Ben Wheeler, TX -- East Texans won’t have to travel to Dallas, Houston or Austin to experience a bit of culturally stimulating fun this summer – because adults and children alike will have something exciting to do all summer long at a town right next door.
The small, but big-at-heart, unincorporated town of Ben Wheeler has been undergoing revitalization over the last five years through the efforts of Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District Foundation and its founders, Brooks and Rese Gremmels.
Since their journey began, what used to be virtually a ghost town has been brought back to life for the community and neighbors near and far to enjoy.
The Foundation’s efforts have brought in shopkeepers made up of an array of renowned artisans skilled in various arts and crafts from embroidery, hat making and wood decoy carving to knife making, furniture restoration and western art.
The town even boasts a shop devoted to merchandise solely made in America and an ice cream shop housing a museum filled with antique motorcycles.
The restaurants, Moore’s Store and The Forge, have award-winning food that keeps people coming back for more. Guests are also kept entertained weekly at the restaurants with talented local and regional musicians. In fact, this summer, Moore’s Store will host a number of name bands with heavy fan followings to keep music lovers happy in those hot summer months.
A few of the featured artists currently lined up include:
• Mississippi-based and top-charting Country/Southern Rock/Soul band, Jamie Davis & Soul Gravy
• Dallas-based, Texas Blues band Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat
• Dallas favorites and guitar rock/blues band the Stratoblasters
• The famous Texas country crooner, Tommy Alverson
• Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch voted as “Best Blues” 2012 Dallas Observer Music Awards
• Moore’s Store regulars and local/regional fan-favorites blacktopGYPSY
• Rock/Country/Alternative Country favorites Bleu Edmondson Band
• American Texas Country/Red Dirt favorite from Carthage, Texas; Brandon Rhyder
• Red Dirt music-favorite, Mike McClure
• Stephenville, Texas quintet; Six Market Blvd.
June’s music lineup is also jam packed with great music talent. For a full listing of music for May and June, visit benwheelertx.com and click on the Moore’s Store and Forge links.
Additionally, in June, the Ben Wheeler Artists and Merchants Association will host the Far Out Art-Fest in the park in conjunction with The Forge’s first annual, June Bug Music Festival.
The Far Out Art-Fest features nationally known and award-winning artists, unique painters and sculptors exhibiting their latest works in the park with food, drink, music and just great family fun! It takes place June 22, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and June 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public.
The June Bug Music Festival features live music all day from artists like Heather Little and Matt Bradshaw and takes place June 22, from noon to midnight at The Forge Annex.
The little ones will also have fun in Ben this summer!
While the kids are out for break, parents can cure the summer blues with a quick trip to the Ben Wheeler Children’s Library. The Children’s Library has regular, monthly events like kids’ craft time and story time for preschoolers and toddlers.
Additionally, with every visit to the library, each child is encouraged to select five books to take and keep for their own home libraries!
The library is open Thursdays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Karate classes are also held on Monday nights at the library. There is a monthly $25 fee to join. Those interested can call 903.525.1100.
For more summer fun information in Ben Wheeler, visit benwheelertx.com or call 903.833.1070.