Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce


Walkway of Lights to end sooner in 2018 but still “magical” after flood-delayed start

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
The Walkway of Lights in Lakeside Park in Marble Falls will be on a shortened timeline and end on Dec. 26 due to work set to began on the city's parks improvement plan.




By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

Recent flooding issues have failed to deter plans for the Walkway of Lights, however, a Marble Falls city parks improvement project will place the Christmas lighting display on a shorter timeline, officials said.

A Pedernales Electric Cooperative crew began work Nov. 5 on utility installation of the Lakeside Park lighting trail, hosted by the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce.

“We had to wait for the park to dry out a little bit,” said Chamber Events Coordinator Brandi Payne. “Obviously the park was saturated, and that put us off from getting down here (to start erecting the display). There's a little bit of delay, but we're going to make it work.”

The night-time display – which features sculptures, lighted Christmas trees and photo opportunities with Santa Claus – is scheduled from Nov. 16 to Dec. 26.


MayFest continues through Saturday

Richard Zowie/The Highlander
Shivani Damico and her son Jimmy, both of Kingsland, enjoy time on the Merry-Go-Round during the first day of the Marble Falls Mayfest Carnival at Johnson Park on Wednesday, May 9.






Music, carnival rides, shopping, games and fun for the whole family — all of it can be found this weekend at MayFest 2018 in Marble Falls, which continues to midnight Saturday at Johnson Park, 230 Avenue J in Marble Falls.

The MayFest Carnival is a large draw each year and brings out fans of people who love rolling, spinning, whirling, playing games of fun and chance and eating all of the great food on the midway. The fun at the Carnival begins at 5 p.m. and continues to midnight both Friday and Saturday nights.


Chamber honors Whitmans, Taylor

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Raymond and Tammy Whitman of Whitman Insurance and Service Title Company in Marble Falls, left, receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 59th Annual Awards Banquet of the Marble Falls Lake/LBJ Chamber of Commerce on Saturday night, Feb. 24. They are joined by the chamber's executive director Patti Zinsmeyer, right, and their daughter, Kaitlynn Whitman Williams, who had the pleasure of presenting the award.







By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Community leaders let their hair down for the 59th Annual Awards Banquet, themed “Get Down, Turn Around, Go to Town, Brew Scootin' Boogie!”

The event was a sell out and the Cadillac Dance Hall delivered with the music of Eddie Shell and the Not Guilties and their lead singer Bode Barker.

But the casual atmosphere and a banquet of barbecue did not diminish the pride the chamber took in recognizing the contributions of award winners, including Outstanding Citizen Guy Taylor and Lifetime Achievement Award winners Raymond and Tammy Cochran Whitman.

The Excellence in Public Service Award was presented to the Highland Lakes Pregnancy Resource Center of Marble Falls and Kingsland. Clay Cauble was named Innovator of the Year and Jeff Bingham, Ambassador of the Year.


Chamber banquet a sell out

Eddie Shell and the Not Guilties, house band for Cadillac Dance Hall will be rolling out the dance music Saturday night for those lucky enough to score tickets to the 59th Annual Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.

Tickets to 59th Annual Awards Banquet sold out for the call from the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce to the “Get Down, Turn Around, Go to Town, Brew Scootin' Boogie!” celebration Saturday night.

So, count yourself lucky if you're on list to revel in another successful year with the supporters of Highland Lakes businesses and recognition of Outstanding Citizen, Lifetime Achievement, Community Service and Ambassador and Innovator of the Year.

It is a casual approach this year and guests got on board to dress business casual or country western for the music of Eddie Shell and the Not Guilties. The band promises the best in new and old country, blues and rock ‘n roll.

Doors open for the event at 5:30 p.m. at Cadillac Dance Hall, 1375 Farm to Market Road 1855, Marble Falls. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and dancing begins at 8:30 p.m.


LakeFest a roaring success

Frank Shubert/The Highlander

Drag boats fairly leap from the water and down the quarter liquid race track of Lake Marble Falls during LakeFest. Check the winners in this story and see photos and videos of the event on the The-Highlander Facebook page. Like us and keep up with all the news.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The 26th annual LakeFest was a success on all fronts.

The roar of engines that echoes from Lake Marble Falls up and down the Highland Lakes on the second weekend of August each year has become familiar, but the attraction seems to grow.

“We saw more of everything,” said Patti Zinsmeyer, executive director of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, host of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Races on Lake Marble Falls, Aug. 11-13.

“We saw more entries—112 this year. “We saw far more people. The Spectator crowds were bigger each day compared to past years. Lakeside Park was packed.

“We estimate, over the three days, there were more than 25,000 spectators. That is not counting all the families and crew members for the racers or people who watch from the bridge or homes or places like Riverview RV park on the south side of the lake.”


