Nixon City Council hears Feather Fest update, discusses mobile home ordinance


Nixon City Council members discussed how the upcoming Feather Fest is taking wing during their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 7, at City Hall.

Feather Fest was once a major event in Nixon which paid tribute to Holmes Foods and the poultry industry that is prevalent in the community. It was a three-day long festival that included a parade, fireworks, music and more, but it went away in 1989 and did not come back for 25 years until 2014, when it was resurrected for two years before again being canceled in 2016.

Grammy-winning singer and musician David Farias will headline the reincarnated festival on Friday, May 5 for Cinco de Mayo, with opening act Conjunto Cats, a band from Seguin who are playing this year’s Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair at Market Square in San Antonio.

Farias, an accordionist and vocalist known for his stints with La Tropa F and Los Texmaniacs, released his debut album with his band El Maestro De La Acordeon on Freddie Records in 2021 and is expected to drop another album sometime this year after suffering a health scare in 2022.

Conjunto Cats will replace Gonzales County native Max Castillo, who will not be able to perform with a band this year but will still provide sound for the festival that evening as DJ Max.

On Saturday, May 6, former professional bull rider turned country musician Jarrod Birmingham of Victoria will be the headliner with Fools of the Trade, a five-piece band from Seguin, opening up for him. Birmingham, who has been compared to Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings, has himself opened recently for artists like Mark Chestnutt, Kevin Fowler, Cody Morrow and Tracy Lawrence. Lonnie Erskine of Nixon will DJ throughout the day on Saturday as well, City Manager Harold Rice said.

Rice also said there will be a pageant held to crown a Mister and Miss Nixon as well as a Little Mister and Little Miss Nixon. His wife, Loyce Rice, is working to put the pageant together.

“We’re going to need workers. I don’t know how many people we had the very first meeting, but the second meeting, we didn’t have that many,” Rice said. “We haven’t gotten to the point where we’re asking for volunteers to work yet, but we’re going to need workers for sure on the day of the festival.”

Some members of the audience asked how they could be a part of the committee or volunteer, telling Rice and the council they need to publicize meeting dates and times so more people can be informed about what is going on with the festival. They were invited to take part in the next meeting that was scheduled for this week.

Rice said he has reached out to civic organizations and other communities about the possibility of holding a parade, but has had no response so far. He said he would like to see the city eventually hold a parade as well as have a professionally made float of its own “so our Mister and Miss Nixon can go to other cities and represent Nixon.”

Nixon Fire Chief Mark Mendez said his department will not be running the beer booth, however, because the volunteer fire department is still working on straightening out its 501(c)(3) non-profit status and they did not want to be involved in any drama that would distract from the festival.

Council members approved the closure of East Second Street from North Nixon to North Roosevelt on May 5-6 for the festival. Rice said the area will be temporarily fenced off to provide space for bands to load and unload and as an area where the Feather Fest Cook-off could be held as well. Homeowners along that area who are impacted by the street closure will still be given ingress and egress as well as free tickets to the event, Rice said.

The council went into executive session to discuss the mobile home ordinance 0-09-07, citing Section 555.071 of the Texas Government Code, the exception to the Texas Open Meetings Act which allows an executive session for consultation with attorney regarding contemplated or pending litigation, a settlement offer or administrative hearing).

After the executive session, however, the council took no action on making amendments to the ordinance, opting to keep it as it is for now.

Council members also used the executive session to discuss the rules and regulations from both Gonzales and Wilson counties for on-site sewage facilities (septic systems) and infrastructure for property located outside the Nixon city limits, but subject to annexation by the city, as well as the possibility of the city using septic systems for sewage for half-acre and larger lots for a mobile home development in Wilson County just outside Nixon city limits, citing Section 555.086, deliberations regarding a municipally owned utility.

After executive session, the council agreed to adopt the Wilson County and Gonzales County rules and regulations for septic systems and to use that option to provide sewage to mobile homes that go into the mobile home development in Wilson County rather than installing wastewater lines, which would be much more costly to the city.