tai is quick to reassure that both trucks will use the same quality and care on their products but notes that he has differentiated the menu ingredients and portion sizes to keep the price point at a $5-$6 range on Truck #2 compared to the Original Truck's $8-$10 range.

August 6, 2012

Get Involved In Public Service With Citizen Academies

Bryan Fire Department Citizen Academy Ever wonder what it is like to rush into a burning building? Curious about extrication techniques? Or have you always wanted […]
July 30, 2012

Chappell Hill Lavender & Wine Festival

Think about everything you have to do this week. Now, slowly, calmly, get up, gather your family together – and run away from it. This year’s 7th Annual Lavender & Wine Fest hosted by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery demands only that its participants relax and enjoy the countryside on the short 45-minute drive over from Bryan/College Station. The two venues are located about 14 miles apart.

Activities are unique to each location with visitors’ first stop at Chappell Hill Lavender Farm to cut their own fresh lavender. Then come demonstrations of what can be done with freshly cut lavender.

“We also have a flower pounding station where you can bring your lavender or flowers from your own garden and Laurie Nelson will be    demonstrating how to make lavender woven baskets,” says Debbie McDowell, co-founder of Chappell Hill Lavender Farm.

July 30, 2012

Color Your World Blue at Navasota Blues Fest

Navasota Blues Fest will be held August 10-11 at the Grimes County Expo Center.“There’s a lot of shades of blues,” muses Texas Johnny Boy, who will bring his own distinctive shade to this year’s Navasota Blues Fest. “There isn’t just one color of blues, there are endless shades and [the festival] is going to have a bunch of it,” he says, looking forward to his third return to this annual August celebration of the musical art form.

Texas Johnny Boy, also known as John Moschioni, is a seasoned blues veteran and self-proclaimed “bluesician.”

 “When you’ve played at several festivals all around the country, you have a pretty good scope about what festivals are like,” says Moschioni. “I think the Navasoata Blues Festival is wide open for a tremendous amount of growth.”

If the name Mance Lipscomb isn’t familiar to you before the Blues Fest, it will be after you’ve sat among the long tables at the Expo Center in Navasota where people will be relaxing, munching on food, and soaking up every shade of blues in the musical rainbow.

July 23, 2012

It’s Harvest Festival time at Messina Hof

Harvest celebrations continue at Messina Hof through August. The 2012 Harvest Festival is in full swing at Messina Hof offering weekends filled with grape picking, stomping, tours, tasting, and more. The festival continues through the third weekend of August with special dinners held on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Every Saturday and Sunday throughout Harvest:

Beginning bright and early at 8:00am, you and your group will be sent into the Messina Hof vineyard – picking grapes to be used in Messina Hof’s award-winning port. And be sure to warm up those pipes, as your group may even commence in Sicilian song.  

Afterward, groups partake in grape stomping and will be given their very own souvenir to take home: a Messina Hof t-shirt stamped with their individual purple grape-stained footprints. 

After a “hard” morning’s work, enjoy a luncheon from the chefs of The Vintage House Restaurant. Messina Hof’s trademarked “Texas Vineyard Cuisine” includes hand-cut meats, vegetables, and herbs picked from their own garden, paired with Messina Hof’s unparalleled wines that will really put the cherry, or grape, on top of a wine-filled day.  

July 19, 2012

At the Root of Philanthropy

At its greek root, the word PHILANTHROPY means loving humanity. When people ask for “support” or “donations” for charity, what they really are asking for is […]
July 19, 2012

Jewels In Our Community: Denise Fries

On May 2, Denise Fries turned 50 years old. She celebrated by inviting representatives from the 21 local charities that had applied and been accepted to receive a matching grant to a birthday party at The Garden District, home of Fries Financial Services.

 At the party, Denise  handed out wrapped gifts containing certificates for a total of $70,000 in matching grants. When the charities complete their fundraisers to receive the match,  $50,000 of the matching grants will be funded by Fries Financial Services with an additional $20,000 donated by one of her clients who served on the charity selection committee and asked to remain anonymous.

Almost exactly one month after the birthday party, Denise attended another community event, only this time she was handed a gift – a trophy that recognized Fries Financial Services as the fastest growing small business in the 2012 Bryan Rotary Newman 10 Business Performance competition.

The award noted that Fries Financial Services recorded 183% percent sales growth from 2009 through 2011 to earn the award.

Donating $50,000 and then winning top honors for business performance in the span of a few weeks was no fluke.

The 27-year history of Fries Financial Services is a yin and yang of business growth and commitment to philanthropy; over the years, Denise’s twin goals have served to strengthen one another.

July 19, 2012

Denise Fries 50th Birthday Nonprofit Grant Recipients

The following charities will receive matching grants after holding fundraisers over the summer to generate funds equal to or exceeding the Fries grant. A final party will be held at 3 p.m. on August 8 at Fries Financial Services, and the final matching grant results will be announced.

For more information on how you can support these nonprofits with their fundraising, contact the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley, (979) 589-4305 or visit

Achievers by Choice

The Navasota-based organization prepares both youth and adults with the social and academic skills needed to graduate high school or earn a GED, and pursue a postsecondary degree.

Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach

A Christian organization that provides support services to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies; promotes Christian parenting by providing outreach to teen parents; and provides adoption services as an alternative.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley

By providing programs and services that promote and enhance the youth, the Club provides a positive environment in which kids can learn and grow while creating relationships with trained adult professionals.

Brazos Animal Shelter

Provides humane shelter and care for stray and unwanted animals. The numerous services provided are aimed to promote responsible pet ownership and enhance the quality of life for the people and animals in the community.

Brazos Valley Chorale

Provides audiences in the community with high-quality musical performances. With 130 voices, the chorale boasts a wide-range of singers, from college students to retirees, as well as a wide-range of choral literature from classical to contemporary.