Downtown welcomes visitors


By Miles Smith

If you’re visiting Lockhart for the first time this weekend for the seventh annual installment of Hot Rods and Hatters, owners of businesses downtown have a brief message for you.
“Lockhart is kind of a hidden jewel,” said Bobby Herzog, president of the Downtown Lockhart Business Association. “It has so much to offer with live music, craft beer and a custom toy store.
“No matter what age group you are, downtown Lockhart has something that you will enjoy.”
Both barbecue restaurants located just off the courthouse square – Black’s BBQ (with special parking at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the dead end at the north end of main street) and Smitty’s Market – will be open during the festival, as will Kreuz Market and Lockhart Chisholm Trail BBQ on US 183, giving visitors a chance to see what the “Barbecue Capital of Texas” moniker is all about.
Saturday’s Hot Rods and Hatters festivities will include outdoor live music near the famous courthouse that begins at 11 a.m. with Dale Watson and his Lone Stars. The music will continue throughout the day until midnight, wrapping up with Curtis Clay who will go on the stage at 10 p.m.
Looking for beer in all the wrong places? Head to one of three beer stands located downtown, where volunteers from the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce will be serving three varieties from brand-new Lockhart brewer Caracara Brewing Company: an India Pale Ale, a floral wheat and an easy-drinking blonde.
Car buffs will enjoy seeing a Shelby GT350H owned by Carroll Shelby himself (Story on page B3) and hearing the latest from the cast of the Velocity Channel’s “Iron Resurrection,” who are unveiling their latest project on Saturday before it even airs.
The events will kick off on Friday night, which corresponds with Lockhart’s First Friday tradition. Starting at 5 p.m., you can grab a beer from the backdoor of Caracara (located at the corner of Market and Commerce streets across from the courthouse). Patrons can check out the early car arrivals while seeing what downtown Lockhart’s businesses have to offer in between beers and listening to live music, which starts at 6 p.m. when the Booze Bombs take the stage.
A map of the businesses is located on pages B4 and B5.
Herzog, who manages Vogel Furniture in downtown Lockhart, said business owners were eagerly anticipating the event.
“Overall, everyone is really excited,” Herzog said. “Usually, the daily issue we have is getting people to our downtown square. The festival is a great vehicle for that. It’s very positive, and everyone is welcome.”


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