St. John Picnic: Follow That Tuba
Okay, every town has a special celebration on July 4th. But the picnic at St. John Parish in Fayette County, Texas, is an event with homecooked dinner, three polka bands and sawdust on the dance floor.
The biggest thing that ever hit St John, Texas, was a rainstorm on June 24 back in the 1940s. It didn’t damage anything, but sufficed to move the date of the church picnic from the feast day of St. John the Baptist to ten days later — July the 4th. Ever since, the Independence Day celebration here has been a double-whammy event, a homecoming to the tiny Catholic parish and a patriotic blowout, Czech-American style. (There’s nothing quite like “Anchors Aweigh” played by a polka band.)
St. John doesn’t appear on most maps. Just head out FM 957, south of Schulenburg. Long before you get there on the 4th of July, you’ll see the trucks and cars lined along both shoulders of the road. And if it’s after noon, you’ll probably hear a tuba. Check out our slideshow for a sampling of Fayette County at its finest.