Unity in the Lone Star State
It’s rare to find a place that makes you feel a part of their community after a quick visit, but this month we explore a place that does exactly that. Just west of the largest Texan metropolis of Houston is the little city of Katy, which may ring a bell to equestrians and historians alike. Each spring, the town plays host to the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, which has become widely known as not only one of the oldest horse shows in the country, but also one of the most unique social and fundraising events in the Houston area. As the first donor to Texas Children’s Hospital in 1947, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show provided the money to start the planning and building of the world’s first pediatric hospital, which has since become one of the largest children’s hospitals in the world with over $6.5 million in donations from Pin Oak alone. The good cause just added a third week to its show agenda, running over the last two weeks of March and the first week of April, from March 20-April 7. Attendees will see an array of horse and rider teams competing in multibreed, hunters, olympic-level show jumpers, and working equitation classes, surely enough to satisfy an equestrian’s horse itch.
Katy’s overall vibe will make you feel part of the community, as many of the town’s activities tend to pay tribute or give back to the city. The Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum will peak equestrian’s interests, especially if they grew up on a farm. The museum is filled to the brim with vintage farming equipment and antiques that will quickly make us all feel thankful for the technology we have today. History buffs will also enjoy the Katy Heritage Society Railroad Museum, where you can see train-related exhibits in the restored depot, which is easily spotted by the old caboose cart that is displayed out front.
Still looking for more of Katy’s unique personality? Take a trip to the Cam Fort Bend, formally known as the KCAM Contemporary Art Museum Fort Bend, which showcases local and regional artist’s work. The traveling museum includes pop up exhibitors, art mixers, workshops, and other art-centered events. If you’d prefer to spend some time in the dry heat—a rarity for us from the Northeast—the Mary Jo Peckham Park is just for you. The 32-acre park includes amenities such as hiking and walking trails, a swimming pool, free mini golf, and—most popularly—a fishing pond. For those bringing the whole family, kids can also enjoy swings and a jungle gym at the park as well.