Produced by the Texas Highway Department's Travel and Information Division, Texas: Land of Contrast is a tourism film highlighting the variety of recreational activities found in Texas. It was reportedly the first in a series of travel films intended to counteract out-of-staters' misconception of Texas as "one vast, barren wasteland," according to the Victoria Advocate. Broadcast nationally in 1966, the film ultimately reached millions of viewers. Texas: Land of Contrasts travels all over the state, spotlighting festivals in Austin and San Antonio, leisure activities in Corpus Christi and Galveston, and booming industries in Kilgore and Tyler, as well as various state and national parks across West Texas and the Panhandle.
The Austin Aqua Festival began in 1962 as Aqua Fest, a ten-day festival that featured local music acts and a variety of water-related events, held in August to boost tourism during a normally slow season. Most events took place on the newly-formed Town Lake and "Festival Beach," a park along the river just east of Interstate 35. The festival included parades, a variety of races, a beauty pageant, and theme nights. In 1980, major Aqua Festival events were moved to the larger Auditorium Shores park, where multiple stages for entertainment shifted the focus of the festival towards ever larger musical acts and away from local talent and water sports through the 80s and 90s. After a few years of higher ticket prices and dropping attendance, the last festival was held in 1998.
Fiesta San Antonio is an annual event that celebrates the heroes of the Texas Revolution and San Antonio's local culture. Fiesta began as a one parade event with the first Battle of Flowers Parade in 1891. The Battle of Flowers parade includes elaborate floats and an actual battle of flowers, where blossoms are thrown in lieu of ammunition, in front of the Alamo. The parade is held in honor of the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, held on or during the week of April 21, the day Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836. Fiesta San Antonio grew to include balls, parties, a carnival, and a coronation - crowning a queen, a princess, 24 duchesses, and King Antonio. It eventually evolved into its present day, 10-day celebration that features over 100 events, including three major parades, one of which takes place on the San Antonio River Walk where the floats actually "float." Fiesta San Antonio's festivities have come to celebrate not only the Texas Revolution, but also San Antonio's rich, diverse culture and heritage.