Hear the roar? Drag boats exceeding 250 mph on Lake Marble Falls all weekend

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Safety checks takes place in Johnson Park before an entry is ready for LakeFest Drag Boat Races, underway through Sunday, Aug. 13, on Lake Marble Falls. Driver of the entry Nitrochondriac, Bryan Sanders of Houston, left, goes over the list with Matt Schubauer of Lucas Oil, corporate sponsor of the race. Sanders is the driver that pushed to the world elapsed time (ET) record of 3.38 seconds at 268 mph.

Richard Zowie

The Highlander

Bryan Sanders of Houston calls it as “quite a rush” and “hard to describe,” while Daryl Ehrlick of Round Rock says it is “terror and pleasure at the same time.”

Sanders and Ehrlick are drivers in the 2017 LakeFest Drag Boat Races, today through Sunday, Aug. 11-13,

the 26th year of the races. Both will be driving Top Fuel Hydroplane boats. Ehrlick’s is called “Problem Child.”


Mayor goes 'live' at Starbucks

Marble Falls Mayor John Packer, right, answers questions from citizens on Feb. 10 when the Coffee with the Mayor series resumed at Starbucks. Bringing questions online, live, from the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce are Erin Burks, director of marketing and tourism, left, and Tony Flores, digital and social media coordinator.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Coffee with the Mayor drew more questions in the digital realm than actual takers for a free cup of Starbucks Feb. 10.

Since the informal chats with Marble Falls Mayor John Packer began last year, the coffee klatches have gone live on the Internet.

That may mean questions are a little more direct, but there was plenty of extra information gained.

“Well, 'When will Chick-fil-A open,' is the question I'm asked most often,” said Packer.

The answer to that—around the first of May—was shared with Christian Fletcher, executive director of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation.

Packer was more circumspect about the potential for a Panda Express for Marble Falls--“They have been looking at the area. However, he said work is set to begin soon on the new Burger King site on the southwest corner of the intersection of US 281 and Ranch to Market Road 1431.


Depot opens to CARTS

Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) Interurban Bus Service is welcomed to the old depot on US 281 at a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the City of Marble Falls and the  Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce  on Friday, Jan 13. See all the photos on The-Highlander Facebook Page:

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The newly refurbished Marble Falls Depot officially became a station for Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) on Friday, Jan. 13.

The Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce was host to officials from around the region, as CARTS will be making the depot at 801 US 281 part of it's Interurban Service, linking passengers to Austin and points beyond.

“We were honored with the local interest and support we received from the community, the Chamber, the City of Marble Falls and elected officials at our Depot opening today,” said CARTS General Manager David L. Marsh. “Today is just a start, but from here we can begin our role as a local partner with the community to meet its transportation needs. We look forward to the opportunity.”

The depot will become a regular stop Jan. 17, but the interior will not be open to the public for just a bit yet.


Blue Santa, Christmas Market set for Saturday

Karen Knott Anderson makes a donation to Blue Santa at Walmart. Operation Blue Santa, a program of the Marble Falls Police Department, collects new unwrapped Christmas gifts and donations for the longstanding benevolent program Highland Lakes Christmas for Kids, Inc. The big Blue Santa event for kids entertainment and donations will be Saturday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. while Christmas Market on Main is underway on Main Street.

Blue Santa, Christmas Market set for Saturday

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Two special Marble Falls events will be going on in the central city Saturday, Dec. 10—one for shopping and the other for giving.

Christmas Market on Main, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. will line the historic Main Street boulevard with great gift selection extras and holiday treats.

Blue Santa will be making his big appeal from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in Johnson Park on Avenue J and the event is aimed especially at enjoyment for children.

The Marble Falls Police Department is challenging the city to fill a police car with gifts and donations for families in need. But bounce houses, games and chances to meet police officers, much like National Night Out, are planned for kids who come to meet the actual Santa in Blue.


LakeFest honors Fry as competition begins

By Lew K. Cohn

and Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Water will be spraying hard and fast when drag boats zip across Lake Marble Falls this weekend during the 25th annual LakeFest, but it will be hard for pilots not to be reminded the tragic accident that claimed the life of veteran racer Mike Fry last year.

A tribute was held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, to remember Fry and honor his fellow drivers. The festival kicks off in earnest today, Friday, Aug. 12, with qualifying rounds starting at 9 a.m. and continuing into the afternoon.

Competitors and fans alike especially will miss that one entry not in this year's field. Fry, pilot of the Meanstreak II, a Top Alcohol Hydro (TAH) boat, died around 10:30 a.m on Aug. 9, 2015, after his boat disintegrated at the end of a run.


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