Attractions

We’re glad you stopped by. Here’s the scoop on the town that’s Big Time Small.

The International Festival-Institute at Round Top

Known as “Festival Hill” to its local audience, the Festival-Institute, founded by internationally acclaimed concert pianist James Dick, is one of the premier rural classical music performing arts Institutions in the world. Its extraordinary 1,000 seat Concert Hall, spectacularly landscaped grounds and immaculately restored historic structures bring students from all over the world to train with world-class instructors. The Institute offers year round performances, as well as educational forums and other events, but Festival Hill’s busiest concert schedule is during its six week long Summer Institute that runs from June 6th through July 17th.

Shakespeare at Winedale

The Shakespeare at Winedale Summer Class is a course dedicated to the study of Shakespeare’s plays through performance. This course offers an educational and theatrical experience of great intensity, as well as a unique opportunity for group interaction and self-exploration, to students from any discipline. The program is part of the curriculum of the University of Texas at Austin Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts. Performances are primarily done in the summer from mid-June until mid-August, but additional single performances occur during their Spring and Fall seasons.

Winedale Historical Complex

The Winedale Historical Complex, a division of UT Austin’s Briscoe Center, is a collection of nineteenth-century structures and their period furnishings situated on 225 acres just two miles from Round Top. Winedale’s collections offer a tangible link to the Texas past, capturing the evidence of history through architecture, furnishings, and decorative arts. Most of the structures and collections at Winedale were moved to the complex by Miss Ima Hogg in the 1960s. A large portion of Miss Hogg’s Texas furniture collection is now on display at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Winedale’s purpose is to foster an understanding of Texas history and culture by preserving the collections and making them available for teaching and research.

Round Top Antiques and Crafts Shows

Emma Lee Turney founded the Round Top Antiques Fair over forty years ago in the Round Top Rifle Hall. She has transformed the economy, the landscape, and even the culture of the sleepy little backcountry town that was once Round Top. Emma Lee and the shopping juggernaut she began, has inspired many other copycat antiques and craft events over that 40 years, and together with her four venues, they attract the single largest influx of tourism, tourist dollars, and sales tax revenue of the year in Fayette and surrounding counties. Antiques Week (which is really approaching three weeks these days), draws as many as 50,000 visitors to the area, according to some of the more optimistic estimates.

Camp Shakespeare

Camp Shakespeare is a two-week University of Texas residential summer camp for young people, ages 11-16,* dedicated to exploring Shakespeare through performance. It was founded by James B. Ayers, the original founder and instructor of Shakespeare at Winedale. Young people find their way not through rehearsals but performances. Every moment is a performance. Campers are challenged to play out their interpretative discoveries on stage.

Please contact either Robin Grace Soto (robingracesoto@utexas.edu) or Doc Ayres (jayres@cvctx.com) for information.

Round Top Rifle Association

The Round Top Schützen Verein (shooting society) was formed in 1873 by the town’s German heritage inhabitants. Its purpose was stated as “the support and encouragement of innocent outdoor sports, such as bicycle riding, target and trap shooting, open air athletics, games, dancing, and others of a like character”. The 10.5 acre property on which the Rifle Association Hall is located was purchased in 1881-1882. By 1912, construction was complete on the dance hall, bandstand, outdoor kitchen and bar and the site was named Schützen Park, or Sharpshooter’s Park. It became the locale of many community events. Perhaps the best known of all Rifle Association events is Round Top’s annual Fourth of July Parade which has been celebrated every year since 1851. It is known as “the longest running Fourth of July Parade west of the Mississippi.”

ARTS (Arts for Rural Texas)

Arts for Rural Texas, headquartered in Fayetteville, Texas, is a partner and collaborator of the Round Top Family Library. The non-profit organization strives to enhance the region’s exposure to the visual and performing arts. Founded in 2003, they have offered augmenting school art programs in Fayette, Colorado, Austin and Washington counties as well as Art After School and Fine Art Assemblies. The Assemblies bring individual artists and groups, such as the Houston Opera To Go and the Austin Ballet, to perform and teach in local schools. Summer Art Camps are also held annually for area school children. They also sponsor ArtWalk, an annual, juried outdoor art show which draws visitors from around the state to the square in Fayetteville.

Fayetteville Chamber of Music Festival

Each May, the Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival presents concerts of chamber music during which the audience sits near the musicians and experiences the music close-up. World-class musicians from New York, Hungary, Poland, Houston and Austin perform in the Moravian Room at the Country Place Hotel in downtown historic Fayetteville where the natural acoustics bring a perfect warm, intimate sound to the musicians’ violin, clarinet and piano. The repertoire includes classics by Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, Czech favorites by Dvorak and Janacek, and Swedish pieces by Berwald, Netzel, and Stenhammar, among others. It was founded in 2006 by its Artistic Director, internationally acclaimed clarinetist, Hakan Rosengren.