March 2007 MedBytes: Spring!

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Texas is finally freeing itself from winter's grip, and it's time for you to head outside and enjoy the season. Here are a few samples of information about Texas festivals that you will find on the World Wide Web.

Savor Dallas, March 9-10
Forget your diet for a couple of days. Savor Dallas is a feast for the senses. It's an opportunity to drink in the arts and enjoy the fine art of premium wines, spirits, and cutting-edge cuisine. The concept wasenvisioned more than three years ago by cofounders Vicki Briley-White and Jim White as a means of showcasing the city's many great chefs, restaurants, cultural and artistic treasures, and to create a signature wine, food, and spirits event. Read about the wine stroll, tasting seminars, and cooking demos at  www.savordallas.com. As the U.S. city with the most restaurants per capita, it's no wonder Dallas hosts such a tasty annual event.

South by Southwest (SXSW), March 9-18
The largest annual conference held in Austin, SXSW combines the elements of technology, film, and music to create a media network wonderland. In 1987, the festival began with the Music and Media Conference and Festival. It expanded in 1994 to include the film industry (SXSW Film) and the interactive media market (SXSW Interactive). Registrants can visit the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center, listen to provocative panel discussions, see more than 200 films, and watch live music at more than 60 venues. The festival's Web site,  www.sxsw.com, contains information about registration and hotels, a schedule for all three parts, and an opportunity to receive e-mails about festival updates.

Poteet Strawberry Festival, April 13-15
Recognized as one of the oldest and largest agricultural festivals in Texas, the Poteet Strawberry Festival is held on a 100-acre site just south of San Antonio. The festival includes family entertainment featuring concerts with nationally known country and Tejano stars, dancers, gunslingers, clowns, puppets, regional bands, various contests, and rodeo performances. Visitors to the online site,  www.strawberryfestival.com, can sign up for a newsletter, learn about the entertainers performing, and see a schedule of events and attractions taking place. Run by the Festival Association, a nonprofit organization, the festival helps to fund scholarships to graduating seniors and supports community projects.

The San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment, April 21
The San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment is an independence celebration of Texas' legendary Battle of San Jacinto and the enduring, mythic spirit of Texas. The festival is a full day of music, entertainment, food, games, and fun set amidst the living history of where Texas achieved its independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836, as General Sam Houston led a ragtag band of Texian fighters to an overwhelming defeat of a much larger Mexican force. Visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian camps to learn what the soldiers of the day were doing before the battle and to see how the fleeing civilians lived at that time. Go online to  www.sanjacinto-museum.org  to read about the battle, the San Jacinto Monument and Museum of History, and upcoming activities. The park is also home to the tallest monument column in the world. Fifteen feet taller than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C, the San Jacinto Monument's  observation level lets you see what's become of a land once unsettled.

Fiesta San Antonio , April 20-29
Ten days, 100 events, 97 nonprofit member organizations, 3.5 million attendants - it must be time for Fiesta San Antonio! Taking place every year to celebrate San Antonio's rich and diverse cultures, 2007 marks the festival's 116th anniversary. The festival's Web site,  www.fiesta-sa.org, contains a day-by-day detailed schedule, ticket information, and the latest festival news. There also are links to special hospitality business members of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission. And, you'll find pictures of the different festival events, including the Fiesta Luncheon, Hat Contest & Style Show. It's a celebration not to be missed!

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to  Texas  physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, email Larry BeSaw . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas  Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.  

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